A passion for your product, lots of determination and a splash of creativity is a solid recipe for building a successful business.
Enterprise for London client, Melting Messages has all of these qualities in abundance. The company founded in February, design and manufacture candles which burn down to reveal a poignant message and although still in their infancy they can already boast online greetings card giant, Moonpig as one of their clients.
We recently caught up with director, Michael Papworth to hear all about their start up story.
Q) Tell us about your business: your service / product
The team here at Melting Messages have designed a candle that once lit will burn down to reveal a hidden message. As a company we are very much about enhancing those special moments in people’s lives as many of us have something important to say, so what a great way to express those words with a candle. Unlike most candles which you burn and throw away, we have designed it as a keepsake to help you remember that special occasion.
We are London based and all of our candles are designed in our studio and hand poured here at our factory. We source our wax and other key components from other UK manufacturers so we can proudly say they are ‘Made in Britain’.
Each candle comes with its own tray and luxury packaging. It takes 30 to 40 minutes to burn down and reveal the message and is self extinguishing.
Q) What was the inspiration behind setting up your own business?
Before I went to university I was running my own company designing and selling prints which enabled me to fund my degree. Using the experience I already had and the skills acquired through further education I started working for a print maker. Following that I started working as a freelance product designer, so I suppose I have always had the creative gene.
The idea for Melting Messages had been in my head since 2013 and with some encouragement from my friends, who all thought the idea had legs, I decided to take the leap and set about starting the company.
Sometimes you just have to take risks and working as a freelancer can be up and down so there was never going to be a better time to invest in the idea and turn it into a reality.
Q) What has been your highlight and biggest challenge since setting up?
Seeing an idea that has been in my head for a number of years come to fruition has been amazing, but the biggest highlight has to be securing Moonpig as a client. Getting a business started is tough so having big companies interested at such an early stage has really given us some piece of mind and confidence.
There have been plenty of challenges as you would expect, but perhaps the toughest is simply the number of hours that have to be put in. There are so many tasks to complete and it is so important to make sure you are prioritising the right things, the things that make the difference. You can work hard, but in the end it is you who is responsible for everything so it is key that time is used effectively. One of the toughest aspects is getting everything that is floating around your head down on paper and if that means working a 20 hour day, so be it.
Q) What is your number one strategic goal for your business over the next year?
We are already working on developing second range of products which we are hoping to bring to the market in the near future. Due of the seasonal nature of the business it is important to diversify while continuing to focus on quality.
In addition, we will be concentrating on our marketing, while to date, we have had a lot of success with the trade market we want to make sure that we are targeting all sales channels so there will be a concerted effort on selling direct to the consumer through our website.
Q) Who is your favourite entrepreneur and why?
Richard Branson, because of his success creating and managing many successful businesses. He has built an incredibly strong brand which is recognised worldwide for its quality and he is renowned for being a strong leader.
His never ending drive and ability to focus on the next goal is really inspiring.
Q) What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs about to start their own business?
You have got to believe in your product, you can’t start something if your heart is not in it because you are going to have to make big decisions and work long hours and if you are not passionate about it you will quit. If you love it then you will just give it everything you have got.
For more information about Melting Messages visit their website – www.meltingmessages.co.uk