An entrepreneur who has created candles inspired by the scenery and scents of Sheffield is looking forward to a bright new future.
James McKennan, aged 27, of Hillsborough, creates candles which bring together some of the unique scents which can be found in popular beauty spots Endcliffe Park and the Botanical Gardens.
He also makes Yorkshire-inspired candles, including the aptly named scent ‘fresh on’t line’, as part of his brand called The Sheffield Candle Company.
He said: “Seeing my business grow from strength to strength has enabled me to introduce new products to the brand, including new scents within the Sheffield range and I have future plans to introduce aromatherapy products and also a new company named The Yorkshire Candle Company LTD.”
James first launched his company in 2015 after experimenting with a child’s candle making kit.
He spent time fine-tuning his skills and developed a selection of simple scented candles, before deciding to try to sell some of his creations at Sharrow Vale market.
To his surprise, his scented wax wonders proved to be an instant hit. Boosted by the positive feedback he received, he decided to invest £4,000 of his own money to grow the business further and buy more candle-making materials and wax.
He added: “When I first started this journey I knew very little about candle making, or indeed running a business.
“It’s incredible to think that what started with a child’s candle making kit has grown and evolved so much in such a relatively short space of time.”
As a new business owner, James began selling his products to a number of independently owned businesses across the city.
While he was searching for potential stockists of his candle range he found out about the Sheffield City Region’s Launchpad programme, a fully funded service available to new business owners which is designed to give them the best possible start on their business journey.
James learnt about every aspect of business, from legal issues and accounting to marketing to business structure and general advice, supported by dedicated business advisor Christina Lima Trindade.
James added: “Working with Christina has been really useful, helping me to navigate the challenges that my business has faced – from finding new customers to employing staff for the first time.”
Currently, the business produces up to 3,000 candles a week which are sold online and in stores across South Yorkshire and beyond.
The full range of The Sheffield Candle Company’s products can be found at www.thesheffieldcandlecompany.co.uk alongside new products from The Yorkshire Candle Company at www.theyorkshirecandleco.co.uk.
For more information on the Launchpad programmme, visit www.scrlaunchpad.co.uk.