Q&A with Amanda Jayne
This morning, we spoke to the lovely Amanda Jayne from @amandajaynecandles about starting a business as a new mom 🍼, the importance of taking it slow 🐢, and the exciting new products she’s got in store for us 🤩
Hi Amanda! Let’s start with why you started a candle business?
“I was a 28 year old new mom, at home with my baby, and wanted to work on a project for myself. A friend of mine started a candle business in the UK and I loved the idea. It took 2 years of playing with fragrances, waxes and wicks before I had a product ready, but I wasn’t in a rush. I wanted to create something special – I’m a bit of a perfectionist!”
And what has been your biggest high?
“There isn’t one specific moment, however it’s been 3 years since I launched and in the past year I’ve seen interest really grow. I was getting so many emails in the run up to Christmas with big orders – I couldn’t believe people were so keen on my candles. That was a big turning point”
That’s amazing! But we love your candles so we aren’t that surprised!
And how about the challenges?
“It’s really difficult to make something unique, high quality and natural at a reasonable price point in SA. To take my lovely gold tins as an example – you can’t find anything like that in SA today. I have to import them, which creates logistics work and pushes costs up“
How did you come up with the brand name?
“I really didn’t want to name my company after myself, but I employed a branding agency and that was their strong recommendation. @jomalonelondon is also named after herself and I worried it would seem like I was copying her…I did hope I’d have a little girl and name my business after her. But here I am with 2 gorgeous boys instead!”
Well we love your name! What were doing before becoming a mom & entrepreneur?
“I worked in advertising for 5 years, which meant dealing with a lot of people and clients. I was still quite junior but I loved the creative aspect of it. I’m not exactly an artist – I can’t draw a stick man to save my life! But I knew I wanted to work with branding and design somehow. I also did an accounting course at UCT before launching @amandajaynecandles , so that I’d know how to do my own accounts…”
And what advice would you give to someone looking to do something similar?
“Don’t rush it – if you want to create something great that people will love, it takes time. And taking it slow will pay off. When I started, I had to work on every little detail, even making sure the candles burned perfectly – I got there eventually!”
Have you got any new products launching this year?
“Right now we make candles, fragrances and oils – I’m also planning to bring out a hand wash and lotion soon. It’s a lot of work – I want to have beautiful bottles that aren’t just the run-of-the-mill design everyone buys in SA. So I’m working on natural bases, fragrances, bottles, and what my price point should be”
And your plans for 2020?
“It’s a full on year! We recently launched a service whereby we personalise candles e.g. for wedding favours (check out our IG). I’m also refining our range – I know some bigger brands have lots of different scents, but I want to stick to a handful for now – which means two will be discontinued soon. That’s always tough because I know some customers love those two scents...! I might still have to make a few as on an exception basis...! And finally, I’m hoping to bring out reed diffusers too”
Any final thoughts?
“I feel very fortunate that my business has grown with me as a person – while my babies were still young, it let me invest a lot of time in them. Now the business is getting busier, but as my boys are older, I have more time to spend on it. I'm also now delegating some tasks to my part-time employees, but I still do all the mixing and pouring myself! I haven’t yet entrusted that to someone else…
So overall, I feel grateful for the journey so far and very excited to see what the future has in store”