A mother of one child who opened a luxury wax melt shop from her kitchen table while on maternity leave is expected to reach £ 2.5 million in sales this year despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Keely Parsons, 24, from Bristol, is the owner of Sassy Shop Wax, which grew out of a hobby she took up when she was 18.
The savvy entrepreneur began making her own candles and selling them on Facebook – and soon 10,000 fans gathered on the social media platform.
In March 2018, Keely decided to start her maternity leave early from her full-time recruiting job and decided it was the right time to go out of her wax melting business.
Keely Parsons, 24, from Bristol, is the owner of Sassy Shop Wax, which grew out of a hobby she took up when she was 18. Pictured recently while pregnant with her second child
When she gave birth to her son Luca in late May this year, she was making £ 20,000 a month.
What are wax melts?
Wax melts are fragrant pieces of wax that are gently heated to release their scent.
They are like candles but without a wick, which means they need a wax warmer to heat and diffuse the scent.
In use, they melt completely in order to achieve an even distribution of fragrances.
The business has grown in strength and, despite the ongoing pandemic, had a record year – and now has Gemma Collins and Kerry Katona among its fans.
It grew 30 percent from the national lockdown, and despite the new severe restrictions in England that have closed non-essential retail stores, it expects healthy sales before Christmas.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Keely said, “I was always scared of being the perfect mother and, above all, wanted to feel fulfilled as a mother – everything after that was a bonus.
“I hated going to work every day, so it seemed like the perfect solution to running my own business.
“In October we made £ 195,000 and sold 37,000 units – when I say that out loud, I'm still like, am I? I cry every time I talk about it.
The business has grown in strength and, despite the ongoing pandemic, had a record year – and now has Gemma Collins (pictured) and Kerry Katona among its fans
Business grew 30 percent from the national lockdown, and despite the new severe restrictions in England that closed non-essential retail stores, Keely expects healthy sales before Christmas. Pictured: some of the Sassy Shop Wax products
& # 39; We are projected to earn £ 2.5million for 2019/2020 – all from wax melts. It is really incredible. & # 39;
Keely, who employs 20 people, spoke about the challenges she faced during Covid-19 and said the key to her success was teamwork.
"We are (like) a family," she explained. & # 39; Covid means vacation of employees, work from home, new rotas, distance.
In March 2018, pregnant Keely decided to start her maternity leave early from her full-time recruiting job and decided it was the right time to quit her wax melting business
“As with many small businesses across the UK, our culture and the way we do business was massively disrupted and there was nothing we could do about it. So we adjusted, we spun, we planned for the future, and we actually killed it this quarter.
"There have been a lot of things Covid-19 has taught us all, but one thing our team has taught is that in the face of a nightmare, we are pulling off things that would not even have been possible before."
Keely first started making the waxes after thinking that she would like the smell of her favorite bath bomb as a household fragrance.
She did a little research and found a niche in the market so she started making her own.
Although Keely balanced new motherhood with a burgeoning business, she said she was happier than ever
"I played around with them for a year and sold a few online, but it was my hobby so making money was just a bonus," she recalled.
In 2017, Keely came across Facebook groups for other fans of wax melts and candles and found that many were letting them promote their products for free. It was a defining moment for business.
"Marketing if you do it right can be game-changing for a company, and I've really found my way around Facebook," she said.
"Finding groups that are interested in what you do can be gold – I've had 10,000 people who are already interested in what I do."
By the time Keely went on maternity leave, she was making £ 2,000 a month from her wax melts while she was still in her full-time job.
Determined to go out of business, she ramped up the production of her waxes. She named her company after her nickname at work, where colleagues joked on the phone about her "cheeky" demeanor.
Although Keely balanced new motherhood with a burgeoning business, she said she was happier than ever.
"It was a dream compared to a 9-5," she said. “Most days I watched Netflix and cuddled Luca all day and suckled every minute, but when Dad came home I would work the evening.
“I felt like I was doing what I should be doing and following my goal. My mom came over for two hours to take a long bath and sleep, but I was so passionate that I made wax instead – because I wanted to, not because I felt like I had to or that it was like work felt.
"As a mom and in building a business, I was able to enjoy every minute of every day that I hadn't before."
In March 2019, Keely switched from self-employed to a limited liability company, took on family members and employed one other person
As the craze for their Sassy Shop Wax products grew, Keely found that no matter how much product she made, it would immediately sell out to her dedicated customers who wanted a piece of affordable luxury for their homes.
She said, “I've been doing stocks all month, I put them on the website once a month, and they sold out in 15 minutes. If I made £ 4,000 worth of stocks in a month I'd sell them. If I doubled it, it would also be sold out. It was a case of where was the ceiling? & # 39;
By August 2018, she was selling £ 30,000 a month in products – and still doing it all in her own dining room, with her mother and sister-in-law helping out.
"At that point, I was making more money than I could ever have imagined," admitted Keely. "Every free hour of the day I would try to make more wax."
In March 2019, Keely switched from self-employed to a limited liability company, took on family members and employed one other person.
From then on, she hires one or two additional employees a month to keep up with demand. In July of last year, they moved production to an 8,000-square-foot workshop and just a year later moved to an even larger 5,300-square-foot warehouse in Vertex Park, Emersons Green, which now employs 20 people.
Last July, Keely moved production to an 800 square foot workshop and just a year later to an even larger 5,300 square foot warehouse in Vertex Park, Emersons Green, which now employs 20 people
The waxes are all still handcrafted from a unique blend of scents – and Keely admitted that she still can't believe how successful her business has become.
She wants to keep investing in the company and receives a modest salary considering what it does. However, she was thrilled when she bought her first house this year – before the expected Christmas arrival of baby number two with her fiancé Theo Mehrabi, also 24.
She said, “It's my dream home near where I was born, so that's what I'll do. I invested to put money back into the business and invest in people.
“All of my employees are very motivated and optimistic. Everyone has a feeling we will make it this quarter.
"Not a lot of people think about melting wax in the summer and yet we've grown 30 percent, but now it's winter, we know it really is going to increase."
However, Keely's greatest achievement has been achieving her goal of being flexible about being Luca's best mom, now two, as she grows her business.
Keely's greatest achievement has been achieving her goal of being flexible about being Luca's best mom, now two, as she grows her business
She urges other budding entrepreneurs to “dream big” and adds, “I think a lot of people think when they start a business, small, they are afraid to promote themselves and what they want to achieve.
“I grew up in a small village and to tell people that you will do something different with your life can feel a little scary.
“People should be less afraid to yell about what you're trying to achieve. Don't be afraid of numbers – the responsibility some people may be afraid of and then set boundaries for yourself.
"If I had said to myself a year ago that I had a monthly turnover of £ 200,000, I probably would not have believed it."
Going forward, Keely's next goal is to stock Sassy Wax on the main drag – and expand the range to complete the circle by making a range of soaps and bath bombs.
Further information can be found at https://www.sassyshopwax.com/
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