Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Shakira Hanson and I’ve always been a sucker for candles. I started making candles back in 2018 and launched our candle business in 2019. Since then we have expanded our product range including Diffusers, Room Sprays, Sex/Massage Candles, Body Oils and RE-FILLS for your candle jars. With so much love for the industry my husband and I found a flaw in the process of making candles and designed, manufactured and now sell a brand new product just for other Candle Makers – A Wick Holder. I’m always creating and looking for new ways to improve our industry as well testing new products to add to our range.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Our Soy Candle Re-fills in particular are the niche of our business. I was so sick of buying multiple candles (burning them everyday) and have stacks of jars I couldn’t do anything with. There’s only so many cotton buds, lollies, plants you can put in jars to up-cycle them. I set out on a way to make soy candle re-fills available to everyone, not just if you were local. It took a lot of testing and many failed attempts but eventually I figured out how to make these re-fills out of the exact same 100% Natural soy wax we use in our containers. We wanted people to be able to burn their candles everyday if they wanted to then simply re-fill it for half the price. Not only did we want this to be a cheaper option compared to our luxury containers but also better for the environment with less waste.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Our business has evolved so much since we first launched and now a bit embarrassing of what we started with to now. I created our website myself and started our socials. I’ve done many courses and lost money with influencers and marketing agencies but all I see as a learning curve.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Definitely our quality, re-fills, customer service and pure love that I give to our community. We have a very high returning customer rate and they are definitely like family to me and the business.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We are still working towards our goals and I’m always learning (currently doing another course with a business coach). Our future is bright, I know that from all of our current customers. I will continue to work hard to get our brand out there more with all the wonderful products we have to offer and to our fellow candle makers in business to help them.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Don’t stress on the mistakes. There will always be mistakes and we just have to dust ourselves off and keep going! Building a community and giving that personal touch in business makes people feel special no matter what they’re going through. It’s free to be kind.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Social Media, Shopify, GSuite, Klaviyo, Google my business, zoom
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
This new course/academy/business coach I’ve recently started with has been THE most valuable resource I’ve come across since I’ve started my own business. “The Uncomplicate by Lisa Laing”
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Check first there is a market for your product. If there is, just start!!! You will always continue to tinker and update and change things as you go. It’s embarrassing what we started with, but that’s how you learn and evolve!