Breaking into retail: The Candle Bakery

wealthy@tri-statedefender.com | 8/20/2013, 5 p.m.

TG: 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.

CM: 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 – customerservice@thecandlebakery.com or thecandlebakeryco@yahoo.com; www.facebook.com/thecandlebakery.)

(Contact Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 5308 Cottonwood Road, Suite 1A, Memphis, TN 38118, or email her at jstce4all@aol.com.)