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Entrepreneurial journey – Interview with Max

Max had the chance to be interviewed by the Subkit team recently. Here is the transcript:

What's your business, and who are your customers?

candēlae is the ideal experience for everyone willing to spread love and joy. We've curated some of the best fragrances and essential oils to craft natural soy candles that allow our customers to relax, refuel and recharge. Our mission? Provide candle lovers with the best gift experience possible, whatever the occasion is.

Find someone you love, select a candle on our store, add a note that we handwrite on your behalf, or record a personalized video message, and candēlae will take care of the rest. It's now time for you to make your loved ones smile, laugh, and remember that gift forever.

Tell us about yourself

We're Ophélie and Maxime. We're both from France but have been living in Toronto, Ontario, for a couple of years now. We actually met in Canada and have been living our "Belle Histoire" since then. "La Belle Histoire" later became the name of one of our most popular scented candles.

After months into the pandemic being apart from our families and friends, we decided to take action and do our part. We wanted to help people stay connected with their loved ones even if they could not see each other during the different lockdowns we all went through. We defined what we loved, our values, and how we wanted to articulate them around our brand. candēlae was born.

We launched two collections of scented candles, one with scents that help remember great memories called "Remember that time" and another one that focuses on the present named "Live in the moment." We crafted the unboxing experience by adding a personalized message that we handwrite and delicately attach to the soy wax candle and send it to the recipient. Seeing all of these orders and personalized messages reassured us that we were on the right track – we were helping people stay connected and share love and joy around them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Done is better than perfect, they say. My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been to take the initial plunge. We often remember the early stages of candēlae. We recall the initial ideas, the scrappy notes, the discussions with our family and friends, the first research. The beginning of an entrepreneurship journey is incredible, but it is hard to accept that you don't have all of the answers and that, at some point, you need to launch, even if things are not perfect. Registering the business, making things official, and taking the plunge was by far the accomplishment we're most proud of – and one that we will never forget.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

You can't control everything. Things can go wrong, and that's ok. You need to thrive on change and accept being comfortable with the uncomfortable. The past few years have not been easy. We've seen new regulations, shipping delays, increased product costs, and changes in buying behaviors that have made entrepreneurship harder every day. As business owners, you will face obstacles you've never encountered before and find new ways to overcome them.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Consider everything you do as an experiment. Nobody has all of the answers. It's essential to challenge the status quo and test things out repeatedly.
  2. Share your thoughts early with people around you and ask for help when you need to. The more you talk about your projects, the more it will help you gather feedback, test ideas, and iterate.
  3. Be patient things will always work out. Entrepreneurship is a journey – don't forget to celebrate each small victory.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://candelae.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shop.candelae
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shop_candelae/

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