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Hidden Gems: Meet Laura Weisberger of Fervor Candle Company

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Weisberger.  

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Our story is honestly very non-traditional from a candle industry point of view, but we strive to be different and wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Long story short, it all started because I love my dog. 

Obviously, COVID turned a lot of people’s lives upside down, and mine was no different. I was pregnant, put on bed rest for what would turn into 5 1/2 months, and one of the few things that made it bearable was my candles and Netflix binges. That being said, I was burning through a lot of traditional paraffin candles because I just didn’t know any better at the time. They were inexpensive, made my bedroom smell good, and I thought I was happy. 

My dog, Kingston – you will see him all over our social media accounts – is a purebred miniature dachshund, and unfortunately, that comes with a lot of health issues. He is epileptic, takes daily medication for his absolutely ridiculous allergies (grass, of all things, being one of them), and has an issue with his heart that basically restricts the oxygen in his blood. Being that my delicate little fluff flower is my other half and is glued to my side constantly, naturally, he was with me in bed for the entire duration of that bed-rest. 

I learned the hard way that those candles I thought I loved so much were actually incredibly bad for him. He started having more regular seizures in the bed, which was absolutely terrifying, and he was having a pretty hard time even just breathing. I have some friends who had just started making candles during the quarantine and they had been telling me about all of the differences between waxes. Curiosity won so I naturally dove into research and quickly put two and two together. When I stopped burning the candles, his health improved and the frequency of his seizures went back to normal. 

I went looking for more natural candles that I could use instead but there wasn’t a very big market at the time for what I specifically needed. Soy wax candles are everywhere – but are the fragrances natural and clean? If they use essential oils, are they pet-safe ones? Is the wax pure or is it a blend? What about additives? There were a lot of conditions that needed to be met in order for me to be able to enjoy candles again without hurting Kingston. He really is my other half – my family always comments on what they think is a weird attachment to a dog – so obviously whatever I used needed to be just right. 

After I had my son and I was able to move around again, I purged every home fragrance item in the house that wasn’t “Kingston Friendly”, and was left with pretty much nothing. That’s when I decided that if I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I would just make it myself. My mother has always been so amazing and supportive of any endeavor I have taken on and hopped on the small business train with me. Together, we have built something very special and something that even my 6-year-old daughter enjoys being a part of. 

So that’s our story – my love for a tiny overly dramatic dachshund inspired our brand! That’s why we include wiener dogs in a lot of our branding and social media content. We want everyone to be able to enjoy home fragrances safely without the literal headaches, respiratory distress, or putting their pets at risk. We create a home fragrance for everyone. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business is never a smooth road – there are always bumps and potholes along the way. I am fortunate in that my professional background prior to COVID was in retail and hospitality management and business operations. That combined with my MBA degree and my mother’s extensive experience with business finance has certainly made sailing a lot smoother. 

Knowing how to identify the right KPIs and read your analytics are essential for continuous improvement. Throw in a few heavy handfuls of creativity and epic customer service, and you are ready for the ride! 

Our biggest struggles were: 

1) Finding customers in a 100% e-commerce environment. COVID kept people home so markets and fairs were not an option. I had to embrace social media and that was really hard – I used to be Myspace famous as a teenager but things are very different now. I don’t consider 35 old but I didn’t even know what TikTok was before deciding to start a business. 

2) Balancing time. We do everything in-house: graphic design, fragrance blending, color development, web design, soap, and scrub blending….it can be a lot at times. When the business started, I was finishing up the last of my MBA while being a stay-at-home mom for my Kindergarten daughter and toddler son. Being that my children are and always will be my priority, I was not willing to sacrifice time spent with them to work on the business. That meant early mornings and very late nights if I wanted to get anything done. I sacrificed my sleep a lot which took a huge toll on me. 

However, I am scrappy – a failure is never an option for me. I started taking better care of myself and created blocks of time throughout the day to accomplish different things. I bought so many books on marketing, social media, SEO, and copywriting, and I just took the plunge into weeks of research and learning. I’ve listened to podcasts, I’ve watched webinars, and I even hit YouTube to learn how to use our iPad for product photography and graphic design. There are so many resources out there if you simply go looking for them. 

I have always believed that when there is a strong enough will, there will be a way. Being passionate about what you are doing and why you are doing it is essential if your business is going to succeed. Most small businesses tank before their first year, so if you are going to commit, you need to be sure you are truly all-in. 

As you know, we’re big fans of Fervor Candle Company, LLC. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
We wear many hats because we have a very broad category that we cover. My official title includes Chief Alchemist because it was the only way we could think of to describe what I actually do on a given day – I take ordinary materials and transform them. 

All of our fragrances are custom blends – they cannot be duplicated. We have literally hundreds of bottles of oils sitting on rows and rows of shelving because that is what it takes to create the perfect custom fragrance. 

We provide candles, wax melts, room & linen sprays, bath bombs, shower steamers, body scrubs, and skin/lip care. Our body scrubs and skincare have become quite popular recently due to their gentle but effective nature and delicious clean fragrances (Blueberry Pancakes has a cult following and we don’t question it). 

Our customers love our hand-carved and designed specialty wax melt “cookies” that we release in limited supply, as well as our limited edition oversized ceramic mug candles. 

We try to offer a variety of options because our brand is designed for every home. Near future plans include a pet care line as well as home cleaning alternatives. 

We are so proud of receiving the opportunity to be featured at 2 different celebrity events within our first year of business – a time when the majority of most small businesses fail: 

1) The 2022 Santa Fe Film Festival 

2) The AWA & LA Times International Women’s Day Event at the SLS Beverly Hills Hotel 

We are working to transform the way people think about the products used in their homes. Natural doesn’t have to mean boring – you want your house to smell like Banana Pancakes without releasing a bunch of carcinogens and junk into your air that will stain your walls? We’ve got you covered! Do you love designer skincare but find the price tag distasteful? We’re here to help with that, too! Love candles but get sketched out by the open flame? Wax melts. 

Our brand has been deliberately and carefully built to provide our customers with gentle alternatives to traditional mass-produced products. We put a strong emphasis on sharing knowledge without the expectation of a sale through our blog, one-on-one talks via direct message, and even just random social media tips. Honestly, I have made so many new friends I speak with almost every day just because they took a chance and tried our brand. We truly love creating our products and get giddy about answering questions and sharing our knowledge with others – I believe that attitude and approach are big parts of our success. 

A business is nothing without its customers. Take care of them and they will take care of you. 

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
LinkedIn obviously is a fantastic resource for networking – we pride ourselves in supporting other American businesses and have met wonderful local distributors through that platform. 

As far as mentors go, I would suggest looking for someone you admire and would strive to be like. Some of my NKU professors have been wonderful resources of knowledge outside of the courses I have taken with them, and I always look to my family, friends, and even customers when I am looking to bounce around new ideas. A mentor can be anyone you find qualities you would like to emulate. 

One of my side projects is actually creating a small business startup resource and mentorship program. You don’t need to go out and get a degree to find this knowledge – the resources are out there, you just need to find them and put together all the pieces. I want to make this process more simplified and accessible so that more people feel empowered to make their dreams a reality. We did it, so can you! 

Pricing:

  • Jar Candles – $24
  • Candle Tins – $15
  • Wax Melt Tarts – $6
  • Room & Linen Sprays – $11
  • Body Scrubs – $13

Contact Info:

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