Christina Brand is the MD of The Candle Brand, a home fragrance business based in South Norfolk which is very much a family affair . As she looks forward its 10,000th customer, she explains how they work around children and dogs, with the help of much banter!
Since having my two children it’s as if my life before was lived in darkness. My life has been a series of doors that have opened and closed enduring some tough situations but leading me to today.
I took maternity leave early, due to my mental health in my current workplace, and for fun I decided to attend a candle making day with a lady in Suffolk at her home. The whole concept of candle making overtook me. It was as if I had found my calling as the knowledge was so easily absorbed, and I just wanted to learn more. Coupled with finding safe home fragrances to use whilst pregnant, my natural creativity and the urge to create my own business, I become obsessed with the home fragrance industry.
I started The Candle Brand in 2018 at local craft fairs in Norwich but launched officially online mid-2019. We now attend regular trade shows throughout the year and speak to the likes of John Lewis, Wayfair, and other major retailers. As well as having close relationships with our local independent stores, you can now find us in over 230 stores across UK, Ireland, Europe, and USA. This has absolutely exceeded any expectation that I had for the business.
When the pandemic hit my second daughter was only three months old so I should have been on maternity leave. Although, in reality, I took just two weeks off from social media and then continued to work behind the scenes. We were very lucky to see a huge boost in our business during Covid. We think this was because we were an already established and trusted business and customers were looking for products like ours for wellbeing. This may sound like the dream, however scaling a business at an accelerated rate whilst looking after a two-year-old and three-month-old was a great challenge.
There are four family members and a family friend of 10 years now working in our unit at Long Stratton Industrial Estate. We could definitely be more productive than what we are on a daily basis, whilst we work around children, dogs and much banter. We do not have set holidays, we just take what we want when we need it without guilt, and we only work Fridays if we absolutely have to.
From day one I wanted to create a brand for the future, leading the way in products that people can feel good about buying. Therefore, being vegan and plastic free are two elements we cannot compromise on.
We created a Facebook group to allow our unit to be a drop off hub for any donations for Ukraine, in South Norfolk. The response to this was incredible and we ended up delivering three lorries full of aid straight to Ukraine.
We have three new product launches due this year. I cannot give away any secrets just yet, but we will be revealing all to our customers on our mailing list in the coming weeks.
Visit The Candle Brand