Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Eunice Chao Stephens, founder of Lunington Labs, located in Houston, TX, US.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lunington Labs has the vision of eventually fostering a makers’ space where people can come explore anything related to “art & science” with their hands in a sustainable and responsible way. Sustainable, artisan soy candles are just the very first phase.
Tell us about yourself
I love fragrances and scented candles. In the beginning of the pandemic, everyone was getting into baking. I wanted to find a creative outlet that didn’t involve food, so I started experimenting with different types of waxes, wicks, and scents to create my own candles. I got to thinking about what I learned in business school and the evolution of what businesses are able to provide, from commodity, goods & service that differentiates to experience and, ultimately, transformation. The long-term goal is to be able to provide an experience & transformation to consumers.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I get such a thrill when I get to collaborate. So far, my biggest accomplishments have been working with non-profits in the area, such as Houston Botanic Garden & AADA-Houston (Asians Against Domestic Abuse), as well as individuals to create scents that represent what/who they are. There’s an ongoing contribution to the non-profits from the sales of the candles we jointed created.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
To be able to wear many hats and be disciplined. When you don’t have a boss to answer to, you need to give yourself deadlines for tasks and constantly challenge yourself. It’s also very difficult not to get discouraged as your business may not take off right away or even for a long time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Really examine your business concept and be critical. Don’t fall head over heels in love with your own ideas and put blinders on.
- Seek feedback. Many cities and business schools have affiliated entrepreneur incubators. Get yourself involved in these organizations and learn from other business owners and like-minded people.
- Find motivation. (Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” summarizes that human motivation comes from 3 factors: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. As a business owner, autonomy is given, mastery is doing the thing you do masterfully (process refinement & continuous improvement), and purpose would be the ultimate, which is why we do what we do.
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 email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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