Candles have always been a part of our lives – in addition to the fabulous scents that are out there, we’ve always enjoyed the warmth a candle brings into our home. And candles tend to have a special place in our lives – we blow them out on our birthdays, we light them to commemorate weddings, and we place them around to create an atmosphere of romance.
What began as a way to make gifts for friends and colleagues, soon transitioned into a full time hobby turned part time business. When an opportunity arose to move to Maryland, the part time hobby business became a major focus, and The Columbia Fragrance Co. was established in 2013.
Our company focuses on fragrance solutions for your home and personal space. While we’re attracted to the warmth a candle brings to our space, we also realize an open flame isn’t always a solution, so in addition to jar candles and tea lights, we sell melts and wickless candles for fragrance warmers. Diffuser oils and fragrance mists are also popular options.
We believe in bringing value to your personal fragrance selection. All of our products are hand poured and created, focusing on recycled or reusable containers and packaging. Most of our products are hand poured at the time of order, so you know you’ll receive a candle or home fragrance solution created especially for you.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
My first sales came through Etsy, family and friends. We are now selling wholesale, attend craft shows and sell through word of mouth.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
Stitch Labs has been a lifesavor for inventory management. It has also allowed us to better analyze our sales, develop customer tracking, and more. We also use Wave for our accounting.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Focus on your product first. Nothing else matters if you don't have a good product and a brand image which syncs with the product. Next, develop a good online presence, starting with your store and blog.
Blogging is imperative for helping your store get found in search.
Next engage in the social media where you feel most comfortable. Don't try to do it all at once, because you won't be successful. Start with Facebook, add in Twitter, then Pinterest, etc.