Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley and Jessica, Co-Founders of Ignite Candle Co., located in Billings, MT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Ignite Candle Company is a truly all-natural aromatherapy candle business with a passion for environmental conservation. Our customers are thoughtful, savvy consumers who are mindful of maintaining a healthy environment both inside and outside their homes. Many commercially produced candles contain toxic chemicals and artificially formulated fragrance oils which negatively impact air quality and can cause a number of concerning health side effects. Because Ignite candles only use 100% US-grown soy wax and custom-blended essential oils, our candles support your health and home.
Tell us about yourself
In the fall of 2019, we were working together and looking for a way to make a positive impact on the world, particularly toward our shared passion both for our planet and our kids. The idea for candles came from pondering how we could Ignite a passion for environmental conservation in future generations. We envisioned the image of a flicker of hope every time a child has a meaningful experience with the natural world. We believe in order for kids to grow into dedicated stewards of our beautiful planet, there must be support for programs that connect kids with nature. Through our donation platform, “Candles for a Cause,” we donate $1 for each product we sell to local organizations that share our mission.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
While we are proud of the fact that we have been able to build a successful self-sustaining business, what really stands out as our biggest accomplishment is that we have also been able to maintain a strong and meaningful friendship. When we were forming the company, we both agreed, “If it can’t be fun, then what’s the point?” Now, that said, there are certainly times that are more fun than others. Any entrepreneur knows that building something from scratch welcomes occasional frustrations and failures, but we have worked hard to communicate both our individual and business needs, stay on track with our mission, and not only make it through the difficult times but find humor in the hard stuff.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Work/life balance is so important to both of us. We each have awesome, supportive partners and kids, but finding that tricky balance between putting in the hours needed to build a business while working another job and maintaining a healthy home environment can be very challenging. We are lucky that we have complementary skill sets and a shared sense of humor to guide our path.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, make sure that at the core of your business is a purpose that is so important to you that it can sustain you through the inevitable ups and downs. The reason that you’re doing whatever it is that you’re doing needs to be truly fulfilling on a personal level before it ever makes a dollar.
Second, communicate - both with your business partners and with your life partners. This choice that you are making to start a business is going to impact everyone around you. Make sure you have a strong community and that everyone has a voice.
Finally, do your research and track expenses. We’ve learned a few things the hard way, but the more we research and track our expenses really explicitly, the better things work out for us in the long run. It feels like a lot of work upfront, especially if you’re creative and excited to get started, but it really is the best way to ensure you can continue doing what you love in a sustainable way.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don’t run from your failures…use them! And hear us when we tell you: Your failures do not diminish your value. There is no benefit to dwelling in shame. Failing means you are pushing to be more. Be proud of your bravery. Be determined to find a new way. Breathe. Ask for help (you don’t have to go it alone). Find levity, and remember that every win, even the little ones, is worth celebrating.
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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