Yorkshire candle supplies business, Supplies for Candles, has employed 35 new staff during the pandemic, doubling the head count at its Mexborough headquarters as sales surged during lockdown and have continued to do so since.
Established in 2016, Supplies for Candles is an online supplier of candle and soap making ingredients to a rapidly growing craft industry. The acquisition of the Devon-based Soap Kitchen in April, a £3.5m supplier of cosmetic soap ingredients, has cemented the company as a market leader in distribution of both candle and soap making supplies in the UK and Europe.
Founder and managing director Nicky Story says that year on year sales are up 169 per cent and the company has recruited 35 new staff including a new warehouse manager, brand development manager, customer service manager, two marketing assistants, two customer service team members and warehouse staff to cope with demand.
There have also been a number of internal promotions within the business, and a £150,000 investment in a new mezzanine, equipment and offices to create additional space and improve productivity to support the recent growth.
“An increase of internet activity and working from home resulted in an increase of sales for us. By growing our marketing team and efforts, we have thrived during these uncertain times. In order to keep our staff safe, we have moved from eight-hour days to two shift 16 hour days to accommodate the extra business and team members and to make sure we could create a safe, socially distanced working environment for everyone,” he said.
Nicky added: “Our best-selling products are always our fragrance oils, but our candle making kits have also been selling very well because people have been at home looking for something to do.”
He says the business is continuing to look ahead to further growth, and – among other things – plans to introduce a custom glass range in partnership with a local printing company, which will enable customers to produce branded or personalised candles.
“It’s an exciting time for the business,” added Nicky. “Our candle making products are in high demand and The Soap Kitchen acquisition has opened up new revenue streams, which we will continue to develop.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Supplies for Candles has given away £100,000-worth of candle making kits and business start-up support to people who have been financially affected by the pandemic, as well as giving free soap to local residents to help combat local shortages.