Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kristina Baranowski, Founder, and CEO of Orchid + Ash, located in Oceanside, CA, USA.

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

Hi! I am the founder of Orchid + Ash, and we make all-natural candles and ritual sprays designed to turn your ordinary day-to-day moments into something special. On top of our products, we have a grant program geared toward helping more women+ start the business they've always dreamt about. Our customers are health-conscious (mostly women) who enjoy the simplicity and beauty that fragrance brings into the home but also know the importance of keeping products toxin-free.

Tell us about yourself

I have been an entrepreneur since I was 24! My first business was brick + mortar bakery, and after five years, I sold that business in search of something with a little more meaning - and freedom! I am a creator at heart, I am happiest making things with my hands, and that is what led me to small-batch candles and fragrances. I also have a deep love (and certification!) in holistic health and want people to have the option to still enjoy all of these things that smell great, without harming their health.

Having been in the entrepreneurial space for the last decade and quite literally bootstrapping all of my business ventures, I know how hard and scary it can be and what a difference even a few thousand dollars can make. The Orchid + Ash Grant Program allows me to give back to other women+ who are hoping to be able to make a living inside of their own passions, and I just love that so much.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Honestly, just starting and sticking with it. There are times it gets really tough, and working through those moments and coming out on the other side is so rewarding. I've now started two businesses that both began as just a tiny vision. I followed my intuition, and they both grew into a thriving, full-blown business, and there are really very few words to describe how surreal and amazing that feels.

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

Where do I start? Ha! Things get tough, and they get tough often. Whether it is production, sales, or logistics. Being gentle with yourself while you work through the 'bumps' is truly one of the hardest things to do. Some days it ends in tears and being ready to give up, but we still get up and try again the next day.

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

  1. Don't let anyone tell you the vision you have in your head won't work.
  2. It is okay to evolve! In fact, it is the most important thing to be open to. It is inevitable.
  3. It's really, really hard, but everything is figure-out-able. And when you figure 'it' out, it is worth every tough moment along the way.

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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