Carolyn Huggins was an administrative assistant for years when she had an ephiphany – she could well be working just as hard in her own business.
So she took to the Internet to explore the different ways she could earn a living working for herself.
She only had to see a YouTube video on candle-making to know that she wanted in. She ordered books online and taught herself candle making.
Fast forward eight months, Huggins is now the owner of Wix and Wax handmade candles which she operates out of her Maraval home.
“I never knew I had all this in me,” the 49-year-old said about her candle-making skills.
“My mother is from Sweden and candle-making is a tradition there. Maybe that’s where I got my love for candles and candlemaking.”
Huggins said jokingly that she started off her business with a pound of wax and fragrance. Now she orders wax by the pounds online to satisfy her growing business.
For Huggins, candle-making has been therapy. It has taught her to be patient – more than anything else.
“There were times when I put the wax in the mold and just can’t wait to see what it looks like.”
Huggins has also fallen into a bit of a routine with her craft. She wakes up at around seven on mornings and work until afternoon most days.
There are days when she does not feel like working and even that is okay for her.
“I don’t like to force the process. Some days I make ten candles other days I make one or two.”
All the candles that Huggins make are scented because she believes that’s how she bought them when she was a candle consumer.
She chooses fragrances based on their compositions and buys accordingly.
The colours of the candles come together as the creative process begins. Her clients are free to have a say in the colours they want to match their decor.
Since she started making candles, Huggins has also learned a lot about candles. She often shares candle factoids she has picked up along the way on her Facebook page. For instance the right way to put out a candle is not to blow it out put rather dip the wick in the pool of wax. According to Huggins it will keep the scent of the candle in the room rather than make it smoky.
Here’s another tip that Huggins shared: In candles where the wicks are hard to reach due to burn-out or too short, use a piece of spaghetti to light the wick.
Huggins, who has shown and sold her candles at different small business showcases such as Upmarket, has no regrets about going on her own.
“I enjoy this so much that it doesn’t feel like work.”
Recently Huggins started making decoupage tea light holders . She also wants to get into the soap making business soon, she said.
She has also started a delivery service to make it convenient for her customers.
Running her own business has taught her a lot about herself and going after her dreams.
Wix and wax handmade candles is on Facebook.