Many of us lust after a more creative life. Bogged down in the day-to-day of corporate culture, parenting or study, you might be forgiven for wondering if there’s something more to life, something to feed your soul and hopefully, earn a living from.
This is the first of our series introducing a bunch of women who have been able to turn their passion, their art and/or their creative ability into a small business that sustains them. There stories are at once the same and different in terms of how they make it all come together. We asked them how they did it.
Who: Jasmin from Lemon Canary
Every day when artisan candlemaker Jasmin Kechel opens the door to her studio on Queensland’s Gold Coast, she gets butterflies in her stomach. “I just love coming here and getting my hands dirty making candles and blending oils,” she says.
How easy is it to start a small business of your own?
Eight years ago, it was her combined passion for yoga, meditation and aromatherapy that inspired Jasmin to dabble in candle making. “I came up with a blend of oils which deepened breathing and relaxation,” she says. From that first creation, candle making became a hobby Jasmin pursued in her garage in the downtime from her job as a flight attendant, gradually developing a core range of soy candles, along with essential oil blends and herbal teas, that she started selling to friends. Ultimately it became her full-time passion and career.
How do you negotiate the life/work/family/creative balance?
Each morning, Jasmin lights a candle and some incense, puts on a pot of herbal tea and meditates for 10 minutes “to start the day right”. Then it’s full steam ahead.
Do you work alone or in a shared space?
“As the business got too big for the garage, my husband gave me the push along and said it was time to move out!” she says. Jasmin relocated to a working studio in Southport, took on three members of staff and opened the door to customers.
With two young boys at home – Sunny, eight, and five-year-old Jon – Jasmin has made the studio “very girly”. “There’s lots of pink around, and there’s always chocolate and champagne in the fridge,” she says. “It’s my happy place!”
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
“There’s something deeply satisfying in making quality products I believe in and knowing that each hand-poured candle will go to a home where it is loved,” she says.
You might also like: