Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kate Loughran, Founder of Mountain Ash Candle Co., located in Gerton, NC, USA.

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

We are a sustainable candle-making company located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Atop Bearwallow Mountain outside of Asheville, we are inspired by the beauty of the Southern Appalachians and what we can do to move towards a cleaner, healthier world. Our candles are made with 100% pure, biodegradable soy wax and natural plant-based fragrances, and essential oils. These contain no harmful chemicals, so you can feel good about enjoying luxurious home products while protecting our planet.

Tell us about yourself

I was really frustrated with the quality of mass-produced candles that are on the market today. Once I began researching what the majority of candles were made of and with, I was shocked. Natural candles seemed unrealistically expensive to me. I wanted to create a sustainable candle company that simultaneously educates customers and incentivizes healthier purchases by creating a more manageable price point.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Starting from the ground up and self-teaching all of the nuances that come with starting a business. I have learned web design, marketing, branding, and running an online store all on my own, and the knowledge that comes from that is so valuable in the long term, especially when growing your business.

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

Definitely balancing work life with personal life. I have found it difficult to step away from big projects or new growth in my business to take personal time for myself. It can be hard to carve out that time, but so necessary for your mental health and wellbeing!

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

The first tip would be patience. It is tempting to spin your wheels as fast as you can right when you start a business, but it takes time to grow a customer base and create confidence between your products and your clientele.

Secondly, I would learn all you can about the nuances of running a small business, so if anything falls through, you're able to fix it on your own and keep moving forward. Thirdly, face-to-face interactions and integration into your community with your products are so important!

Being a part of local markets, business groups, or meet-ups and introducing your products in person gives a personal touch customers are more likely to remember when it comes time to make a decision about what to purchase.

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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