We recently met final year student, Jenni Growcott, at the University’s Christmas market, where she had a stall for her business ‘By Candlelight’. We loved her products, presentation and marketing, and asked her to share her story.
As a Marketing and Retailing student with parents who have owned their own business since I started school, I always liked the idea of working for myself but was convinced that it was out of my reach.
I am now the owner of ‘By Candlelight’, a small candle company based in Sheffield, specialising in handmade soya candles presented in new and creative ways.
At first making candles was purely a hobby, which I learned with my mum. I didn’t think it would progress further than that but once I got the hang of it, I started to look into turning my hobby into a business. I was so excited, I just wanted to get my products into shops and out to customers.
Despite getting a lot of advice from my parents, I wanted to use every possible resource to try and make a successful little business for myself that could someday become a lot bigger. When I started looking, I wasn’t aware just how much help was available to entrepreneurs through the university.
I contacted the careers and employability centre and was put in touch with the enterprise team who were an amazing help.
I was given access to professional advice from business advisors, accountants, web design companies and legal advisors which was invaluable at the early stages of creating my business and really got me on the right track.
I still meet with the advisors at times when I want an objective view on business, as it is so easy to get too attached to your own ideas that you need to take a step back and make sure it fits with your brand and your target market. I also get invited to a number of talks and workshops run by people in industry, giving specialist advice.
Despite being a business school student, I don’t think there is anything that can prepare you for just how much work goes into setting up a business and how important multi-tasking is.
I learned so much through this process and am so grateful for the help I received. So far ‘By Candlelight’ is going really well, I love every minute and hope to turn it into a full time position when I graduate, but I could not have got here on my own.