Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stephanie Webb, CEO of Sunshine Handcrafted, located in Detroit, MI, USA.

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

My business is home fragrances which include soy candles, wax melts, room sprays, and diffusers. All my products are handmade. After learning about the toxins in so many candles, I set out to create a sustainable, natural, clean product line that smells good and is suitable for you and your home. Not everyone cares how candles are made, but our customers do, and Sunshine Handcrafted has built a brand that customers can trust and align with. My home fragrances inspire our customers to live at home.

Tell us about yourself

During the pandemic, I purchased a candle-making kit to make my soy candles because I suffered from headaches believed to be from the candles I was burning. It grew into a hobby that turned into a small business. My motivation is to set our brand apart. Branding is essential, like the part customers see, but the part customers feel when they use our products is more important. I want our products to connect emotionally with our customers when they scent their homes. That's my motivation. It is an obsession of mine. I am excited that we have a lot of good stuff coming this fall.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I think starting a business during a pandemic when so many companies suffered. 2020 was challenging, and I used that time to grow and learn my craft. I was scared, but I trusted the process despite the uncertainty, and it worked. I'm very proud of where we are today, and our plans for the future look promising.

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

The hardest thing is getting our business out there. We are in a very saturated market, and new candle companies are popping up daily. So we must get out there, network, and set ourselves apart. In addition, we have to build a connection with our target market. As well as being consistent across social media platforms, this doesn't happen overnight; it takes time and dedication.

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

First, you must know your target audience. You want support from family and friends, but you should not expect them to sustain your business. You need to figure out who your customers are. I did not know my target market in the beginning. I had to figure it out later.

Second, be your brand ambassador. You have to be your word of mouth. Do not flood your family and friends' group chats with all your business stuff. Instead, create an email marketing plan, share your business while waiting in line at the post office, and just let people know.

Last, you will need a sound support system because it is challenging to do it alone. Letting your business dominate your life is easy, but once your business grows, delegate a few tasks. I even give jobs to my seven-year-old granddaughter.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Thank you for reaching out, and I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience. Being a small business owner is not easy, but it can be gratifying.

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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