All children have dreams and those dreams change throughout their lives and adapt to circumstances or opportunities. As adults, goals and aspirations have blossomed and died, and the childhood dreams seem so far away. My husband grew up in Yankee Candle country. He went to Yankee Candle, took his nephews to Yankee Candle, and eventually took me to Yankee Candle. His love for candles and his childhood desire to make candles never went away. So here we are, middle aged adults, starting a business!
Making candles and soaps is not as easy as one may think. We have been in business 5 months, but it seems like a lifetime. We have had great days where everything goes right, but mostly we endure the ups and downs of a new business with relatively high optimism. Being in quarantine has had its advantages and hardships. We have had time to try new fragrances, work on our website, organize and inventory product, as well as, create two new products.
With competitors products being pulled from local stores because of “lack of wrapping”, we have repackaged our soaps for a more protected product. The downsides are markets and festivals have been cancelled, stores have closed, and social distancing has prevented customers from buying. However, we keep plugging along because a dream is a dream and it’s time to fulfill that dream.
We have a fabulous product! We have tried things, messed up things, thrown things away, and have rethought everything. In the end, our candles are 100% soy and our soaps are a Shea butter base. Our new, limited quantity products are Shea butter body cream and bath bombs. We have maximized the fragrance in each.
We consistently get 40+ hours of burn time in the candles. The soaps last for weeks. The body cream is rich, creamy, and absorbs nicely into skin. The bath bombs are fragrant and fizzy. We have kept the candles, soaps, and creams clean, simple, dye-free, but with amazing fragrance.
Our biggest challenge to date is marketing. This is a battle on a daily basis. How to get customers to buy our product. Social media took off like wildfire, but fizzled shortly after that. Friends and family will “like” our product, but won’t share it with others. Although everyone seems so excited about our venture and say it is a great product, actually getting them to purchase something is a different story.
This is where our struggle remains. With this being said, it doesn’t mean we don’t have fabulous customers, because we do. We have some very loyal customers that keep coming back and bringing friends. We do see that little by little we are expanding and growing even during this time of quarantine.
This blog is the last part to completing our website. Our goal is to not just be a local company, but a company that spans from coast to coast. With this website, we are hoping to reach beyond the barriers of SBC (Shreveport/Bossier) and see our online business soar. This area of the country is not our permanent home and we will one day leave here.
We are hoping Gnome Hollow Candle and Soap Company will allow us to eventually retire to a quaint little town somewhere where we can make our candles and soaps full time surrounded by the comforts of home and the peacefulness of the outdoors.