How a Get-Well Gift Sparked This Entrepreneur’s Candle Business

How a Get-Well Gift Sparked This Entrepreneur’s Candle Business
Credit: Hudson Avenue Company.

Candlemaker Gloria Young is the spark behind Hudson Avenue Company, a New England-based business. In her interview, Gloria shares her unexpected beginnings, noting the chance events that led her from making candles as a hobby to selling them in retail shops. Continue reading Gloria’s story below.

How did your business come to be?

In the story of how Hudson Avenue Company came to be, our adventure into candle-making began with a bit of luck and a splash of creativity. It’s not just about making scents; it’s like destiny unfolding.

Picture this: I, driven by a love for handmade things, decided to whip up a batch of elderberry syrup for a friend who wasn’t feeling well. But, of course, it couldn’t be a regular remedy. I added handmade candles and a hint of rose water to bring comfort and a touch of joy.

What happened next was beyond my expectations. The friend, enchanted by the handmade candles, shared them with someone who owned a store. The spark caught fire, and suddenly our candles found a spot on the store shelves, captivating customers and sparking an unexpected demand.

Credit: Hudson Avenue Company.

When did you realize that you could start a full-fledged business?

And just like that, Hudson Avenue Company emerged. No longer just a side project, I found myself navigating the world of scents and craftsmanship, creating a variety of captivating fragrances. The journey from a thoughtful gesture to a thriving business with a bustling wholesale account was quick, thrilling and entirely unplanned.

Ah, it was like a lightbulb moment. You know, I started making candles just as a nice gesture for a friend who wasn’t feeling great. But when those candles ended up in a store, and people started asking for more, it hit me—maybe there’s something more here.

The realization was pretty straightforward: if others enjoy these handmade candles as much as I enjoy making them, why not turn it into a little business? That’s when Hudson Avenue Company started to bloom—from a personal hobby to something a bit more.

How do you define success for your business?

For me, success in this creative venture isn’t just about the numbers or profit margins. It’s about the stories our candles tell and the joy they bring. Success is seeing someone light one of our candles and feeling a moment of peace or happiness. It’s about creating a brand that resonates with people, where each scent becomes a cherished memory.

Of course, running a business means ensuring its sustainability and growth and making a positive impact. But success, to me, is also measured in the connection we build with our customers, the community we foster, and the joy our candles bring into people’s lives. It’s finding that sweet spot where creativity meets fulfillment, and our candles become a source of comfort and delight for others. That, to me, is the true essence of success for Hudson Avenue Company.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Inspiration for me is a blend of everyday moments and a deep connection to nature. I find it in the subtle beauty of a blooming flower, the calming hues of a sunset, or the comforting aroma of a familiar spice. It’s those small, overlooked details that spark my creativity.

Credit: Hudson Avenue Company.

Moreover, I draw inspiration from people’s diverse stories and experiences. Conversations with friends, travel adventures and books all contribute. It’s about staying open to the world around me and allowing those experiences to infuse into the scents and designs of our candles.

What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?

Looking back, the one piece of advice that would have been incredibly beneficial when I started Hudson Avenue Company is to embrace the power of networking and seeking mentorship. Building a business can be a solitary journey, but it doesn’t have to be.

Connecting with other entrepreneurs, seeking advice from those who have walked a similar path, and building a supportive network can provide insights and perspectives that are invaluable. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there, and learning from the experiences of others can help navigate challenges more effectively and accelerate the growth of the business. So, my advice to my past self would be to actively seek connections and guidance from those who have been there before.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start selling their art or creative product?

For anyone looking to start selling their art or creative products, my advice would be to first believe in the value of your work. Confidence in your craft is the foundation for success. Once you’re certain about the worth of what you create, others will recognize and appreciate it too.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

Fun fact about me—when I’m not immersed in the world of candles, you’ll catch me outside, soaking in the moonlight and exploring the mysteries of the night sky. I’m a bit of a space geek, fascinated by everything from the moon’s phases to quantum physics and the dance of frequencies.

There’s something magical about gazing at the moon and stars that grounds me. It’s a nightly ritual that influences the scents I create for Hudson Avenue Company. The peaceful ambiance of a room lit by candles mirrors the serene glow of the moon, and as for the fragrances? They’re my personal way of encapsulating a hint of that cosmic wonder.

So, beyond the jars of scents, you’ll find me with my head in the clouds, quite literally, marveling at the vastness of space and finding inspiration in the cosmic dance above.

Credit: Hudson Avenue Company.

As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining our art. How do you handle perfectionism?

Sigh, perfectionism is the constant companion of creatives. In my journey with Hudson Avenue Company, I’ve learned to navigate the intricate dance with this demanding partner.

The secret, I’ve discovered, is to embrace imperfections as part of the creative process. Every slightly uneven wax surface or nuanced variation in fragrance adds a touch of authenticity and uniqueness to our creations. It’s about finding beauty in the unexpected and recognizing that perfection is, more often than not, subjective.

Setting realistic goals and deadlines has become my ally in this battle. It’s a way of channeling the desire for perfection into productive avenues. I’ve come to realize that sometimes what I perceive as a flaw might be the very thing that resonates most with our customers.

So, in the realm of Hudson Avenue Company, perfection is a journey, not a destination. It’s a continuous process of refining, learning, and celebrating the delightful idiosyncrasies that make each creation special. It’s about finding grace in the imperfect, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s something that surprised you about running a creative business?

One surprising aspect of running a creative business has been the profound connection that forms between the creations and the people who appreciate them. I initially anticipated the joy of crafting scents and designing candles, but what took me by surprise was the emotional resonance our products could evoke.

Witnessing customers share stories about how a particular fragrance brought back cherished memories or hearing about the tranquil ambiance our candles create in their homes has been incredibly moving. The ability of art to forge a personal connection and become intertwined with people’s lives has added a deeper, more meaningful layer to the creative journey of Hudson Avenue Company.

What’s your advice for handling the highs and lows of running a business?

Navigating the highs and lows of running a business is undoubtedly a rollercoaster, and through my own experiences with Hudson Avenue Company, I’ve gathered some advice:

During the highs, celebrate every milestone, big or small. It’s essential to acknowledge your achievements and take a moment to savor the successes. Whether it’s reaching a sales goal, positive customer feedback or an exciting collaboration, these moments are the fuel that keeps the creative fire burning.

Conversely, during the lows, remember that challenges are inevitable in any entrepreneurial journey. Instead of seeing setbacks as failures, view them as opportunities to learn and grow. Reflect on what went wrong, adjust your strategies, and use adversity as a stepping stone toward improvement.

Has someone ever criticized your work? How did you handle it?

Absolutely, criticism is an inevitable part of being a creator, and it’s an experience I’ve encountered. Initially, receiving criticism can be challenging, but over time, I’ve learned to approach it as a valuable opportunity for growth.

Firstly, I take a step back and detach myself emotionally from the feedback. It’s crucial to view criticism objectively and understand that it’s about the work, not a personal attack. This perspective shift helps me extract constructive insights from the critique.

Next, I try to identify the merit in the criticism. Is there a valid point that can contribute to improving my work? Constructive criticism, even if delivered less-than-ideally, often contains nuggets of wisdom that can lead to refinement and enhancement.

On the flip side, if the criticism is subjective or doesn’t align with my artistic vision, I trust my instincts. Not every opinion will resonate with everyone, and it’s okay to stay true to your creative voice.

Lastly, I use criticism as motivation. Instead of letting it discourage me, I channel it into a drive for continuous improvement. Every critique becomes an opportunity to evolve and refine my craft.

What’s a cause you are passionate about?

Certainly, addressing hunger in the USA is a cause that hits close to home. Feeding America is a leading organization dedicated to fighting hunger in the United States.

Can you share the name of a supplier or vendor that you use for your business that you just loveone that makes running your business a bit easier? 

 We’ve got a soft spot for Candlescience, our go-to supplier that just makes everything a breeze. Their range of oils, waxes and essentials is like the secret sauce to our candle-making game. The quality is top-notch, and it’s not just about business; it’s about creating something special. Candlescience has this knack for making the whole process smoother. When you find a supplier that not only meets but exceeds your standards, it’s a game-changer. 

What brings you joy?

My greatest joy comes from spending time with my family and creating beautiful memories together. These simple, heartfelt moments are the true treasures in my life, grounding me and bringing balance amid the busyness of the creative journey.

Thanks, Gloria! You can learn more about her business at

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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