Like so many wonderful small businesses, we first discovered Ivy & Wood on Instagram, and instantly fell in love with such an incredibly unique take on the craft of candle-making.
Mum in particular is an absolute candle QUEEN. She's trialled and tested 'em all! Once we'd experienced Ivy & Wood candles ourselves, we knew we had to bring this brand to love billie! The scent throw is simply amazing, and the creative blends of fragrance so unique. Not to mention the effortless, minimalistic mason jar vessels! *hello aesthetic*
We were still in the midst of curating our product range for billie, and Mum was visiting me in Melbourne for a trade fair. As we had mostly discovered our brands through markets and social media, we weren't really going into a big trade fair in a 'buying' headspace - we were just excited to chat to makers and get amongst the buzz, as we only were in the initial stages of creating billie! (I think we had only just registered our business name!)
We spotted Jess at her Ivy & Wood stall in the 'New Brands' section and were super excited to smell all of the amazing scents and chat with her! #ladyboss
Ahh, it was candle love at first smell.
After chatting with lovely Jess about her business and how much we love her product, we walked away beaming and excited to add Ivy & Wood to our list!
Alright, enough from me - I'm so excited for you to read my recent interview with Jess from Ivy & Wood, and learn more about how she got started on her venture to her fabulous business!
Sophie: Thank you so much for joining us for our ‘Meet the Maker’ series!
Can you tell our readers a little bit about your wonderful business and what you create?
Jess: Ivy & Wood is a Brisbane-based home fragrance company. Our original and most popular range is our mason jar soy candles, but we’ve expanded our range to include reed diffusers, room sprays and essential oils. We offer a unique range of scents, mostly inspired by Australian natives and botanicals.
The super gorgeous Ivy & Wood, which you can shop here!
S: We would love to hear about the average day at Ivy & Wood HQ – how do your days typically look?
J: Our days here can be quite varied! Typically, Brad will be in the workshop making candles, and I’ll be packing orders, doing admin, wholesale, website, marketing, working on new products and ranges… and basically everything else! I have recently be spending a lot of time working on packaging designs for our new botanical range that will be released very soon.
S: Could you share with us how your beautiful products are made?
J: Candle-making is a bit of a science.
You have to get a lot of factors just right in order to make a great candle. The type of wax, amount of fragrance, room temperature, pouring temperature, type of jar etc. are all very important.
We source quality materials, locally where possible, and use a premium 100% soy wax that is plant-based biodegradable, renewable, sustainable and free from pesticides. None of our materials are tested on animals or contain any animal products.
S: How did your biz, Ivy & Wood, come to be? Was owning your own biz something you thought you might do one day?
J: Ivy & Wood was born out of a love of mason jars and candles and our struggle to find mason jar candles! We searched to no avail so decided to just make our own candles, which we also gifted to friends and family.
'After receiving lots of great feedback, we created a website and took them to local markets and with that, Ivy & Wood was born.'
J: I have always dreamed of working for myself and owning a business so was excited to have finally found a way to do that with a hobby that I loved.
The awesome Jess behind Ivy & Wood. Girl Power!
S: What is your favourite part of having your own business?
J: The flexibility, control and sense of achievement. I choose how I spend my days (to a certain extent - packing and sending out orders is always top priority) but if I want to go to the gym, do my shopping or go for coffee during the day I have the freedom to do so and I often work into the evenings.
'The few months leading up to Christmas are very hectic, though, and we put in the long hours every day for at least 2 months solid.'
S: What would you describe as the most challenging factor of running your own biz?
J: There’s so many! But I would say that doing all the different things to run a business yourself, while awesome, is also challenging. Time management and prioritising can also be challenging. I am constantly torn between doing the necessary, important things (like admin and sending out orders) and spending time on growing the business and creating new products.
'Thankfully, Brad has taken over production, which frees me up to run the rest of the business.'
Behind the scenes at Ivy & Wood HQ! Candle production by Brad, Jess's husband.
I have learnt a lot during my business journey so far and I know I still have so much to learn. I am often calling upon friends or other small businesses I have met along the way to get their opinions and advice.
J: That’s the beauty of this community, there’s always support available from like-minded souls.
S: Any advice for those wanting to start up their own biz?
J: My main advice is to just start somewhere. Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to have it all figured out or even know what you’re doing (none of really know what we’re doing, right?)
Just start with what you have. Once you’ve taken the first step, the next step will appear and you’ll figure it out along the way. Also, don’t give up! This is one of my mantras. Giving up is just not an option - I WILL make it work!
Jess in their home-studio in Brisbane, Australia.
S: Has there been a significant moment on your entrepreneurial journey that really stands out as a ‘highlight’ moment?
J: There’s lots of little moments rather than one significant moment. At the time they feel significant but soon after that, it’s behind you, and you’ve moved onto the next goal, so they are just little wins along the way.
Some of our milestones have been doing our first big market like Finders Keepers, doing our first trade show, getting our first stockist, quitting my full time job to focus on Ivy & Wood, Brad joining Ivy & Wood part time, getting our first international stockist in the Maldives, and the little moments like when we entered all of our online sales into google maps and realised how far Ivy & Wood has spread around the country.
S: Last one: We just gave you a magic wand, and you have the power to fulfil your wildest dream for Ivy & Wood. What is it?!
J: What a great question! I’m so absorbed in the here and now, I’ve never thought of that before.
'The reality is that I don’t want world domination, but I’d love to one day have my own store for Ivy & Wood and an amazing warehouse space.'
billie loves a quiz!
S: Fave holiday destination?
J: Thailand - not the crazy parts, but the tiny, secluded beaches.
S: If you could pick just one… your fave Ivy & Wood scent?
J: Avocado & Mint.
A new favourite is coming but I can’t reveal that just yet! ;-)
S: Your ultimate inspo?
J: Drawing a blank here on just one. I find so much inspo on Instagram, which is why I spend a bit too much time scrolling!
S: Your coffee order?
J: Flat white.
Thank you so much for joining me, if you've made it this far! <3
How awesome is Ivy & Wood? I loved that interview with Jess - hearing about her experience and advice in running your own business was super inspiring. Together, Jess & Brad make a great team! We are so proud to have Ivy & Wood as a billie brand, and love working the duo.
Our range of Ivy & Wood is available on our online store, here.
love billie stocks a wide range of Ivy & Wood candles, reed diffusers, essential oil blends and lovely room sprays!
I'd love to hear what you thought of this 'Meet the Maker' blog as a part of this series! Have you tried any products from the range? We'd love to hear any of your feedback/thoughts!
Until next time loves,
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billie faves from Ivy & Wood