We are always impressed by our customers’ creativity and commitment to quality. So it was definitely a treat to meet Alyssa Alt from Wicksy Daisy Candle Co. in person and actually try out her candles. Everything from the wax to the wick is carefully selected and it shows. One travel tin was able to suffuse the office with a warm and woody scent of an actual cozy log cabin.
Alyssa is this month’s Business Spotlight: a series interviewing makers and designers who use and love our products. You can learn more about her and Wicksy Daisy Candle Co. here.
When did you become interested in candle-making?
I became interested in candle making last year when I decided to research ingredients for “healthy candles”, the best soy wax to use, the best wicks to use, and the best brand of fragrance oil to use that would produce a clean burning, long lasting, eco-friendly candle. I loved good smelling candles in my own home and thought why not make my own? I love being creative. It was fun to do the research and educate myself too!
How has your work changed since then?
I used to work in retail sales for over 20 years (Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, etc) and also worked as a Sales Director in a successful bridal shop near Portland, Oregon (Bridal Exclusives) for several years. I always took pride in selling quality products and educating my customers. I was confident in the company and items I was representing. It is no different as a new business owner! I research and test burn all my products, which takes months. My pristine presentation, unique labeling, and eco-friendly packaging and how I display my product is equally important. I truly believe in my top notch soy candles and wax melts. Quality and excellent customer service is my number one priority!
How do you gather inspiration?
Originally I Googled every type of candle scent and packaging. I walked into candle stores to see what types of items are being offered. I also know what I like! I like to keep up on what’s trendy, but I also want products that are unique to my company for scent and packaging. I came up with my company name, Wicksy Daisy Candle Co. and that inspired me to create several product lines within Wicksy Daisy that would go with the Daisy theme and offer all types of scents and wick choices. Such as: Daisy’s Farmhouse, Daisy’s Kitchen, Fresh as a Daisy, He Loves Me…, and Wood Wick Collections. My scents aren’t straight from the bottle. I mix my phthalate free fragrance oils with the right combination to create my unique scents such as, Cozy Log Cabin, Pinecone Path, and Cape Cod Getaway. I offer 39 scents currently!
Three things that you need to be productive:
Number one is organization! I work from my kitchen currently, which has limited space when I’m hand pouring candles and wax melts! I have stations where I melt wax, wick the candles, pour, and allow them to cool, while keeping the room at a constant 73 to 80 degrees in the summer and winter! I made over 600 travel tin candles several months ago and some portable tables in my living room was where I wiped down and labeled the candles and melts. It was a small factory!
The last two are easy. I set a goal for the day on what I need to do and pace myself. I’m the sole employee so I have to stay on task! I ALWAYS follow through. Whether it’s a personal goal I’ve set or a website order that has come through, I prioritize and manage my time to keep with my high quality and customer service standards!
Describe a normal work day for you:
A normal work day would be preparing my work station, making sure I have the necessary supplies, and checking my website/ wholesale orders. I buy a lot of supplies locally, which is in Madison, Wisconsin where I currently live. I also check in on my local consignment and wholesale stores and make frequent trips to the Post office and Fed Ex. I try to plan out my week if I have a lot of orders to fill. Sometimes I take several days off to tend to my family and other obligations. This is a perk of being a business owner as long as you stay motivated and consistent. You have to be self driven and disciplined to have down time or days off. In my past retail career, especially with Nordstrom, I was working my own business within a business. It was great training for me to be a productive and responsible business owner. I believe that is why I’ve been so successful in just over a year of starting my own company.
What advice would I give people who want to start their own business?
Passion is number one. Make sure you love the product or service you will be offering. Find out your motivation. Is it to help people, offer something new and exciting, is it for financial gain? As long as someone stays passionate it will keep propelling them forward. It isn’t easy and takes creative thinking, money management, and a huge time investment. You don’t get to clock in and clock out, but the freedom and satisfaction you get is worth the sacrifices! I was lucky enough to have my husband support the family while I took on my candle venture! He was transferred from the Northwest to the Midwest for a job promotion and it was the perfect time for me to start a company after leaving my profession. I obtained a business loan and keep personal finances separate, but after a year I have began making a small income that is now growing each month. Start up costs need to be figured in and it can take a couple of years to start making an income. Have a business plan and stick to it! Know where to spend on product/supplies, advertising, and network in your community! Get your name out there and believe you WILL succeed!
What advice would you give to people who want to start their own business?
I refuse to fail. If I give something my all I know it will be successful. I love the product I offer. I know I’m offering a safe and affordable product. Everyone loves a great smelling home and aromatherapy. It never gets old. I always have fresh ideas for my company. I have a goal to open a store someday where I will sell pre-made and made to order candles on site and sell unique home decor items. I know I will get there someday! It’s part of my 5 year plan!
I use Evermine because:
Evermine labels and products are unique and able to be customized. The website is user friendly and I love seeing their examples of how the labels can be used for canning jars, special events, etc. They are affordable for small businesses like mine that receive discounts and reasonable/free shipping. It’s funny that they are located in Portland, Oregon, where I lived 23 years, yet I didn’t find them until I started my own company near Madison, Wisconsin. I have done a ton of business with them over the last year. I know many employees by name since they’ve personally helped me over the phone. My labels, bags, and business cards always look pristine and are delivered within days of completing my order! They have helped make my company a success allowing me to offer professional packaging unique to my company! Thanks Evermine!
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