We had the good fortune of connecting with Nickie Crow and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nickie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
This is the edited version:
Hi Nickie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My candle journey started back in 2010 when the small hand made candle business I purchased candles from was closing. To be honest, my first thought along with a lot of panic was what will I do without these candles?!? They were my guilty pleasure. So my journey began with how a candle made me feel, which is still hard to put into words.
Candles evoke emotions, memories and create ambiance. They set the mood and can literally change the atmosphere in your space. That feeling inspired me to create a beautiful quality hand made candle that smelled amazing and would create an experience!
Fast forward to today…
One thing I love is bringing joy to others! It may sound silly to think that a candle can bring you joy but that is my passion in life and for my candles! I always say burning a candle is an experience and my #1 desire was and IS for my candles to create an experience for you. One that enhances your mood, lifts your spirits, creates a sense of calm and makes your home feel like home! To bring you JOY!
That is what they do for me…. they are comforting, cozy and bring me joy…. That feeling when walking through your home and running into the fragrance of the candle that is burning in your kitchen or living room. It’s a sensory moment that brings a smile to your face, it lifts your spirits, it brings you joy! That is my happy place and what I love hearing from YOU is how they make you feel!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well, I would describe myself as a creative and everything I do is through creative eyes. I remember as a child I loved making things and creating things and that spills into everything I love to do like cooking, decorating, and candle making. The art of candle making is in all the details. Selecting scents and creating combinations, testing cold and hot throw, and formulating for the best performance. Also, the design element for my brand and name, logo and color scheme was all based around my top selling candle, French Market. It’s a heavy floral that will fills your home.
We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others.
In a nutshell my candles smell amazing! The longer version would be the love and detail I put into each candle, which goes back to the “why” for staring my business. Quality, highly scented, hand poured and lots of love! Candle making is an exact science so the detail that goes into the actual process of hand making and pouring each candle requires a love for the finished product and each person that orders my candles.
For years the ordering process of my candles was by phone and email but mostly phone so every single candle I poured was and is with that person in mind. It’s very personal and a labor of love. I may not talk to every customer now but each candle is an extension of me and my whole purpose is to give an experience and bring joy to the person burning them.
What you are most proud of or excited about?
Well, currently I am most proud and completely excited that I have a website up and running! That may not seem like that big of a deal but for me it truly is a big deal and very exciting. It has changed everything for me and most importantly for my customers. In my mind it was this big scary obstacle to climb but once I did it, it was very liberating! It went live without a big announcement and I immediately had orders. That was kind of scary because I didn’t even know how to process the orders. Hahaha
How did you get to where you are today professionally?
Tenacity! There were times I felt like quitting but even the thought of not making my candles made me cry so that wasn’t an option.
Was it easy? Yes and no! Mostly, no, because there were a lot of learning curves.
If not, how did you overcome the challenges? Well, I ran into a very big problem when a wax I was using changed it’s performance characteristics and it forced me to learn about those things. It was sink or swim and I wasn’t going to sink! It’s so important to know everything you can about the materials you are using and I’m a researcher so that’s what I did. I researched, researched, researched and called wax manufacturers and spoke to their chemist for knowledge of performance. I know more about wax and it’s molecular structure than I ever thought I would. hahaha
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
You have to evolve and grow even when it is uncomfortable and continue to learn. Glean wisdom from others and take advice.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My brand embodies who I am… I love to bring joy to others and to leave others better than before. To share joy and love with the world. To serve and help others. I want my candles to illuminate your life, set the mood in your home and make you smile and create a memorable experience!
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.
Oh, wow, so many interesting places to go in Houston. Since I live in Cypress, we have favorite things to do all over the city!
So, as with all our guest we always have a big charcuterie board ready for their arrival. Pour some Mimosas and hang out for a little while. Then off to do a little shopping and end up at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Alecia’s for dinner and margaritas.
The next day more then likely would entail a drive down to Craftex, a large wholesale distributorship of everything from books, ribbon, decor, all things for business, home and the most amazing Christmas store from August to January. Christmas decorations like you’ve never seen before. Life size Sleighs and Santas, 20’ Christmas trees decorated to the nines! It’s a sight to see…. I would do some business shopping and browse for fun!
Then off to Tiny’s No. 5 quaint restaurant nestled in the West University neighborhood for lunch. It’s a fantastic setting with friendly staff and delicious breakfast & lunch items. Right next door is their walk up to-go bakery, Milk & Cookies, with the most delicious baked goods and BEST cookies EVER!
Armed with all the sweets we can carry we will go on a sight seeing drive through River Oaks maybe stop at a few shops and then a drive down Memorial through the park.
Once back in the Cypress area a stop at D’Vine Wine Bar for appetizers and wine would round out a fun day.
We love to cook for our guests so a slow morning of coffee outside by the pool and then cook breakfast. Eggs Benedict or Huevos Rancheros just might be served with Mimosas.
I walk 4.5 miles everyday so I always tell friends and family to bring walking shoes because we will be walking our beautiful walking & biking paths in our neighborhood. It’s a great way to see the neighborhood and say hi to everyone out and about.
Town Lake is a great place to eat or shop and I love Land of a Thousand Hills for a great latte.
Some of our favorite restaurants in town are Niko Niko’s in Montrose, North Italia in Uptown, and Backstreet Cafe so we would definitely plan to dine at one or more of these.
Regent Square is a new place coming in December near Shepherd, Dallas & Dunlavy streets with shopping, dining and the Flight Club venue for darts. I can’t wait for this area to open. I will most definitely add this as a destination for guests.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many I want to thank and give a shoutout to but first and foremost let me start with my husband and son. As with any business adventure your family is involved in some way or another. They both encouraged me to go for it and start my business and have been there for me all these years.
They are my hidden team of heavy weight lifters, because candle supplies are heavy and so are boxes of candles. They are always willing to help with transporting everything to events, pop up markets, deliveries to boutiques and shipping. Shipping during the holidays can be 80 – 100 boxes at a time. That is a lot of packing, loading and unloading and they are always there for me. I must also mention my son works in IT and he is my personal tech support.
2020 was a difficult year as I was diagnosed with breast cancer. They rallied behind me with so much love and support through three surgeries and chemo all during a pandemic. They are amazing! I am so grateful for them and all they do as my constant support system!
My dear friend, Joni, who is always there to help me when I am preparing for an event and have hundreds of candles to box and tie bows, pack boxes for shipping and going to events with me. I am beyond blessed and grateful to all my family and friends who surround me, help me and support me in more ways than I can count.
Thank you, I love you all.
Of course to my loyal customers who without them there would be no candle business! Thank you!
Karen McConaughey Photography