Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lea Burbidge Izquierdo, co-owner of Chubbies Candles, a women-led company that creates handmade soy candles located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

Chubbies Candles is a Canadian-owned and women-led company founded in January 2021. Chubbies was created to bring items that would elevate one’s space for a reasonable price. Our different collections are cool, contemporary, and for any aesthetic. Our dynamic candle products, both beautiful and functional, are perfect for anyone looking to decorate their space or give an unforgettable gift. Our audience is women over 21.

Tell us about yourself

Meghan and I (Lea) had an instant connection and quickly became best friends who share a love for creating things and for decorative products. This common interest was the foundation for our relationship as business partners. We discussed the idea of starting a business together, and a week later, we were in Meghan’s apartment sketching brand names, aesthetics, and how to make our brand “next big thing.” The only question was, what would our product be, and how could we combine our love for design with our business model.

At that moment in time, we had both just moved into new apartments and realized how expensive it was to decorate a new space. I had initially bought a candle kit on my own to make gifts for my family and friends, but after the first pour, I realized this could be something bigger. I then pitched the idea of candles to Meghan, who was all in! Our go-getter attitude and complementary skills are really what make Chubbies what it is today.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When you’re a first-time small business owner, every small accomplishment is big. We will never forget our very first sale and each one after that makes us light up behind our screen. I think our biggest accomplishment happened recently when a big Canadian-owned retail company reached out to us saying they wanted Chubbies Candles in their stores. We can’t share too much at the moment but stay posted for the big reveal!

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

Turning that part of your brain off and taking time off. Chubbies is always, always on our minds. We make everything from our apartments, so it’s tough to step out of it when you’re always surrounded by it. Of course, it has its advantages because you’re constantly working on it and finding new ideas for content, marketing, models, collections, etc. But it can be very exhausting. Even when we’re out with mutual friends having a drink, you’ll find us in a corner talking about Chubbies.

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

Just do it. That first leap is a big one and takes a lot of courage but just go for it! I remember having this moment before we started where I thought to myself, “Am I really going to do this? Am I really going to risk investing my own money and failing in front of everyone?” And as scary as it was, I am SO glad I took the risk.

Starting this business has given me confidence and has connected me to so many other entrepreneurs who are willing to give all their wisdom. Many people through the pandemic have discovered new passions and built small businesses out of them, and we have all made mistakes and learned from them, so taking advice from other small business owners is crucial. There is so much to learn, and so many people meet.

My last piece of advice would be to accept that there will be ups and downs. It can’t always go well. But the harder you work and the harder you push, the better the outcome. Don’t give up when things get a little hard.

Where can people find you and your business?

Instagram: @chubbies.candles

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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