Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with IV Workman, Co-Founder of Cedar Mountain Candle, located in Las Vegas, NV, USA.

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

We are in the business of all things that smell good! You have to love the smell of every item you make in a candle shop because you will smell like it all day long. No one leaves the candle shop without smelling like a Christmas tree during the winter! On a serious note, we are a team located in Las Vegas that loves to have fun. We are primarily a wholesale and private label business that makes small company dreams of having their own branded candle or bath and body line come to life. We currently stock about 450 stores here in the USA and just branched out Internationally last year. We are now in 9 different countries! We love making sure that the Cedar Mountain Candle experience is a great experience...and something that smells good! We have made some great friends along the way that started off as customers. We have folks on social media that chat with us as if we have known each other forever. It's truly a blessing being able to be part of someone's special day by creating wedding favors or being part of someone's dream with their small business by creating a private label candle for them. It's all worth being covered in wax and smelling like a candle at the end of the day!

Tell us about yourself

We started Cedar Mountain Candle in 2017 when they started making candles for their own use. It didn't take long for friends and family to begin asking for our candles. Then a beautiful boutique called "The Lofty Nest" asked us to stock our candles. We had our first wholesale account, which we still stock today! Organically, businesses started asking to have Cedar Mountain Candle in their stores throughout the local area of Cedar Mountain, Utah. Having a full-fledged candle company wasn't originally in the plan. IV Workman is Active Duty Air Force as a flight engineer on helicopters, and Michelle Workman is a full-time banker. In 2020, the business grew to the point that a warehouse was needed. We could no longer keep up with the demand in our home, and we were busting at the seams. We moved into a commercial facility and slowly started hiring a team. Since then, the team has kept expanding as the business keeps growing. I wish I could drive to every single customer that has ordered from us along the way and give them a hug for creating this dream and helping us get to where we are today.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Watching the growth of the team. Everyone started out as strangers, and now we have the tightest bond, where they celebrate each other's life events and special moments. Everyone lifts each other up, provides constructive feedback on how we can do better, and participates in heavy lifting when things get hard. It's not easy to build a team where the camaraderie is so tight. I wouldn't choose a single different person for the team.

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

Learning when to let go. Building a business from the ground up takes grit and determination. You are afraid of the "what if they mess this up" moment. Letting go and letting someone else have the reigns of social media, production schedules, or other important elements of your business is sometimes hard. But you literally can not shoulder it all as a business owner. When things only start getting part of your attention, you will be a master at nothing. You have to learn to let people run with their ideas, let the creativity flow, and agree that maybe your original process wasn't the best process. Give people freedom but always follow back up as the saying goes...Trust but verify.

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

  1. Hire to your weakness, whether that be marketing, accounting, etc. Your talents can only be spread so then. Hire the expert when the expert needs to be hired.
  2. Be original in your thoughts. Don't model your business after someone else. If you do that, you will always be in second place.
  3. Business takes time to grow. It's like going to the gym, results will not happen overnight, but consistency day over day, week over week, will give you results.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I have had a few hard lessons as a business owner. If I had to do it all over again, here is what I would change:

  1. It's hard not to wear your heart on your sleeve when you are a business owner. It's your passion and what consumes almost every thought of every day. It took me a while to realize that not everyone will be your cheerleader. Not everyone will love your product. Not every friend or family member will be supportive. You know what, it's ok, and you will be much better with the critique you get. No one ever built a great business on compliments alone. Whatever you do, do not take every critique you get and feel like you always need to change something, Your business will not be for everyone, and that is perfectly ok.
  2. You can not boil the ocean. I always had a list of so many things I wanted to accomplish, launch, design, create, etc. Learn to do the basics with perfection before you expand. Otherwise, you will only compound your problems as you grow.

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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