Natalie is the co-founder of WOODCO, a sustainable, homegrown candle brand. The mother-daughter duo decided to turn their hobby into a business after receiving positive responses from friends, family and Natalie’s followers on Instagram. The pair launched their brand just before COVID-19 broke out, and despite setbacks, they have seen promising traction.
We caught up with Natalie to find out more about her entrepreneurship journey and tips on sustainability.
So Natalie, what is WOODCO about?
A Mother & Daughter duo handcrafted with love. All of our candles are made with a blend of coconut and soy wax, infused with fine fragrances and essential oils. Each one is accented with a wooden wick for a clean and cozy burn.
We are no "factory". Our approach is to keep it local, as we hand pour in small batches from our humble home studio in Hong Kong.
How did you get started with WOODCO ?
My mom is a very crafty lady. She comes from a fine jewelry background and she loves making art with her hands. One day, she ordered a bunch of candle making supplies and started playing around with it and giving them to friends and family. They loved it and told us to start selling. I posted it on IG stories and it started to gain traction (that was a very exciting moment for me). This was when we decided to solidify our brand and bring it to life!
What let you know that you were on the right track?
When strangers started noticing and buying from me and then telling me how much they love the scent. It makes my heart dance!
Did you face any setbacks? What were they?
Trying to make it as eco-friendly as possible, especially with delivering the goods.
It seems like sustainability is something very important to you. Do you have any tips for people who want to be greener?
I am trying to figure out what works best for me! My tips are recycle and reuse as much as you can. Buy second hand things. Donate or sell your unwanted things. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Use a metal straw and always bring your own coffee cup! I find these habits easier and quicker to transition to.
Why should people switch to soy- or coconut- based candles?
We use a blend of coconut and soy wax because not only do they have great wax consistency (it burns slower and it gives off a powerful scent throw) it is also a cleaner alternative to paraffin wax candles because paraffin wax is a byproduct of petroleum oil. If you burn paraffin, it can create airborne chemicals that may put your health at risk if inhaled too much.
What do you wish someone told you before you started WOODCO?
That it will all be worth it, but you’ll need to put in A LOT of work.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
We started shortly before COVID happened. We joined a few fairs hoping to launch our product live, but it got cancelled. Other than that, we've been running our online store and thankfully delivery companies are still operating.
What’s next for WOODCO? (I saw that you collaborated with Lululemon!)
We’ve been collaborating with small businesses and entrepreneurs. We’ve just wrapped up a project with Janice Ng of AbsFocus with an invigorating scented candle. Lululemon is for a Mother’s Day campaign :) I’m also partnering up with my dear friend Melissa Bui, (fashion designer & illustrator) for a Summer series that will be launched next month.
What is your favourite thing about living in Hong Kong?
We have the best of both worlds - a vibrant city with beautiful natural surroundings (mountains, beaches and old towns) It just gives us more reason to explore this small but diverse city.
Are there any local businesses you would like to shout out?
Natalie has generously shared an exclusive discount code with us. Use code 852PRINTS for 10% off site-wide! Code duration: May 15, 2020 - June 15, 2020.