The In Her Words Series is meant to celebrate the excellence and fortitude of BIWOC and WOC entrepreneurs through a series of interviews.
Erin Page, Leah Kim, and Matthew Kim are the owners of Elm Candle Bar and have brought an amazing, family-owned, custom-poured candle experience to Capitol Hill, Seattle. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting their local store pre-COVID and having a custom-made candle making experience at home with my parents during quarantine.
A couple of photos from our at-home candle-creation process earlier this year:
We are Erin Page, Leah Kim, and Matthew Kim from Elm Candle Bar and we are here to bring custom poured candles from your heart to your home. We are two siblings and a cousin working together to bring a fun creative experience with fragrances to the Seattle region. Our business opened in Capitol Hill one year ago and it’s been a wild ride! But it continues to bring us joy to see relationships strengthened and memories made through the activity and space we have created. Our hope is to make memories with y’all for many many years!
2. Your curated candle bar experience is so unique! What inspired you to launch Elm Candle Bar?
The inspiration for our business came from Erin’s trip to Paris and her experience blending a perfume at a studio. We wanted to bring that unique experience of being able to create your own scent from scratch to the Seattle region. Everyone is unique and each person should be empowered to scent their home according to their delight.
3. Your candles and scents are thoughtfully sourced and smell amazing. Talk us through your thought process on building the perfect candle experience, and why Elm Candle Bar stands out.
The foundation of our business is the quality of our materials. All three of us are a picky bunch and we thoroughly tested and carefully selected our ingredients that we would welcome in our own homes. We love our all-natural soy wax because it burns cleanly in homes – safe for cats, dogs, and even birds. We left out preservatives and scent amplifiers in our fragrances that can cause some to have headaches when burning candles. We are truly proud of the gentle scent of our candles that can fill a room without being sharp.
In addition, we are focused on delivering happy customer experience. Creating a scent from scratch is a new venture for most people and we wanted to provide a guided experience that allows each of our customer discover their perfect scent blend. We are happy when you are happy with your scent creation because we know it will be loved in your own home.
4. What advice would you have for WOC / POC who might be interested in starting their own businesses?
Our recommendation for WOC/POC entrepreneurs is to focus on delivering a wonderful customer experience. This is accomplished through the quality and excellence of a company’s product, the direct customer experience of your company, and the considerate follow-up given afterwards. Treating customers as you would your own family member establishes a meaningful relationship that carries further than just dollars and cents.
5. What are some key gaps in the small business market that you feel need to be filled? How can people support you during this time?
We really appreciate Chloe and others reaching out to us and giving us a space to connect with people. Our continuing need is visibility as our store has only been open for one year. We hope that as fans experience our blending experience in-store or through our candle making home kits (available on our online store), they share their experience with their family and friends on social media. (We love Chloe and the continued support she gives us. We want to also love her supporters with a December discount of 12% on our online store using the code CHLOE12 at www.elmcandlebar.com).