Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Janet Abdenour Dabney, Founder of Jamcat Candles, located in Grosse Pointe Park, MI, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Jamcat Candles are boutique, hand-crafted natural soy candles that serve as items of home decor for the candle aficionado who believes a candle should look as beautiful as it smells! My goal is to design and create candles that enhance and uplift your environment, are pleasing to your sense of smell, and make your eyes light up, not just because of their glowing flame but because of their beauty and charm.

Tell us about yourself

After planning my wedding, I realized I would miss the creative outlet that I greatly enjoyed, so after getting married, I decided to learn how to make candles! I had previously spent several years caring for ill children as a pediatric registered nurse and then supporting patients as a medical device sales representative. Still, with the happiness and care of others in mind, I have set my sights on providing customers with a candle that commands attention for its unique external charm, beautiful aromatic scent, and natural healthy glow. Finding unique vessels and scents truly motivates me as I want to ensure Jamcat Candles are anything but ordinary!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I believe my biggest accomplishment was Jamcat Candles being featured on Good Morning America! The show's producer had reached out to me to be included in a feature about other small businesses in Michigan. At first, I thought it was a hoax, but it was really GMA! It was pretty surreal seeing myself and my candles in the feature! I was very appreciative of the wonderful piece that was put together!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Being a small business owner is a 24/7/365 gig! There are so many facets to owning a business that I certainly wasn't aware of when I decided to start Jamcat Candles! I believe one of the hardest things is being visible. How will people find my business? How will they find my website? Do they see my social media posts?

Reaching out to retailers with wholesale opportunities can also be challenging, and making candles is not as "easy" as people may think! It is an art and a science, with so many hours and days of testing required to make sure you are providing a safe and enjoyable candle that meets your customer's expectations.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Research is key!!! I never knew how much actually went into making candles until I actually started! Learn as much as you can about the industry you are interested in before making an all-in commitment.
  2. The overnight success stories are few and far between! It generally takes a bit before you feel like you have made a mark. Keep going!
  3. Don't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows! You will be challenged with something every day, which is ok, as long as you take it in stride! It's ok to ask for help, and don't forget to take care of yourself!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I offer some of my candle lines for wholesale purchases as I love to see Jamcat Candles in retail stores! Thank you!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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