Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rae Thomas, Owner of Burning Ambition Candle Company, located in St. Louis, MO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I make and sell candles and wax melts! My customers are people who love to make their spaces feel more like their own with their favorite fragrances.
Tell us about yourself
I'm a coffee-drinking, dog-loving, bright-eyed ball of positivity and love who is just trying to find her niche! I started candle making as an outlet and a hobby. I was having issues with depression and feeling stuck and needed a way to get out of it. My lovely fiancé, Mike, suggested I find a hobby that would get my mind off of things and told me to pick something I really liked. I thought long and hard about it, and while looking around my home, I noticed all the candles I had scattered around. (I'm super guilty of splurging on the Bath & Body Works candles. If you know, you know.)
I've always had a love for home décor, so I thought, "Why not just make my own candles?" The rest is history! Burning Ambition Candle Company was born, and I've never been happier! I've found something I'm passionate about doing, and that keeps me going every single day. I'm motivated by my customers who want to make their houses feel more like home! I'm so glad I'm able to provide a product that helps with that!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been getting my product into a physical retail store that wasn't online. I've been selling my candles in a store in Cape Girardeau, MO, called Of The Earth Metaphysical Supply, since my company's formation in June of 2021. Susan has always been amazing to me, and I'll always be grateful for the opportunity she gave me to sell my candles in her store. It really gave me the drive to keep my business going both in her store and online. I'm looking to expand to more places soon, so it's only up from here!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for me as a business owner has been consistency. Since my business is so small and I still have to work a 9-5 just to get by regularly, it's been hard for me to find the time and energy to keep going. I'm glad I have the support I do; otherwise, I would've stopped a long time ago. I love this craft and plan on continuing it for years to come. Now that I've found balance, it will definitely be a lot easier for me.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find something you're passionate about and sprint with it. When I was in college, one of my professors told me, "If you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life." (Shoutout to Mr. Keith Ashby. You were always one of my favorites. Rest peacefully, sir.)
- Find the right balance. Running a business will be difficult if you don't plan, if you don't have a routine, or if you don't give yourself rest. Burnout is real and will kill your vibe if you let it.
- Build yourself a great support system. Not everyone is going to root for your success, but you want to make sure you keep around those who do. They are the ones who will motivate you to keep going when rough times come around. Things will get rocky, so it's nice to have a team who will help you when you need it, whether it be to bounce ideas off of or to be a listening ear.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
First and foremost, YOU'VE GOT THIS! I believe in you! Don't let doubt get in the way of your dreams! You can do anything you set your mind to if you keep your ambitions burning bright!
I also want to give a special shoutout to my customers. You mean the world to me, and I'm so grateful for all of you!
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.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.