Name: Faye Macis
QB Community member name: FayeMacis
Business: Little Happy Candles
Faye Macis was studying for her mental health master’s degree when the idea for Happy Little Candles sparked, unexpectedly, in the middle of a lecture. That’s when it struck her that even the smallest act of self-care can have a big effect on a person’s mental well being. She knew she’d found her calling: helping to promote the little things in life -- like pleasurable scents -- that can positively impact people’s lives.
Today, Faye and her business partner/husband, Luca, sells a wide range of unique smelling candles and melts. The enticing scents range from floral (think daffodil, rose) to fandom-inspired (“Lannister Juice” smells of mulled wine) to the downright quirky (“Monkey Fart” is a fragrant blend of tropical fruits!).
We caught up with Faye ahead of QB Connect London, where she is a featured vendor, to discuss the ups and downs of working for herself and what she’s looking forward to at QB Connect London February 27-28.
Once you knew that making people happy was your calling, how did you create a business around that concept?
In the past, I’d made what I called “happy boxes” as gifts for friends and family. Under the business name “Little Happy Goodies,” I made a product called “The Little Happy Hamper.” It was a small box filled with items such as soaps, lip balms, inspirational quote postcards, nail files – anything I thought would encourage a person to take time out and look after themselves, even if it was just for 30 seconds to moisturise their lips! One of the items in this box was a lavender and rosemary relaxation candle I had made myself.
After a few months of officially launching the hamper, I was receiving messages from people requesting that I make the candle available separately. I did, and soon I was spending more time making candles and the hampers fell to the wayside. I decided to focus my time exclusively on candles, but not just any old candles. I wanted to make more quirky products – candles people would be excited to burn, with a scent that would make them smile. I rebranded, and my journey running Little Happy Candles began!
How did you get your candles-only business going?
I started off buying small quantities of supplies to test. I used an Amazon voucher I’d received as a bonus for signing up with a Virgin Media broadband package. As the business grew, I discovered new suppliers, better quality ingredients and was absorbing as much information as I could.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned working for yourself?
Working for myself I discovered that sure, I can “slack off” or have a lazy day whenever I want. But doing so negatively impacts business, especially if I also neglect my social media outlets. Maintaining regular engagement with your customers when you are a small business is so important!
Tell me what your typical day looks like?
A business day generally starts with packing any new orders that have come in, then heading straight out to the post office. Some people may call me crazy for taking so many boxes to the post office, but it gives me peace of mind to personally see my orders off. Once I return, I get my wax melter going, make a cup of tea and sit down to stick wicks into candle jars (if I’m making melts, I can skip this step).
Next up is the actual candle making, followed by more tea, label printing and trimming and then packing any orders that may have come in.
Once the wax has completely cooled, I can trim the wicks down to the recommended size, screw the lids on and apply all the necessary labels. Typically, this process would happen the next day, but I’m running a two-day system at the moment! I’m about to start working at a psychiatric facility, but because of my flexible shifts and my husband’s involvement in the company, I’ll still be devoting as much, if not more, time to the business.
What are some of the ups and downs of working for yourself?
Being your own boss is empowering. I’ve gained so much confidence in myself and my products! I love that I can be creative and come up with ideas with little holding me back.
However, it is difficult sometimes. There are so many things to do behind the scenes, such as balancing the books and doing copious amounts of product testing. Testing can be especially trying - it’s disheartening when a potential new product isn’t working after feeling excited about it and then pouring hours and money into its development.
I’m incredibly stubborn, so learning when and how to let go of certain things has been a challenge!
What do you hope to gain at QB Connect London?
I would like to absorb as much knowledge as I can from people who are more experienced than me. Running a business is still all very new to me, and when it comes to taking it to the next level and expanding further, I’m in the dark. I’m hoping to meet some like-minded people -- and maybe even make a few new friends!
Joining the QB Community connects you to others who, just like you and Faye, dare to work for themselves. (Sign up here!)
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@FayeMacis, I just love the idea of building a business around something as simple and beautiful as making people happy! A lot of folks feel like they have to put up a front of hard-nosed realism because they think that's what's expected in the business world, but there are so many great brands that have found success because they work against that expectation. This story made me happy, and I'm looking forward to learning more about you at QB Connect