Growing up, I have always idolized my father like most daughters
As I grew older, I’ve begun to admire him even more, not just as a father, but as a businessman. Hearing him talk about his struggles and his journey of building a business from scratch has easily been the favourite story I’ve heard from him. And over the years of deliberations about business and potential business ideas, I found my zeal and love for business become more and more profound.
When thinking of a career, nothing excited me like business. And like any other person passionate about business, I too would think of various business ideas. And well, that was a problem, I was only thinking and never acting. ‘I won’t be able to handle a full fledged business and academics’, ‘it’s not the right time’, ‘where am I going to get the funds from? And ‘I still have a lot of time and I am too young’ were the excuses I gave myself for not putting my ideas into action. In the beginning of the second year of college, I found myself extremely perplexed about my career, I felt like I was just not doing enough. One day, my sister and I decided to make candles since we love scented candles and we had wax lying at home. And that’s when the idea of starting a business selling scented candles hit me. And the only difference between my previous ideas and this one was that it was feasible and I decided to act on it.
This idea of scented candles was congruous, rather emanated from my love for creativity, aesthetics, and self-care. Roughly 9 months before starting METHOD I started an Instagram account bringing together all of my interests and putting it down on one page called TheSkinStory. TheSkinStory is by and large a creative outlet for me. As a skincare and self-care enthusiast, TheSkinStory is a space where I review products and support sustainable, cruelty-free and sustainable skincare and self-care brands and simultaneously curate and create content, aesthetic to be precise. While looking up inspiration for the same I would often come across Scented candles most of which were sold by international brands. I found Candles to be extremely uplifting, joyous, and positive. Simply like light and joy in a jar. TheSkinStory has been such a learning experience, and a lot of these learnings I was able to translate into METHOD.
While I was researching about raw materials, I found out that almost all companies selling candles use paraffin wax since it is the cheapest type of wax available. The problem with paraffin wax is that it is derived from petroleum and it is non-renewable and releases toxins in the air as it burns. One thing that was certain for me was that sustainability was not going be just an option for my business, rather a mandate. I had always envisaged my business, big or small, to be sustainable. I have always viewed sustainability as my responsibility towards the environment. And as consumers, we have a prodigious influence on the environment and its sustainability. Every purchase and choice we make as consumers is an action towards or against the environment. But a consumer can make a sustainable choice, only if such a choice is available.
With candles, there is a huge gap in the market. There is a lack of information alongside lack of sustainable options. In an effort to bridge this gap, I started looking for other options and soy wax ticked all the boxes. It is plant based, renewable and does not release any toxin and it burns and burns cleaner and for a longer time. However, the predicament was finding a supplier for the same since there were very few. Finding the right supplier, and the right product took the longest time. Once that was done, METHOD candles started to materialize. At method, it is all about the process of production. We produce in small batches; all our candles are hand poured and sustainable. The very first order I received was a big one, for a wedding. But they insisted I use paraffin wax instead to reduce the cost and price. And letting that order go although was difficult, but was the best decision we made. During the times of COVID, procuring our ethical raw material has proven to be the biggest challenge. At the same time, candles being a luxury good and with people surviving through savings, our sales have dropped. However, we are hoping that things will become a lot better with time
METHOD for us is a way of growing and learning.
My sister and I, we started it with the sole purpose of learning and starting a business that was more purpose oriented and not just profit oriented. So far, it has been a marvelous and enlightening experience. I am excited for everything that might come in the way, growth, progress, errors, mistakes and all new opportunities. At the same time, we are really looking forward to expanding METHOD and diversify what we do and branch out into other fields. As for now, We are trying to have both ethics and aesthetics while trying to make your days brighter. And given the unforeseen circumstances that the world is facing today, it is difficult to see the light. And to that I would say, you just need to go light a candle.
- Yashvi Jain (BA Economics)