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Heather Byres

Boss Babe: Heather Byres

Company: Calluna Edinburgh

Social: @calluna.edinburgh

Tell me a bit about your business.

Calluna Edinburgh is a scented soy candles and sculpted candle company, everything is hand made by me, in small batches!

What made you decide to start it?

Furlough! I am a chef and cookery teacher, in what feels like a passed life now. I used the first 6 month of lockdown to volunteer for charities feeding the vulnerable during COVID-19, then I was back to work for the brief time hospitality opened up. I started making candles as a hobby in my free time and by the time the second half of lockdown rolled around I was knee-deep in everything candle, so it felt like everything was falling in to place.

What’s a typical day/week like in your shoes?

Well, there are always candles burning! I light my candles as soon as I’m up, I have to monitor many aspects of them for their entire burn before they are suitable to sell.

I make a batch of candles in the morning, usually around 10-30 candles. Lunch is my favourite meal of the day, so I always treat myself (and my boyfriend who is now WFH) to a far too elaborate lunch. The afternoons are spent in the living room, filling out test sheets for the days test burns and making any tweaks and changes to the candle recipes to get the best burn possible. I am keen to make as much progress as possible before I am back to work full time!

What’s been the most difficult thing to get your head around when you started up?

Learning my way around a candle has definitely been harder than I imagined. It felt like 1 step forward, 5 steps back for a long time. Accepting that it would all take longer than I had anticipated was a hard pill to swallow.

Have you encountered any hiccups along the way?

Getting things printed before doing adequate research, rushing and being impatient tends to be my downfall.

How do you stay motivated?

I am forgiving of myself, if I need a break, or I am having a day where nothing is going right I will allow myself to wallow, for an hour or so, then pick up again and come back full throttle. A quick walk in the fresh air tends to fix most things!

What’s your main marketing took/social media platform? Are there any you want to try out that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

My main platform is instagram. I am happy in front of a camera so would love to get the hang of TikTok and Reels but my editing and filming skills leave something to be desired.

What’s next for your business?

I’d like to release more scents throughout the year. The next scent is already set to launch! I’d like to take things day by day, and see where it all leads. I have high hopes for Calluna.Edinburgh , A space at a farmers market or Christmas fair later in the year would be amazing.

Do you have any advice for other women looking to start their own business?

Just…. do it! Put in the time to research and write a business plan, they aren’t as scary as they sound. I don’t think anyone is ever 100% sure of anything, but the only way to find out is to try.

What do you do to relax?

Yoga, tv and running. I love a podcast and always plug in to one for a run. I am a self confessed ‘Murdereeno’ or ‘True Crime Fanatic’.Might not sound very relaxing but it is for me!

And lastly, what did you have for breakfast?

I’m awful, breakfast is usually a glass of water or a cup of tea if I’m feeling fancy!

Thanks so much Heather! I've worked with Heather on this project and can highly recommend her candles. If you're interested in getting your hands on one of them, head over to her Instagram page for all the info you need @calluna.edinburgh.

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