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How One Millennial Couple Dreamed Big to Create Their Own Business

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Today I have an awesome guest post from some personal friends who have turned a dream into a real business: Inland Candle Co.! If you are interested in starting your own business from a hobby or side hustle, you’ll definitely want to check out their story. They also have a discount code for the readers of The Budgeting Wife! Don’t forget to check them out and pick up some awesome candle gifts! Enjoy!

About Ransom and Sarah

Ransom and Sarah Storm met at Corban University, got married in the summer of 2015, and officially graduated in 2016. Both with business degrees. After working regular jobs for a year or so, they both felt the need to, somehow, fulfill their creative desire.

Several date night projects that turned into weekends filled with too many trips to the craft store eventually led them to start Inland Candle Co.: A company dedicated to creating the quintessential Northwest candle using the highest quality ingredients and supplies available. They recently moved from Salem, Oregon to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho where they enjoy spending time outdoors with their dog, Deacon, and run and grow their business.

When did you start your business?

We officially launched on July 17 of this year. But it took roughly seven months of researching, experimenting, and planning prior to that date to create the brand that is now Inland Candle Co.

What made you decide to start a candle business?

That’s actually the number one question people ask us. Maybe we’re the only ones (we like to think we’re not alone) but we are that couple that usually has a candle burning in every room. We noticed that there are a lot of Northwesty/outdoorsy candles on the market that are being produced in places that aren’t necessarily known for their beautiful outdoorsy landscapes and sometimes even sourced from overseas.

Because of this, they don’t actually smell like the things that we get to experience every day here in the Northwest. This sparked our curiosity. So we did some research and one Friday night decided to try our hand at candle making. Originally we didn’t intend on turning it into a business but here we are!

You work together as a young married couple! What’s it like running a business with your spouse?

It’s great! From the beginning, this whole thing has been about having a creative outlet that we can enjoy together. We are both extremely passionate about what we do and because of that, we are able to share every high and low that comes with running a business. It also makes for great conversations. We have literally had 8-hour road trips where we didn’t talk about anything but candles. Nerdy, we know.

What’s been the hardest or scariest part of being entrepreneurs and starting your own company?

We’ve intentionally tried not to have any expectations as far as success goes. So that has taken away a lot of the things that would typically be viewed as “scary” when starting a company. If we had to pinpoint something, it would probably just be getting over the fear of putting ourselves out there. And essentially asking people to judge products that we have put so much time, effort, and care into. That being said, we’ve learned that we are not our products and not to take it personally when someone doesn’t like one of our candles.

What’s been the most rewarding part of owning your own company?

For us, it’s making something by hand that, in some small way, adds value to other people’s lives. We take pride in creating authentic scents that evoke memories in people. We love it when someone smells one of our candles and the scent immediately reminds them of something positive they’ve experienced. That’s the biggest compliment we can receive.

Owning a business is more work than we ever thought it would be. But we’ve had the opportunity to meet some awesome people, travel, and watch something that, at one point, was just an idea become a reality and that makes it all worthwhile.

What are your dreams for Inland Candle Co. in the future?

Honestly, we’d love for this to become our full time job at some point down the road. For now, we’re keeping our day jobs and working on building a solid foundation for our business so that one day it can support us by itself.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?

We feel like we still have so much to learn ourselves but we’d say: take the time to define your brand and then stay true to who you are/what your brand represents. Other than that, if you see a need, have a product or service that you’re proud of, and you’re able to make it happen without racking up debt, then take the plunge and don’t look back. We’re big promoters of young people turning good ideas into realities.

What is your favorite candle that you sell and why?

We’re really proud of all of our candles but we actually each have personal favorites. Ransom’s is Tobacco + Pine because it’s the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and woodsy. It’s a favorite for both men and women and has consistently been our best seller to date.

Sarah’s favorite is Wild Honeysuckle, which is bright and floral with notes of fresh cut grass and rich cedar wood. Currently, we’re burning Northern Pines, which is a vibrant blend of pine needles, spruce, juniper berries, and cedar. If you like the smell of pine, (who doesn’t?) this is the candle for you.

What can buyers expect from Inland Candle Co. for the holiday season?

We’ll be announcing several discount opportunities as well as having a giveaway or two during the month of December on Instagram (@inlandcandleco) and Facebook. Also, we have some great things planned for next year which include new scents. AND we may or may not be launching a new line/series in the spring… Shhh. We’d like to offer 20% off to all of The Budgeting Wife readers with code “thebudgetingwife” at checkout. Effective now.

Learn more about Sarah and Ransom and shop Inland Candle Co.’s beautiful and indulging candles here.

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