For some entrepreneurs, the choice to open a business is all about the perks of being your own boss. Setting your own hours. Saying no to uninteresting work. Getting the job done in your pajamas.
For Amy Hoadley of Cadillac, Mich., the impetus behind Wix Wax Candle Company was the desire to live and work out of her motorhome – wherever it might be parked on any given day. And last summer that meant stops in Roosevelt, Glacier, and Olympic national parks plus a beautiful drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.
We recently exchanged emails with Amy to get the lowdown on her new business and mobile lifestyle.
The DRIVE: This is your first business. What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Amy: Living in our motorhome has been our dream for a long time, but life on the road isn’t free. We still need money. So, I wanted to build a business that I could run whether we were stationary or on the move.
I traveled over an hour to get to my first craft show. On the way there, I was so nervous that no one would like my candles. Of course, there was no reason to be nervous. It was a busy show, but people said they were drawn to my table by the bright vibrant colors of my candles and the wonderful aroma.
I sold a ton that day. I was so geeked that people liked my product as much as I did. That’s when I knew I made the right choice to start my own business.
My husband has always worked very hard to support our family. I can’t wait for the day when I can say, “Quit your job. Sit back. Relax. I got this babe!!!”
The DRIVE: That’s awesome! So, what’s your favorite part of the job?
Amy: I obviously love making the product, dreaming up the new recipes and designs and watching them unfold. Some turn out exactly as you envisioned. Some not so much. And some are better than you could have dreamed.
I also look forward to the reviews my customers leave for me. I love hearing how they look forward to getting their packages in the mail. How they enjoy trying the new scents. How my products brighten up their days. Even if I get a not-so-hot review I take what they have to say and learn from it. I try to turn it into a positive.
The DRIVE: And what about a challenging moment?
Amy: The most challenging moment in my journey was also the one I learned the most from. A big company asked me to make 250 Christmas candles for three offices all in different states. I was overjoyed, doing cartwheels, jumping up and down. I thought this is my big break!!!
I wanted it so badly that I bent over backward for them. I was too obliging. I gave myself a crazy deadline. I bought special jars and special boxes for packaging. I lowered my price. Although I made money and got my name in front of tons of people, I chased the sale too hard. I think I compromised the end result and the experience both for them and myself.
I still believe in delivering excellent customer service. However, I need to remember that I am one person capable of doing only so much. You are not doing yourself, your business, or your customer any favors by biting off more than you can chew.
The DRIVE: That’s an important lesson for all business owners. How have you enjoyed working with Scott’s Marketplace?
Amy: I like the fact that I can talk to a real person if I have an issue with the site. You follow up and make sure that the issue was resolved in a satisfactory way. You always make yourself available, not like some big scary corporate company. You take the time to care about us.
The DRIVE: Thank you! What one product from Wix Wax Candle Company are you especially proud to offer via Scott’s Marketplace?
Amy: My Soy Wax Lilac Scented Candle is really special to me because of how much my mother loved the smell of lilacs. This candle scent smells like you grabbed a bunch of lilacs off the bush and squeezed the smell right into the jar.