How I Went From Fashion to Starting My Own Vegan Eco-Friendly Candle Brand

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How I Went From Fashion to Starting My Own Vegan Eco-Friendly Candle Brand

 

Flashback to 2017 and we were interviewing Amber for our Life after Graduation series. Now, two years on, Amber Jenner has channelled her passion and expertise into her very own brand and a creative platform. Before Amber started her business, she graduated with a fashion promotion degree and secured a role at Sophia Webster in their social media team. After deciding to relocate from London, she started her own digital marketing agency in Kent, her hometown, which also led her to create Rosy Candles.

 

Rosy Candles are 100% vegan eco-friendly candles made with essential oils, which are considered as a form of alternative therapy for reducing stress and anxiety. The 23-year-old is passionate about female empowerment, mental health and sustainability and uses her brand to inspire women and raise awareness. We caught up with the young entrepreneur about her experiences, challenges and how she became a #girlboss.  

 

Last time we spoke, you were working at Sophia Webster. What did you learn from working at the brand and how have you applied that in your business?

At SW I learnt about digital comms and business as a whole, namely the importance of wholesale, manufacturing, e-commerce and social media. Sophia is the queen of Instagram and I learnt so much whilst working there. On Instagram, its important to remember that youve built up a community and its easy for them to get bored of your content. Its crucial to stay relevant, upload to the grid and stories every day and allow your audience to interact with your brand through the use of competitions and Q&As!

I also learnt the importance of packaging, how people love to receive their orders in a certain way as it makes the brand feel special to them. This is something I was so excited about incorporating in the Rosy candle branding.

 

Do you find yourself drawing from past work experience/university education to help you with day-to-day business needs?

Luckily, my Fashion Promotion uni course taught me everything I needed to know from marketing, graphic design, website building and much more. I was able to take all of these skills and put them into starting up my candle business. This was great as I didnt need to outsource these skills, which is super helpful when you have a start-up and not much money to pay people.

 

 

How did you make the jump from working for a brand to working for yourself?

I have my own marketing agency so I love helping brands build their businesses. I had been wanting to start something for quite some time. I am 23 now so after a number of years in the fashion industry, I knew it was time for me to start my own thing.

 

How did you come up with the idea for the brand?

I have a lot of friends and family members who are always rushed off their feet with uni, work and relationships. Life is incredibly hard and I feel that females especially put themselves down when it all gets too much. I am an avid believer of picking yourself back up and thats where the idea for Rosy first came along. Myself and a lot of my friends will come home after a long day at work and the first thing we do is run a bubble bath and light a candle. I wanted to create some graphics that would look really quirky on a candle but without being too obvious that it was mental health-related. I also wanted to incorporate essential oils as they are great at helping relieve stress and anxiety – Something we could all deal with!

 

 

What do you think are the most common mistakes novice entrepreneurs make? And how can they avoid making them? 

You need to know your customer. Put yourself in their shoes and make sure you know what their hobbies and interests are especially when it comes to nailing a marketing plan. You could have an amazing product/service but if you dont know who youre selling to then the likelihood of you making any sales is incredibly low. Luckily, the Rosy customer is the same age as myself and my friends, I know exactly what they are interested in and want from a brand! I took a lot of inspiration from brands like Glossier and Squish! Focus groups and questionnaires are always a great thing to start with when getting to know your audience.

 

What advice would you give to young and aspiring entrepreneurs?

I think experience is key. Try and get as much work experience as you can before starting your own venture. I was able to land a job whilst I was at university which I carried on for several years. I then decided to start my own agency and work for loads of other brands before starting my own. I was able to recognise any mistakes they had made and apply those lessons to Rosy. But other than that if you think you have a great idea that could be turned into a business, I would say to GO FOR IT!

 

We love that you’ve consciously chosen to create 100% vegan and eco-friendly candles. What challenges have you run into with this?

Soy wax is actually a lot more expensive than non-vegan alternatives. So I have had to market my candles at a slightly higher price point which may have lead to fewer sales. As I am only just starting up and not making anything in bulk yet this is a little bit of an issue, but as soon as I can find my own manufacturing unit when the demand is higher then the price points should start to drop.

 

What has entrepreneurship taught you about yourself?

I am such a control freak! I love taking ownership for the things I have created so working as part of a team is something I definitely struggle with, however I am learning to get better. Everything for the brand has been completed by me, yet I knew that photography was never my strong point so I hired an amazing photographer called Charlotte May to take the product shots. I knew about her through my days at Sophia Webster. The images turned out incredible and they probably would have looked super amateur if I had done them myself! It is always great to hire for your weaknesses.

 

 

What are your future plans for Rosy Candles? 

As I have just launched my first collection, the next step is working on building some wholesale relationships as well as a big gifting collection in time for Christmas. I cant wait for what the future holds!

 

Being a young entrepreneur may seem ‘rosy’ but Amber has proved that with hard work, perseverance and passion it is indeed possible. Want to add cool eco-friendly candle on your coffee table? Shop the Rosy brand here.

 

Interviewed by Wandi Jama

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