Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elise Mansour, owner of Urban Wick Candle Bar, located in Birmingham, MI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Urban Wick Candle Bar is a custom candle-making experience. We believe that scent can make a memory come to life, and we know your favorite scents and memories are unique to you. That is the beauty of our one-of-a-kind business.
We have over 90 fragrances that our customers can choose from to combine and create a scent combination that is truly their own. There's something for everyone, no matter what age or walks of life our customers are on. It's a great outing for corporate events, birthday parties, date nights, etc. Our hand-poured candles are non-toxic and made with natural soy wax, cotton wicks, and clean-burning fragrance oils. This winning combination provides the cleanest burn, the strongest scent throw, and a long burn time. In addition to candles, we also create custom blends for home and body products, such as reed diffusers, room sprays, lotions, and soaps!
Tell us about yourself
It began with an entrepreneurial mindset and a passion for nicely scented spaces. My mom, Marlene, and I came up with the idea for Urban Wick Candle Bar while we were in the kitchen creating scent combinations as a fun hobby. I was actually finishing up my master's program while working on getting the business up and rolling.
We opened Urban Wick Candle Bar in 2020 during the pandemic. We had signed our lease for the space a week before lockdown in Michigan went into effect. Thankfully, we had a 4-month abatement to design a space aesthetic that combines the charming essence of city life with featured vintage details that are truly inviting. There's a certain atmosphere that lighting a good-smelling candle creates. Coming out of a stressful period where there was so much uncertainty, people were looking for something fun to do in a relaxing environment.
Getting the opportunity to interact with so many different people on a daily basis while also creating signature scents is an amazing feeling. Our motto is that we want to be the best part of someone's day and knowing that I can be that for another person is worth it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, my greatest accomplishment is getting to see what I built from the ground up to have such a great impact on others and my community. The products that we create are unique to each individual who walks into the store. The candle-making experience is fun and interactive. It's something that people love and are excited about. Being able to create the type of environment where customers leave happier than they had arrived and with a non-toxic product that smells good gives me a sense of purpose. I would never have thought that something so simple would bring myself so much joy.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There's a lot of hard challenges that come with owning and operating a business. One of the hardest parts is knowing where to place your time and energy towards. I wear many hats within my company and thankfully have a great support team. However, knowing when to say no to ideas or concepts that don't align with my business model can be difficult. I try to be generous with my time, so being self-aware and knowing what's best for my business is crucial to my success.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle. So, make sure you find a healthy balance between your business model and your personal life is essential. Your business is your baby, but taking the time to focus on yourself and your loved ones shouldn't have to take a backseat. In the long run, you will be more productive for it.
- Be a sponge and never stop learning. Growing a business is not for the faint of heart; it takes work. Surrounding yourself with the knowledge that you can implement and make your own can produce great results.
- Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid to start small. Seriously. Some of the most successful businesses were built on mistakes and the simplest ideas. If you have an idea that you're passionate about, pursue it with confidence! If you put in the effort, you'll see your hard work pay off.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.