My Buzz

Lakes & Hills produce soy candles, reed diffusers, pillow mists and air fresheners.

Lakes & Hills gets its inspiration from the beautiful area of the Lake District and Cumbria. A lot of product development is done there, whilst other operations are dealt with in the other great county of Lincolnshire. There are plans to move permanently to the Cumbria region (once the owners son has completed his education) in the next 2-3 years, so that we can open a retail outlet in the heart of the Lake District.

My Bio

I previously was employed in property and law, until I decided to give it up and set up another small business that I have doing media. My role is to write scripts and do the voiceovers. I also enjoy writing and have published some books on Amazon.

From a very young age, I had always liked the idea of having a shop. Although I never knew what it was, that I wanted to sell. I fondly remember as a child dominating the primary school wendy house, where I played shopkeeper and drove a hard bargain selling the plastic fruit and veg. Thankfully my customer care skills have improved!

The candles came about after my husband made a flippant remark. We were in the Lake District and I was lighting a number of candles. My husband said 'Blimey.... you are keeping the candle industry in good business.' That was the lightbulb moment. I looked into candle making, and started to quickly come to a decision that I wanted to make candles that had some eco and natural elements to them. This is the train of thought that I have with all my products. So with £100 I thought I would have a bash at making some of my own.

Was it easy? Er.... No. I have a great respect for soy candle makers and their level of patience and persistence. No sooner had I got one area mastered and then something else would play up. Temperatures, cooling, containers, scent, wicks.... the list went on. I lost count of the amount times I felt like I was beaten. Many many candles later I was happy. However, just as I had completed my test sheets, the wax manufacturer dropped a bombshell that the wax was going to change in its formula. I was gutted! It was back to the start again.

This is where reading books from great entrepreneurs like Theo Paphitis comes in very handy. You soon realise that every great business owner has had their fair share of highs and lows. So I was not going to let a change of wax beat me. Yes it delayed things, but I now had to get my head down and do all tests again.

I soon got a few candles mastered and was happy with their quality. Then by myself, I designed the labels, photographed products, sourced packaging, designed a website and started to work on social media presence.

Now I am enjoying marketing my products, developing new lines and working on future plans. So, if you go to the Lake District and see a woman up a mountain, by the side of a lake or in a cafe (I do love my food) with swatches of paper to her nose, then that is probably me. I am always happiest developing ideas and working on future scent combos for up and coming occasions and seasons.

My Business Tips

This is not so much tips but motivation. I love encouraging business owners. Some of the thoughts I live by, are to never surround yourself with negative voices. Constructive advice yes, but negativity, no. Get up each morning and get yourself in the mindset that you are going to have a good day. This is despite what may or may not have happened yesterday. Most importantly, know that small business is the backbone of Britain, so be proud that you are part of it.

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