The Pandemic Didn’t Stop This Midwest Grandmother From Launching a One-of-a-Kind Candle Company
We here at GOBankingRates want to help get our nation’s small businesses back on their feet after the COVID-19 pandemic. To do that, we’re highlighting readers’ favorite small businesses around the country, and shining a spotlight on what makes them special to their customers and their towns.
In this edition of our Small Business Spotlight series, we’re featuring No Common Scents Gifts, LLC, a specialty candle shop in Nova, Ohio. Founder Krista Davis creates unique candles and melts, many shaped like food and drinks, as well as custom orders. Her one-of-a-kind candle creations are available in over 600 fragrances, including floral and novelty scents, and each product comes tagged with a “common sense” quote. Here, we discuss what it was like launching a business during the pandemic, why having a sense of humor can be helpful as an entrepreneur and the importance of finding a work-life balance.
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Was there a particular moment or experience that inspired you to start your business?
I can remember the exact moment I decided to start my own business. All three of my children were grown and they had all moved out. For a while, it was just my husband and me; then my grandson moved in with us. We already have a trucking company that my husband owns and I do the books for him at home, but it was more his than mine.
I had just completed my associate’s degree in accounting and was moving on towards my bachelor’s degree. I logged on to the computer to start my classes one day, and I realized this was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Then the pandemic hit, and it gave me the push I needed to start doing the research for a stay-at-home business.
I have always been creative and I love candles, so it made perfect sense for me to try and see if it was something I was capable of. I had a very rough start, and looking back I find it hard to believe that anyone purchased from me in the beginning. Thank goodness for family! As time went on, I became more and more creative, and I made the decision to direct most of my candles and melts toward edible-looking items.
What did you take from past experiences that you knew you wanted to make part of your new business?
My sense of humor is absolutely something I wanted to incorporate into my new business. I had to retain that because I knew that there were going to be a lot of test runs, a lot of failures and a lot of long hours. I also wanted to make sure that any product I put out was unique and fun and appealed to everyone.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of being a business owner?
I know this should be where I say the best part of owning a business is being able to stay at home, but that’s probably one of the things I like the least. For me, the most rewarding part is traveling to events with my products and meeting new people. Knowing that a person likes my candles enough that they are willing to put my items in their home is very humbling. I absolutely love seeing someone walking around an event carrying one of my bags. Also, being able to put my husband, children and grandchildren to work and boss them around has its benefits!
How has the pandemic affected your business?
As I’ve only been in business for a little less than a year and I started during the pandemic, it’s hard to say what my sales would have been like prior to all of the shut-downs. I have noticed that there has been a huge decrease in the number of people who attend these types of events. Thankfully, the ones who do attend truly seem to enjoy my products.
How can people continue to support your business during this time?
The public response has been so amazing and supportive. I have two Facebook pages for my business; all someone has to do is message me on either one, and I would be happy to take their order or answer any questions they may have.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Don’t be afraid to step back and just breathe. For the first nine months, I was up at 3 a.m. and I was absolutely consumed with creating a successful business. Everything else started taking a backseat, including my family. I still had many other things that I had to try to fit in and other responsibilities that absolutely could not be put on hold, so I started putting in longer and longer hours. I stopped being me, and I became only my business. My advice is to work hard to become successful, but at the end of the day, don’t sacrifice everything else in your life to get there.
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This interview has been edited and condensed.