Cynthia Gavin Talks About Growing Her Safe, High-Quality Candle Company

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Hi, Cynthia! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business:

Hi, I’m Cynthia, Founder of Home Inn Candle Co. I started my handmade candle business in December 2020 after making a shift from reselling home decor. I have always loved home decor and interior decorating, but I was also obsessed with home fragrance. (There is nothing more satisfying than walking into a home that just smells good)! As someone who has always been passionate about home fragrance, it is a dream come true to share my love with others through my small candle business. I started this business because I believe that home fragrance can help make a house feel like a home – fresh, clean, and cozy. For me, home fragrance is not just about making a room smell nice, it’s about creating an experience that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. That’s why I carefully select the highest quality ingredients and fragrances that are inspired by home and evoke feelings of comfort and warmth—capturing the essence of what HOME truly means

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

Being part of a community of women entrepreneurs who I can learn from, network with, engage with, and build a community of support and resources. I have already connected with some amazing women and look forward to connecting with more.

We’re so happy to hear that you’ve made some valuable connections! What made you take the leap to start your own business?

It was the year of COVID when everything seemed so chaotic and it was nearly impossible to get into the store to buy gifts for anyone for the holidays. So I decided to buy a candle-making kit to make candles for family and friends since it was too difficult to get into the stores. At the time, I had no idea how to make candles but simply followed the instructions that came with the kit and watched few YouTube videos. I gifted those candles and received such great feedback on them that it inspired me to start making candles to sell. I’ve always had a thought that I would one day be an entrepreneur. (I just never imagined it would be making candles). I found a true passion for candle making. Not only is the process therapeutic for me, but it has also helped me tap into a creativity that I never even knew I had.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Prior to opening my candle business, I worked in healthcare operations and was a realtor. My interest and love for home decor and interior design led me to pursue a real estate license. However, I learned quickly that I did not enjoy the process of buying and selling, I simply wanted to do home decorating and interior design. That is when I decided to start reselling home decor. Shortly after, I switched to making candles and slowly added additional home fragrance products.

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

When I first launched my business I honestly didn’t have what I would call a ‘true marketing strategy.’ I was just blindly posting on social media, telling all my friends and family, and running social media ads that didn’t bring any ROI. I had no idea who my target audience was or my ideal customer. I had no idea what I was doing and I certainly didn’t have a marketing plan or budget.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

I am most proud that I did not give up. There were so many trying times that I faced and so many thoughts of doubt on whether or not I could be successful that many times I wanted to throw in the towel. But I never did. I kept pushing and remembered why I am doing this—simply out of the love and passion I have for the craft!

It’s all about the journey! Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I do believe in work/life balance. I often set aside certain days/times that I just relax and I don’t do anything business-related. I also make sure to find some time to hang out with my friends (whether it be a girl’s day every now and then or a girl’s trip, we make time for each other when we need it).

What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?

I wish I knew how important it is to focus on more than just the product. What I mean by that is, that once you’ve mastered the craft, you’ve mastered the craft. After that. you must focus on building brand awareness, building community, telling your story, and networking. You can have the best product on the market, but if no one knows about it what good is that?

What great advice! What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

I recently received the fan-voted Best Small Business Candle for Sir Candle Man’s 2023 Candle Awards. Winning that award meant so much to me! Not only have I been a fan of Sir Candle Man’s for a long time (as he is like THE Candle Connoisseur), but it was a fan-voted award from my customers, supporters, and community. They acknowledged ME! I truly felt overjoyed when I won. It was a reassurance for me that all of the hard work I put into improving the quality of my candles was acknowledged and recognized by the very people who I do this for every single day and I will forever be grateful.

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Over the next few years you can expect to see Home Inn Candle Co. continue to grow. I am going to focus on growing my brand to get into more retail stores and continue to build brand awareness so that everyone knows about Home Inn Candle. I also want to start hosting in-person candle-making classes for people to experience the joy I get when making candles myself.

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