This company started under some very... unusual circumstances. My last business, making business graphics, wasn't doing as well as I'd hoped. I knew that I wanted to throw it away, but I held on to it because I didn't know what I wanted to do next. In May 2019, our neighborhood was affected by a tornado. A tree in our yard was knocked down and we were without power for 3 days. It was hot outside and we JUST bought groceries the night of the storm. Doing this on a single income was stressful enough, but we had people who were willing to help us get back on our feet.
While I was still mulling over whether or not to get rid of Tangible Designs, I applied for some jobs. I thought that tornado was the kick I needed to get back out into the workforce and get our kid into school. I did two interviews for that position, and on the second (it was a Wednesday. This is important.), they told me I got the job. I let them know that I needed a little bit of time to get my kid into a school and they agreed.
Friday, two days later, we put a reserved our kid a spot in a great looking school. We liked everything about it and was super excited to get him socialized and learning more than we thought we could teach them. I called the person who interviewed me, and when he didn't answer, I emailed the company at 11:58am to let them know I was ready to receive my onboarding paperwork.
At 12:14pm, I received an email from them letting me know that they decided to go a "different direction." I called and emailed a few times, but no one at the company reached out or responded.
A Different Path
After a very bad bout of depression, I decided that maybe it was the universe's way of putting me on a different path. I thought about how much I like crafting and making things with my hands and decided to make candles. I used some funds that I forgot I had in an account to purchase testing items like jars, wicks, fragrance oil, and wax. I figured that it was worth knowing if I was good at it or not. If I wasn't, it'd be a loss and a lesson.
I had no clue what I was doing, but I knew I wanted to do it.
I followed a formula that I saw posted in a Facebook group I joined, but did some adjustments. That's when I created the first 4 candles I would ever sell.
To offset some of the money that I spent on tester candles, I charged $5 for them and sold them to friends. I thought about putting them on the site for sale (and I think I did for a while), but I decided not to actively market them outside of people I knew in case they were bad.
And they were.
I got some really great feedback from friends about how far the scent traveled, how long they burned it for, and opinions about the general smells. In that moment, I decided not to let it get me down, but to use what they said as a tool to get better.
I went back to the drawing board. I looked at tutorials and ran a few tests until I got the formula that I use now. I threw out something witchy and replaced it with something nutty.
These candles were bigger, smelled better, and I was proud to list them on my site.
Where I Am Now
This company was started on September 9, 2019, but we didn't get our first online sale until November 28, 2019. During those two months, I kept promoting, telling friends and family about us, but nothing was happening. During those two months, I think I discovered patience.
When that first order came in, I scrambled and stressed trying to figure out the "right" way to package and send it. "Do I have enough boxes? Do I have labels? Who am I kidding. This is just ONE order."
But that one order seemed to turn into 163 online orders and quite a few in person orders in what seemed like a blink of an eye.
But all this isn't to (just) pat myself on the back.
I keep saying that I couldn't have done this without you all and I mean it.
You tell your friends and family about Ita Candles. You let other people know about it through social media posts, retweets, likes, and reviews.
You market for me when I'm too scared or shy to do it myself because you want to see this company grow.
And because of you, it has.
Staring next year, I'm going to take a portion of the profits made from each quarter and donate them to organizations in America that specifically aim to assist disenfranchised people, including but not limited to civil rights organizations, race/gender/sexual orientation specific organizations, and national bail funds.
Because of you, I'll be able to help other people who need it.
Thank you ENDLESSLY for loving these candles and being so kind to and patient with me.