Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kathy Fogle, founder of Happy Kat Candles & Gifts, located in Charlotte, NC, USA.

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

Happy Kat Candles & Gifts offers a unique variety of handcrafted candles that look and smell good enough to eat, as well as an equally fragrant assortment of all-natural scented soy candles and wax melts. The gift shop is located inside Northlake Mall in Charlotte, NC. If you live in or around Charlotte and love to support local small businesses, we invite you to stop in and shop with us. You'll soon discover that we're so much more than a candle store!

Tell us about yourself

My name is Kathy Fogle, creative candle designer, and small business owner. Eighteen years ago, I started making candles as a hobby. I continue to make dessert and drink themed candles, and other gift items that make people smile. I also love helping other small business owners grow their businesses by providing a retail platform to showcase their handmade goods.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment was winning a retail store inside Northlake Mall after entering their Battle of the Pop-Up competition in 2018. My products are also sold in nearly 100 retail shops across the US, France, Canada, and Germany, thanks to wholesale platforms like Faire and Abound. I also offer Sip & Pour Candle-making parties for any occasion for customers who enjoy getting crafty!

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

The hardest thing as a business owner initially is wearing all of the hats. I'm sure most of us have said, "I need ten more of me" to get it all done.

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

  1. LOVE what you do.
  2. Be consistent.
  3. Never give up!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I was a hairstylist for 30 years, with no candle-making experience and no formal training. Standing behind a chair until I was 60 wasn't the life that I desired, and I knew that I wanted to build a business that could operate with or without me. It's never too late to switch careers or start over!

Where can people find you and your business?


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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