2020 was a challenging year in so many ways. I had been a holistic therapist for nearly ten years, specialising in Reflexology, Thai Massage and Holistic Facials, but 2020 put a halt to proceedings forcing so many of us who worked in close contact services to think on our feet and flip our businesses in some way or another.
For several years I had mulled over the idea of making candles; I could fit it around my therapies business, and I could sell them in my treatment room. I dipped in and out of Pinterest, looking at ideas for branding, styling and scents. I researched how to get started but I always felt overwhelmed by the technicalities of it. Which wax would burn best? What size and type of wick do you use? How do different fragrances effect the burn? So invariably after little flurries of activity I would put the idea on the back burner again.
In the summer of 2020 as things started to open up a little, my friends bought me a candle making workshop. The guy leading it made it all seem so straightforward and gave me the enthusiasm and confidence to actually give it a proper go. As soon as I got home I said to my husband ‘We should just do it!’ We made our first order of supplies that evening! We joined forums to learn from more established makers, read endlessly for hint and tips and we tested and we tested and we tested!
Eventually I felt confident enough to put some of our products out to our friends and the feedback was brilliant. We had a really clear sense of our brand identity from the start. We knew we wanted our company to be called Feather & Field, which is a play on our surname as well as embodying our passion for the environment (I previously worked in conservation and my husband still does). Feeling like everything was falling into place we then took another leap and engaged a good friend (who happens to be a very talented artist) to design our logo. Suddenly we had a company!
We were also very clear from the start why we wanted to start up this second business, and that is for our kids. We wanted to be able to save for their future to help them get started in their lives when they are adults, but we also wanted them to be involved too; learning about running a business, following passions and taking pride in and ownership of something special. So, they helped pick scents, shared opinions on branding, helped to build the website, packed orders, mixed waxes, labelled pots – anything and everything!
In the last year we have built up the business so that it is now making a small profit. We have added a few new things to our range including diffusers, hand wash, lotion and matches. It has been wonderful over the last few weeks to get out to markets and fairs and talk to people about our products, sharing our story and our passion. The kids have helped too, and it has been lovely to see their confidence grow when engaging with our customers, handling money and taking pride in how we present ourselves.
We are continually amazed at how a passion has quickly grown into a business and we are very excited for the future. Once we are through the busy Christmas period we will sit down in the New Year for a business meeting (kids and all!) and plan our next steps. But from small beginnings our dreams are rapidly growing, and the kids have started planning small businesses of their own now, so watch this space!
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