Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Millie Lusson, Owner of Vintage Ottawa Candle Co., located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

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

Vintage Ottawa Candle Co. aims to bring history to life through our products. Guided by our love of history, especially public history, we create candles that invoke the life of historic Ottawa as each one is based on an Ottawa historic site, event, or person... Historic buildings and sites are not always accessible; therefore, our candles bring those spaces to you. We specialize in artisanal candles using traditional methods and sustainable materials. Candles are handmade in small batches in Ottawa.

Our customers are history buffs, Ottawa lovers, and anyone that likes nice scents and pretty labels.

Tell us about yourself

Vintage Ottawa Candle Co. is a one-person operation. I am a researcher and interpreter, and I love Canadian history. My other passions include sewing, vintage clothing, and embroidery. I started this company because I wanted to be able to spread a little bit of my love of history in my own way. It started as a hobby, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided that I wanted to go bigger.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is making connections with fellow Ottawa creatives and artisans. The small business community in Ottawa is so lovely, and it is wonderful to have a group of people that understands the trials of the work but is there to support each other.

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

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is maintaining a social media presence. Designing and making the products is so much fun, but advertising is constant work. It is fun in its own way, but it does require ongoing effort and attention.

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

  1. Make/sell something that you enjoy.
  2. Markets are a great place to meet and create a customer base and meet fellow artisans.
  3. Environmental and sustainability considerations are important.

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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