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Bright future for candle firm started in Kirkcaldy kitchen

Kelly Brown, founder of Rock n Rose Aromas.
Kelly Brown, founder of Rock n Rose Aromas.

A mother’s day treat spurred Fife woman Kelly Brown into starting a luxury home-fragrances venture, Rock n Rose Aromas.

It was 2018 when she booked a candle-making class for her and her mother run by Jo Macfarlane in Anstruther.

Kelly said: “My mother and I had the best time – it really instilled a passion in me for home fragrances and creating my own products.

“I was keen to learn more, so I returned to Jo’s workshop to attend her advanced candle-making class and then completed her business-building course.

“It sparked my creativity and I realised there was a gap in the market for local hand-poured soy candles, so I spent time testing products and designing/creating my own brand.

Kelly makes all her Rock n Rose Aromas candles in Kirkcaldy.

“The support I received from my family and friends was amazing and really gave me the confidence to go for it with the business.”

A one woman venture

Kelly had been apprehensive about leaving her previous job as a dental nurse, but wanted to try something different with her life.

She said: “This business turned out to be the best decision – I found my niche. Working for myself and working around my family’s needs means a lot to me.”

Initially, Rock n Rose Aromas operated from Kelly’s kitchen – and began trading just in time for Mother’s Day 2019.

She started off with four scents, and once she released luxury gift boxes she sold 40 in 24 hours.

Kelly’s gift boxes quickly became popular.

Last October she moved into her own studio at Mitchelston Industrial Estate, Kirkcaldy.

Being a sole trader means Kelly has her hands full with a wide variety of duties at Rock n Rose Aromas.

She explained: “I’m responsible for all the designing, testing, pouring, labelling, stock-taking, deliveries, emails, messages and social media.”

Rock n Rose Aromas unique scents

Kelly makes sure to use reputable suppliers from across the country and invests in the best supplies and equipment.

So far, she’s spent thousands of pounds in testing different wax, scent and wick combinations.

She said: “Finding a beautiful working formula is the hardest part in candle making, and worth celebrating when achieved.

“My most popular product and scent is definitely my amber, orange and vanilla candles. The scent is stunning, unique and very feminine.

“My branding and scent library are quite unique which helps me stand out from the crowd. I often get told that by customers.”

Rock n Rose Aromas is stocked in Fife Department Store in Kirkcaldy, Baillies Gift Shop in Kinross and Something Different in Cowdenbeath.

Kelly also has a website offering online sales, and runs a Facebook page to keep in contact with customers.

Dreaming of international stockists

Over lockdown, Kelly noticed a big spike in her sales.

She explained: “Customers seemed to want to treat themselves, and home fragrances were really popular whilst everyone was at home.

Rock n Rose Aromas candles come in 13 different scents.

“There was also a big surge in supporting local and hand-crafted businesses.

“Brexit however has had a negative impact due to the rising costs of my supplies and equipment.”

Rock n Rose Aromas has recently started doing wedding favours and bridal-party gifts.

Kelly also offers private label work, where she creates a range of products for companies who then add their own branded labels.

Her plans for the future include branching out into gifting for larger corporations.

She added: “In five years’ time, I’d love think I might have a small team working alongside me and may have grown my list of stockists up and down the country.

“My dream would be to have a stockist in the US and Europe.”

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