Today we’d like to introduce you to Simeitsa Stamoulas.
Hi Simeitsa, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I had just purchased my first home and getting an idea about living on my own. I was really into living a homestyle life and making things fresh/homemade i.e.. yogurt, canning, and working with natural oils to make bath and body products to save money here and there. I remember I bought a candle for my home and I looked at it and said, “I bet I can make my own candles.” And so, I did. I only began as a fun craft that I could use to make gifts for friends and family things that came from the heart. I made some for my coworkers as gifts one day and brought them in. They were impressed and suggested I should make this into a crafty business. So, I began going deeper and started doing my own research on groups to get more information. It wasn’t until about a year later September 2020 that I went official and opened Candles & Beyond. Since then, I have been learning more about developing and growing a business. I would like to see my candles being sold in stores and used in special events like weddings, or parties. My hopes are to one day be able to open a small shop and pursue this full-time.
I also want to take the time to dedicate this interview and my candle passion to my beloved late Papou (Grandfather). At a young age he learned to make candles from beeswax in Greece and I want to continue following in his footsteps. If it wasn’t for my grandparents Candles & Beyond would not have been possible. I am very grateful to them and proud to have been their granddaughter.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It definitely is a slow process whether. it is learning how to run a business, for the first time or how marketing works, especially when it comes to having an online selling base. I had to learn about photography. The majority of the photos are taken, designed, and edited by myself. I didn’t realize all the work that I would be putting into making this business. It has been difficult to establish frequent customers. However, one of the things I learned in this business is if you believe in something you have to work at it for others to believe in it too. Last year I did not sign up for many events and I did not market much or work on branding. Those errors I took and made my goal and mission to focus on. This Fall, I have worked on branding, unifying, and marketing my candles. I wanted to come out stronger. I started focusing on home decor. My style is geared to towards branding with a Farmhouse/homestyle decor. I booked about ten events from September until December of this year. My goal is to get the business name out there and start establishing a customer base.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My professional day-to-day job is I work for two top Baltimore City Hospitals in their Laboratory of Pathology department. During the weekday I am your Laboratory Information System Analyst. For seven years I have worked as Medical Laboratory Technologist working various benches such as Microbiology, Hematology, and Chemistry. You can call us the unsung heroes of the Healthcare Profession. If it wasn’t for my love for Science, I don’t think I would have met my new love for candle-making. Because like Science, candle-making in itself is a science. You are testing different types of wax bases with fragrance oils. Making sure it burns safely. Testing the ratio of the amount of wax to fragrance oil. Is the scent strong enough? What will happen if I combine these two fragrances together? Candle-making for myself has been my medicine and healing.
We’d love to hear about how you think about risk-taking?
I would say starting this business has been a risk. I have never run a business before, but I pride myself in being independent. Not to mention I have been working on my Master’s degree along with working full time and to then start doing a candle business in the middle of all that takes a lot of risks. But I believe in my hard work and I believe in my candles so I am willing to get out there and take the risk!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.candles-and-beyond.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/candles_and_beyond
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CandlesandBeyond