Interview With A Candle Shop: A Scent Story

Interview With A Candle Shop: A Scent Story

Hello darlings. Today we will be looking into what it is like to run a small business. I think by interviewing small businesses, you can learn about the creator and owner behind wonderful brands. I will be asking questions from small businesses that fit into the world of books and that need to be added to your shopping list on a weekly basis. The first small business I wanted you lovely souls to learn about is a Georgia candle shop called A Scent Story Candle Co.



One of my first small business interviews is something I having been excited to write about for The Seasonal Pages. The business I wanted to speak to was A Scent Story owned by Leslie Vallery. A Scent Story is a bookish candle company based in Georgia. This lovely candle shop has not only bookish candles named after amazing writers like Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni and Octavia Butler but also candles that fit into different seasons such as her wax melts.

I’ve been making candles for years. I started a dessert candle line with my bath and body company, but in 2020 after a series of health related events, I was feeling overwhelmed and really needed to create a stress free environment. I felt like I was being “sat down” and literally the only thing I had enough energy for was reading. 

I found The Wake of the Wind by J. California Cooper and I couldn’t remember the book so I decided to read it over. There was one scene where 2 characters were sitting in the evening on their land drinking lemonade. The description was so vivid to me that I thought I could actually smell and taste the lemonade. I made Sip of Summer a lemonade candle the next day.  I wanted to keep the peacefulness of making candles inspired by books and decided to focus solely on candles. It helped with my stress level and health.

I personally love to read, there’s nothing better than reading a new book especially one that I’m super excited about. On the other hand though, when you finish a really good book, the worst part is when it ends. I wanted to create a way to take me back to the book and that feeling I had while reading it. Scent is a great way to create a memory so I figured candles inspired by books would be a great way to continue the good feeling. 



When I have a happy customer who gets the vision. It’s such an amazing feeling to receive happy mail or get tagged in a post or story. 



My day starts early at 5:45am. My daughter is a freshman this year and leaves for the school bus at 6:15 so I’m up and awake. My husband leaves for work at 7:45 so after they’re both gone, it’s completely quiet and I can start my day. My one thing every morning is coffee so over coffee, I look over my to do list. 

My day pretty much was confirmed the day before if it turns out to be a shipping day, candle making day or an admin day. Either way, it’s more productive for me to separate the days. I can better manage my tasks without jumping from one thing to the next and refocusing. It’s easier for me to stay in one mode.

Some days are totally devoted to packing and shipping while others are spending the entire day making as many candles as possible so they can sit and cure. 

I found that making Monday an admin day has helped me lot with organizing and creating a schedule. 

On Mondays, I double check supplies I may need to replenish and order as well as note any candles that are low and need more in stock. I go over existing orders and plan out the rest of the week. I also go over my social media calendar.

Tuesday through Thursday are shipping days and I usually spend the Friday through Sunday making candles, it’s peaceful for me that way.




For me, the hardest part is wearing all the different hats. I’m comfortable being the creative side of A Scent Story, but I can’t only be that. The business side is hard for me and for a long time social media was the hardest part of my day. Marketing, answering emails and promoting the business still remain a struggle because it doesn’t come to me naturally. 

If I meant to order supplies, but got distracted and forget, no one else is going to catch it. Everything falls on me, I’m responsible for the whole thing. This goes along a previous answer, I’ve had to find ways to make it easier. Focusing on the task at hard is a must because I can’t delegate to anyone else. So to ensure that I don’t make mistakes I separate my tasks. 



That I don’t have a huge personal stash. I literally only burn the ugly candles, (candles that have frosted or have wet spots) and new scents that I have to test.


My favorite scents to create are the book inspired candles because it’s really important for me to capture the smell of the story so that the customer smells the scene or the mood/vibe which creates the memory. I love when that feeling comes to me and I mix scents to capture it. 



When I have a happy customer who gets the vision. It’s such an amazing feeling to receive happy mail or get tagged in a post or story.  


Do it because you love it and can’t stop thinking about it and not for anything else. The dream in your heart will sustain you when it gets tough because it will get hard. 

I understand the thought process of just doing it, but I also firmly believe in planning, otherwise you’ll have to start over later whether it’s in branding, brand vision,  direction, product offering etc and more than likely waste money. I can say that because I’ve done it and who likes to waste money. I really try to avoid saying to myself, “if you just would’ve waited a minute.”



Did you learn anything new about owning a candle shop? I sure did when interviewing Leslie, the lady behind A Scent Story. Being a small business has so many layers from getting recognized, to creating candles and expanding to different scents. I want to personally thank Leslie again for this lovely interview. You can find A Scent Story anytime by clicking here and following A Scent Story's Instagram @ascentstorycandleco by clicking here. Until next time...Happy Reading!

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