Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fragrance and candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Naomi Reilly, Co-Founder of SevenSeventeen Limited, located in Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom.

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

Located on the Sussex Coast, we are two friends and former magazine journalists whose love of scented candles inspired us to launch our own vegan-friendly collection 5 years ago that not only smells amazing but donates 10% of profits to mental health.

Tell us about yourself

To us, there's nothing like the ritual of lighting a sumptuously scented candle at the end of a long day, and we were really excited about launching a British-made, affordable line for people to enjoy. It's hard to believe that we started with just 50 candles, and now over 35,000 of them have worked their magic in people's homes! The most meaningful part of our business - aside from bringing a dose of calm into our customer's everyday lives - is that we've managed to raise over £50k for mental health charities through the sales of our products to date. It's wonderful to be able to grow a business and give back along the way.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Aside from the charity donations, we're really proud to have worked on some very special charity collaboration candles with the likes of Stacey Solomon, Dr. Alex George, and Giovanna Fletcher. These have donated all profits to their chosen charities and have been a pleasure to work on. We were also really excited when we landed our first department store stockist at Fenwick.

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

Embracing the natural ebbs and flows of running a business is something that can feel hard to navigate at first, but often, it's just a matter of not losing sight of your goals and just keeping going. Keeping up momentum can sometimes feel hard, but that's what's great about having a business partner - there's always someone to spur you on.

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

  1. Work out your long-term goal and work back from that with smaller, manageable targets (and don't forget to celebrate these as you tick them off!).
  2. Speak to other small business owners you can trust and swap advice. It will be time well spent.
  3. Prioritize customer service. In tough times like these, the personal touch and a seamless and transparent customer or client experience are everything. This is what will make you stand out.

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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