Sukie’s Candle Co. CEO, Sukie Lands Feature In Fashion Gxd Magazine
Sukie the CEO of Sukie’s Candle Co. gives exclusive interview with Fashion Gxd Magazine
This issue , Fashion Gxd Magazine, sat down with the rising CEO Sukie. Founded late nights in her kitchen, Sukie is the self-taught founder of an exotically scented premium soy candle company. Through trial and error, she spent 2 years perfecting her craft as a candlemaker until she finally built up the courage to leave her 9–5. A Seattle native, Sukie takes pride in sourcing rare and memorable scents in her collection of 20 eco-friendly aromas, each of which burn for over 40 hours. Sukie’s Candles are mindfully sourced using 100% pure soy wax which is derived domestically from American farmers. She always uses lead and zinc free cotton wicks with phthalate-free fragrances that are infused with essential oils. This Spelman College grad was proudly featured this year in Vogue and GQ UK magazine and had her first ever TV appearance talking about her candles which aired on Whidbey Telecom this August. Take a look at the exclusive interview with the rising brand below.
Social Media: IG @ sukiescandleco //FB: facebook.com/SukiesCandleCo
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
This has been tricky. To date, I’ve relied on family to grow my business when I’m in a pinch and need to deliver (for big partnerships). We are very close, so they enjoy getting involved in my creativity. Aside from family, I’ve been able to connect and hire women in my industry who also are ambitiously growing businesses of their own- meaning they have both work ethic and dedication to excellence that I’m able to observe prior to engaging them in business relationships.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : What three pieces of advice would you give to other children who want to become entrepreneurs?
Find something you would do even if you weren’t being paid to do it. Find something that fuels a deeper part of your existence and is tied to your values.
Pair up with others who you admire and who are a few steps ahead of you in growth who can offer tips and words of encouragement. The unknown and risk in entrepreneurship can be daunting, so establishing a network of powerful and optimistic peers who have committed to their craft can at times be the vital element you need to push to the next level.
Trust your own voice. When I first started out as a self-taught candle maker, I received copious amounts of input from others who had opinions about how best I should get started. So many people got excited about what I was creating and thus had strong ideas about scent types, candle shapes, colors, etc. It was vital for me to block that out and channel my inner vision, brand identity and to hold my own ideas close to heart. To trust the process and despite the early failures, just stick with it. The worst thing I could have ever done for my business is to give up. I’m not in this for profit, I do it because I love it and would be a candle maker even if no one was looking.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I may have spent some time thinking about creating a product that can scale in this digital landscape. For instance, candles (or any other physical products that require shipping and hands on management) scale differently than a digital product like a blog/podcast etc. Beyond that, I would repeat all the same steps I went through because I try not to believe in the notion of mistakes. All the “mistakes” and early trials I endured were so critical and valuable in my growth as a business owner and as a woman. I’ve learned to embrace failure as a really beautiful and necessary aspect of this business. It maintains my humility, keeps me hungry and challenges me in ways that are essential for the evolution of my business.
Fashion Gxd Magazine: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur ?
Resilience- The ability to weather the highs and lows is imperative to seeing this through. Knowing when to pivot and make changes is key, but giving up is the worst thing you can do for your business. If you stick to no other formula other than “no matter what, do not give up” you have mastered a fundamental first skill.
Courage- There are a great deal of unknowns in entrepreneurship. Having the bravery to pave the path of your company with a “by any means necessary” mentality has been key for me to mitigate the inevitable bumps along the way.
Being Scrappy- I’ve had to hustle and dig deep and become super creative in the business. Whether it was last minute changes to a live vending show or needing to come up with plan b suppliers when one underdelivers, the ability to really roll up your sleeves, not be afraid to fail and look silly has been key. I have witnessed that as an attribute of all entrepreneurs and business owners I’ve worked with.
Fashion Gxd Magazine :What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
There have been countless! Primarily because I’m self-taught, it took me 2 years of pouring candle after candle until I was able to “master” the science of it. It was nothing short of trial and error. From candles that were too weak (scented) to glass jars breaking during shipping, the failures have and continue to be an inevitable part of both operating and more importantly, growth. Furthermore, without investors or startup capital, I had to practice a great deal of patience in growing my business as it was something I had to fund independently. I’ve learned through it all to be gentle with myself. Apple Inc., for instance, rolls out new tech products all the time that fail (and are upgraded) in the public eye constantly. It was important for me to learn that starting and taking a first step was more important than waiting for some moment of perfection, that often never comes.
Fashion Gxd Magazine : How many hours do you work a day on average?
It varies by season. The holidays are my busiest season so we are an all hands on deck operation from October- December typically. That can mean many all nighters if needed to get the job done! The spring and summer months allow me to work on other areas of the business like expansion in to new retail locations and product innovation (coming out with new scents!).
Fashion Gxd Magazine :Describe/outline your typical day?
After a gentle morning tea and watching the sun kiss the garden plants, I often begin with a review of current orders and strategize a production plan. I prefer to make candles during the day so they are allowed to cure in the evenings. Temperature is a key factor in how candles settle so I have to time my day around the sun, in many cases. I spend about 1/3 of my day emailing, connecting with my stockiest locations, researching and organizing content for social platforms. I try to end my evenings with home cooked meals and maybe a warm candle lit bath. I’m a Libra so balance is important to me. After a long hard day of production and pouring, I want to ensure that I’m always loving and excited about my craft as an artisan. In other words, I enjoy feeding the parts of the business that are in deepest alignment with my current mood.
Get The full Interview In the winter issue of Fashion Gxd Magazine . Releasing December 30th