Spreading light in the darkness
Taking a chance on the unknown, Stephanie Booth left her job at the State of Ohio after 13 years there to open her cleverly-named store, The Candle Booth. Created to look like your favorite cocktail or pumpkin spice latte, her soy candles will be just the showstopper you need for your home.
The Candle Booth
3. Describe your business
I create and sell specialty candles that are made to look like beverages and food. We also have home decor.
4.Everyone in business has that moment when they know this is what there’re supposed to do. When and what was yours?
I decided to make my own candle three years ago because I felt I overpaid for a candle that only lasted a weekend. I sent one of the candles I made to a friend to get their honest opinion and they expressed how impressed they were and told me to post the picture of the candle on Facebook. I was so excited by this recommendation that I posted the candle that night and the next morning I was awakened by continuous alerts from Facebook. I had received over 700 likes and hundreds of comments and orders before I even had a business. My business is and always has been my customers from that moment. Their love for my product and their loyalty for continuing to come back is what drives me to keep going.
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
5. What were the first five action steps you took to turn your dream into a reality?
First I quit my job with the State of Ohio after being employed with them for almost 13 years. I used most of my retirement to buy supplies and secure my rent and my personal bills. Secondly, I had a pretty good customer base and friends who helped me put together a solid plan on cost and location. I googled and watched videos on how to open a store and had a lot of conversations with Ohio taxation on how to file my taxes. Thirdly, I reached out to legal zoom to obtain my LLC and trademark. I really self-taught my way through every step. Fourth, I’m now working on doing payroll, and it’s probably the most challenging. I continue to use all the same vendors for my supplies and Lastly, I just really took one step at a time until I had my opening day on August 15, 2020, in the Olde Towne East neighborhood.
6. When did you know you had something people loved?
I had a meeting with a bar/club owner who wanted some candles for his tables. I obtained this meeting just by way of a conversation and me pretty much pitching to him what I do and how I can supply him with my candles. He agreed so I had brought my wine candle, a soda candle, and a man cave candle to the meeting. I set the table up with the candles and he sat down and said ok where are your candles. I said you’re looking at them. He said these are candles?! I said yes and I would love to supply them for your tables. I knew by his reaction that I had something special. He was so excited he grabbed the mic and introduced me to the room. Because someone from CUL was there and was impressed by my candles I was asked to gift my candles at a press conference the next day which then led to me doing a three-day conference for CUL; where there were 20,000 a day!
7. What current company or entrepreneur do you admire?
I would have to say Joanna Gaines. I’m just inspired by how she’s able to create beautiful work and have a family and now more business ventures. I love that she’s successful at doing what she loves.
8. What are your plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to continue to make my customers happy, have consistency during the pandemic, and possibly open more The Candle Booths.
9. What are the top five things you keep on your desk?
A candle, of course, a vintage pencil sharpener, sticky notes, a cup of coffee, and my special computer glasses.
10. Behind every entrepreneur are people who helped them get where they are and continue to support them: who are your people?
My Family! I have sacrificed a lot of time to do what I love and they have supported me every step of the way. My best friend and my partner Stanislav Mikhaylyuk. He saw my first candle and encouraged me to make a business out of it and has helped me with opening the store. Also Rasheda Johnson @Theshemonique collection. She has been cheering me on from the beginning. And last but not least; Marcellus Bowman who never let me quit and believed in me when I doubted myself.
11. What challenges did you face or continue to face while making your dream your reality?
I would have to say the pandemic has been the most challenging. I paid rent for a store I wasn’t able to open for 5 months before I finally did. It was hard but the support and love of the other store owners and people of Olde Towne East kept me focused on my dream.