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Annie’s business has flourished in the last year – and today she shares how making skincare for her young daughter morphed into a hugely successful candle business.

When her first daughter was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, she turned to natural remedies to help her after she had a severe skin breakout due to a number of surgeries.

Her blends of essential oils, herbs, and natural butters were what finally got her daughter some relief and this was how her business was born.

Eventually, at a market, people kept asking her for candles that smelt as good as her skincare – and a new business direction was born.

In this episode we discuss evolving your business, hiring family (and non-family!), the impact of COVID on handmade business, how Instagram has helped Annie’s business grow, and what happens when you get featured by Etsy!

You can listen to this episode below, or on your fave podcasting app!

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The Create & Thrive Guide to Product Photography has been written for the beginner-to-intermediate product photographer.

Written by a professional photographer, specifically for makers with little photography experience, this e-book will teach you all you need to know to get started on your product photography journey.

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Highlights from this episode:

 

  • After her first daughter was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, Annie began making skincare, bath and body products to provide her daughter with relief after surgeries.
  • Annie continued to study and experiment with natural ingredients and began to sell her products on Etsy in 2015.
  • After selling at a Brooklyn market one weekend, Annie had numerous customers asking if her bath and body products 
  • “The value you get out of these shows, sometimes you don’t even realise it in that moment. We would go to these shows and not sell a single candle. But the feedback we got from customers was valuable” {Annie} 7:02
  • Markets are a fantastic research tools to see what people look at and what questions they ask. This information can assist you in shaping your business.
  • As sales for her candles grew and became the primary revenue stream of her business, Annie made the decision to phase out her skincare, bath and body products. As this was the origin of her business, this process took a year to enact.
  • 2020 saw NaturalAnnie Essentials grow significantly and Annie moving to a new studio in November. 
  • This provided Annie and her family with a clear separation between home and work which they are all enjoying.
  •  Around 50% of Annie’s website traffic comes from Instagram. She has spent significant time refining her Instagram and experimenting with what engages best with her customers.
  • Annie began selling on Etsy and now also has her own website.
  • “Having to drive traffic to my own website for me was a struggle in the beginning. I just didn’t know how to get them over there…social media really helped in that area” {Annie} 21:30
  • Annie’s Etsy sales began to significantly slow and she seriously considering shutting her shop. Early in 2020 Annie invested time into updating her listing and tags in small chunks such as 2 per day. 
  • “It’s constantly re-evaluating what’s working. Etsy is a long-term game” Annie {22.21}
  •  After being featured in an Etsy newsletter, Annie’s sales skyrocketed with over 500 sales in the following weekend.
  • Annie has used Faire to assist with wholesaling.
  • Check out Annie’s work at her website: Natural Annie Essentials.

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