Joselin Guerrero, a former student at Passaic Preparatory Academy, and her partner, Daniel Romero, a student at Passaic High School, are the proud owners of Aromatized by Aidee, a company that produces candles and other scented goods.
Aromatized by Aidee officially launched Oct. 1 and has been successful ever since, instantly selling out of products as soon as they hit the market. Aromatized by Aidee offers candles that are “100% soy, paraffin scented and cruelty free,” and are “all hand made, and hand poured,” according to the website. The company also sells wax melts and wax warmers, along with tea lights for the upcoming holidays.
“Making candles is an art,” said Joselin, who now attends PHS.
Joselin is responsible for “picking scents, jars, wicks, and making the candles” while Daniel is responsible for “planning ahead and determining assets and profits, and how we can improve for every other upcoming launch.” Candle making is a tedious process, Joselin states, and requires a “strict temperature environment in order to keep the scent fresh and the tops smooth. It can get complicated every now and then because of the fact that if a wick isn’t put properly in place it can cause the candle to not burn in the right direction.” Joselin also adds that “putting the fragrance oil and dye has to be carefully done.”
Joselin and Daniel attribute the success of their business to their friends who buy their candles or who simply engage with their Instagram polls and posts.
“We are very thankful and grateful for everyone that has bought a candle from us and that has supported us,” Joselin said. She and Daniel plan “to improve our candle-making skills, and eventually increase our inventory,” she said, eventually being able to make up to 100 candles all at once and selling them out.
You can get your own Aromatized by Aidee candle by placing your order on their website, https://sites.google.com/view/aaromatized, and keep up with their latest products in their Instagram page, @aromatized.
If you know a Prep student with a small business, contact Mr. Schmerler at [email protected]!
Our Q&A interview with Joselin:
The Boulevard Online: What is the name of your business and what is your role in it?
Joselin: The name of our business is “Aromatized by Aidee.” When it comes to picking scents, jars, wicks, and generally making candles, I take that role, and I take this role because I consider making candles as an art, which is honestly my favorite part, making the actual candles, and decorating each one. Then comes the funding and the second hands/opinions from my partner, Daniel Romero. He’s in charge of planning ahead and determining our assets and profits, and how we can improve for every other upcoming launch, as well as putting his ideas into our labels. We both have equal roles in marketing our products and taking orders every time we launch.
TBO: How did you come up with your business name and logo?
Joselin: So we came up with the business name from my middle name, the reason for this is because I was named after my aunt, Aidee, who passed away when she was around 16 years old, in a car accident in Acapulco, Mexico. Although I never got to meet her, I’m very prideful about my name and where I come from, I wish I had met her, and best believe she’s in mind very often. Just as I have lost someone, Daniel has, too. Daniel’s aunt, Maria Luisa, passed away last year, in August from breast cancer. This made Daniel feel devastated because suddenly the person that he considered as a second mother wasn’t around anymore, Maria Luisa is remembered as a caring mother and aunt, someone who fed and took care of him and loved Daniel as one of her children. With that being said, although our business name contains my middle name, the story behind it holds more meaning than the name or logo, it’s why we do this and who we have in our minds while coming up with new candles. It’s in memory of our loved ones.
TBO: What inspired you to create your small business in the first place?
Joselin: We got inspired in creating our business, from all the success that local businesses have achieved. We’ve witnessed people start their pastry, shoe selling, clothing brand businesses and many others. Seeing some of them start from scratch compared to now, was motivational to us, and definitely pushed us to believe in ourselves. While starting our business, we’ve gotten compliments and tips from the CEO’s of the local businesses that inspired us, so that’s what keeps us going. When the marketplace is oversaturated and overpopulated it makes marketing competitive for our clientele, and while someone might consider this a disadvantage, both Daniel and I feel driven to be more passionate about our work, even if it’s just homemade candles, we look to stand out as we continue to grow.
TBO: Did anyone help you get started? How did you invest in it? How did you prepare yourself for what was ahead of you?
Joselin: Daniel has a part-time job and I used to have a job, both of our savings were used to get everything started as well as a donation from my mother, in case of any emergency. Daniel and I make sure that we get the best quality for our candles, researching was the most important and time consuming part of the process, and there are a lot of small things that have to be considered when making candles including testing. Essentially our money goes to the best in wicks, jars, wax, packaging, labels, warning labels, and shipping, which can get extremely expensive based on the weight of our jars and wax, etc. Financially wise, we always do our math to figure out how to get around or pay less, we always print our paymentsand save them just in case. We also track our profits and reflect on it in our financial summary after every launch. Aside from that, all we can say is that starting a business is not cheap. One has to be able to give money in order to gain more.
TBO: Can you take me along the process of how you make your candles?
Joselin: I always heat our jars, a lot of candle makers have problems with the wax adhesion in their jars, the temperature of the glass jar is probably the most important thing because once the wax is melted, it needs to be put in a strict temperature environment, in order to keep the scent fresh and the tops smooth. After heating the jars, I use hot glue to center the wicks, it can get complicated every now and then because of the fact that if the wick isn’t put properly in the center of the jar, the melt pool will not happen correctly, and the candle does not burn in the right direction. Next is melting the wax, every wax has a different melt point and even then, it can vary because of the temperature changes. Putting the fragrance oil and dye has to be carefully done, we add the dye at a certain temperature and the fragrance oil at a different temperature, it’s stressful, because sometimes candle makers have problems with their hot throw and cold throw, when not pouring the liquids at the right temperature. Ruining the whole batch. After pouring the wax in our jars, it’s all about keeping the jars warm so that the wax cools naturally, and we wait from three days to two weeks for our candles to cure depending on the wax we use so that when our candles burn, they have a good cold and hot throw for our consumers.
TBO: What products do you offer?
Joselin: Aromatized by Aidee offers 100% soy and paraffin scented candles, cruelty free. All hand made, and hand poured. In our first launch we sold 16 ounce, 14 ounce, and 12 ounce candles. However, for our upcoming launch, Dec. 1, we’ll be selling 10 ounce candles for $13. We’re also excited about selling wax melts and wax warmers along with tea lights for these upcoming holidays!
TBO: How can someone make an order?
Joselin: As of right now, everyone is welcome to make an order through our DMs on Instagram, one can then choose to pay cash or through an online payment.
TBO: So you guys launched your business Oct. 1, and from what I see from the Instagram account, items seem to sell out very quickly, even prompting you to take pre-orders. To what do you attribute your success?
Joselin: We make about 30-40 candles, and yes very often we do sell out very quickly, and we’ve found that taking pre-order helps make the job easier when keeping track of orders and inventory. We are very thankful and grateful for everyone that has bought a candle from us and that has supported us. We believe that marketing and reposting our posts/ product constantly has helped us a lot, sometimes it’s more about the people and connections that one has, that can help a business grow. In this case, our friends are what has made our business successful, from reposting our posts, buying our candles, and engaging with our Instagram polls and posts.
TBO: Did you face any challenges along the way?
Joselin: We’ve faced many challenges, starting a business is not easy. What people don’t understand is that shipping heavy things is expensive, and based on the weight of glass and wax that we order to be delivered on our doorstep is very financially challenging. We’ve also had trouble locating our missing packages, so every now and then we spend a whole day trying to call and email our wholesale resources and mail offices. Not making a successful candle batch doesn’t happen frequently but it has happened to us, forcing us to take another 3-5 hours to make our candles, which ends up delaying curing time for testing.
TBO: What are your company’s goals? Where do you see your business in a year from now?
Joselin: Our company’s goal is to improve our candle making skills, and eventually increase our inventory, if right now we are only able to do 30-40 candles, we look forward to making up to 100 candles and selling them out. Something we want to accomplish within a year from now and it’s something that we’re currently working in, is to create our own official website and be able to ship to other states in the U.S. essentially growing our clientele.
TBO: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out with creating their own small business, what would it be?
Joselin: To someone that is starting their own business, I would tell them to be determined and passionate enough to start this journey. Whether it’s pastries, a clothing brand, reselling shoes, lashes, lipgloss or etc. You have to find ways to stand out and ask yourself what makes you different in an oversaturated marketplace. Always share your personal thoughts about your business, because that’s what drives your customers to connect with you. Focus on marketing your stuff on different platforms, and take quality pictures of your products so people know it’s legit. A lot of people will doubt you and maybe even the closest ones to you will question this big step, but it’s really up to you to make everything you picture into reality and don’t half ass anything, you really just have to be dedicated and hustle through it, and manage your money in order to succeed.