Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do
I own a chandlery business making luxury candles and wax melts. I have always been a lover of home fragrance and have become rather addicted to it over the years! My career and long-standing passion has been horses, of which I still have nine. Following the birth of my two children and a challenging house restoration project it became impossible to continue with an equestrian career and I looked to find something that would fit around my family life. With two children under three, two Dalmatians, nine horses and our house project it wasn't easy but for me chandlery was the obvious choice. I now run my business from home and do something I adore that fits our lifestyle and it has been worth all of the effort to get here!
Tell us about your business
Brown and Co. Durham was born from my love of luxury, home fragrance products and the love of superior strong branding. From a humble beginning combined with the growing trend and popularity of wax melts, Brown and Co. continues to expand and we are now very proud of our collection of over 30 fragrances in soy wax melts and soy and coconut wax blend candles. With two children in the house it was important to me to use natural products and with increasing reports of the harmful nature of paraffin wax, which is used for the majority of candles made by larger companies, Brown and Co. aims to provide a home scent experience that everyone can enjoy.
What are the most sparkly bits of what you do?
This is a great question for me – my most sparkly thing is the lack of sparkles! Our products are simple and natural so there are no additives, colour or glitter. What sings for me is the beauty of the wax in it's natural form. Our branding needs a simple, elegant product and it is exactly what I had in mind when I started out. As I make all of the products at home and package them up in the kitchen I do what I love every day and the house smells amazing! Sparkly in itself.
What are the biggest challenges you face running your business?
Most definitely time and reach. With my two children at home I struggle daily to fit in what I would like to do and I have found it hard to accept that all of my big ideas can't happen all at once. If it's meal time that won’t wait. Also as an online business only I struggle to reach as many customers as I would like and I sometimes wish I had started this company before I had my children when I would have been able to take my products out and about. But it will come in time, it's just a waiting game.
What have been your biggest achievements and how have you celebrated them?
Getting my business off the ground has taken so much time and effort and just half an hour after I put my online shop live I got a sale through – which wasn't from friends or family – and I still look at that as one of my favourite achievements. To celebrate I took my children out for a coffee and cake!
What are your goals – for yourself and your business?
How long have you got?! I would love my business to continue to grow and by the time the children go to school I hope to spend my time developing more product ranges and continuing to increase awareness. I also hope to have my website professionally upgraded a bit by the summer, so my goal is to sell enough units to do this as well as keep everything else going.
What is your favourite place in the North East and why?
I would have to say my home. My family is here, we have the most beautiful walks from our front door and I feel very blessed to be able to step outside and know that my whole family (four-legged included) are at their happiest. It's a wonderful feeling.
Who puts a Sparkle in your eye?!
My incredible fiancé. We are getting married in August this year and he is my true soulmate. I wouldn't be here without his incredible support and love for our family. He's a wonderful man.
A final Sparkly thought – what tips would you give to busy, hard-working entrepreneurs?
Be kind to yourself. It's a hard world out there and there are so many people trying to do so many different things. It's so important to allow time to treat yourself but learn to love the small things in life. If you manage that it's so much easier to be happy. There's a lot of love to be found in a hot cup of coffee and a pretty daffodil!
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