MEET SARAH FONTEYNE
Founder of Halcyon Naturals
BH: Tell us how you got into candle making and what inspired you to start your candle business?
SF: I’ve always been a candle enthusiast and was inspired to learn when I read an article one day about a lady from humble beginnings had built a successful brand in the USA by selling candles. I’ve always been an entrepreneur and wanted to build a business that reflected my passions. I’ve always spent a lot of money on candles but was growing increasingly frustrated with synthetic scents, some of which were making me feel ill.
BH: Halcyon Naturals is an interesting brand name, how did you decide on that?
SF: Halcyon means : “a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful”
I want my candles to lift the mood of the customer in a natural way, which is by using a blend of essential oils that have already been scientifically proven to do this.
I have 4 different moods that the candles sit under
Relax – to do just that
Relate – which is all about bringing you closer to your loved ones
Release – which is all about grounding and spirituality
Renew – which is all about helping you to wake up and smell the joy.
BH: What’s the best part about creating your products?
SF: The best part are the results! I’ve been working on my candles for nearly 18 months and testing many blends. I’ve enjoyed getting the very real testimonies (of friends who agreed to help me test the blends) who reported results of feeling less stressed out, sleeping better, energised and more peaceful as a result of burning my candles. It’s great to know that my idea has really worked and people can see the advantage of using essential oils instead of inhaling synthetic fragrances which can be harmful.
BH: How Beauty Handmade helped you create your brand and what one to one workshop did you take? Was support after workshop relevant to you?
SF: I took the candle making workshop and it has been worth its weight in gold! At the time I’d been testing for just over a year and couldn’t work out why it was so hit and miss for me. Zaga quickly showed me where I was going wrong and was also very encouraging about my idea and challenged me to enter the luxury candle market instead of the mid range market.
I was able to make great leaps after my workshop and knew how to troubleshoot and enhance my candles for the better. She also showed me how to make sure my candles were legally compliant and provided me with a whole list of Third Party suppliers in the UK – where to purchase raw material , equipment, fragrances etc etc.
BH: What does the future hold for Halcyon Naturals?
SF: The future is looking bright for Halcyon Naturals. I’ve launched the company as a subscription box for candle enthusiasts with 16 different scents which has been well received. I do also sell individual candles in 3 different sizes for those who aren’t ready for a subscription.
I’ve also been offered two wholesale orders within my first week of launching, one with United80 which is a boutique store selling bespoke piece of art, fashion and jewellery and also another with an Ayurvedic spa in north London. I’m really bowled over at the reception that my candles have had so far! I’m eventually going to expand into other products too but for now the candles are my main focus.
BH: Finally any piece of advice you can give to those that wish to embark onto business of candle making?
SF: I would 100% recommend Beauty Handmade for a candle course. Candle making is not easy and requires a lot of patience and testing but it’s definitely worth it.
You can purchase Halcyon Naturals at www.halcyonnaturals.com