What inspired you to create ‘Makes Scents Candles LTD’?
I started Makes Scents Candles, candles designed to be upcycled, in June 2020, we were in the midst of the first lockdown and I had just been made redundant from my marketing role in travel. I didn’t intend to start a side hustle, but I’ve always been creative and interested in lots of things including crafts and gardening. As a thank you present, my then house mate bought me a candle making kit from Cosy Owl, and we spent the evening making candles together and making a mess in our kitchen in the process. My candle kit used the Coconut and Lime fragrance oil and this is still a favourite summer scent of mine and is part of my candle collection. I really enjoyed the making process and then started to think about my niche and whether I could bring something to the candle world. I pursued the idea of up-cycling candle glasses with flower seeds as I loved gardening and wanted a product and gift that wasn’t single use. Each candle order comes with flower seeds and a biodegradable grow bag for upcycling the candle container after the wax has burned down. Probably because the candle kit was soy wax based, I stuck with soy wax and love that I have candles now that are plant based through and through.
What was your first step in creating your business?
The first thing I worked on after developing the concept was creating a core collection of floral based fragrances and designed labels for them they’re still in my core collection to date and while I’ve rebranded the labels and modernised them, they’re as they were when Makes Scents Candles first launched. The first step to actually sell my candles was to set up Etsy, to see if they proved popular before taking the plunge and launching a website.
What type of products do you create and where is best to find them? (online, markets, in stores)
I make a range of soy wax multi-wick candles in various sizes with and without embedded wax shapes, gift sets, plus homeware accessories and diffusers. You can find Makes Scents Candle products on my website or on Etsy.
I’ve also stood out in the rain for hours at markets and was stocked in retail spaces around COVID, they didn’t work for Makes Scents, but it was all experience.
How did you expand your collection?
The range expanded into collections slowly, but naturally over time. As I launched initially in Summer, as the months went on I developed three scents for Autumn Winter to fill in the gaps and meet demand. I then collaborated with other small businesses with like-minded values to launch ‘Shop small gift sets’ and added more products that felt right for the brand as time went on.
What is your go-to fragrance oil?
I can’t just pick one. I love Blackberry and Bay leaf from my own range for all year round, but I fell in love with your Flower bomb fragrance oil when I worked on a spring ideas for an Instagram live. My favourite Autumn fragrances from Cosy Owl are Pumpkin Spice, Winter Pine and Hot Apple Pie, it’s strong and has citrus notes of crisp apple. I grew up with a real Christmas tree every year, so Winter Pine it’s Christmas in a bottle for me and super nostalgic.
Could you share your 1 top tip for candle making?
I see a lot of people waiting too long and hesitating before launching their small business in the first place and sometimes never getting off the ground. Silencing the inner critic is something I have to do on a daily basis and its so important because otherwise you chicken out of posting social media content that’s imperfect or trying new things.
Once you’ve launched or when you’re 6 months in or 1 year down the line, make sure you reflect on the good things and how far you’ve come, it’s too easy when you work for yourself or when you’re a one-person-band to forget to give yourself a pat on the back. I also write a lot of ideas down as I go along, giving myself that structure means I don’t forget ideas and so I come back to these when I have time, planning is really important and is an antidote to overwhelm and comparison.
What is your favourite Cosy Owl product and why?
I love the craft kits, without them I wouldn’t have started my small business. They’re a great way of trying something new and nailing the technique of the making process before taking the plunge and really good value. I’m not a soap maker but I love that I know how to make them now, as a result of the kits for Christmas gifts for friends and family.
What’s in store for Makes Scents Candles in the future?
This year I registered Makes Scents Candles as a limited business. I’m in the process of looking to work with a PR company so I can reach more prospective customers, so I’m working through the steps to do that at the moment.
I would like to support more small business owners and have carried out mentoring this year, I love sharing the tips and my experiences via Instagram lives with Cosy Owl and experimenting with different creative ideas. With this in mind I’d also love to host more candle making workshops for beginners and hobbyists. I can also see a few Makes Scents collections expanding with new scents and colour ways.
We would love to hear more about your candle, soap, cosmetic, wax melt or diffuser journey and the inspiration behind your products! Want to feature in our up-coming creator blogs?