Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danielle Johnson, Owner of realm, located in Mississauga, ON, Canada.

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

We are a vegan, eco-friendly, and most importantly, aesthetically pleasing candle company ~ offering unique and familiar scents while not compromising on our commitment to remaining sustainable, renewable and/or recyclable. Our customers are of all races, genders, and ages - from teens to adults!

Tell us about yourself

Realm was created as a quarantine passion project and an outlet to release stress and discover my creativity. Candles have always been a key part of my self-care routine & always help me vibe out; however, I discovered that a lot of the candles I was using were mixed with harmful chemicals and weren’t made with sustainable resources (also, the jars didn’t fit my vibe & the ones that did were really expensive). I am motivated by every single person that supports realm as well as being able to create something that helps bring peace and good vibes into their home.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment so far has been making it into a retail store. This was a dream from the very beginning, and being able to see realm on shelves in a major mall is so surreal.

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

Not getting discouraged! When you are a solo business owner, you wear SO many hats, and it can become very easy to get discouraged and think you're failing. It's so important to practice positive self-talk and celebrate ANY win - literally anything. If you made ten sales in a week, do a happy dance. If you made one sale in a week, do a happy dance! Any progression forward, no matter how small, is something to celebrate.

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

  1. Be consistent. Make a plan and stick to it! Don't get discouraged if you don't see results right away - just keep going!
  2. Build Community. A lot of people think you need thousands of followers to make an impact. This isn't true, especially not at the beginning. Focus on building a small, core group of supporters - engage with them, connect with them, and most importantly, listen to them! They are your consumer, so find out what they want, how they want it, and most importantly, why they want it. This will help cultivate your brand in a more meaningful way. Also, word of mouth is so effective - random people might not trust what you're offering is amazing, but they will trust their best friend who has already bought into your brand, and just like that, you have a new customer.
  3. HAVE FUN! Remember why you started this brand/business, and don't sweat the small stuff and the mistakes you will make along the way. Learn everything you can and enjoy yourself :)

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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