What We've Learned About Creating a Business
Wax & Wick handcrafted candles made in Chicago, IL - started as a men's candle (mandle, man candle, whatever horrible iteration of your choosing) and has pivoted to be a REAL scent candle brand (think woods, earthy, even cologne). We wanted to create something we couldn't find. We use 100% soy wax, FSC-certified wood wicks, phthalate free fragrance, and USA sourced jars/tins. During our seven months of research and development we discovered that most companies offering a "Soy Candle" were just using a soy wax blended with paraffin wax (10%/90% respectively). This seemed a bit misleading to us and we dedicated as much time and effort as it took to learn to pour perfect candles without relying on the blend.
Soy wax is more difficult to work with and the resulting candles aren't always perfect. Also, soy blends are much cheaper to manufacture. You can find these types of candles at Marshall's or any other discount store.
Having a day job isn't the worst thing in the world, but our motivation was to be able to free ourselves from having a 9-5 and focusing more on a 24/7. Something we could create and own for ourselves. Being shackled to a desk and serving someone else's needs for relatively low pay was the main motivator. The inspiration was simply to create something we could be proud of.
I'm not sure if we did it backwards but we started by having our branding absolutely nailed down before we even learned how to pour.
We have surpassed our goals and expectations for the last three months and have grown 100% month to month. The next six months will include reaching out to potential bloggers, wholesalers, and some non-conventional marketing tactics. Getting our candles into peoples hands is #1 priority right now. Our handcrafted candles have been called the best scented candles in the world by some of our customers.
Positives: *Building a company with friends has been huge, surround yourself with smart people.
*Learning that there are no shortcuts to making great products, learn to do it yourself or find someone that does it better than you. *We figured out that we can wear as many hats as we want and gather as many skill sets as possible.
Negatives: *So much money wasted on improper documentation via LegalZoom, totally our fault, but definitely a negative. *The amount of time spent not getting the business moving faster. Had we picked up and made smarter decisions earlier on we would be ahead. You can't rush perfection but you also shouldn't just stand around! *Pouring hundreds of candles in your house will make your house permanently smell like the amalgamation of every fragrance ever used.