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Handmade by Lisa
For this customer story, we got to hear from Lisa, the owner of Handmade by Lisa, a lovely business that is full of passion and fire. Handmade by Lisa was borne out of a love for quality candles without the hefty price tag. So we wanted to know exactly what got Lisa into candle making and how she started up her small business.
When Lisa started out, in her kitchen, trying to perfect candles as a hobby, she saw a video online and thought, I can do that. She can still laugh to herself now when she said that it turned out to be so much harder than she originally thought to make the perfect candle. However, she doesn’t actually think there is a perfect candle, there's always a compromise in one aspect or another whether it be slight mushrooming or glass adhesion, the list is endless. It took Lisa about 18 months to two years to perfect her process, in between looking after a family, it was nice to finally have a few scented candles that she was happy with. Then a few friends persuaded Lisa that she should sell her candles, but for quite a while she wasn't brave enough for a craft fair. But sometimes you just have to push yourself to step outside your comfort zone and she did exactly that. With her husband's help, and what a thrill it was for her when someone actually bought one of her candles, someone bought something she had made. Now her eldest is at university, she is hoping to have more time to devote to testing her candles and perhaps venture into soap making.
What got Lisa into candle making was when she was searching the web for something else, when she came across a video of someone making candles. It must have triggered something because, as everyone knows who has makes candles knows, it became her every thought! After designing her packaging, she then went on to start with about six fragrances and braved her first summer fete. She did a few more craft fairs and village fetes and has had customers return to her again and again. Quite often she'll have a customer ring up needing a gift and she can get it wrapped and ready for them the same day, same hour! So what about choosing the right fragrance? For fragrance oils, Lisa looked at the fragrance notes within them as she knows by now what she likes. She’s been interested in essential oils and aromatherapy for years so she has a few essential oil candles and is now working on some essential oil blends.
But before she got to the selling, Lisa needed a name. As a child, one of her happiest memories is playing on the swings in our garden with her Mum watching from the kitchen. In their garden, there was a big blossom tree with baby pink flowers that used to float like snow in the breeze. When her Mum passed away five years ago, Lisa decided to incorporate her favourite bird, which was a robin into her logo. If you look closely you’ll see a little robin in the blossom tree of her logo. She also wanted to use the word 'Handmade' as she wanted her customers to know that my candles are exactly that.
With such passion for her business, we wanted to know what advice Lisa would give to small businesses that are looking to start out. Lisa suggests to start small and keep it simple. Do your research on different waxes before trying one and don't order too many fragrances. Order maybe two or three or you'll get in a pickle with testing and have too much in your head! Research wick guides before buying and remember to keep records of your tests.