Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lana Lauriente, Founder of Big Candle Co., located in West Kelowna, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We make beautiful and luxurious home décor candles for our customers to create their own peaceful, ambient, and nurturing spaces. All of our candles are made in vessels that can be repurposed as plant pots, tumblers, bowls, etc. We also provide candle refills. Our vessels are unique, many have been handcrafted, and we work with artisans across the globe.
Tell us about yourself
I've always liked crafty projects, making anything with my hands (sewing, knitting, woodwork, etc.). I bought a small candle from Pottery Barn a long time ago, and the container was beautiful. I really didn't want to throw it out. So I bought wax and remade the candle. I've always liked candles, but I had a hard time finding ones that would compliment our home (I never cared for the glass jar and label look); anything bigger than the standard 8 ounces seemed non-existent at the time. I later started making a few bigger candles for myself, then for my family for things like birthdays and Christmas gifts. Everyone seemed to love them, and I started refilling their candles for them, and I just thought, how fun would this be to turn into a business?! Then the research started.
I love the challenge of learning something new and have always been attracted to the idea of starting a business. One, because you wear so many hats and there are so many things to learn. Two, because I find great satisfaction in building and creating something from the ground up.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building the website. I get a little overwhelmed when it comes to technology (and even social media), but they are a necessity for any business. Learning how to build the website and run the backend for me was an accomplishment I'm proud of.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
If you're a perfectionist like me, it can be hard to let others help. But if you truly want to grow, you have to let others in and know that mistakes are going to be made (by yourself included). In the end, it's not about the mistakes but how you handle them.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Consistency is everything. It doesn't all come together at once, and there are many speed bumps along the way, but if you are committed and continue to put the work in, you'll get there.
- Start your bookkeeping immediately! You have to be in control and understand your finances to run a business.
- Don't let yourself get distracted by other "juicy opportunities." Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. There are only so many hours a day, and you need the time to build your core business first. Any other interesting avenues or directions can wait. Write all your ideas down in one place so that you can come back to them when you're ready and if they still make sense to pursue.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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