Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jesse & Tamara Furgason, Founders of Everlasting Candle Co., located in Fraser Valley, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Jesse & Tamara: Everlasting Candle Co. is a family-run business that cares about offering a valuable product that lights up people’s homes in a unique and unforgettable way. We have reimagined the candle, providing an aesthetically pleasing and clean-burning alternative to traditional candles.
The Everlasting Candle is made from steel and will never melt down. Through this design, we have created an eco-friendly and sustainable candle that is both scent-free and smoke-free but has a real burning flame. Whether you are a person who appreciates stunning décor or someone who is looking for a clean, reusable option—we have created a product that is suitable for everyone.
Tell us about yourself
Jesse: My wife and I initially met while attending university in Australia. We had completely different career paths. Tamara is a doctor with a Ph.D. in public health, and I have my commerce and marketing degree. Despite our opposite educational interests, we both loved hosting dinners with friends and continuously burned candles for the ambience and mood they provided. What we didn’t love about traditional candles was the waxy mess and soot they left behind. This sparked the idea for candles made from steel so they never melt and can be reused over and over again.
We founded the company not long after we moved to BC, Canada, together four years ago. We started the business from our home garage with the help of family and had no idea how quickly it would take off. With an ever-growing team, we are now fortunate enough to be sold in over 350 boutiques across Canada and the US. Every day, we are motivated by this unique opportunity we have to share with the world the first steel candle that never melts, a candle that has modernized a household staple.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Tamara: The absolute biggest accomplishment is knowing that we have created something that is truly special and loved by thousands of people. It’s one thing to have a product that people will buy, but it’s a dream to hear we have a product that people are truly obsessed with.
Each and every day, we are able to hear directly from our customers through online reviews, social media engagement, and in-person feedback from the in-store shoppers at one of our boutique retailers. This continual stream of honest feedback allows us to celebrate the wins as a team and also keep the ship steered in the right direction as a business owner.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Jesse: It’s no surprise that making the jump to becoming a business owner is extremely terrifying, and the fear of failing is very real. Will this idea actually take off? Will people keep buying and keep investing in our brand? Although these questions are ringing loudly in your ears, it's critical to not allow this fear to stop you from taking chances. What I’ve realized is that failure is inevitable, but if you keep learning from your decisions, both good and bad, it will give you the confidence to succumb to the idea that failure is simply a path to growth.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Tamara: In the beginning, when you’re full of excitement to get the business started, you quickly dive in and hit the ground running. It’s not until further down the road that you realize you might not have a complete business plan or clear direction established like you thought. It’s crucial to have one mapped out ahead of time, as it’s hard to steer a ship without a compass.
It’s imperative that you take a holistic approach to decision-making. Consider every decision from all angles and weigh out the repercussions that may or may not happen so that you can plan proactively instead of defensively. During this decision-making process, it’s also imperative to ask yourself, “does exploring this opportunity take my attention away from a more important goal?” If it does, then it may not be the right decision for right now.
Even though you may possess the initial skills to get started, it’s impossible to have all the answers all the time. Remember that lack of knowledge isn’t a sign of weakness, and in order to run and grow a business, you need to lean on your peers, do your research, and stay in a continuous state of learning.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Jesse: If you are interested in being an entrepreneur, pay attention to those small moments where you hear yourself saying to someone, “wouldn’t it be nice if they made something like this?” Those are real opportunities a lot of people don’t grab. Maybe because they’re not sure where to begin or mistakenly figure someone must have already created it - don’t be afraid to explore those ideas and be willing to give it a try! You never know where an idea could take you.
We always love to connect with entrepreneurs, so if you’d like to bounce your idea off someone, we love to talk about everything small business!
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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