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Exploring Life & Business with Tiffany Ogunwuyi of Coco&Soy Candle Company

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Ogunwuyi, the owner and candle maker behind Coco&Soy Candle Company.

Hi Tiffany, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always had a love for scented candles and other scented products, but I started to experience headaches and mild respiratory issues when using these items. I began researching the harsh chemicals and toxins hidden behind the term ‘fragrance’ in many of our common household items. I learned that many of my favorite candles were created from paraffin wax and genetically modified soy products. These candles contain heavy metals, soot, chemicals, dyes, and other harmful additives. After that, I was on a mission to create a more natural, cleaner alternative to suit our home fragrance needs.

I started researching different types of wax — beeswax, apricot, and soy. Coconut wax was an obvious choice for me since I had already grown to love coconut oil and all of its many benefits. I hit the ground running determined to create a candle from coconut wax — which proved to be a bit harder than expected! On a mission to create a product we felt great about, we finally created an amazing candle and grew to perfect our formula over the years. Coconut wax is truly one-of-a-kind — and checks every box on our ‘what makes a candle great’ checklist: highly fragrant and can fill a room, naturally derived, burns slow, clean, and even (no more wasted wax!).

We then took our candles to a few events and received so much love and support. Weeks later people were still raving about our candles. And customers suffering from asthma and other respiratory issues, reached out to tell us that our candles didn’t aggravate their respiratory issues and could enjoy our candles symptom-free. It was at that moment we knew we had something special and set out to share our bundles of light and warmth with as many people as possible.

Today we continue to reach more people and spread the goodness of coconut wax and handcrafted candles. Since our beginning, we have expanded our product line to include over 20 different scents that come in three different sizes: the 4 oz. travel tin, 10 oz. single wick jars, and three-wick candles. We also carry accessories like candle holders and wick trimmers. We currently ship to all 50 states from our e-commerce site and we hope to eventually ship internationally.

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?
As with most journeys and new ventures, there will always be bumps along the way or roadblocks set up for you to tackle; however, as an entrepreneur, I’m learning that those struggles only make you stronger. They keep you humble and hungry. The largest hurdle I face currently as a small business owner is work/life balance. I’m a wife and mother of two so I’m constantly juggling many things at once while also being the sole owner and maker behind the brand. It’s a daily challenge that I face but keeping a plan in place and developing ways to be more efficient in my craft has helped tremendously. Another major roadblock is overthinking every single detail. I’m not saying that a strategy or plan isn’t important, but overthinking leads to procrastination, self-doubt, and paralysis. As I grow in my business I feel more pressure to live up to people’s expectations, but sometimes just going for it and trusting your vision can lead to many beautiful discoveries and opportunities!

We’ve been impressed with Coco&Soy Candle Company, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Coco&Soy Candle Company is a home goods store that bridges the gap between clean fragrance, design, and quality. We’re known for having beautiful fragrances that fill up an entire room. We also offer wholesale and large bulk orders as well as custom designs for clients celebrating special occasions like baby showers, weddings, birthdays, etc. I love to have fun with our candle labels and switch up the look of our candles with a new label for every seasonal collection. People also love our creative candle names like Netflix & Chill, Black Excellence, and Melanin Poppin. Our goal is to create more than candles, we’re aiming to create a lifestyle brand that embodies self-care and products that make you feel good in your space. We want our candles to spark an emotion that goes far beyond just lighting a flame, we want to spark a vibe, a creative thought, or a sense of calm and serenity. Whatever it is you’re in need of at the moment, we want our candles to be the flame that ignites them.

What matters most to you? Why?
What matters to me the most is putting in the work to create a legacy for my children while also giving back to my community. This is all for nothing if it doesn’t impact and uplift those around me. We aim to continue partnering with local non-profits and donating proceeds to advance their mission. We hope to continue these philanthropic efforts and give back to those in need. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to invest in other small, minority-owned businesses.

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