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WEDGEPORT, N.S. — Editor’s note: The “Makers” feature is a weekly look at Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs who are tapping into the creative marketplace. If you know of a local, creative business owner that should be featured email: [email protected] To read more “Makers” features, visit: saltwire.com. Silicone Crayon Mold
Stacey Muise, like many small business owners, started her entrepreneurship journey during the throes of the pandemic.
“I knew I wanted to make it into a business but I definitely didn’t anticipate all of the creative freedom that came with it,” says Muise.
So, for the past year-and-a-half, Muise, who lives in Wedgeport, N.S., a small community near Yarmouth, has been operating her business, Rising Sun Candles and Wax Melts, where she focuses on making 100 per cent soy wax candles and wax melts.
Read more MEET THE MAKERS: Colourful N.S. crafter finds passion for creating during pandemic MEET THE MAKERS: Nova Scotian soy candle business rooted in family
MEET THE MAKERS: Colourful N.S. crafter finds passion for creating during pandemic
MEET THE MAKERS: Nova Scotian soy candle business rooted in family
Muise says she has always been creative and was looking for new ways to express herself. That’s when she discovered candle making, and soon realized that there wasn’t anyone else local who was doing what she wanted to do.
“I’ll be honest, candle making isn’t as cut and dry as I thought it was, but the challenge made me fall in love with it even more,” says Muise.
There are different types of waxes, different styles of wicks, and different styles of containers, she explains. There are literally dozens and dozens of combinations that will affect the burn (or lack thereof) of a candle.
More than once, she says she has picked a fragrance oil and figured out how she was going to bring her own creative twist to it after the fact. The best part of the process is that fragrances can be safely blended, so she can make her own scents, which make her stand out from the competition even more, she says.
“It was a crazy learning experience, but I found an online community that was so helpful and welcoming and they helped a ton,” says Muise.
Now, Muise finds herself in a position where she can answer other’s questions, which she says is a pretty cool feeling.
The most popular item that Muise sells are her blueberry waffle wax melts. They are so popular, she explains, because she uses a waffle silicone mold to make the melts and has perfected the technique of adding blue flecks of dye to really drive home the blueberry look.
Plus, they smell amazing, she adds.
To get inspiration for her candle making, Muise says that TikTok is a huge source.
“Whether we want to admit it or not, TikTok is a massive hub for creators these days and has more than once shown me a better way to approach what I do,” says Muise.
Muise also loves watching her business grow and is excited to tell people that one of her candles has actually travelled internationally. A friend of hers recently went home to India to visit family and brought one of Rising Sun’s candles with her.
“It’s absolutely bananas to think that my brand has touched down on an entirely different continent. It definitely opens my mind to the possibilities of the future,” she says.
Running a small business in rural Nova Scotia definitely has upsides and downsides, says Muise.
A really big hurdle she has had to overcome is shipping costs to get raw products to her. The places she orders supplies from are small businesses themselves, so there are no deals like “order X amount of product, and shipping is free.” This means she often has to factor shipping costs upwards of $50 to get products to her doorstep, which definitely adds up.
A huge upside, however, is the support that a small town brings, says Muise. For example, she has had offers to have her products shown in local stores and she has attended half a dozen craft fairs.
“My products do as well as they do because of the word of mouth and I make that well known within my customer base,” says Muise.
It’s definitely true what they say, that your small business needs time to breathe, and to grow, in order to become sustainable, says Muise. Currently, she is looking into affordable shipping rates across Canada, and intends to take it from there. She is also constantly evolving her candles, bringing forth new scents and cute molds to try to keep her products fresh and eye catching, as well as smelling amazing, she says.
Although Rising Sun is Muise’s side hustle, she says she is definitely not opposed to it becoming something more full-time in the future. When she is not creating or working full-time in telecom sales, she can be found at home with her new puppy.
Anyone interested in viewing or placing an order with Rising Sun can do so through the Facebook page, Rising Sun Candles and Wax Melts. Muise is also toying with the idea of bringing back an e-commerce website, to streamline the process for her customers and herself.
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