Meet Gemma, the founder of Luna Candles, a small business that offers handmade, eco-friendly soy candles in a variety of delightful scents. Gemma's passion for creating beautifully scented candles started as a hobby, but her love for it quickly grew, and she turned it into a successful business.
Luna Candles is all about providing customers with natural, sustainable, and cruelty-free products that not only smell amazing but also promote self-care and relaxation. Gemma's commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of the business, from using recyclable packaging to sourcing only the finest quality ingredients.
In this interview, we'll delve deeper into Gemma's journey and learn more about what makes Luna Candles stand out in the competitive candle market.
Tell us the journey that led you to launching Luna Candles…
I have always been passionate about aromatherapy and wellbeing, dating back to the 90s when I was a teenager writing essential oil recipes in a small notebook. After leaving school, I pursued studies in Accounts and Business Management before ultimately qualifying as a Beauty Therapist. I spent numerous years working in hotel spas and eventually progressed to becoming the spa manager at a luxurious 5-star spa hotel in Edinburgh until I had my eldest daughter 15 years ago.
Since then, I've been working for myself as a freelancer, offering services like wedding makeup and facials/massage. When the pandemic struck and I had to cancel all my clients, I saw it as an opportunity to pursue something I've always dreamed of - starting my own brand of wellbeing products. I spent countless hours experimenting with different candle formulas and designs, and it was a long process that involved over 120 attempts. But eventually, I found the perfect combination, and the end result was a brand that I am immensely proud of. My products were launched six months later in October 2020, and it has been an incredible journey since then!
How do you want people to feel when they use your products?
My mission is for people to feel cherished and valued, both in themselves and their living spaces. Through my candles, which embody the spirit of "Pause, Light and Unwind," I strive to create a brief but meaningful moment of peace and tranquillity. I love that people feel a little moment of peace when they light my candles and experience the comfort from the glow of the flame and the joy from the scent.
Have you got plans to expand the range in the future?
I already offer Bath Soaks and Aromarollers, which complement the candle scents, and I hope to expand with Reed Diffusers and Room mists. Stay tuned for upcoming Candle Making Workshops!
You're an advocate of self-care, what does that look like to you?
Taking little pockets of time to do something that brings you a little bit of joy in your day, it doesn't have to be big or planned out, whether that is sitting in the sun for 5 minutes with a cuppa, lighting a candle, enjoying a candlelit bath, or taking a longer escape by going on a retreat or spa day.
If you didn’t pursue this career, what else would you have liked to do?
I honestly love what I do, but if I had to do something else, it would be owning a cake shop as I love the joy cakes bring to your taste buds and your eyes!
What advice would you offer any business brand owners who are struggling to get started?
Don't wait for things to be perfect, know your ideal customer, know your figures, don't rush, enjoy the process, and show up!
Talk us through an average day in your life…
No two days are the same for me. I have a busy home with two daughters (11 and 15 years old), a two-year-old cocker spaniel, a fluffy black cat, and a very supportive husband who works shifts. During the week, after seeing my daughters off to school in the morning and completing any necessary life admin or chores, I begin fulfilling online orders and preparing them for shipping.
This includes checking stock levels, scheduling product production, and making any necessary supply orders. I also take some time to create Instagram content, share stories, and engage with followers. As a small business owner, I find it important to take breaks, so I take my dog for a walk or fit in some yoga or tai chi, even if it's just for 15 minutes.
On weekends, I often have events or markets to attend where I get to showcase my products, meet customers, and receive feedback on the brand. I try to work around my family as much as possible, and I'm grateful to be available to them as much as possible. My weekly planner is my best friend, and I'd be lost without it.
Who is involved in the brand, and what are their roles?
I pretty much work alone, but I have a very supportive husband who helps out when needed, especially during busy periods like Christmas when there's a lot to juggle, but it's also very rewarding.
Looking back since launching the business, is there anything that you would do differently?
I would trust my instincts, which I'm learning to do more now.
Our readers love to travel. What destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Thailand is on my bucket list for its temples, food, and beaches.
Running a business can be non-stop. What do you do to switch off?
I love a spa day, so I try to go every few months. I also enjoy a candlelit bath with my favorite matcha tea, a book, and bath soak to help me unwind. I use the Calm app every day for either sleep stories or guided meditation. One of my favorite things to do with my family is either snuggling up on the sofa watching a movie with snacks or chilling in the garden with good music and tasty food. Heading out with friends for cocktails and food is also a great way to switch off.
In five years from now, where do you see the brand?
I see the brand expanding to more spas, salons, and wellbeing stores to make our products more widely available. I also plan to offer in-person workshops and online courses to help new businesses and candlemakers.