This should been the first post, but it wasn't and you will understand why...
It's a long story and we will try to cut as short as possible...
Bella is the most energetic person and always loved crafting and DIY (since her childhood). Her background is in the travel industry (when she started working in 2001).
OK, we are jumping a few years here, otherwise it will be a book and not a blog.
When Covid19 started, Bella was put on furlough, but with so many energy, she needed to do something...Hmmmm, what's next...kitchen renovation, gardening, walks, cooking...But this was not enough, travel was always in her mind...
Things started to calm down, and the flexi furlough was put in place...GREAT she thinks, she will be able to spend her energy and brain at work, but this was not enough...After pestering her husband, he got her a cutting machine, WOW, what an amazing present, Bella can make cards and presents to friends, and now I can keep her occupied (husband's thought).
It was summer school holidays, and after she creating and working hard, and after all the "nothing to do period", she set up a table in our driveway and put her daughter to sell her creations and people were stopping and buying.
Summer, sunny and hot day, sitting in the garden, drinking a bottle of Rose, until the bottle finished and Bella thought, what could I do with this bottle? CANDLES...Straight away we were looking and buying stuff to cut them and use as containers...
It was hard work, and all started with a fragrance free candle, but...what is the first thing people do when they want candles? They sniff...Hmmm another problem (or solution), so we started sourcing for fragrances, until we were happy with the choices.
Once again, in our driveway (this was in August 2021), candles were for sale, and people bought it...Until Bella's friends invited her to join a market in Cranbrook - Kent, without hesitation, she said yes. It was stressful, because it was the first of many more to come. Bella only had a 90x90cm table, and only a few stock.
The market was a success and candles sold out...Next one, Hastings - East Sussex, sharing with friends, and once again sold out.
Bella thinks, this is fun and could work (despite still working full time and making the candles in her spare time). The third market was on her own, the entire gazebo and table...all the responsibility of running a stall, and she smashed!
Time pass, other markets were attended and it's Christmas time...by the 1st December, there were no more candles available for sale, OH NO, the last market is on the 17th December, what we will do? Oh well...This is only a passion and let's enjoy the last few markets and sell other creations...
After all the festivity period, it was time to think and decide what to do, continue as a business or give up (after so many tears, because it was something Bella did want to do it)...What's next? We cannot be another candle maker. The market is saturated. Ideas, ideas, ideas...And in February 2022, after working really hard and trying to hire a professional to develop our website to be able to apply for the big markets (all the trouble will be in another post), we launched CANDLE WISE, following the same ethos as before as "trading By Bella"
February 2022 was our first market, with new fragrances, display and branding...What can we say? Another success, but still not happy about it...This will be another post coming...
March, OK April, OK, May that's when the craziness starts. Juggling full time job and passion is not easy and fulfilling orders for Chapel Down, using their entire bottles to make candles, in the end, nothing should goes to waste.
June, the biggest show we did, THE WEALDEN TIMES, on top of so many new customers, we had another bunch of returning ones. This was the best experience we had...and we won the best stand (without planning to...).
What did Bella wished for her 40th birthday? Give up her day job and do her living out of her candles...and voila, it happened. All thanks to her family and friends who believed in her hard work. The happiness is all around.
Stockists, partnerships, shops, new friends, more and more markets, the doors literally opened and we decided to give a massive step ahead and try the LONDON market, starting at Portobello Road, all the way, from a little village in Kent to London...Locals, tourists, returning customers, this was a massive step and our candles are travelling the world.
WE COULD NOT BE HAPPIER, AND WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPROVEMENT!
GO CANDLE WISE, GO BELLA!