Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chelsey Bruce, owner of C.B. Candles, located in Phillipsburg, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
C.B. Candles is a small business located in Phillipsburg, NJ that specializes in hand-poured candles and wax melts. All products are made with 100% soy wax and high-quality fragrance oils that are free from carcinogens, phthalates, and other harmful toxins. They are also vegan and cruelty-free. I source as many of my ingredients as possible from other local businesses, and all my shipping materials are recyclable or biodegradable.
Tell us about yourself
C.B. Candles started out as a pandemic project that unexpectedly turned into a business. At the onset of COVID-19, I was becoming increasingly aware of how many products we use every day contain chemicals and other toxic ingredients, so I liked the idea of making a product that I know is natural and safe for my family and pets. I found candle-making incredibly therapeutic and fulfilling and knew this was going to be a part of my life in a big way.
After months of research and testing, I took the leap to develop an LLC and started selling my products online, and it just really took off from there. This all happened in the months following my wedding, so I decided to use my new initials in the business name. It was not easy getting married during a pandemic, but it was absolutely worth it, so I thought that experience would be a good reminder for me throughout my business ventures.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been the growth I have witnessed within the business as well as in myself. I have learned so much during this journey and am so happy to be doing something I love.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest parts of being a business owner is the unknown, especially during these unpredictable times. Your business is affected by outside factors that you can't necessarily control. I have found that being flexible and welcoming change is really helpful in these instances.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
One tip I wish someone had told me when I first started my business was that you would make mistakes, and that's okay. I have learned so much from my mistakes, and my business is what it is today because of them. I would also encourage a new business owner to try to live a balanced life outside the business and take breaks when needed. Finally, I think the most important thing to do is choose something you are passionate about and love doing when starting a business. You will be so much more motivated to continue developing your business, and your customers will recognize your product is worth buying because of it.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I offer custom orders for just about any occasion and enjoy working with customers to create exactly what they are looking for. I design all product labels myself and am therefore able to accommodate requests for custom labels and designs. If customers have a specific scent in mind that I do not carry, I can work with them to create that fragrance. In the past, I have provided custom candles for bridal/baby showers, company events, and fundraisers.
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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