Running My Small Candle Business Out Of My Home | Starting again with with branding

Running My Small Candle Business Out Of My Home | Starting again with with branding

Running a small business

I wanna talk about what it’s like running a small business from my spare room, the pros and cons and the relative amount of chaos that comes with it. Exhibit A the chaotic organization of said room. Because I’m so busy I find it difficult to keep on top of it with a full time job and other things. I see loads of business owners running immaculate operations but maybe it’s just not in my nature haha. I do a big clean once a week and have a solid rest but it soon gets out of control.

The lack of organisation!

But what do I mean by refining.. Well at the moment there is some research into what I’m doing but not as much as I’d like. I’m kind of just aiming blindly and hoping something will stick rather than a sniper hitting its target, don’t get me wrong I’m having success but it feels quite broad, I want to refine and hone my craft.


Upon my recent restart after having a break the initial idea was to sell what I've got stock wise and just get rid, make some money to pay for my tax bill but as I get further into it the enjoyment and fulfilment has come back creating something of my own. So It has to be more than just making some quick cash.

I feel like my current offering lacks identity, purpose and direction. So I’ve decided to almost go back to the basics and ask myself the following questions, questions I’ve borrowed from Paul Savage, who offers Amazon guidance. 

How to build a brand

how to create a brand

The questions are about brand building and people buy into brands, stories and narratives, think about some of your favourite brands and what keeps you going back. It’s that magic I want to create:

  1. Who are you going to sell ?
  2.  What do they already buy ?
  3. What problems, what pain point is your product going to solve ?
  4. Where does your customer already hang out?
  5. Does  your product have predictable sales?

So this got me thinking. The first thing I did was collect some reviews from my favourite candle suppliers on Amazon. I'm thinking about the competition and what are they doing that I’d like to strive towards. 

Perfect Customer Avatar

So this is what I plugged into chat gpt to get a customer avatar:

Customer Avatar: Lucy, the Discerning Homemaker


  • Age: 28
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Occupation: Freelance designer working from home
  • Lifestyle: Enjoys creating a cosy and aesthetically pleasing home environment, values quality products that are eco-friendly.
  • Interests and Preferences:

  • Home Décor: Lucy takes pride in her home and enjoys decorating with a mix of modern and natural elements. She appreciates pastel colours and illustrations that add a touch of artistry to her living space.
  • Aromatherapy Enthusiast: Lucy uses candles not just for their aesthetic appeal but also for creating a soothing atmosphere. She loves scents that are not overpowering but can gently fill her living space, creating a fresh and inviting ambiance.
  • Value-Conscious: Lucy is conscious of her spending and looks for products that offer a balance of quality and affordability. She has had previous bad experiences with overpriced candles that did not meet her expectations.
  • Eco-Friendly Lifestyle: Lucy values eco-friendly products. The fact that the candle packaging is eco-friendly and the brand uses a seal inside the lid to fully close the candle appeals to her environmentally conscious mindset.
  • Online Shopper: Lucy appreciates detailed product descriptions, especially smelling notes, when shopping online. She relies on reviews to make informed decisions, and positive feedback about the accuracy of smelling notes influences her choices.
  • Customer Service Matters: Lucy values excellent customer service. The prompt response and resolution to a small issue with a previous purchase from Ocoee House have left a positive impression on her.
  • Shopping Behaviour:

  • Repeat Customer: Having had a positive experience with the Wild Forest scent, Lucy is likely to explore and purchase other scents from Ocoee House in the future.
  • Gift-Giver: Lucy sees Ocoee House candles as beautiful and thoughtful gift items due to their packaging, scents, and overall aesthetic appeal.
  • Brand Loyalty: Ocoee House has become Lucy's go-to candle brand due to the combination of great value, quality, and variety in scents.
  • Takeaways for Marketing:

  • Emphasize Value: Highlight the balance of quality and affordability in marketing materials to appeal to Lucy's value-conscious mindset.
  • Aesthetics Matter: Emphasize the artistic and aesthetically pleasing designs of the candles, particularly the pastel illustrations and frosted glass that drew Lucy in.
  • Eco-Friendly Messaging: Highlight eco-friendly practices, such as the use of sustainable packaging and the seal inside the lid, to resonate with Lucy's environmentally conscious lifestyle.
  • Detailed Product Descriptions: Continue providing detailed product descriptions, especially smelling notes, to assist Lucy in making informed decisions while shopping online.
  • Customer Service Excellence: Continue prioritizing excellent customer service, as it has played a significant role in building Lucy's loyalty to the brand.
  • Gift-Focused Marketing: Highlight the candles as ideal gifts, considering Lucy's inclination to see them as beautiful and thoughtful presents.

  • What do my products need to offer

    So from the above my candles need to be:

    • Good quality, long lasting
    • Eco conscious, good for you, no plastic
    • Great customer service no issue is too small
    • Good quality artwork, a story
    • Makes people feel special
    • Natural & organic
    • Smelling notes
    • Excellent descriptions

    From the above I am already halfway there, I just need to refine and hone in on some of those key points.

    I can provide smelling notes and better descriptions, something I’m lacking. Obviously you can’t smell a candle online so being as descriptive as possible will help get the buyer over the line.

    Really emphasize the good points, what makes my candles stand out from the rest of the mass produced candles. 

    Building a story

    The last thing I really want to improve is story building and creating a narrative for people to buy into, what makes them come back, what emotions do my candles instil ? I want to be able to evoke emotions and transport people back to a time or place with a fond memory. I’m working on a forest pine scented candle which instantly reminds me of beautiful walks in Suffolk or in the Peak district, it takes me back to the soft leaves underfoot and the fresh pine and moss smells you associate with a forest. 

    It’s that magic I want. 

    Anyone can make a nice smelling candle but can you evoke an emotional response.

    story telling for business

    The artwork needs to line up with the scent and the overall offering. The whole thing needs to be all encompassing so just by looking at you can imagine yourself walking in a forest and you can almost imagine the smell before you’ve even lit it. 

    To recap my current goals:

    • Scents that evoke nostalgia
    • Artwork that goes with the above
    • Packaging that matches, thoughtful, recyclable & creative
    • A small gesture that surprises people in a nice way
    • Improve the scent throw of candles ( try new suppliers, adjust recipes)
    • Provide the best possible candle & experience at a reasonable price point ( people don’t mind paying for stuff as long as it’s good).

    That’s it for now, an insight into my mind and the current workings of a small candle business.