2021 was our first full year in business in a year full of challenges, however it was a great first year for us full of opportunities and ideas for the future. In this blog, I'm going to discuss the highs and lows of my small candlemaking business in 2021 and the most popular candles of the year.
What were the highs and lows of 2021?
The year started with plenty of difficulty personally after my first ever Christmas without my family in lockdown across the country in Glasgow. My family live down by London and we're used to having a busy agenda-packed Christmas, so the end of 2020 was quite the change for me. 2021 started with Glasgow in several lockdowns while I continued to work from home for my 9-5. Despite the decidedly negative situation, it was an opportunity to redesign my website totally and experiment with new fragrances and ideas.
In 2021, I launched 15 new scents throughout the year, with several limited edition runs including Strawberry Milkshake, Lavender & Chamomile, Strawberry Jam and Pear Drops. 2021 also saw the return of my Autumn Range (Toasted Marshmallow, Toffee Apple, Pumpkin Spice Pie, Nutty Banana Bread) and my Festive Range. Both will return seasonally in 2022, along with Cinnamon Buns in the Easter period. I experimented with wax melts, but decided these weren't for me at the moment. That isn't to say they won't be back in the future! I trialled pillar candles, with one particular shape causing my trouble for months. Sometimes you have to pick your battles, and unfortunately, it never made it to sale. However, I did master other pillar candles which are available now.
Towards the end of the year, things really got going! I took part in my first ever in-person market at the beginning of December (Park Lane Market) and followed this with two further markets (Southside Fringe & Art Space G41 Makers Fair and Urban Market Glasgow). I participated in many virtual markets too.
Also in December, I began stocking my candles in Quirq on the infamous Byres Road in Glasgow's West End, and the Scottish Design Exchange in Buchanan Galleries in the Glasgow City Centre. Both of these are excellent opportunities and timed perfectly with the festive season.
Nostos Candles was also featured in the media, appearing in Scratch magazine's Christmas gift shopping article in the November 2021 issue. Scratch magazine is a staple of the nail industry and I spent hours of my childhood looking over the photos of incredible artwork by nail professionals in the back rooms of a salon as my Mum is in the industry. Personally, this was a really exciting moment for me!
What were the most popular candles of 2021?
After expanding the options of where you can find Nostos Candles, it took me a little while to add up the totals of each candle's sales from 2021. I can now confirm our most popular candles are as follows.
1. Lemon & Lavender Mini Candle: This is one of my own favourite fragrances, and making them is truly a delight. This scent was popular online, at markets and in store. This beautiful combination of juicy lemons and sleepy lavender offers something for everyone, whether you're looking for something punchy or something relaxing. Let's break down the notes a little bit more... Deep lush lavender melds with bright sparkling notes of sweet lemons and a touch of eucalyptus to bring plenty of freshness to the scent. But there's a few subtle notes beneath the surface of this favourite. Deeper notes of tomato leaf, lime and spices hide just beneath the surface!
2. Rock Salt & Driftwood Mini Candle: Rock Salt & Driftwood was popular in retail and wholesale, going from the perfect fresh home scent throughout the year to being paired with REAL salt and seasonings by @salts_of_the_world (Instagram Link)! Saying a candle smells like salt sounds pretty strange. Let's dig into what this refreshing candle smells like. The candle opens up with invigorating ozone and seaweed, before a heart of cyclamen and waterlily wash over you. These salty, energetic notes are then merged with sweet amber and musk. These deep scents provide a comforting woodiness to the candle. Perhaps surprisingly, these clean and warm notes are blended together by very subtle patchouli!
3. Black Fig & Vetiver Mini Candle: This was surprise to me, and at one point last year I had considered discontinuing it. This is one of my most luxurious (and expensive...) fragrances, and you can absolutely tell why. It's an incredibly complex fragrance. It has many layers, and isn't for everyone at first. The initial notes of this candle, to me at least, are very earthy and slightly herbal. This is actually a touch of aniseed at work, subtly blended with deep green leaves and citrus. The candle has deep base notes of tonka and amber, which lend it it's deeply relaxing and unusually alluring nature. These are laced with middle notes of cedar and violet, and perhaps surprisingly, coconut. I said it was complex!
You can find all of these three candles on our website now.
Read my next blog post coming soon on our plans for 2022!