BUSINESS NAME / WEBSITE ADDRESS
Jo Macfarlane – https://www.jomacfarlane.com/
Growing a strong brand, being consistent in the process and aligned to your goals and values. Staying true to yourself and ‘on brand’ it’s very easy to be pulled along on someone else’s journey.
WHERE ARE YOU BASED?
I moved into Studios in September, a lovely little coastal village. Up until then the business was on the kitchen table. The Workshops attract clients from all over the UK, it’s a lovely little town perfect for making a weekend of it.
WHERE ARE YOUR CLIENTS BASED?
The business is multi faceted so it attracts clients from all over the UK. I have Private Clients in London and more locally I work with the Fairmont Hotel St Andrews, although I do get enquiries from the States.
WHERE ARE YOU IN THE LIFECYCLE?
I still see my business in its infancy although I have been making candles for 6 years its growing slowly, the business pivoted a couple of times. I think we always expect exponential growth, I am delighted the way the business is currently.
WHERE DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN 5 YEARS?
Still serving my Private Label clients, I am looking at the possibility of franchising the workshop part of the business to give stay at home mums a business from their kitchen table. Branching out Internationally and growing the brand.
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO START?
I started a business when my son turned 1. The business was started with a desire to be eco and sustainable. Filling old candle jars with wax, otherwise they were destined for a life as a tea light holder. Purchasing wax, oil and wicks from a high street shop, got home and began researching all the ingredients I bought , promptly popped in the bin as I discovered they were substandard.
WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF THE CHALLENGES SO FAR?
I believe in transparency and some of the toughest challenges I have faced are people coming along to the Candle Making workshops with the sole purpose of starting their own candle making business. The closest was 800 metres from my business. I run the workshops so people can feel empowered, learn new skills and go away with a sense of achievement from a comfortable and open environment. I am a huge advocate of ‘Kaizen’ – Japanese for lifelong improvement.
When you are in business by yourself and you come across for example a technical issue you have to figure it out, it’s a constant research. That’s why businesses like The Goddess formula are important, you can reach out and ask for help, especially if someone has been down that road before you. It’s all very well saying beat a new path but having support is paramount.
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST WINS AND SATISFYING HIGHS
Realising that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that it might take a year before a potential prospect becomes a client. I tend to ‘level’ my wins and highs, I don’t celebrate too much, that way when I get a ‘low’ it doesn’t faze me. I am on more of an even keel. I do revel in connecting women in business, I am always on the lookout for connections.
HOW DO I LET OFF STEAM AND RELAX?
It’s not so much about sky diving or hang gliding now but running and meditation are my ‘go to’ fixes. With the family we enjoy the great outdoors, lucky enough to live be the beach we spend long hours beach combing followed by a hot tub and log fire. I am also a complete book addict (self development, business and finance only) last year I read 100 in a year to challenge myself.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TOOLS TO HELP YOU COMMUNICATE WITH MY CUSTOMERS?
I love social media if it’s B2B Twitter is a great communicator, and B2C Facebook and Instagram for me is a bit of both. I think it would be incredibly difficult to communicate with your ideal consumer if you are not on social media as a small business.
WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL MOTTO?
Ask & Act are the two most powerful words, never be afraid to ask.
“She took the leap and built her wings on the way down” is a personal favourite. I also believe that the toughest times happen just before something great. In the past when I have hit a plateau I have given up but now I work through them. I love getting outside my comfort zone, it is where the magic happens.
WHO’S THE ONE PERSON WHO INSPIRED ME THE MOST?
Not in business terms, but drive and ambition is Tony Robbins. I started following him about 20 years ago and have completed a couple of his programs. Two years ago I attended his fire walk event in London. You do have to be able to continue the momentum after these energetic events.
WHO’S YOUR DREAM BUSINESS MENTOR?
Someone that would also see my vision, probably Sara Blakely of Spanx or Deborah Meaden. I am open to offers!
WHY IS BEING PART OF A MEMBERSHIP ORGANISATION SO IMPORTANT?
To have a facility to ask questions is so valuable. There is always someone who has been there before you no matter what stage of business you are at. You get a wide spectrum of answers too so it’s not like just asking a mentor.