Soft Serenity Candle Company focuses on sustainability and clean living. Our candles are hand-made with 100% soy wax, cotton wicks, and high-quality oils. We are non-toxic, paraffin-free, vegan, and dye-free.
Each candle is handmade in small batches and tested to guarantee burn quality and longevity. Our mission is to continuously offer the highest standard in home fragrance while never sacrificing a clean and sustainable lifestyle.
Cristiana Dudash is the owner of Soft Serenity Candle Company. She hand pours 100% natural soy wax candles in small batches in Woodstock, GA.
Her passion is to provide a safe and healthy option for you and your home.
She loves to provide nontoxic alternatives for you to cozy up to.
Andrew Larevitzear, Business Partner, Soft Serenity Candle Company
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:10] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Woodstock, Georgia. It’s time for Cherokee Business Radio. Now, here’s your host.
Sharon Cline: [00:00:25] And welcome to a random Tuesday edition of Fearless Formula on Cherokee Radio X, where we talk about the ups and downs in the business world and we offer words of wisdom for small business owners and to have business success. I’m your host, Sharon Cline, and our guest in the studio today is a small business owner here in Woodstock, and she has been in her industry for about three years now. You can find her on Instagram and TikTok and Pinterest and all all the socials out there. And she is the owner of Soft Serenity Candles. Welcome,Cristiana Dudash, to the show.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:01:01] Thank you for having us today. We’re so excited to be here.
Sharon Cline: [00:01:05] So glad you came in. And we’re about to have a major thunderstorm, so we’re going to enjoy our little chat in here while it storms outside.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:01:12] Definitely.
Sharon Cline: [00:01:13] Well, I want to talk to you a bit about your small business. What I love about your story is that really this is kind of from the ground up for you. So can you tell me what got you interested in in making your own candle business?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:01:25] Yeah, well, it kind of started during a crazy time. I started it right when we shut down for COVID, really, which was a crazy time to even start a small business. But I was out of work. I was like, okay, well, I need to make ends meet. And a lot of my friends own small businesses, so they were like, All right, well, you know what? This is the time to. Go running. So I did and started in my kitchen, which is crazy now because he built me out. Andrew I say, he built me out a great workspace down in the basement to grow, and without his support, really, it wouldn’t be where it is right now.
Sharon Cline: [00:02:02] So when you look into how you start a candle business, it’s kind of like the basic ingredients, right? Like you have to find wax and the different scents. And was it just a lot of experimenting to get the things that you really like?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:02:15] Yeah, it was a lot of trial and error for sure, and I wanted something that was nontoxic. Like, Yeah, that was my biggest thing is I would burn bath and body works candles all the time and I noticed that there was like black residue on the walls and I was like, oh, does this from from like the the soot, the black smoke and all that. And I was like, okay, well, this can’t be good for you. And after I was looking into it, they used paraffin. And the more I read about paraffin, I found out that it’s cancer causing. So when you’re burning these type of candles, you’re breathing in these carcinogens, which is crazy.
Sharon Cline: [00:02:49] Because they’re they’re allowed to sell them, obviously. I mean, they do. I have them.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:02:53] Yeah. So not just bath and body works, but any, you know, big name stories. A lot of them have soy blends that also contain paraffin.
Sharon Cline: [00:03:02] It’s not just strictly soy then. Right? Oh, interesting.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:03:05] So that was kind of my biggest thing, I guess, to focus on. So I made all my candles 100% soy wax and I found oils as well that don’t contain any toxins so that when they burn the soy and the oils that I was using, they paired well together without anyone having to worry about, you know, burning these toxin toxic candles in their environment, in homes.
Sharon Cline: [00:03:27] It’s interesting because I didn’t know I don’t know very much about candles, which is what I really love about talking to you, especially full time, because I am like a candle aholic and I just love all the fall scents and for some reason it just fills my soul with happiness. And so I load up on wherever I get a bunch of candles. And I really didn’t consider at all the aspect of, Oh no, because of course I don’t want that. I don’t want anything bad happening to me or around pets where, you know, if you have dogs or cats or whatever, they’re probably especially sensitive to those things.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:03:59] Right? And even like small children, like I’ve had a lot of customers also say that before they bought from me, they were like, I have all these allergies when I burn candles, I don’t know what it’s from. And then they buy mine and they burn them and like, I.
Sharon Cline: [00:04:13] Know.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:04:13] Allergies. Yeah. I don’t get affected by them. I can burn them all the time. I hear, you know, the sensor light. My husband can stay in them, you know, so. I guess, you know, that has something to say for it as well, using these clean ingredients rather than burning, you know.
Sharon Cline: [00:04:30] What are your favorite sense that you have now that you just love?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:04:33] Oh, okay. Well, we just launched the fall collection so that all season the pumpkin chai is my absolute favorite. Everyone loves pumpkin. I’m trying to think like some of the most popular ones would be the oak, moss and Amber. It’s more like musk and like, masculine kind of smells like a lot of people have told me. Like Abercrombie and Fitch, like the adult. Interesting. Okay, that one’s really good. The lighter scents, maybe like limoncello and brown sugar and fig. Those are, like, all year.
Sharon Cline: [00:05:06] So you put these together? Yeah. So do you get these essential oils? Is that how it works? And then you melt everything down. I guess I’m trying to picture it the process in my head, but I’ve seen some of your Instagram videos, which is so nice because you get a little glimpse in the behind the scenes.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:05:20] Yeah, so it took a while. I was for a long time melting everything on our stovetop and I was like, This is taking way too long. And then he found me like an industrial melter. So now I can make about about 200.
Sharon Cline: [00:05:35] At the time.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:05:35] Oh yeah. So I melt all that down, I mix all the oils into it and center the wicks and pour, and it takes about 48 hours for everything to cure and then fully about a week to two weeks for it to be good to burn.
Sharon Cline: [00:05:50] What I wanted to ask you, too, about the pandemic. Obviously, you started in the pandemic. Yeah, but what’s kind of cool is that this this business does not relying on person to person interaction like you’ve been able to do a lot of this on your own, on your website, is that right?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:06:04] Yeah. And it’s kind of hard to and crazy like people will buy these scents without even smelling them. Yeah. So I have to write like really descriptive like, I guess descriptions of each scent on the website for people to read so they know what they’re buying. And I do the pop up events and I am in local shops that people can go in and out and smell.
Sharon Cline: [00:06:24] So now that we’ve been able to open up a bit, you’ve I know that you’ve gone to some of the former farmers markets. So how is that been for you? What is it.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:06:32] Like? So fun. And I love meeting all my customers because there’s people that were buying during the shutdown, obviously never met them, and they would come and be like, Oh yeah, I bought, you know, this scent and I love it all the time. I bring it whenever and like seeing them face to face. I don’t know. You build new connections and repeat customers really after you make that connection with them.
Sharon Cline: [00:06:52] One of the aspects about business I talk about on the show a lot is relationships because you are obviously you’re running a business and it’s about money and profit and loss and all of that. But there’s the relationship aspect. We’re all humans just chit chatting and enjoying candles together, you know? But how nice it is that as well as through social media, you can really build a following and have a relationship with people, even if you don’t see them face to face. How nice they come to see you. Yeah, at your places.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:07:18] I know. It makes it feel so special. I’m like, okay, you will you follow me on social media? You see myself all the time and they come to meet me and actually, like, smell the candles in person. I don’t know. It’s a really cool, cool feeling.
Intro: [00:07:30] Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:07:30] So you feel like what is what is the most fun and satisfying part about it? Is it meeting the people like that or.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:07:37] I would say that and then like actually hearing people’s feedback about the sense I get a lot of good feedback. And then I also started like my ambassador program.
Sharon Cline: [00:07:45] What is your ambassador program?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:07:47] So I have on Instagram all these like micro-influencers influencers that are like helping me promote my candles and they are so great about giving me feedback on what’s coming out, like what I should do to improve the new scents, or what should I do to even just improve my social media in general.
Sharon Cline: [00:08:05] I just spoke to someone about this on Friday about what how people use the Internet to advertise so much. And I’m like, I follow I hate to say this, but I follow TikTok and I do get influenced by the.
Intro: [00:08:18] Things that I see.
Sharon Cline: [00:08:20] But it’s it’s fascinating how much you really can get real time feedback and and that can change the direction of where you’re going with something that you want to make it. It’s like it takes a little bit of a village. Everyone’s kind of helping each other, which is like a win all around, you know, because you’re making a better product and right.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:08:36] And it helps these influencers to, like, grow their business. So it’s just it’s a win win. You’re doing both.
Sharon Cline: [00:08:42] I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have your own candle company and not have something like social media or Facebook.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:08:48] It’s the only reason why I really like without social media. Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:08:54] I can’t imagine. Yeah. Well, I mean, I know there are people do it and have done it, but it’s so nice, especially because you’re a younger sort of entrepreneur. So I imagine your way to look at it, it’s always includes social media or ambassadors, whereas for me I’m like, Wait, what? What is that like? I’m supposed to take videos. Right now I have two of us in the studio and like promote. Have I done.
Intro: [00:09:13] That? It’s sold out and.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:09:14] Like, no, it’s hard to like to come up with the content, come up with new ideas, and I try to put him in all the time. Seems like I don’t know what to do.
Sharon Cline: [00:09:23] Like, it’s just to be. You mean to be, like, original and and.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:09:27] And so hard. So hard to come up with new things. And, like what? Like, what are people going to like? You know, what’s going to keep people interested and watching these reels of how they respond to things.
Sharon Cline: [00:09:39] That’s something I didn’t think about as well is how you it’s almost a competition between other people who are doing their own campaigns, I guess, or even candle campaigns. It’s not just campaigns in general. Right? So what was it like for you to create your LLC or whatever it is, or DBA or how did you go about creating your company?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:09:58] Well, the LLC was something that my brother was like pushing me to do. He’s like, You got to do this, you know?
Sharon Cline: [00:10:04] Why did he say it was so important? Because I have an LLC as well.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:10:07] Yeah, he’s just like, cause you want something to make it look like you’re. You’re legit.
Sharon Cline: [00:10:12] Yeah. And you’re into protected, right. Which is great, actually.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:10:15] The candles. I’m going to need that protection.
Intro: [00:10:19] So true.
Sharon Cline: [00:10:21] No one’s afraid of my voice except me. But candles has something, you know, a liability, I imagine. I never thought about that.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:10:27] Yeah. So that was his biggest thing, but. And it’s been really nice being able to, like, step back from the restaurant industry because I was in like full time working my life away at the restaurant and I was like, okay, well, I need something that I can potentially turn into my career. So that was a huge. Like, what’s the word I’m looking for? Just like motivation, I guess.
Sharon Cline: [00:10:49] Yeah, absolutely. Do you think about where you want to go?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:10:54] Like, oh, I would love this to be my full time.
Sharon Cline: [00:10:57] On Shark Tank. I should go chicken shark.
Intro: [00:10:59] People tell me that all the time. I’m like.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:11:01] For? I don’t know. It’s a candle.
Intro: [00:11:03] I know it’s hard, but.
Sharon Cline: [00:11:04] They’re unique to you, though. I don’t know.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:11:07] They are.
Sharon Cline: [00:11:08] Wouldn’t that be cool? That would be really cool.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:11:10] I had a friend that was on Shark Tank and got her first.
Sharon Cline: [00:11:13] No kidding. Yeah, but you know what? It’s even just the exposure on Shark, even if they’re like, Yeah, I pass or whatever they say or I’m out, they say I’m out. That’s still a B. Well, who knows what life will bring? I mean, really, it seems like you’re doing like you’re really enjoying this process and you’re.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:11:28] It’s so.
Sharon Cline: [00:11:28] Fun putting your heart into it. So are there any things that you’ve learned along the way that you wish you could have told yourself in the very beginning?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:11:36] Yeah, not to always think it’s going to be successful. Like that was my biggest thing. Like when I started, it was great because it was new. So whatever success I was making, you know, was good. But now like that, I’m growing. If I have a launch that doesn’t do well, I got to keep telling myself it’s fine. Like, keep going, keep going.
Intro: [00:11:59] You know?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:12:00] That was my biggest.
Sharon Cline: [00:12:02] Yes. You assume that it’s all going to work out just fine and that your plan, that’s my story. Like I always assume it’s all going to be great. And when it’s not, I just like, put my hands up, like, wait a minute. But I did all the right things. You know, I wish I could control, you know, control outcomes of of everything. But I imagine, too, I mean, you’re making the product the best way you can, so you’re just hoping that other people will appreciate it, too. But you said that that you’ve changed a little bit from the very beginning. What have you done differently?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:12:29] Yeah, it’s been a lot of trial and error, like the beginning, really. I was kind of winging it like I didn’t know what I was doing. And now that I’ve been in it for almost three years now, I know it works. What doesn’t work? I’m still learning what doesn’t work and what works. But as far as like the candles themselves, my formula has changed and making them, they’re stronger now. They don’t burn as quickly now. And I’m expanding to like I have the soaps and the room sprays. Tell me tell.
Sharon Cline: [00:13:02] Me about this. This is a whole other side of your business. I’m excited to hear about this.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:13:06] Yeah. So the soaps, one of my really good friends, started making them, and a lot of people have asked me, they’re like, Do you do the soaps, too? And I guess maybe because soaps and candles, they just they go.
Sharon Cline: [00:13:16] Together.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:13:16] Right? So I was like, no, I don’t make them. But that just seem like a whole new task to start doing. So I was like, Well, I may find someone that makes natural soaps that are good for your skin. And I found someone and she only uses natural ingredients. So I was like, This is perfect. This aligns perfectly with what I want. So I started buying wholesale from her. So now I sell them on my website and they’re great. They’ve been selling out nonstop. Yeah.
Intro: [00:13:42] Yeah.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:13:42] So we’re actually bringing in some new scents and a couple of weeks to to bring the fall.
Sharon Cline: [00:13:49] That’s so exciting. What I love, too, is that you’re able to collaborate with people who have the same kind of vision as you. Yeah. Who would have ever thought, right?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:13:55] Yeah. It’s so fun. Like supporting other women, woman owned businesses as well.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:00] What is an inspiration or do you have inspiration for the different scents? Like, do you ever go somewhere and smell something? And you’re just like, What is that scent? I must have this. You know.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:14:09] There’s a lot of sense to that. I have ordered for the candles that remind me of like childhood.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:15] Like what reminds me of childhood. Like I just.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:14:17] Ordered a tobacco scent and it reminds me of my poppy. Oh, he used to smoke cigars all the time. And that’s like the scent, I guess you think?
Sharon Cline: [00:14:25] Oh, yeah. Gosh, that’s really clever. Yeah, I haven’t thought. I’m sure they have them, but I just have never seen one.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:14:30] But so that one is recent. I mean, the pumpkin chai is just. It’s fall and cozy and warm probably.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:38] It’s kind of spicy. And I know scents are hard to describe, aren’t they? Are you like do you like thesaurus of different things?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:14:45] Yeah. It’s so hard to come up with descriptions for them. I’m like, It just smells like pumpkin.
Sharon Cline: [00:14:53] So what are some of the different ways that you do your your marketing? I mean, have you had to invest money into marketing or are you more strictly online?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:15:01] Yeah, I’m more so online. I have paid for ads through Facebook and Instagram, but I don’t feel like for me any way that the ads don’t work as well as me getting face to face, like talking on stories, connecting with customers that way. But I feel like social media is a full time job in itself. Like I’m constantly having to engage with my customers on social media.
Sharon Cline: [00:15:25] I read somewhere and I’m I don’t. So this is so vague as far as a real statistic. But I read somewhere that you have to be posting like five or six times a day, some, some crazy number in order for you to really see return on the investment of time and energy. Is that do you find that to be true? I don’t know. Is that a.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:15:46] I think so, yeah. Even if it’s just posting like on your story, not necessarily like a post daily, you know what I mean? But I mean, I try to post at least once a day like all my feet and then everything else is just on my story. And then tick tock, I’m learning tick tock. It’s really hard to get into. It’s kind of cringing. I’m trying, but yeah, Facebook and Instagram for sure. And then Pinterest, I’ll like post my pictures and it like turns into ads there so people can actually pin my pictures to their boards, which is cool.
Sharon Cline: [00:16:18] So you’ve had to learn a whole not just candles and how to make them, but you’ve had to learn a whole aspect of marketing yourself in using the Internet in a way that effectively allows you to market yourself and have higher sales, I guess. Yeah. What’s the most effective way, do you think, for you?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:16:34] So on my actual website I have like a text club, so people will put in their phone numbers and if I send out a text to my customers, that’s pretty much how I get a lot of my sales and I’ll communicate that way. It’s like my VIP club.
Sharon Cline: [00:16:48] Oh, I got you. It’s funny because the woman that was here on she’s the social media marketing guru, and she was saying that that’s one of the best ways as well. I don’t know. She said it on the air or afterwards. But I remember thinking that’s why I get the text that. A sale is going on or something more interesting.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:17:05] And on the text it brings you or it gives you the link to just click on it.
Sharon Cline: [00:17:09] She said It’s a very high return of investment or time, I suppose.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:17:13] Yeah. Email. I don’t do the emails as much just with my generation. I guess we don’t really do emails.
Intro: [00:17:20] The text messages? Yeah.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:17:23] Text messages for sure. Great.
Sharon Cline: [00:17:25] Well, if you’re just joining us, we are speaking with Christiana Dudas. She is owner of Soft Serenity Candles. I also wanted to ask you, what are some of the surprises that you’ve kind of come across, like things you didn’t expect to happen as you’ve created your business?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:17:40] Yeah, I guess like I said before, just growing as much as I have. Like I would have never thought I’d be where I am now to the point where I can basically really quit my full time job.
Sharon Cline: [00:17:51] So the success was a surprise.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:17:53] Yeah, because it was just something at that time when I started it to make ends meet.
Sharon Cline: [00:17:57] Because.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:17:58] I wasn’t able to work as much because of COVID. And I was like, okay, well, I need something. So just taking.
Intro: [00:18:05] Off.
Sharon Cline: [00:18:06] Right. Well, I mean, it’s funny because you can you can, like I was saying, do all of the right things and then have it not work. And then there’s also. Oh, no.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:18:14] Yeah, I know. And that’s kind of where we’re at now. Like I’m trying to figure out. Really. I’m at a spot now where I need to, like, move into a bigger space to grow more, which is great. So now.
Sharon Cline: [00:18:25] It’s like a problem, but a good problem, but still it’s a.
Intro: [00:18:27] Problem. Yeah.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:18:28] So hopefully soon we can figure that out because.
Sharon Cline: [00:18:32] Well, so I also wanted to ask you, what do you think is the most challenging thing about being an entrepreneur, whether it’s your age or whether it’s the amount of time that it takes or how many? I would think it’s the amount of time because you really your product really is contingent upon the amount of time you put in it.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:18:49] I would say time and balance, like work balance, because it is hard for me to like step back at night. Like I’ll be I’ll be on my phone for 24 seven, like connecting with people and talking. Yeah, talking to business owners because I have a lot of business owners that will like, which makes sense will message me like after their work hours to do wholesale with them in their shop. So I’m like constantly like going back and forth with that. I’ll get off work at like 8:00 at night and then I’ll go downstairs and make candles till midnight or 1 a.m.. I’m like, okay, I need a healthy work balance. I would say that’s probably my biggest challenge right now, is finding that healthy work.
Sharon Cline: [00:19:26] I imagine it feels like if you don’t respond to losing a sale like the whole point of being, it’s I imagine it’s like being a realtor. If you don’t answer, you know, someone’s going to move on to a different. Yeah, but at the same time, how do you create a balance? Where do you put the the boundaries around it? Right. I don’t have a boundary.
Intro: [00:19:45] You know.
Sharon Cline: [00:19:46] Anyone that says something to me, I’m like, what? Yes. Just because. But how do you do it?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:19:51] I’m still trying to figure that out. I’m still trying to figure it out. Yeah. So that’s my biggest struggle and challenge at the current moment.
Sharon Cline: [00:19:59] So what’s it like to go into a store and see your products on the show?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:20:03] It’s awesome. And I love seeing other people like kind of watching them without them knowing like, Oh, that’s mine. Oh, smelling it and like hearing their feedback. I’m like.
Intro: [00:20:10] This is cool.
Sharon Cline: [00:20:12] It must be very satisfying.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:20:13] Yeah. And I love going in to shops and like weekly, you know, twice, twice a month or whatever and see the candle like stock go down like, okay, this is great because people are obviously buying them.
Sharon Cline: [00:20:24] What is your number one seller? Do you have a number or is it seasonal?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:20:27] Seasonal?
Sharon Cline: [00:20:27] Oh, I got you.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:20:28] And say it’s seasonal limoncello for spring and summer for sure. And then the pumpkin, the pumpkin.
Sharon Cline: [00:20:33] Everything. Pumpkin. I saw pumpkin recently. What was it, pumpkin? Was it Oreos? I just remember thinking it’s everywhere. Yeah, I was kind of excited, but like more of. I do. Yeah. So what do you think is like one of the biggest misconceptions of your industry? Do you think that people just kind of feel like they understand it, but they if there’s something you could tell them, like you’re telling me now, like and we have a minute to actually focus on it, what would you want them to know?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:20:57] I hear a lot like at pop ups, people, like I was saying earlier, people are like, oh, I can’t buy these. I have allergies. If they like. If they knew what was actually going into like my candles, I think it’d be a little bit different. A lot of people have a bad misconception. Misconception anyway about the paraffin candles and they think it’s all one.
Sharon Cline: [00:21:16] Well, I didn’t know. I haven’t really looked into it myself, so I didn’t actually know that there was such a difference. Yeah.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:21:21] So I think recently, like a lot of a lot more people are trying to change their lifestyles into like more healthy lifestyles. So when they see candles, they’re like, Oh, well, that can’t be healthy. It can’t be good to breathe in.
Sharon Cline: [00:21:33] Right. Do you do you promote that a tremendous amount to that you’re.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:21:37] Yeah, I really try.
Sharon Cline: [00:21:38] To different or whatever. Well no, I mean that’s a huge thing. I had no idea. And I’m I’m sure there are ways legally around carcinogen things I really don’t know. But my life as always, I’ve always got candles going or some kind of scent in my house. And now definitely I mean, I’ve had your candles in the past and they’re so great. So I’m excited to have a different one, a new one. So when you’re getting ready for like the the holidays obviously coming, what is it like for you to prepare? Like do you have to kind of stock up on all your stuff now?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:22:10] Yeah, even with the fall candles, I was starting all these fall candles in June.
Sharon Cline: [00:22:15] It’s probably feels.
Intro: [00:22:16] Weird, right? Yeah.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:22:17] Have to, because fall and winter are my biggest, biggest seasons. And holiday season last year was insane because I wasn’t ready.
Intro: [00:22:25] So this year, did.
Sharon Cline: [00:22:27] You run out? Is that what it was like?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:22:29] I ran out like the first couple of weeks of launching. I was done.
Sharon Cline: [00:22:32] No way.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:22:33] Yeah.
Intro: [00:22:34] So now a good problem. Yeah, it.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:22:36] Is a really good problem. But now I know like, okay, this is what I need to make and make sure I’m ready because even all these shows, like all these holiday pop up shows that I go to, I’ll sell out and I’m like, okay, well, now I’m in a scramble because I have to make all these before Christmas because people want them for Christmas.
Intro: [00:22:50] So I do. I want them.
Sharon Cline: [00:22:53] So if you were to kind of think about the things that, you know, the show is obviously called Fearless Formula. So are there some things that you just are have been afraid of or, like concerned about and now you’re not anymore?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:23:06] I would say just getting my face out there. Like in the beginning I would not show up on stories. And that’s like what people want to see. They’re like building a relationship and trust with seeing you on there, talking about your product. And I’ve I feel like I’ve hopefully anyway, I feel like I’ve been showing up more because people want to see the, you know, behind the scenes and not just here’s the Kindle or whatever the room sprays the soaps.
Sharon Cline: [00:23:33] It’s such an interesting notion because I’m so resistant to it. Like I don’t want anything to be like about me, me, me so much. I mean, I’m fine doing like a show and chatting, but like, I don’t want to be on camera and talking about me. For some reason, I have just such an aversion. I’d rather it be about the work I’m doing or.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:23:51] Yeah, and I would too. But I feel like people would remember faces better than. I mean, a candle. Like you see candles all the time. So I’m like, if I put my face out there, like, Oh, that’s the candle maker and Woodstock.
Intro: [00:24:03] But it’s a very.
Sharon Cline: [00:24:03] Good point because, well, it’s a it’s probably a generational thing, too, because everyone’s on there. And I do see that if I can associate a face with someone, it’s not just the product that it’s the person. It’s like there’s a person behind the product, which is partly why I wanted to do this show is because I feel like for even you to come on, you’re not just soft, serenity, candles, the brand name, there’s a whole story behind. You’re like, I always consider it the American Idol story where when.
Intro: [00:24:30] You.
Sharon Cline: [00:24:30] When you’re watching some guys come on with his guitar and you’re like, Who’s this guy? Right, or whatever. I don’t like him just immediately. But then you see like his story about his grandpa and it’s like farm and like, all of a sudden, you’re so.
Intro: [00:24:41] Invested that you.
Sharon Cline: [00:24:42] Care, you know, that’s kind of the whole the whole goal goal of the show is to have that feeling of there are so many people and lessons to be learned for everyone who’s in business. You’re all want the same things, right? So do you. Where else do you go? Do you go to farmers markets?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:24:58] Yeah, I do my pop up shows. I organize a big vendor market down in ball ground about once, I guess twice or twice.
Sharon Cline: [00:25:09] What I’m trying to do is it twice a year? Twice a season?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:25:11] Yeah, I guess twice a season. But that for sure, because I am walking around, you know, talking to all the vendors and I’m able to communicate with people that way.
Sharon Cline: [00:25:21] So you get to make relationships, build relationships with other people that are in the same exact spaces.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:25:26] You Yeah. That And then I’m in a lot of local shops here. I have one in downtown Woodstock, then I’m in two in Canton, one in Blue Ridge, and then out of state too. So I’m trying to get around.
Sharon Cline: [00:25:37] Where do you find the stores? Do you how do you do it?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:25:40] A lot of them come to me, surprisingly, they find.
Sharon Cline: [00:25:43] Yeah, it’s amazing.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:25:43] They they find me on social media. They reach out, they want my wholesale packet and I’ll send them my information over.
Sharon Cline: [00:25:49] And so you don’t have to sell yourself to people because I was thinking, do you just go to a store? This is how I would do if, you know, I would be like knocking, please let me sell my gift in your store. But you don’t have to do that.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:26:01] I come to you. When I first started out, I went to Andre’s, which is in downtown Woodstock, and that’s kind of where I grew. I gave them my wholesale information, and from there people were going in, buying my candles. And I guess the other local shops saw like, okay, well, her candles are selling.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:19] Well, let me get down on this.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:26:20] Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:21] So it must be so satisfying to know that something that you kind of came up with on your own, you know, now is an actual product out there affecting people’s lives. I mean, it’s so cool.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:26:30] It is really cool and it’s crazy. Like, I can’t believe where it has, you know, as far as it’s come.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:36] And your soaps and you have something else you.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:26:38] Said the room sprays.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:39] Sprays. Tell me about the.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:26:41] Those are room sprays that can be used on linens and they’re also disinfectant.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:46] So what that’s amazing in the post COVID or still COVID times.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:26:51] Yeah. And they smell good. It’s not the bleach smell that.
Sharon Cline: [00:26:54] That’s a good point or Lysol or whatever it is. Right. So you can spray it on a surface and it’s disinfectant. How did you come up with this formula?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:27:03] And you and my my helper.
Intro: [00:27:05] Yeah, that’s.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:27:06] Awesome. Someone that helped me out for sure with that one because they would not be a thing if he didn’t.
Sharon Cline: [00:27:10] Do you have to get this these like EPA approved something, anything like that. How does that work? Did you have to. Just a little bit.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:27:16] Yeah. Got you. Yeah. The alcohol had to be, you know, a certain percentage and then the oils and everything had to be.
Sharon Cline: [00:27:24] You’ve got your three products. Yep. Do you have any more you would like to come up with or good with the three. Oh you really you’ve got some.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:27:30] I would really like to start bringing in like more home goods into the storefront. I would like to do that before Christmas. So it’s all like a one stop shop, right? It’s still kind of in the works.
Sharon Cline: [00:27:41] So do you consider a physical store or is it not necessary in life?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:27:44] I would love to have a physical store just to keep home and work separate because right now everything’s at the house.
Sharon Cline: [00:27:50] Sure. Oh, that’s such a good point.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:27:52] Yeah. So it’d be nice to have somewhere else to move to. And that’s what I was saying earlier. Like, I would like to, you know, grow more and be somewhere else because right now I’m kind of at a standstill because I can only produce so much right now being at the house.
Sharon Cline: [00:28:07] It’s such a good point, but it’s such like it’s so interesting because I always think of problems as being problems, but they’re great problems. They’re like something to be happy about, but there’s still a problem to solve. Yeah. So when you go to your vendors and you’re chatting with all the other people that are kind of doing their same businesses or whatever business they do, they give you advice to like to kind of grab on to some of their words of wisdom.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:28:30] We bounce off of each other a lot, which is great because there’s such a good small business community right here. A lot of my friends and small businesses and we just we help each other with content ideas and marketing ideas all all the things.
Sharon Cline: [00:28:44] Well, if someone out there is listening and wants to start their own businesses, they’re like something we could tell. You could tell them.
Intro: [00:28:50] Not me.
Sharon Cline: [00:28:51] No, that’s why you’re here. What would you be able to. What kind of advice could you give them?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:28:56] I would say just go for it. Like that’s what I have two really good friends that were doing their small business before I did, and they were constantly telling me like, Just do it, just do it because you don’t know where you’re going to go. And that’s kind of where I’m at now. Like, this is crazy, like where I’m at. Like, I can basically almost quit my full time job to work.
Sharon Cline: [00:29:13] To do something you love.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:29:15] Right? Yeah. It’s my passion. It’s not really working. I mean, yes, it’s work, but I don’t feel like I’m working. That’s awesome.
Sharon Cline: [00:29:23] It’s kind of the American dream. It is. I’m getting that girl.
Intro: [00:29:26] I mean, I’m excited.
Sharon Cline: [00:29:27] It’s exciting and inspiring to see someone who is brave enough because a lot of people have ideas and they don’t really think, well, it’s too much or it’s overwhelming. Yeah. Like, really, a lot of the Internet has been a big resource for you, even just with logos or LLC or all of those things. I mean, it’s kind of great, you know?
Cristiana Dudash: [00:29:46] It is, yeah. Without social media, like I want to have found my team. I say team, I have my photographer that I found through social media, the girl that does all my graphics, she did my logos, my branding, everything through Instagram and then my ambassadors, like, they’re my coworkers too. Like, I need them. And it’s all through social media. It’s.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:06] It’s the way it is.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:30:07] Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:08] Oh, I’m so excited for you. Well, can you please tell me where people can find your information if they’d like to look you up? Not cyber stock. Just look up.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:30:16] So I’m on Instagram at Serenity Candle Co and then my website is Soft Serenity Candles dot com and then Tik Tok is also Soft Serenity Candle Co and then Facebook Street Candle Company. So and Pinterest.
Intro: [00:30:30] And Snapchat and.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:30:32] All the social.
Intro: [00:30:33] Media.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:33] But that is a full time job in itself. Just talking about it.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:30:36] Really is.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:36] All the different angles. Do you have them all linked together? So like if you do Facebook, it’ll show up on.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:30:41] Instagram and Facebook are linked and then my website is linked through Instagram and then Tiktok’s kind of on its own.
Sharon Cline: [00:30:47] Well, I’m so excited to see where you go. And I just can tell you from personal experience that the candles are wonderful and they just make, especially for me in fall, they just make my house seem so nice.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:30:57] It’s so cozy.
Intro: [00:30:58] Yeah.
Sharon Cline: [00:31:01] Well, I really want to thank you for coming on the show. And again, this is Sharon Klein, and you’ve been listening to Fearless Formula. And this is to remind you that with knowledge and understanding, we can all have our own fearless formula. Thanks so much.
Cristiana Dudash: [00:31:14] Thank you for having me.
Sharon Cline: [00:31:15] Sharon five.