We had the good fortune of connecting with Christian Bessey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christian, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started my first business when I was still in college. I worked as an intern at a small digital marketing agency and quickly took notice to how easily I would be able to replicate the way the business owner operated the agency. I left that agency and started my own after about 2 months. I convinced my good friend Sam Fahnestock to help with some of the work. Two weeks later I signed our first two clients over coffee at the local Barnes & Noble.
I showed myself and Sam how easy it was for us to create a business if we were willing to bet on ourselves rather than take a backseat to others. It was validation to ignore that fear and self-doubt that consumes others and keep people from starting their own business. I remember being up all night creating mock logos, sample websites, filing for an LLC and soliciting business all within the first week of my decision to start the business and having such fulfillment during that time.
I had gained this experience in digital marketing and creating websites so I was able to quickly turn ideas I might have into a website and generate a web presence in a matter of days. So fast forward through four years that consisted of moving across the country, graduate school, and a few different jobs. Sam and I put what we had learned over the years into what is now Summerfield Candle Co. I was aware that creating a lasting brand was something I needed to do in order to pursue happiness and continued growth. So my thought process behind starting Summerfield Candle Co. was that I needed to create a place to do that. With the brand I can exercise my creativity. I need a place to make my own decisions and learn through processes unique to entrepreneurship. The brand and what we create is authentic to us so it gives us fulfillment that no other job can. I find myself wide awake at night if I didn’t explore and create through the brand that day.
What should our readers know about your business?
When Sam and I sat down to work out what our brand would be, we decided that the brand had to be as authentic as we could make it. It started with the name that reflects the small town of Summerfield, NC where we were both raised. Our mission was is to create high-quality, all-natural products that evoke the spirit of handcrafted communities from days past. When we decided to create candles for the brand it was no question that we had to commit to creating a candle that we could be proud of. That consisted of finding the best combination of quality ingredients and not taking the shortcuts that other candles brands take for profits or a lack of pride. We are a small-batch hand crafted brand so our candles offer quality and attention to detail that is hard to come by.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of the great things about Houston is it’s diversity and you can find whatever it is that you are looking for. Now that I am getting a little older a night on the town is good company at one of the great Houston restaurants. The night usually ends at a small bar but occasionally have ended up at Toulouse if I am feeling fancy.
Bringing a visitor to Houston for me is all about flexing the food spots unique to each of our neighborhoods. Mornings in Montrose for Siphon Coffee and Barnaby’s are hard to beat. In the heights I have a hard time passing by The Taco Stand without getting the double meat quesadilla. There are too many to name but I do always recommend Rice Village area for Simone on Sunset or The Owl for a nice cozy spot for when a couple is visiting.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My co-founder, Sam Fahnestock, deserves a lot of the recognition for staying consistent on our shared vision. We have managed to stick to our shared vision throughout all the growing pains we have experienced. Also credit to my mother for my creativity and my dad for my discipline.
Instagram: @summerfieldcandleco & @cmbessey