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Southern Elegance Candle Company
DShawn started Southern Elegance Candle Company in 2016. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Southern Elegance Candle Company?
I started Southern Elegance right after my son was born as a hobby. Initially, I made a bunch of random bath and body products in addition to the candles. When I decided to get serious, I looked at everything and decided to just focus on one product and chose candles because they had the potential to be the most profitable. I chose a niche that I could speak authentically about. My ideal customer was easy to identify because it was basically me. (But, don't use that a marketing strategy. It just happened to work in this case) I was born and raised in the South. I LOVE living here and couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I created a company around all the things that I love to do.
Choose your partners carefully and trust your gut. I made very bad decisions by going against what I thought I should do and listening to “experts” and lost a ton of money.
I was working in education at the time and I absolutely hated it. One day walked into work and quit my job to make candle making a full-time career. I had absolutely no background in sales, manufacturing, marketing or anything business-related. I basically had no clue as to how it was going to work or if this was even a viable plan. Everything was a learning curve, and I spent hours learning a new skill then implementing it.
With very limited resources, (basically no money) I went to the school of Google and Youtube. I took some online classes on Branding and Wholesaling. I hired a business coach and I literally hit the streets selling. For the first year, I would sell my candles at any Church function, fair, festival, school bazaar… I did not care. I sold candles outside in the middle of the summer and the dead of winter. I also sold on any and every online platform that would accept me. Etsy, Amazon, Faire, Modalyst, Houzz, etc. All the money I made went back into building the brand, I was lucky to have a husband to pay the bills but it was tight financially. When I finally felt comfortable I approached stores to carry my products. And we slowly built a base of stores to sustain the company.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater