Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michele McCain, Owner of Novus Candela of the Smokies, located in Gatlinburg, TN, USA.

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

My business is Novus Candela of the Smokies. My customers are anyone who likes handmade candles, tarts, goat milk soap, and lotions. Plus, dream catchers and sun catchers.

Tell us about yourself

For twenty years, I have been working at turning my dreams into a reality. What started as a passion for crafting turned into a blossoming business in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Nestled in the heart of the Smoky Mountains Arts and Crafts community, you can find the Novus Candela storefront full of handmade goat milk soap, lotions, bath bombs, dream catchers, and many different styles of beautiful candles and wax melts.

While I am constantly brewing up new products for the shop, I also have a full plate at home, too. I am a caregiver for my husband and mother-in-law, both are disabled and rely on me for their day-to-day lives. Needless to say, I have my hands full with my business and home life, but that doesn’t stop me from keeping both local customers and out-of-towners happy.

It’s no secret that our East Tennessee has an abundance of attractions and plenty of things for tourists to spend their time doing, but before this area was so commercial, the large community of artists was one of the most appealing things about the Smoky Mountains. Local artists and small business owners need your support now more than ever. When you shop small, you’re supporting the growth of local businesses and the passion of local artists. Shopping small allows you to get to know the people behind the magic and get a close-up of the care and hard work that goes into your products. To put it simply, shopping small puts a smile on everyone’s face! 💜

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Know that my products are made with love and that my customers benefit from them.

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

Coming up with new unique items and sometimes having the money for them.

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

  1. Make sure you love what you are doing.
  2. Know that the slow days are part of the business.
  3. Save money so you can get your SEO right and get to the top page of search engines.

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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