[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Home and Living
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/AmeliaAveCandleCo
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/ameliaavecandles/
Website : https://ameliaavecandles.com/[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
Entrepreneurship is something that I have always had a passion for and as a first-generation American from a family of immigrants, I have always aspired to fulfill my family’s reason for coming to pursue the “American dream”. A few years ago, I learned how to make soap, and tried to sell but I was unsuccessful. This motivated me to try something else and work harder. After long hours and months of researching, I came across hand made candles. So, I researched more and more, and finally decided to start making and selling candles on Amazon. It was a huge success, but due to personal reasons, I had to stop. This year has definitely been a challenging year, and I was furloughed from my amazing career as an American Airlines flight attendant. However, my partner and I decided to use this opportunity to launch our business harder and smarter while finishing my college degree. I absolutely love what I do now, and I couldn’t have made it this far without going through the failures and challenges in my life.
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
Currently, I sell wooden wick, soy blend candles that I hand pour in my own home. I hope to expand one day to more products, however, it is a lot of work for two people. I thoroughly test a product before launching to ensure that it is a good, quality product. I spend many long hours every day making candles as I get orders. When I start the day, I make a list of all the candles, scents, and colors that I need to make that day. I then warm up my wax melter, get my jars labeled and ready, then start mixing fragrances and pouring. Once all the candles have cooled, I start packaging and getting shipping labels ready, and by the time I’m finished in the evening, I head to the post office to drop off all my orders.
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What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
The most challenging aspect of my business is keeping enough supplies on hand to fulfill orders. As the days go by, I have started to learn what scents are more popular and what supplies I need to order more, and how often. It is all just basically forecasting and keeping organized.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
What I love most about being an entrepreneur is the satisfaction it brings me that I am making this product that someone is going to put in their home to enjoy while sipping some wine or at home with their families. My candles light up people’s homes and bring joy to people by making their home smell cozy and wonderful. Every order I get, I pour my heart and soul into it when I make their candles. The hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is that you have to stand on your own two feet. You are, sort of, on your own and there are risks involved such as profitability. You put your own money into it and of course you want to succeed so you do everything in your power to learn, and work harder/smarter.
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
Some beginner mistakes I am guilty of are spending too much money on things that aren’t necessary or launching before you are 100% ready. What I would like to tell people aspiring to start a business is that it takes a lot of time. Make sure you are 100% comfortable before beginning your journey. Seek out advice and help from others and always learn as much as you possibly can.
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
When I’m designing new products or things such as labels, I basically sit down on my computer for hours on end and play around with everything. I usually know immediately if I love it or not, and I ask for help from family/friends and ask for input. I put myself in the perspective of the customer and ask myself, “How would my customers see this?”
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
Mostly, it’s all self-taught, however, I am currently a senior in college at UNT, and I have definitely learned some things that pertain to business throughout my college experience.
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
Being a flight attendant for 6+ years has definitely helped me kickstart my business as I have met so many people, and I have so much support. Now, the most effective marketing to acquire customers is through Etsy advertising and social media.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
I would say a major key element in starting and running a successful online business is education. No matter how or where you learn, you ALWAYS need to be researching and learning as much as you can. Secondly, failure is the key to learning how to make your business better. I failed so many times, but I never let it hurt my motivation and bring me down. I saw it as an opportunity to learn from it and grow.
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How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
Personally, money definitely defines business as you need money to grow and be profitable, however, that is not what defines the business in my eyes. I think business has a responsibility to do social good and make this world a better place. As my business grows, I would love to seek out how I can contribute to the community and make an impact on equality, but when you are a new business, it’s hard to contribute much as you’re just trying to survive.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Every morning, at 6:30, am, I get up, take my baby dog out for a walk, and then sit down and review all my orders. I prioritize them in the order they were received and I group scents together to make it faster. I then label the jar and lay them all out in order while the wax is heating up to 200 degrees. I then go down my list, grab the fragrance that I’m making next, and start mixing. It usually takes me all day if I have a lot of orders, and once they are all cooled, I start getting boxes ready for packaging. Listening to music while I’m making candles helps me focus and I keep my list of candles to make right next to me. I try to finish as many candles as I can so that customers can get them as quickly as possible.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
One day, my dream is to open a store where I can dedicate myself to my business and figure out how best to help my community and make an impact on equality in this country. The biggest impact on my profitability is definitely the cost of supplies and competition on candles sold at major stores that are not as clean or made in other countries for pennies on the dollar. It’s hard to be profitable in such a small operation without keeping prices somewhat high compared to other candles from places like Bath & Body Works.