Just over eight months ago, my sister and I nervously sat at our dining table and, hands shaking, we pressed ‘Publish’ on our new Etsy shop. & Chai is a home for our hand-poured, small batch soy candles, carefully fragranced and finished with a wooden wick to evoke the cosiest, all-senses experience at home. What ensued that day was chaos. The country went into lockdown, we sold out of our entire inventory and we spent that evening carefully packaging up orders like our lives depended on it. It’s been a wild eight months since then and I wanted to commemorate this small, nondescript milestone with some learnings and celebrations we’ve enjoyed since becoming small business owners.
1000 Instagram followers. We’re fast approaching our 1000-sales milestone but, before that, we reached 1000 followers on our humble little Instagram account. It’s easy to lose sight of how we’re doing, when we grind similarly every day, but seeing numbers increase helps us to benchmark it in a small way.
Every sale feels monumental. There’s truly no feeling like hearing the ‘ker-ching!’ notification when an order comes through. It never gets old and puts the biggest smile on my face. I love hearing the sales stack up whilst I work, knowing I have a cosy evening of packaging everything up ahead of me.
Our first press feature! We were excitingly featured in Stylist a few months ago and it was a real pinch-me moment. We’ve of course kept several issues to frame in our studio space! Although we certainly gained a flurry of orders from the feature, we also learned a lot about upping our marketing game in the coming months.
Customer service is everything. Receiving a negative message from a customer is never fun, but often they’re necessary. Whether that’s a candle that smashed in transit or something not quite meeting standards, it’s our top priority to ensure our customers are happy. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ option either, and we’ve learned so much in how to handle each individual case.
Diversify your income. We outgrew Etsy quickly. I mean, really quickly. We launched our own website in early January and it was easily the best decision we’ve ever made. From reduced fees to the ability to fully customise our storefront, we’re really enjoying this chapter of & Chai. Having two main streams of income really helps to ease our minds too. If we haven’t been so on the ball with marketing our website, we know that Etsy search tends to keep us ticking over. We’ve got even more plans in place to further diversify our income, later this year.
Shop our complete collections at & Chai now.