Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paul Bruschi, Founder of Jack Be Nimble Candles, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Jack Be Nimble is a candle and home fragrance company based in Atlanta, GA, founded in 2010. I'm a former professional ballet dancer, and the Jack Be Nimble name was inspired by a coloring book of "JACK" jumping over a candlestick. It brought together my two passions - ballet and candles!
We hand-pour each of our candles in batches of twelve in our studio in Atlanta. All of our candles are made using American-grown soy wax, all-natural cotton wicks, and fine fragrance oils. Our products are inspired by modern design and family gatherings that enhance your environment and create future memories. We pride ourselves on meticulous craftsmanship, ethical production, and accessible prices. All of our products are vegan, cruelty-free, and phthalate-free. As part of that mission, we are devoted to creating a superior product you will be proud to use in your home daily.
Tell us about yourself
I am originally from Snellville, GA. I graduated in 2001 with a BFA in Fine Arts from Point Park University in Pittsburg, PA. I was a professional ballet dancer until 2012 when an injury sidelined me. This gave me more time to devote to my 2-year-old candle business. The business started with a fascination with candles and candle scents. I was frustrated with store-bought candles that don't burn and smell for more than an hour or two. I did extensive online research, including talking with scores of other smaller candle makers, before placing my first order for equipment, wax, jars, and fragrances. I then began testing different scents that I felt would trigger some memory or feeling of happiness from its user. After hundreds of hours of testing, I found the exact formulas that I use today to make 100% soy candles that burn 60+ hours and smell the same from start to finish. I began selling my candles at small festivals around Atlanta, where I built up the following year after year. I am passionate about my product and what it does for my customers. Their feedback year after year has validated the hours of research and development in making the best possible candle.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment probably comes from my loyal customers, who return yearly. At any given show, multitudes of customers exclaim, "these are the BEST candles I've ever purchased!" It's one of the most rewarding parts of a business owner and helping to enhance people's lives
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
When I started this business, I was still dancing professionally and struggled with finding the balance between both jobs. One of the biggest challenges today is wearing every hat in my business. I create and test each scent (which takes between 6-12 months), and I do almost everything else, too! I pour, label, box, ship, answer customer inquiries, handle social media, do the accounting, and sell at markets and retail shops. Fortunately, I have a small part-time team to help with production and selling at our busy holiday markets.
Another past challenge has been getting customers to buy directly from the website. Candles are like food - you need to see and smell them before purchasing, and the website obviously doesn't allow tor that. However, once customers purchase at a market or retail location, they know the quality and value of my candles and begin shopping on the website for reorders. We have customers all over the US and are in almost 100 shops nationwide, including Germany!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- What are you trying to say as a brand or company.
- Don't rush. It's okay to grow slow.
- Get good photography! It's probably the one thing I would invest in starting out.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm a foodie and love to travel. I'm also into craft cocktails and love to experiment with different flavors. It all plays into my love for fragrance and desire to create an environment of scents.
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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