In June of 2013 I launched my candle shop, Lilypad Candles.
Today I officially closed the shop’s online doors.
My goal when starting to sell my hand-crafted candles was never really to build a big business, my goal was to gain experience in the world of e-commerce. I wanted to test out new marketing tactics I had been playing around with mentally and I wanted to see what it was like to build an e-commerce business from the ground up.
I truly believe there is no better way to learn than to experience something first hand WITH skin in the game. By putting my own money on the line I knew I wanted to at least break-even on this experiment. If I made a little bit of money on top, that would be great too. And I did make a little bit of money (a very little bit) so that’s nice!
While building up Lilypad Candles I continued to work my normal full-time job at an advertising agency while maintaing my other hobbies (chiefly training for a couple of half marathons and a full marathon).
I didn’t have the time to test out all of my marketing theories as a one-person-team. I did learn a lot about e-commerce marketing though, and perhaps more interestingly I learned a lot about everything else that goes into running an e-commerce business.
Before I launched Lilypad Candles I had zero idea of what packaging, shipping or other logistics would be like. During my busiest times it was hell. In my experience I found that scaling production is the easy part, it’s everything else that is really tough when you’re a one-person-business.
I plan to do another post sometime soon about all of my learnings for my own reference (and yours).
To every single person who bought a candle from me (and especially to my wonderful repeat customers) you are the best.
As for what’s next?
Well, I’m not one to sit still. I’ve already got the next project in the works. It’s one that I’ve been toying around with for *years* and I’ve finally decided now is the right time to leap forward with it.