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Breaking into retail: The Candle Bakery

bakerycandles-600ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Breaking into retail is never easy, which is why Tiffany Greenlee tapped into her creativity and obtained a kiosk in the Wolfchase Galleria to give herself a leg up.

Rather than wait for her candles to be in every retail store, Greenlee decided to create her own retail opportunity and now envisions a chain of kiosks across the region.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Tiffany Greenlee: I wear many hats! I am a mother of three boys, one of whom has autism. I am a wife, a published author and a nurse by profession. I am an advocate for autism and currently sit on the board of The Autism Lives Foundation. I am a very humble God-fearing woman.

CM: How and when did you begin your career in the candle making industry?

Tiffany Greenlee-400TG: I love burning candles and I would purchase them all the time. After spending so much money on them I began to research and see if I could make them myself, and I did. That is when I started making candles as a hobby. Once I became good at it, I began giving them as gifts to see what type of feedback I would receive. When my husband and I heard about a flea market that was coming to Memphis, we seized the opportunity and jumped straight on it. That is when we set up a permanent space to sell our products.

CM: Did you create a business plan before starting out?

TG: Before I began selling them for profit...no. However, once I saw that I could create a full business around my hobby that is when I created a full detailed business plan and a marketing plan as well.

CM: What has been your greatest challenge?

TG: Finding a permanent central retail location for our customers.

CM: Tell me about your decision to move into a retail store.

TG: We needed a space for our customers to touch and smell on the spot.

CarleeMcCullough-160CM: Where are you located and how is it going?

TG: We are currently opening in the Wolfchase Galleria Mall on August 24th.

CM: Are you in any other retail stores and what has been your experience with retail?

TG: We have been featured in local shops and boutiques and the support and love we have received from the owners and their customers has been very rewarding.

CM: What is the greatest reward in being an entrepreneur?

TG: Being in control of my own destiny, managing my own time and being my own boss.

CM: What has been your experience with handmade candles in the local market vs. the nationally?

TG: I have found that many consumers appreciate handcrafted products.

CM: Do you notice any new trends in the marketplace? If so, what are they?

TG: Yes, the trend has been bakery scented candles and cupcake candles.

CM: Of the candles that you create, which is your favorite and which is your best seller/most popular product?

TG: I have many favorites; however, I enjoy our bakery collection the most. Our most popular candles are our cupcake candles!

CM: How can people purchase your candles?

TG: Through our website, fundraisers, home parties and at our new kiosk located inside Wolfchase Mall.

CM: What types of marketing do you employ?

TG: Direct mail, social media, the Internet, word of mouth

CM: What are some daily habits that made you successful?

TG: Before starting my day, my family and I say a daily prayer, meditate and create a positive atmosphere around us.

CM: What books or resources would you recommend for individuals starting out?

TG: "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki, "The E Myth" by Michael E. Gerber, "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David J. Schwartz and any self-help resources or books that are available.

CM: Any advice for aspiring candle makers?

TG: Learn the candle making industry before getting started to ensure you are making quality safe candles.

CM: What's the next step for you as a candle manufacturer and as a candle retailer?

TG: To have a full functioning warehouse to create some jobs and begin a chain of kiosksthroughout the southern region.

CM: Any closing remarks?

TG: Always give your customer quality products and outstanding customer service. Don't be afraid to take risk. When you see opportunity, examine it carefully and GO FOR IT!!! And as I tell myself and others daily....Keep God first and watch him work!

(For more information: Call Tiffany Greenlee, 901-690-3140; email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; www.facebook.com/thecandlebakery.)

(Contact Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 5308 Cottonwood Road, Suite 1A, Memphis, TN 38118, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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