We continue our series on Women In Business where we highlight a wide variety of businesses that are owned and operated by women all around the country. Our goal is to learn from, inspire, motivate and celebrate this strong, unique, and diverse group of women.
Our spotlight today is on Kaila King, owner of Kaila’s Kandles. Here’s what she told us.
What is your company?
Kaila’s Kandles, a candle company, located in Bowie, Maryland.
When was your company founded?
What inspired you to form your own company?
I was looking for something I could do that would fulfill my creative needs and be able to make money off of it. I am a single mom so I needed to be able to be my own boss for the flexibility.
What is the best part of your job?
Being able to work around my life commitments. I’m the one in charge so I can customize my business however I choose.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Since I am the only person running this business, everything falls to me. I am the owner, the social media content creator, etc. Things can get kind of hectic.
Have you found that being a woman owned business has helped your business?
I do. It’s empowering to be able to show another woman that we can do whatever we choose to do.
What are some obstacles that you’ve encountered being a minority business owner?
Sometimes it’s assumed that because you are a minority business owner that your customer service or your product is going to be bad and that is just not the case for everyone.
What is one piece of advice that someone gave you early on that you found to be invaluable?
Do not focus on whether your family and friends support your business. If you have 150 family and friends and they do not support you, it should not be a worry to you unless you are only trying to reach a total of 150 people with your business.
What is one piece of advice that would you give to someone that is thinking of starting their own business?
Don’t compare your business to other businesses. It’s easier said than done but truly the best advice.
What is one mistake that you made early on that you would re-do if given the chance?
Don’t over buy inventory and do not expect your inventory to take off right away no matter how excited people may seem to support.
What is one future goal that you have for the business?
To become big enough to need a warehouse to keep it running.
Who has inspired you the most in your business?
Other candlemakers always inspire me with their creativity and advice. It’s nice to have other business people that you can ask questions to.
How has the pandemic affected your business?
The pandemic increased sales for me but has also been stressful because supplies have been hard to come by. Since people are working from home, they burn their candles more which means they buy more.
On days that are particularly hard with the business, what keeps you going?
Reminding myself that if I don’t keep going, I will never reach my goals. If I keep going then the possibility of reaching them still exists.
If you didn’t run a candle making business, what would you be doing?
Either working in healthcare or the criminal justice field. I have degrees in both.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In 5 years, my business will be in multiple stores and have my own store as well.
What would you like people to know about your business?
I take my time with everything I sell and no two things are alike. Everything is handmade and I care about quality greatly.
What is something that everyone told you/warned you/shared with you about owning your own business that is not true?
That it’s normal for family and friends to not support your business. It may be common but it’s not normal. Everyone shows support in different ways.
Were people supportive of you when you started your business?
Absolutely. Did everyone buy it as soon as it started selling, no. But they told others to check me out, and shared my social media posts and that meant alot.
What do you say to the naysayers if you’ve ever encountered any as related to your business?
Just because you couldn’t do it or didn’t find success with it doesn’t mean I won’t.
How would your customers describe you?
Amazing customer service and willing to make things right and go the extra mile.
What has been your most favorite thing you’ve done with the business to date?
Any videos I make on Tik Tok I really enjoy making. It’s hard work but it’s nice to show behind the scenes stuff.
What is one random fact about you that you would like people to know?
I am in my second year of business but I still feel like a beginner. I have a lot to learn still so sometimes it’s hard to answer people’s questions.
You can find Kaila and Kaila’s Kandles here: