Soyful Aromas: Take Time Out to Take Care Of You!
Soyful Aromas is a small business based out of California that offers handmade candles in small batches and poured with love. Each unique candle is hand poured with natural soy wax from a renewable source derived from non-toxic soybeans. With a clean and slow burn, these candles are birthed out of passion for self-care and aromatherapy. The core value of Soyful Aromas is to help everyone unwind, relax, and create balance with the power of aromatherapy.
Let’s Chat with Janēt, the Founder/CEO of Soyful Aromas
How long have you been making candles and what inspired you to start your candle business?
This is my 8th year making candles since I had a significant life change. I was going through a divorce and infertility at the time, and I needed to find a way to take care of myself and disconnect from the day to day routine. I’ve always loved to burn candles as a form of self-care and on one gloomy day, I was home and ran out of candles but didn’t want to run out to the store. So, a friend suggested that I start making my own candles. At first, I didn’t know where to begin but I was able to do some research and I found a great starter kit. I started making some candles for friends and family and loved it!
Soyful Aromas is a rare name. How did you come up with the name for your business?
I prayed on it. I had no intention of starting a business and never considered myself as an entrepreneur. But, one night I had dreamt about the name ‘Soyful Aromas’ and it just felt right. I started searching around the internet but no one else had that specific name, so it was perfect.
Tell us about your journey of being a woman owned company and how that impacts your brand.
I have to figure it out as I go along. Women predominately use candles, so it’s easier to market towards other women. I work full-time as well, and because of other life responsibilities, this company doesn’t get 100% of me. It’s difficult to give 100% when taking on other obligations and it’s interesting to compare how men can give 100% towards something without needing to take on the rest of it.
How have you gone about creating a distinctive brand? What sets you apart from other candle businesses?
After talking with some of my business friends, I knew I needed stand out and be different. I had to create some sort of gimmick that would draw people in, and I knew that I could do that with the love and value from self-care. Initially, I was going to keep the same name for the scents. For example, the scent beach linen would be labeled as beach linen. However, I want my customers to think about why they light their candles. What do you think about when lighting candles or what’s the purpose for lighting a candle? I started matching certain scents like citrus with the feeling of happy and joyful or calming lemongrass with the feeling of needing some “me time.” I started to change the labels of the candles to these specific feelings or intentions of self-care because it’s not just a good-smelling candle, but it’s how it makes you feel. When people ask me ‘what’s your top selling candle,” well, it changes based on what everyone needs in their life at the time. Do you want to relax, or feel joyful, or just getaway? I also post on social media that uplifts others and encourages the practice of self-care, and that self-care is not selfish. It doesn’t need to cost a lot of money, it’s as simple and small as a candle. I stay consistent and reasonable with pricing as well, while creating an aesthetically pleasing look.
How long did it take for you to master your candle making process? Was there anything significant about that process that you want to mention?
Finding the right wick and test burning was a bit of a challenge for me. Before feeling confident about having a good candle that would burn well and feeling secure that I could do this, it took at least 6 months. I made a lot of candles for friends and asked for their opinions, which I received some positive and negative feedback. But I was able to learn from my mistakes and make it better. I did my research and found a great wick guide that made suggestions and I also found sample packs of wicks so I could keep testing.
I also learned how to scale down with scents. People ask for specific scents and I wouldn’t have them but at the time, I would rush to get them and have a lot left over. I realized I didn’t need to compete with mass corporations where it’s a drop in the bucket to stock certain scents for them. I had to get confident in the wicks and scents that I was using and not compare my business to other competitors.
How did you discover Jar Store? Where do we play a role in your business?
You guys are my business! As first, I was using candle tins and was too nervous to start using glass in regard to shipping glass. I reached out to other candle makers, and they mentioned using Libbey Jars, but stated some are safe for candles and some are not safe for candles. I did more research and read about glass jars and how to make candles with glass jars. The jars that I did find were double the price compared to Jar Store and at the time I wasn’t making a large enough profit to afford it. I kept researching and came across Jar Store. I was looking for a luxury and quality jar but didn’t want to break the bank paying for it. Other suppliers had similar glass candle jars but didn’t have the heavy bottom and it didn’t feel as durable. Once I found the exact size I needed and saw the great price from Jar Store, I knew I wasn’t buying from anyone else. Even during the pandemic, my orders still arrived relatively timely, and shipping was affordable for the weight.
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Were you able to expand to the point where you needed additional help? If so, what other areas do your coworkers support you?
When the pandemic hit, I thought it would be the end of my business, but instead my company took off. I received more wholesale orders and corporate customer orders. I was able to create their own labels, and everyone loved my candles and jars. I could use some help, but I wouldn’t know where to start or how to expand. Everything is done from my home, and this isn’t my full-time gig, so I haven’t taken the time to learn what needs to be done to expand. However, at the end of this summer, I’m hiring an intern to manage social media for Soyful Aromas.
Do you have any other advice or tips for beginners or aspiring candle makers?
Go with your passion. If you want to do this, then go with it. Take your time and go at your own pace; don’t compare yourself to others. Appreciate the journey. I’ve rebranded two or three times and it’s okay to give yourself that grace. Celebrate the small wins no matter how big or small! Go with the flow of it and it’s okay to spend money to believe in yourself. Also, not biting off more than you can chew. It’s okay to think small and not so grand from the jump. Get your branding down and the packaging down before doing too much. There’s room for all of us candle makers and there’s so many people out there that love something different!
This is our reminder that it’s okay to take care of ourselves and those around us. It’s as simple as lighting a candle. The power of aromatherapy can help us unwind, relax, and even improve our mood. Don’t forget that candle jars can are recyclable and can be repurposed once cleaned! Thank you, Soyful Aromas, for sharing your extraordinary story and letting Jar Store be a part of it!