Friday, April 4, 2014

Changing the face of enterprenuership

Photos via: Erica Sanchez 

When Kristin Scott isn’t tending to her 9-year-old son or working 40-hour a week at Advance Radiology, the Youngstown-native is following her dream, more specifically, spearheading her own one-woman candle empire-Gifts From A Virgo.

The newly-launched business venture, which specializes in hand-made soy candles, was unexpectedly created after Scott found herself in between jobs in May 2012.

“It just all came from an idea. It was literally something that I fell into. I couldn’t find a decent job so I thought about candles. Everybody loves candles,” she said.

With the help of a mentor and Youtube tutorials, Scott began making candles on her own and after several months of trial and error had developed enough confidence to sell her product, which included 8 scents in April 2012.

Since its initial launch, GFAV has continued to expand, offering more than 40 scented candles that also double as natural massage oils when melted. Some of which include the sweet smell of Mango Liptus and Lemon Collata., “It’s 100 percent soy wax and when it melts down it can be used for massage oil. It’s really good for your skin,” Scott asserts.

 With such distinct and eccentric candle options, Scott has managed to increase her candle collection demographic from friends and family to people across the country.The humble business owner beams with pride as she barely finds the words to adequately articulate her success.

“It really makes me feel good because I’m pushing a good product. 2013 was a good year. It started booming and then I was like I got it. I just keep trying to keep going and keep perfecting it and hopefully it just keeps expanding,” she said.

Much of her achievement s, she notes, are due to her active presence online. Utilizing sites such as Facebook and Instagram(A site dedicated to sharing pictures)  as a marketing technique have grown her customer base significantly.

“Social media and networking are so important. It’s like a trend.  I have so many people email me after seeing other people with my candles on Facebook and Instagram,” she said.

While social media has played a pivotal role in spreading her brand, it is Scott’s relentless work ethic that keeps her motivated during long and grueling hours of tedious candle making that, at times, make sleep a luxury. She laughs while discussing her lack of sleep amidst pursuing her goal.
“When you want to make it, there’s nothing that stops you. I don’t want to work a 9 to 5 all my life. If I know that there’s something to do I can’t go to sleep,” she said.

It was these determined attitudes that prevent Scott from quitting during the beginning of her career after she struggled to perfect her craft.“I was like I’m done. I literally stopped for 4 months,”

 “I’m still learning. There’s a lot of stuff that I don’t know. I’m still fresh at it [but] everything takes time and I don’t rush into anything. That’s what I learned from this business,”
 “Don’t give up. Push and strive and as long as you try [then] you can’t fail.  If I can inspire one person that’s an accomplishment alone,”

“I would have a store here and a franchise and everyone in the city would have a Gift From a Virgo I want my business to be seen and to be heard. I don’t want my business to just be a phase. I want  it to  be something that my son or my brother can pick up,”

 “My mom inspires me. I’ve seen her work her whole life and she pushes me. And when you see your whole city behind you that’s also an inspiration,”