This Single Mother Got Laid Off Then Started A Candle Business That More Than Doubled Her Income
In April 2012 this single mother, Kristen Scott was laid off from her job where she was overworked, underpaid, and miserable when the idea of starting a candle business came to her. Despite the uncertainty and lack of knowledge about the business, she chose to take a leap of faith instead of filling out another job application. She initially started searching for tutorials on YouTube, but soon realized that her research wasn’t yielding enough information to know how to make the candles. The constant feeling of defeat became too much to bare, and she decided to call it quits soon after.
“I had somebody say it’s not burning down right—it’s not burning evenly, and there was no scent. That was like my first couple of months; then I stopped.”
Yet she kept having this nagging feeling that somehow these candles were tied to her purpose. She confided her new business idea to a friend and was referred to a woman with her own successful candle business out of Detroit, who schooled on the basics of business such as coming up with her brand name and getting her LLC. Kristin then purchased her first 10 pounds of soy wax, fragrance, and five boxes of glass jars with just a few hundred dollars to her name.
But having a mentor didn’t excuse her from the trial and error process of being an entrepreneur. Despite her newfound knowledge and research, the product, nor the smell, were coming together quite like she imagined.
Not willing to let go of her vision, Kristin took a trip to Detroit to pay a visit to her mentor in hopes of getting the first-hand information that she needed to make her candles burn without burning a hole through her pockets. This time she learned that seeing is different than doing, and no matter how many times she was shown the process, she still couldn’t seem to master the right wax-to-fragrance ratio and left feeling like she gained no more knowledge than she came with. Once again, she caved in and gave up.
“I just was like, okay, forget it; I was just done again,” she admits. “I don’t know how many times I felt like that in that first year; I put so much time in.”
This wasn’t the last time that she would feel defeated, but it was the last time that she would quit.
Around September she once again got the urge to try again. She got back in the kitchen and kept making mistakes until she finally got it right.
“I think it was a good thing for me to learn my way through trial and error,” she says. “I literally had to teach myself how to make them. You think you’re doing everything right until you get that one honest person like this is not worthy. And then you’ve got to really go back in the kitchen and just try different methods, you know, so, basically I just really taught myself.”
Confident that she finally had the perfect candles, Kristin began attended her first event in October 2012 to sell her deliciously fragrant soy-based candles. She’d light the match and watch the candles draw in buyers by the dozens. She admits that at this point she didn’t view herself as an entrepreneur; in fact, she lacked knowledge about the product that she was selling. When a potential buyer came up to her and told her that she could make more money if she advertised that the candle could also double as a massage oil once the wax melted, she was shocked, and maybe even a little embarrassed, that this wasn’t something that she was aware of when she began purchasing pounds of soy wax.
Once she began marketing her candles as massage oils, her sales dramatically increased, and she closed out her first year of business with almost $40,000 in revenue.
Taking her side-hustle seriously, she began researching the product and how to reduce her costs. At the time she was conveniently purchasing all of her supplies from her mentor, but the more her sales grew the more the profit-margin decreased, so she cut out the middleman and started purchasing her wax from a wholesaler.
She also realized that there weren’t enough hours in a day to be a full-time boss a full-time employee. Back in November 2012, she has picked up a job to pay the bills and was burning the midnight oil trying to juggle her job and her business. But between traveling and attending events to promote her product, the businesswoman had to make a decision to leave her full-time job, and in May 2014, almost two years after launching Gifts From A Virgo, began pursuing her newfound passion full time.
“I looked at it as, if I do this full time and it does not work I can always find another job, but I can’t go to these events and I can’t do as much as I want or get my company because I’m up 24 hours. Basically come home, making candles to two in the morning, getting up at 4AM or 5AM, getting my son up for school…it basically was like, Kristin you’ve got to just go for it and pray about it, so I did that.”
It’s ironic that Kristin, who admits that she never even had a passion for candles and no desire to even be an entrepreneur, is now shopping for an accountant for 2016, and hopes to eventually catch the attention of retail giants such as Wal-Mart to wholesale her products. It’s even more ironic that she still can’t tell you what made her even think to sell candles, and yet it’s the one thing that’s undoubtedly saved her life.
“My business has allowed me to grow and mature so much, and I’ve been able to have a better relationship with God. I was a lost person at one point in my life. My business, this is my everything right now. I put my all into this. I dedicate myself to this every day of my life.”
If that ain’t God, I don’t know what is. Read:Celebrity Diary Entry: For Two Years I was in a Massive Debt of N22M. This is How I paid Back Every Kobo
Culled from XONecole