Micro Extraordinary: Wicked Cat Candles

Posted

By: Mae Frances Bing

This is my first Micro Extraordinary interview for Colleton County. I was super exited to talk to Mindy Davis, the owner of Wicked Cat Candles. Below is a Q&A between Davis and I. Hope you enjoy.

Mae: Tell me somethings about yourself.

Mindy: I was born in a small town in central New York to a farmer’s son and a school bus drivers’ daughter. I am the oldest of three girls. We moved to South Carolina in 2009. I met my husband in 2019 and got married in October of 2021.

Mae: How did you begin your business in this industry and when did you establish Wicked Cat Candles?

Mindy: I started Wicked Cat Candles in 2020 after I started making candles as a hobby. People in my mother’s office kept asking if they could buy them after smelling the one I gave my mom.

Mae: How did you come up with the business name?

Mindy: Wicked Cat Candles is named after my three cats: Amaya, Khalessi and Calypso.

Mae: Who or what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

Mindy: I had a lot of difficulties in school as a kid. I was told that I wouldn’t amount to much and I was determined to prove that wrong.

Mae: How did you learn to make candles?

Davis: I remember making candles as a kid in school in art class. When I decided to make them as an adult, I watched a bunch of YouTube videos and joined Facebook groups. It was trial and error.

Mae: How did that first attempt at making candles turned out?

Mindy: Horrible! My first candle wouldn’t stay lit and had no scent at all.

Mae: What type of candles do you make?

Mindy: I focus mainly on jar candles although I do make pillar candles and have made a couple sets of unity candles for friends’ weddings. I use a blend of soy and vegetable wax that burns clean and lasts for a long time.

Mae: As the owner, what are your typical responsibilities. Are you a one-man band?

Mindy: My tasks range from production, testing, marketing, shipping not to mention the less glamorous side of the organizing, stocking and cleaning my work workspace and equipment.

Mae: How was the process of getting this business started? Did you face any obstacles?

Mindy: The process of getting the legal part of the business was easy and streamlined. The obstacles came from trying to design a logo, come up with a name and deciding I was going to put my everything into this. No one tells you about the struggle of figuring out the taxes and licensing when you decide to start a business.

Mae: How do you manage your workload throughout the days?

Mindy: A lot of lists. I dedicate four days a week to nothing other than my business. On those days I don’t do any schoolwork or hang out with friends. I start my day with making a to do list and checking it off and I go down it. Honestly it takes a lot of willpower, a lot of coffee and a couple well timed breaks to go cuddle with my cats.

Mae: What do you see to be the biggest challenge with this type of business?

Mindy: The biggest challenge I have faced is the ever-changing trends. However, that is also my biggest motivation. New scents are introduced every season and it’s like a game, figuring out which ones will sell, and which won’t. What to name each scent. It’s fun.

Mae: What techniques do you use to create new candle shapes and color designs?

Mindy: A lot of my color choices are picked by my husband. I find that I tend to over think it a lot and he will just smell a scent and know what color to make the wax.

Mae: What are your biggest sellers?

Mindy: Pumpkin Caramel Crunch and the Amber Noir. My husband is in love with the Amber Noir.

Mae: How do you keep up with industry trends?

Mindy: Thankfully candles aren’t subject to a lot of fast changing trends but keeping up with them is a matter of paying attention to the seasons up coming. Some scents do better in the fall but not in the summer.

Mae: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Mindy: My biggest motivation is the look on someone’s face when they smell a candle I made. Sometimes it’s a scent that they never thought they would like. Other times it’s a scent that brings back a fond memory for them, but the smiles are what keep me going.

Mae: What’s something you wish you would’ve known before getting started with your business?

Mindy: I wish I had known how much I’d miss in the beginning. There have been a lot of missed date nights before my husband and I got married. A lot of nights I didn’t go out with friends. A lot of late nights and even all nighters. As much as I missed, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Mae: What do you enjoy the most with being an entrepreneur?

Mindy: The freedom to be creative. Being able to take time off when I want to and not when someone else says I can. I truly love what I do.

Mae: What are your future goals for Wicked Cat Candles?

Mindy: My goal is to one day have Wicked Cat Candles be large enough that I can hire employees, who otherwise have a hard time finding employment. Single parents with difficult schedules, people who have made mistakes in their past and may have a hard time finding a job because of it. I want to be able to help people. I also want to start a line of products where the proceeds are used to fund an animal sanctuary for animals who are terminally ill or injured and end up surrendered to the vet’s office. I want to be able to give them a place to heal until I find them a forever home or let them live out the rest of their lives in a happy loving place.

Mae: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs or small candle businesses?

Mindy: Go for it! No matter who tells you that you can’t do it and there will be people that tell you that you can’t. Even people close to you, they will discourage you. Don’t listen to them. If it’s something you believe in and have a passion for then go for it. The best advice I’ve ever heard what “If you do what you love, the money will follow”. If candles are your passion, the best advice I have for you is test. When you think you have tested enough, do it again. I’m very honored that you reached out to me. I think we should all try to support small businesses as much as we can.

For information on Wicked Cat Candles, contact www.wickedcatcandles.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wickedcatcandles.

(Editor’s Note: Thank you for reading my first feature. If you or someone you know will like to be interviewed email editor@lowcountry.com or visit www.microextraordinary.com. Remember, your business might be small, but it’s extraordinary.)

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here


X