HI! I’m Stacie, the one woman band running Studio Forty Seven. I’m a born and raised Londoner but with a Geordie other half and a year long stint in Australia where I spent my days trying to disguise my accent, I’m always asked where I’m from, despite said other half referring to me as “cockney” on the daily.
Studio Forty Seven was dreamt up 2019, long before a certain global emergency occurred, but with a busy full time job and at the time an interior design course on the go, I kept putting it off. The thought of adding something else to my already busy evenings and weekends was pretty daunting, as was the idea of putting my creativity out there for other people to see.
But then come March 2020, Covid happened, I was furloughed and I was mad. It was bloody stressful wasn’t it? Fear of getting sick, fear of loved ones getting sick, the fear of losing my job, how will I pay the bills - all of the things we all felt. I needed a distraction and I needed a distraction fast so that was that, I put my “Candle maker” hat back on and got started really learning the trade. I bought a ton of products, I did a few online courses and I practiced, a lot. & I mean a lot.
Mastering the trade
Learning the trade took a while and honestly, I’m still learning. It’s not as simple as just buying a pack of wicks and wax on Amazon. Who knew? It’s actually quite a science producing a perfectly burning and smelling candle from scratch. Then there’s the whole safety aspect, making sure you’re compliant with rules and regulations and that the scents you’ve produced are safe and sellable.
Anyway, back to me! ;) Although, there isn’t a huge amount more to tell you. I spend all the time I can on Studio Forty Seven but I still have that busy full-time job so finding time can be tough. The dream? Well, I’d love to do this full-time but I’m in no hurry. I love my job and I love Studio Forty Seven, I love that it gives me a chance to be creative and also, meet lots of new people! I’ve been incredibly lucky to have met some amazing people though this little candle brand and some of you (my wonderful customers) have become familiar names and faces. I don’t want to creep you out but there are one or two of you whose address I pretty much know off by heart because you’ve ordered so often (Thank you!)
You might know that I’ve decided to pause researching new products and really focus on my core offering - the candles. Early 2021 was really difficult for supplies with Covid AND Brexit playing havoc with supply chains and resulting in me having to change so much of my product - the candle containers, the wicks I use, even the wax. I’ve had to go back to the drawing board loads. It feels like things are finally settling down a bit, phew! It’s been great to really dedicate my time to reformulating my offering and making sure it’s the best it can be after so many changes.
Ok so to the nitty gritty on running a small business
The best part? Being able to run a business in the way you think other businesses should be run. You know when you have a job you really care about but you often think "God I wish we were a bit better at this"? Well when you're running your own business, it's a lot easier to run it in the way you want whether that's creatively, ethically, sustainably...
It's also such an amazing way to build your confidence, having people buy something you've created is incredible, it still blows my mind that strangers want to invest in something I've made.
The small business community is amazing too, I've discovered a huge network of fellow small businesses on Instagram and being able to learn and grow with advice from them is invaluable, not to mention the chats about when times are so great.
So to that, things are always great. All of the above comes with all of the below...
Self doubt, isolation, and quite often a very empty bank account.
Every penny I make from Studio Forty Seven is reinvested in the business and then some, starting a business isn't cheap, especially during that testing phase. I can't tell you how much cash I've pretty much thrown in the bin because I've used completely the wrong percentage of oil in a candle I'm working on.
& then you have the quiet periods where you think "Well maybe I had my moment and now it's done" - like now. As I'm writing this I'm feeling a bit meh, Autumn / Winter was HUGE but the last couple of months, since everything has re-opened has been much quieter and I know that from talking to other small businesses, we're all suffering.
Candles always do best in the winter months but with everyone spending their cash on dinners out and staycations, I don't blame them for not shopping as much as they were during lockdown.
BUT I know that things will always get better, that's just the nature of running a small business. You have a really good phase, then you have a bit of a rubbish one but you always pick yourself back up and come back fighting because your business is your baby and you have to make it work.
If you want to know anything else about me or Studio Forty Seven, drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!