Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Filling candle jars gave Jo a bright business idea

Jo Macfarlane now runs candle making classes.
Jo Macfarlane now runs candle making classes.

Jo Macfarlane waxes lyrical about her move to Murray Studios to grow her candle-making venture.

 

What does your business do?

I hand make bespoke private label candles for luxury hotels, businesses and for corporate gifting.

I also run candle making workshops and sell my luxury Scottish candles through my website.

Why did you start in business?

The business started at my kitchen table as a hobby after I decided to refill lovely empty candle jars.

How did you get to where you are?

By being tenacious and embracing change. When my business began I didn’t think I would be running candle making workshops but that’s what the customers wanted.

Who has helped you along the way?

Business Gateway Fife helped me successfully apply for funding to buy my huge wax melter which has enabled me to increase production. Currently I’m benefitting from Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost programme, which will help me grow the brand online.

I am also part of The Social Sales Girls network and was part of The Acorn Accelerator programme.

What is your biggest mistake?

In the past, if I hit a plateau I gave up. Now, I push past it by changing or adapting to current situations. I think making mistakes is good if you learn from them.

What are your main achievements to date?

Being part of Small Business Saturday has been huge for me.

Last year I won one of the 100 places in the run up to the day itself.

We were then invited to Downing Street in December, where I had a stand.

It was an incredible experience and I am very grateful for the opportunity.

I was also invited down to London for International Women’s Day alongside 19 other women to discuss #pressforprogress. In May, I was shortlisted for ‘Bricks and Clicks’ Best multi-channel business at The Small Awards and I am heading to The House Of Lords in June for a summer reception on behalf of The Small Business Charter.

Running a marathon and reading 100 business and self-development books in a year are a couple of recent personal achievements.

Hopes for the future?

The business is growing organically.

Last year the workshops grew by 400% and are likely to grow by 200% this year.

I am also looking at the possibility of franchising the workshop side of the business to give other people the opportunity to start a business from their own kitchen table.

Do you want to recruit?

I’m open to growth.

What’s the hardest thing about running your own business?

Wearing different hats all day.

If there is a tech problem you just have to figure it out.

Sometimes it takes hours, and that all adds up. Having a good network of support is essential.

Any advice for wannabe entrepreneurs?

Start from your kitchen table, build your network and always ask for what you want. My parents always said “if you don’t ask you don’t get”.

Always follow up after any event that you have been at where you exchanged business cards. You won’t remember them and they won’t remember you in a couple of days’ time so send a little ‘nice to meet you’ email. Get in touch with Business Gateway for advice early on.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]