Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrea Animashaun, Founder of June Bug Candles, located in Mesa, AZ, USA.

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

June Bug Candles is a sustainable, eco-friendly candle company on a mission to eliminate toxic candle burning. Utilizing 100% pure, natural beeswax, we create pillars, votives, and aromatherapy wax melts scented with 100% pure essential oils. There are a variety of benefits to burning beeswax candles. Beeswax is a natural air purifier because it releases negative ions when burned. Household dust, mold, viruses, and bacteria carry positive ions. Burning beeswax naturally forces these positive ions out of the air we breathe. Beeswax is one of the longest-burning natural waxes because it's extremely dense; therefore, it has a high melting point without the use of chemical hardeners. To top it off, beeswax smells divine! It releases a natural, subtle honey aroma when burning. It's a great candle option for those with allergies, asthma, or sensitivities to strong scents.

Tell us about yourself

About four years ago, I began making candle melts using leftover wax from candles I had purchased. During the process, I began researching candles in-depth and learned about the toxic candles I was burning in my home. The most common candle wax on the market is paraffin; a petroleum-based by-product produced when rendering crude oil. I was horrified once I discovered what I was burning in my home. My family and I were inhaling carcinogens such as benzene, toluene, and even formaldehyde daily. I love to burn candles, and now I had to give them up. At that moment, my purpose was revealed! I was going to bring awareness to toxic candle burning, and I was going to create a natural, long-burning candle free of chemicals and synthetic fragrances. The desire to keep my children safe and healthy is my primary motivation. I teach them that their voice matters. It's likely that something they see as a problem is also a concern of like minds. I want them to understand that they can find a solution to whatever obstacles come their way. I know my concerns are shared, and I knew that if I made my product accessible to others, they would see the value as well.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've had many accomplishments as a business owner thus far, and I'm extremely proud of making it in the UK Edition of Vanity Fair's Finds, a luxury gift guide highlighting wellness, health, and lifestyle products. As an entrepreneur, public recognition can be few and far between. Part of being an entrepreneur is learning how to celebrate all the wins, big or small, public or private. With that, my biggest accomplishment is my ability to keep going and remain true to my mission. That is, to decrease toxic candle burning, create a quality alternative and ensure that it's accessible. Every step in the creation of my candles is an accomplishment.

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

I believe the hardest thing about being a business owner is understanding that building a brand/business is a process that will never come to an end and that I'm going to make mistakes along the way. It takes consistency, dedication, a willingness to continue learning, and the ability to accept that I don't have all the answers, and that's OK. Realizing that a product idea doesn't fit into my objective is OK; giving up on my mission is not an option.

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

My advice to new entrepreneurs would be to approach the journey without other people's expectations of success. Identify your objective, create a plan for how you intend to meet that objective, and be flexible as there are tons of learning curves along the way. Stay true to your mission; the passion behind why you were inspired to start will be your anchor throughout the process.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.