Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lacey Bruhns, owner of Flickering Fern Candle, located in Saratoga Springs, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the owner of a small-batch candle business, Flickering Fern Candle. Our candles are 100% paraffin-free and made with only natural waxes to eliminate soot and toxic fumes when burning. Flickering Fern candles are hand poured with a custom blend of soy, coconut, and beeswax, as well as premium fragrance oils free from phthalates, mutagens, carcinogens, and other toxins. We only use high-quality materials to give our customers a clean candle they can feel good about burning without compromising on the scent.
Tell us about yourself
About three years ago, I started to get that itch to embark on a new adventure. As someone who never really likes being told what to do, I thought I would be happier if I could find a way to work for myself. After a lot of soul searching, I decided to begin a new journey into entrepreneurship. Many people choose this path in order to create something for themselves and others, to feel more passion for life and work, and enjoy more personal freedom.
As a candle lover, one of my favorite things to do each season is shop for new candles. However, I often found myself disappointed with candles that burned unevenly and produced a lot of black soot. I started researching natural waxes and clean fragrances, and after a year of testing, Flickering Fern Candle was born.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, my biggest accomplishment has just been to start! Fear and anxiety were holding me back for a while, and I really doubted whether I'd be able to push through that. There is a lot of risk in quitting a stable job to start something on your own. I was lucky to have a lot of support and encouragement from my friends and family.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me as a business owner is having to do it all. There are a lot of aspects of running the business that I'm good at, but it's hard to be good at everything. It can be overwhelming trying to learn all the ins and outs, like how to file your business paperwork, manage the books, design and manage your website, take product photos, market your business on social media, find wholesale accounts, package and ship orders, sell at craft shows, etc. Actually, making the candles is only a small part of the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Just go for it. I tend to spend months and months planning something to make sure I have everything figured out first, but a lot of things you won't figure out until after you start. Of course, it's important to do your research first, but you will learn a lot as you go.
- Lean on others for support. It's a lot of work trying to manage everything on your own, and there are lots of people out there who want to help you if you ask.
- Don't get hung up on small setbacks or failures. Success is not a linear process. There will be many ups and downs along the way, and you need that positive mindset to keep going.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you're thinking about starting your own business, I would encourage you to take the leap. It's so easy to let fear hold you back, but if it's something you can't stop thinking about, I think you will regret it more if you don't try!
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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