Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tamika Willis, Owner of Embraced by the Light Candles, located in Arlington, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My passion is candles or fragrance items. My target audience is candle/fragrance lovers. I am a candle lover who made it my business to share the love of candles. Many fragrances can change your whole mood and bring you peace. I believe readers would want to support my business because of the love and care I put into my product. When developing my line of candles, it is essential to consider how each ingredient will affect my customers to ensure my customer is provided the safest clean product I can provide. I provide this without decreasing the integrity of my product. Customers should be able to burn a triple-scented soy candle without worrying about the side effect.
Tell us about yourself
In 2001 I was a 26-year-old single mother struggling to get by. One Sunday after church, I brainstormed a way to make extra money. That would not take me away from my son during the evening. I have always been a candle lover and bought them regularly and decided I would make candles for extra money. So I began researching books on making candles at Barnes and Nobles. Once I knew what to do, I found a candle supply company and started practicing. I even sold a few to co-workers. Once I realized I had a pretty good product, I decided to come up with a name and seek my license to become a business owner. This is when Embraced by the Light Candle was born. A portion of the name is from a book I read while pregnant with my son. This book gave me the courage to overcome my fears of becoming a mother. From there, I began developing and building my brand. The thing that motivates me each day is my faith, family, and customers. God's grace over my life and his promise of a plan for me. A plan to give me hope and a future. The family always shows up for me to ensure my business is running smoothly. Lastly, my customer's excitement and enjoyment on their face when they receive my product.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is evolving to the point where I was able to develop fragrances that could only find in my company. Also, discovering how candles can help my customers with anxiety and other issues. https://www.embracedbythelightcandles.com/blogs/news/can-candles-help-with-anxiety
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is shipping issues. Losing products due to weather, handling, and the list goes on. One thing I had to overcome was not believing that my product was good enough and not allowing people to mishandle my product. I have lost so much product to people claiming to help market but take my product for their personal use.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Keep God first; everything else will fall in place. Chose a business doing something you love. Never get too big for your britches and think your business does not have room for improvement. Always be open to learning how to take your business to the next level. Educate yourself in the business world. Community college holds business classes often. There is also Youtube University. Complete a budget yearly and try to stay within it. Lastly, stay on top of your taxes.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My business journey has not been easy. But who has it been easy for? I started my business brand 21 years ago with no social media and limited internet. But I think what has set me apart from the rest is that I am willing to change and advance with the times. It is essential for me to take time and shop the stores. See what is new and trending in the candle-making world, and also be able to take constructive criticism. I have a group of faithful customers I allow to test my product before putting it on the market. Candles have always given me peace and light in my darkest days. It has been my passion to share that peace with the world. My candle names are also a reflection of that. Some of my bestsellers are Celebration of Life and Spirit. I have grown from the scared 26-year-old first starting in her kitchen. To now a knowledgable well, verse business owner that I am today. What It all comes down to is I hope that I have been pleasing to God and the people will see my good work and glorify God. Thank you for this opportunity.
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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