We were happy to introduce Janet, founder of Soyful Aromas through our my B.O.B. campaign on Instagram! This campaign brings awareness to Black businesses from the owner's perspective. At blackbox we believe it's important to know the vision and purpose behind a business. Through our blog, we can dig deeper into their stories and provide a fuller perspective with you!
Wanting to save some money from constantly buying candles at Bath & Body Works, on top of working through life's hardships, Janet decided to Google "how to make candles". After thoroughly enjoying her new creations, she made extras and gave some to family and friends. She was surprised to learn they loved the candles and actually wanted to buy more! That's when Janet said "let's do this" and Soyful Aromas was born.
What was it about candles that made you Google "how to make candles" out of all the how to's you could have searched?
I am truly a candle fanatic so out of all the how to’s I could have searched on Google, it was only natural for me to Google “how to make candles”. I first fell in love with candles back when I was in high school. I love the ambiance that candles create...that glow and the mesmerizing flicker of the flame. In the evening or during the fall and winter seasons, candles can make a space feel warm and inviting. On a bright and sunny day, candles can bring a refreshing and revitalizing energy to a room. Secondly, I love how scented candles can fill a room with the most amazing aromas and those aromas can help to uplift your mood or trigger special memories. Lastly, candles can add a special touch to any room decor. Whether they’re pillars, votives, or container candles, they seem to add a special touch to any room.
You mentioned life had thrown you a curve ball and everything was seemingly upside down. How did candle-making keep you focused on the things that were good in life?
Candle-making helped to keep me focused on the things that were good in my life by being a blessing in disguise. Initially candle-making was a nice escape from reality. There’s a science to making good quality candles, so I would literally spend hours reading and researching while losing track of time. Then once I started practicing, I chose aromas that I liked and naturally that helped to shift my mood and helped me to recall pleasant memories. Those memories reminded me that what I was going through was only temporary and that I would be OK, just like I had been in the past when I experienced trials and tribulations. Lastly, once I started gifting candles to people, their positive feedback and overwhelming amount of support also helped to change my focus on the things that were good in my life.
What steps did you take to launch Soyful Aromas after your "OK, let's do this!" moment?
My steps to launching Soyful Aromas were all over the place (LOL!). I actually dove in feet first without knowing anything about launching a business. I remember having lunch with a business owner and asking her a thousand questions. She provided me with a lot of information and it was all very overwhelming to hear what it actually takes to run a business. Her biggest advice to me was to first decide if candle-making was going to be a hobby or an actual business. As you can see I chose business, so the first thing I did after that was figure out what I was going to call my business. I then figured out how to register my fictitious business name. From there, I started making a mass amount of candles and took some pictures on my iPhone. I created printed flyers, business cards, and a lookbook informational website. I ordered a free square reader and thought I was all set. Shortly after that I had my first vending experience and quickly learned that I was out of my league (LOL). Since then I have re-branded and Google continues to be my go to for almost everything.
Going into the second half of 2017, what do you have planned for your business?
Going into the second half of 2017, I’m focusing on growing my brand. I’m confident in my products and creating quality products will always be a priority so I’m constantly researching and staying up to date on the latest candle-making guidelines. However no matter how great my products are, if consumers don’t know about Soyful Aromas then all my hard work will be in vain. Therefore I’m really working on my marketing. I now have a great business team and mentor, so I definitely see Soyful Aromas going to the next level in the very near future.
Any advice for other entrepreneurs who may be going through life's downturns to stay motivated and focused?
My advice for other entrepreneurs who may be going through life’s downturns is to not give up! You may feel like giving up, but don’t! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like walking away and just making candles for myself and friends. When I feel like that I don’t ignore it, but rather I look at what is causing me to feel that way and I talk it out with those whom I trust. Having a support network specific for my business needs has been an absolute must. My friends and family are great; however they don’t know what it’s like to run a business, therefore I have a few business-besties and we hold each other accountable and support each other. Lastly I have to add, please do not compare your business journey to others. I did this a lot when I first started out and it caused me to react rather than plan and therefore I’ve had to revise some things along the way and take a few steps backwards. My business is not where I want it to be, but I’m going at a pace that works for me. I can look back to when I first launched Soyful Aromas and it’s so exciting to see how far I’ve come. So my advice is to love YOUR business journey and don’t focus on others. You got this, so keep going!
We enjoyed learning more about the beginnings and launching of Soyful Aromas. You can see more of Janet's collection of candles here. We wish her continued success in with her business and keeping spaces smelling good!