Welcome to Episode 91 of the Indie Business Podcast! Today's Indie Story introduces you to Tiana Coats of Winding Wick Candles, in Garland, Texas. Once upon a time, Tiana considered her position as a pharmacy technician to be her dream job. She eventually grew weary of doing the same thing every day, and began daydreaming about what she could sell to make a living online. This led to selling books on Amazon, which led to selling other things (like board games) on Amazon, which, of course, led to what she could sell that she made with her own hands.
Candles seemed like a logical choice, and as you'll learn in this episode, Tiana could not have been more right about that! Her entrepreneurial journey started with selling on Etsy, but it most definitely did not end there. Today, Tiana sells on multiple platforms, has a successful YouTube channel, and recently opened a retail store. Grab your notebook and a cup of your favorite beverage, and let's go to business school with Tiana! Enjoy my interview with Tiana NOW!
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Episode Show Notes
Here are the topics discussed in this episode, with time stamps to help you find the information that interests you most:
- The Winding Wick Candles back story, including running the business part-time at first. (starting at 2:15)
- Why Tiana uses YouTube, how she manages it, and some valuable tips. (starting at 13:00)
- Tiana's business model, including products and services and tips for selling on Etsy. (starting at 21:18)
- Tiana teaches people how to start a candle business. (starting at 25:37)
- How being naturally curious works in Tiana's favor. (starting at 30:37)
- YouTube as an income stream. (starting at 32:10)
- Studio vlogs vs. “how to” videos on YouTube. (starting at 34:11)
- Tiana's opening a retail store and productivity tips. (starting at 37:18)
- Tiana's words of advice for budding candle entrepreneurs. (starting at 49:30)
Resources and Links Mentioned in this Episode
In this episode, Tiana and I mentioned the following resources.
- Winding Wick Candles website
- Winding Wick Candles on Instagram
- Marketing firm: Kamadu Marketing
- Tiana's Channel: YouTube
- Video editing software: DaVinci Resolve and Movie Maker
- Copyright free music for creators: Epidemic Sound
- Seller's handbook: Etsy Seller Handbook
- Video: How to Start a Candle Business From Home
- Grow your YouTube channel: YouTube Buddy
- Calendaring tool: Google Calendar
- IBN member benefits: Facebook community and Indie Pods
Michael's Tim from timber ridge gifts Standley handcraftedJoined a few FB groups insurance
Important entrepreneurial insights from Tiana
Let's unpack some of the most significant business insights Tiana and I discussed in this episode.
1. Learning by doing
I love how Tiana's experience shows that the best way to achieve a goal is to take action, even imperfect action. For example, when Tiana first started her business, she set up her own website. Sounds easy enough, right? She learned pretty quickly that having a website is great, but driving targeted traffic to that site is quite another, so she shifted gears and launched an Etsy store. This allowed her to get started by learning how to funnel Etsy's already existing traffic to her store. This kept her startup fees low and allowed her to see regular sales and build a fan base before investing too much money. When she re-launched her own website, it was far easier to drive interested buyers to purchase her products.
2. Opportunity spotting and problem solving
Tiana's YouTube experience illustrates how important it is to spot opportunities to solve people's problems. When Tiana got started on YouTube, she made videos about her business journey. Her research showed that tons of people were searching YouTube for information about how to start a candle business, there were very few videos about the topic on the platform. She made one, and it scored big in terms of view and engagement. It also led to more growth of her channel and her candle business, and paved the way for her to expand her business to teach classes on how to start a candle business, and now, to open a retail store.
3. Tiana on resiliency
Tiana's philosophy is not to be afraid of failure and uncertainty. She says if you keep learning, you can never become worse, you can only get better. This approach is genius in its simplicity, don't you think? If you stop learning, you get worse. If you keep learning, the worst thing that can happen is that you will get better. If that's not an incentive to learn something new every day, I don't know what is. Great advice and insight there from Tiana.
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