Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Julie Martin, founder of Smells Like Mexico, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

I'm a passionate, strong-minded Mexican woman and during the pandemic, like many others, I missed traveling to Mexico. One day, I thought to myself, " If I can't go to Mexico, how can I bring Mexico to me? And just like that….Smells Like Mexico was born! I created a handmade soy candle business where the product not only visually reminds you of eye-catching places in Mexico but also smells like your favorite destinations.

Tell us about yourself

I'm an entrepreneur who has explored different business areas ranging from retail, drop shipping, services, and manufacturing my own products in Toronto over the last 12 years. During the pandemic, when my main business, saw a revenue reduction of more than 90%, and I was at home trying to find a way to relax from all the stress, I also learned how dangerous some candles could be if they're not made with good quality ingredients. From there, I became inspired to create a candle with ingredients that won't be harmful to any member of the family, including pets. The candles I make also have a social cause, with a percentage of sales going to help families in small towns in Mexico. Each candle represents a state, not only with its visual representation but also by its scent. Each candle can also be customized because scents can be subjective. If a customer holds a memory of a place and scent reminding them of Mexico, I can make a candle representing this.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I created a business that will help people be healthier, not only physically but mentally. The soy wax is non-toxic, and the candle itself helps you to relax.

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

To stay motivated, be consistent and disciplined.

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

  1. Before you make a big investment (inventory), start with small batches and listen to people, you may have a smaller profit or just break even in the beginning, but in the long run, it's safer.
  2. Try, fail, learn and repeat until you get it right.
  3. Always keep learning about the industry you are in; with e-commerce, things are constantly changing and evolving.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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