Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Charlotte Katona, President of makesy, located in Irvine, CA, USA.

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

makesy is the world's largest supplier of eco-friendly & elevated maker supplies and finished products in air care, personal care, and home decor. We offer creative products, services, and support that empower, inspire, and educate individuals around the globe. makesy services over 200,000 customers in 111+ countries and counting, from the DIY extraordinaire to the small & midsize business, all the way up to manufacturers & retailers around the world.

Tell us about yourself

makesy was started by selling a single product (wooden candle wicks). We have over 100 patents on that invention. We started with a really horrible and simple one-page website. It wasn't much. But people came, and they bought... and they asked for more from us. The more we got to know our customer base and listened to their pain points, we realized there was a huge gap in the market for eco-friendly, innovative, and elevated maker supplies, not just in candle making but across almost the entire craft industry. Listening to our audience and really serving their specific needs/voids in the market was what led to our explosive growth. Today that continues to remain a critical part of our business and product development. Seeing the amazing successes our customers have had in creating their own businesses and changing their lives is what motivates us on a daily basis. Plus, we have built the most incredible staff - we refer to them as unicorns (rare, magical!); working alongside equally motivated and energized people allows us to drive forward with the same zest every day as when we first got started.

Do you have daily rituals for work / wellness / fitness / mindfulness?

With all I have going on (two kids, a husband, running makesy, and a few hobbies), staying organized & planning ahead is critical for me to prioritize daily wellness. I strive to wake up early (5-6 am) and go to bed early (9 pm) in order to be productive early on in the day and make time for moments that help reduce stress, improve my mood, and make me feel good. I've recently jumped on the cold plunge bandwagon and try to do this first thing in the morning, at least four days a week. I find that it gives me a surge of energy and puts me in a positive state of mind by accomplishing something tough (like going in 50F water). Other things I would highly recommend to everyone: spending time outdoors daily (I walk my dog!), eating organic, wholesome foods, drinking natural spring water, moving your body daily through yoga, weightlifting, or whatever you enjoy, and never sacrificing sleep! When you have a never-ending list of things to do, creating a relaxing moment in the simple things, like giving myself a quick face massage while getting ready in the morning or making drip coffee, is what keeps me happy, healthy, and productive.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Sounds cliche, but helping others. makesy is about educating, inspiring, and empowering people to be creative, start their own businesses, and make something with their own two hands. We change people's lives for the better. That's what gets me up every day.

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

Knowing the right time to take the leap on moving to the next stage of scaling your business. Getting your first warehouse space, hiring someone new, investing in new equipment or tech. Sometimes these leaps can feel like jumping out of a plane and hoping your parachute will inflate. You have to believe in yourself, your vision, and the team/community supporting your business. Take the leap and drive it to the next level. Sounds easy, yeah? (kidding)

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

  1. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Focus on your niche and rule it.
  2. Think about the future state of where you want your business to be in 12 months. Envision it. Hold it. Feel it. Now, what do you need to do this week to take steps to get to that place?

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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