Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Lorenc, Founder of My Buffalo Candle Company, located in Buffalo, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My Buffalo Candle Company was born from the idea of merging a creative outlet with the desire to give back to the Buffalo community. The foundation of my business is to spotlight smaller local community organizations & nonprofits and donate 20% of all candle sales to help support the vital work they do for the Buffalo community. My customers are people that love the Buffalo community & those who truly embody what it means to be a part of the "City of Good Neighbors."
Tell us about yourself
Like many others, I started my business during the pandemic. I was on leave from my full-time job as a teacher, and I started making candles as a hobby. At some point, I thought, "Hey, maybe I could sell these...". From that point, I just started to run with the idea, and now here we are.
Everything happened so quickly, which is good because it didn't give me even one moment to guess myself second. Not to say that I never currently have moments of doubt! However, whenever those doubts strike me, I keep reminding myself that someone benefits from what I am doing. Someone is thankful that I own deciding to give back.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
So far, my biggest accomplishment is being able to continue running my business even after returning to my full-time job. I also have a husband and two school-age children at home, so it is like having three full-time jobs, but I am making it work!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Being a small business owner means you are responsible for carrying out every single part of your business from start to finish. Until you are doing it, you never really realize all the work that goes into running a business- operations & production, accounting, marketing, technology & social media, business analyst, sales rep, customer service rep, and so much more.
Each of these things is a separate full-time job in big business. When you are a one-woman business, it is all up to you! This is not always bad, but you must find a way to balance it all, or you will burn out.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, network like crazy. Find people who do what you do, other small business owners, and people who hold the same values and philosophies. This is not just to grow your business but to grow your support system.
Second, never be afraid to ask. Ask other business owners questions that you have. Ask that boutique if they will have you for a popup. Ask another small business to collaborate. If you have an idea, don't be afraid to ask the questions that will make it a reality.
Third, learn about the business side of social media and how to use it to your advantage.
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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