Simon Whyte of Whyte’s Artisan is very passionate about candles. His home poured soy wax candles are ecologically sound and provide a long clean burn with a fabulous aroma that fills a room. He also creates melts which sit in an oil burner and give the same range of scents in a smaller version. Simon visited dozens of craft fairs with his wife’s stained glass business and realised that he could sell his candles, melts and beeswax polishes via these fairs. Simon’s candles are selling well in a variety of places including on Face Book, Etsy.com and in craft collectives around Yorkshire, such as Created in Yorkshire based at the Ridings Centre in Wakefield.
Simon had been making his candles in his kitchen using standard kitchen equipment since the beginning of the year and needed some investment to get his production facilities scaled up ahead of the Christmas period which Simon predicts will be his busiest time of the year. He approached Celia Hickson, an Enterprise Coach working for Bradford Kickstart, and together within 3 weeks of first meeting they submitted an application to the Business Enterprise Fund for a loan to purchase specialist candle making equipment and bulk supplies of wax, wicks, scents and jars.
Simon is now in a position to prepare stock for his Christmas fairs and can build relationships with other businesses such as garden centres and florists where his beautifully displayed products attract sales and smell divine. Simon said “I knew about the Business Enterprise Fund and had started to put a business plan together, but Celia was able to provide me with a bit of extra oomph in the way I described my business development plans. I couldn’t have got the loan without Celia’s help; she was very supportive and gave me confidence to pursue my business ideas.”
Celia said “Working with Simon was great fun; he had a vivid vision for his business and knew how he wanted to progress. We worked to a tight timetable as he had already planned his candle making in the next few months to get his Christmas stocks ready for the shelves.”
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