Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Desjardins, Founder of Candlehaven.ca, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Candlehaven.ca sells premium and unique candle supplies at affordable prices. Our customers are would-be entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and candle companies.
Tell us about yourself
At home, under lockdown, I started pursuing a hobby that my mother taught me as a child. I wanted to find something to occupy myself and my teenage daughters. I decided I would build the world's most perfect candle using the modern materials of today. I worked for almost a year sourcing the finest materials from all over the world and learning everything I could about candle making. Once I was confident that I had designed the best candle the world had ever seen, it was a natural progression to start a little candle company to make some extra money. I found the most incredible Coco Apricot Wax, beautiful vessels, decadent scents, and the best performing wicks. I designed custom boxes, labels, and electroplated lids. My day job was in international trade, and so I am well versed in importing. I used this skill to my advantage. I ordered all the needed supplies in bulk from all over the world and then sat and waited as half my stock showed up, and the rest underwent delays at the ports for months. I was left with half the needed stock and no date for the arrival of the rest, so I decided to pivot and become a candle supply store.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Pivoting from a candle company to a candle supply company was the smartest move I accidentally made. I honestly just wanted to unload the stock I had piling up in my basement, but because I had taken the time to source materials from all over the globe, many of these items I had accumulated became pretty popular, especially when I started to promote via social media. It turned out that people really liked my little candle supply store. No one was more surprised about that than I was.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is to understand that there will be days without sales. There will be promotions that fall flat. There will be TikTok videos you create that no one ever watches. There will be new players in your space to oust you from your top spot every day, so you can't ever let up for a minute.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Customer service is key. Your business is built one customer at a time. One email at a time. One response on social media at a time. Go above and beyond and let your customers know that they are entering into a partnership with you, and then honor that partnership every time they reach out.
- YouTube and Google are your friends. I had no idea about how to start a business, build a website, drive traffic to my website, or fix anything when it went wrong; YouTube and Google have been my silent partners, always ready with a suggestion to help me along.
- You will get out of your business exactly as much as you put in. If you promote your product, you'll see sales. If you take the time to build a beautiful website with great copy and beautiful pictures, you'll see sales. If you stay abreast of the trends in your industry and listen to your customer's feedback when deciding what to carry, you'll be successful.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you ever wondered why you haven't zeroed in on one life passion, it's because you were meant to be great at more than one thing. You were meant to be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur gets to be a website designer, a procurement specialist, a copywriter, a website designer, an accountant, a salesperson, or a content creator. The entrepreneur sets their own goals, beats to their own drum, and is in control of their own destiny!
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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