Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tanya Wirtz, owner of Candle Creek Farms, located in Mallard, IA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Here at Candle Creek Farms, I curate uniquely scented candles made with 100% soy from our American Farmers. Each candle has been hand-poured by me, The Maker, creating a special experience.

Tell us about yourself

I am from a small town in rural Iowa. Growing up in a farming family, supporting our American Farmers is and always will be important to me. That is where my small, locally owned business dream is from. My passion for candle-making came to me unexpectedly. I struggled for a small portion of my life with just every day “same old same old” life I was living. I have three children and a hard-working husband who puts in many work hours in a week. I love being a mom and a wife, but I felt like I was losing myself little by little each day. Come to find out, it's pretty normal in other women like myself. I had enough and decided I needed a hobby, something just for me.

Candles have always brought me joy and memories. The comfort and reminiscence have always been intriguing for me. Therefore, candle-making became my new hobby. Fast forward through many months of testing, trial and error, and many more errors, and then I created a successful candle from the time it was lit to the last drop of melted wax. Each day I am motivated by the happiness Candle Creek Farms brings me in more ways than I could ever say, but mostly because it brought me joy and self-love again.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment would be my first three months in business. I started with simple social media advertising, and my mind was blown by the outpouring of support I received. I had kept this little passion to myself for quite a while, so to hear such kindness about your hobby was humbling. I sold hundreds of candles in the first few months. My goal was to sell 20 candles a month in my first year. In the first three months, I also took on five wholesale accounts. My goal in the first YEAR was to have one wholesale account! I have been crushing goals since day one, and that is such a powerful feeling.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The most challenging thing that comes with being a business owner is social criticism. Thankfully, I have not experienced much negative criticism, but it is always a worry. Whatever your business or product is, you want it to benefit every person possible, but that is not realistic.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Put your heart and soul into it and GO FOR IT.
  2. Do your research, and try your best to be knowledgeable in every single aspect of your business or product you are selling.
  3. Stay true to your belief and passion. There are many people and businesses that can try to change your passion into something “more successful.” Don’t fall for it, you will be successful if you believe it.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would love to share a personal message to other moms and wives who may struggle with “everyday life” and “same old same old.” I encourage you to find something for YOU. Whether it be taking up a new craft or hobby, prioritizing girl friend time, taking a me-cation, or simply reading a book you enjoy every evening. Whatever it may be. If you find something for just YOU, YOU will be a better mom and wife, and most importantly, YOU will find more happiness.

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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