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I Quit My 9-5 Job And Now I Make Six Figures On Etsy Selling Candles

  • Mum of one Lindsay, 38, quit her full-time job to sell candles on Etsy
  • The business only made £100 in its first year but it quickly became popular
  • Now the company makes six figures and she employs 4 staff
  • She started out with a pan and jug in her kitchen but now she has a studio spanning 1000 square feet
  • Lindsay shares how she’s achieved such success and gives advice to others
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Many of us have considered setting up an Etsy store and selling our crafts, but one woman has taken her passion to the next level and generated a six-figure income with her business.

Lindsay Gibson, 38 from Durham, was inspired to start her own business after becoming a mum. She told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: ‘After having my little boy I was working full time for the NHS. As I was spending more time at home with my little one I didn't get out and about much. So I started playing with different crafts as hobbies.

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‘I have always been passionate about interior design and after buying a few disappointing candles, I decided to make my own. It just snowballed from there!’

Lindsay learned the craft by watching tutorials online. ‘I watched so many YouTube videos and did a lot of research. I found supplies and it was basically trial and error.’

After making her first products, Lindsay set up her Etsy store, LindsayLucasCandles. ‘In the beginning, it was just a hobby so it was all for fun. I only made £100 in my first year but I wasn’t focusing on making money.

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Shipping out orders from the first work premises
Shipping out orders from the first work premises

‘However, a couple of years into making and setting up my business I really struggled balancing time. I took a calculated risk and left my full-time job, swapping it out for a part-time role. I managed a lot better and had more time to focus on building the business.

‘This lasted for a few more years until I was confident enough to leave employment and focus on the business full time.’

Exterior view of the first work premises
Exterior view of the first work premises
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At this point, Lindsay encountered a new obstacle. ‘The next issue was space. I started in my kitchen which I quickly outgrew. I built an extension onto the side of my house which only lasted a year before I needed more space. The business took over my home!

‘The loft was full, I had two sheds built in the garden…finally, I decided to take on work premises. This was life-changing but again, I outgrew that!

‘I took on a bigger location which I have been settled in for 2 years now. This was one of the most nerve-wracking things I have done but it has worked out perfectly. Now the business operates from a 1000 square-foot premises and I have hired four staff to help me out.

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‘I’ve been fortunate enough that the company hasn’t encountered any difficult financial periods. The business exploded over lockdown and I had more work than I could handle. There's been a dip in the level of work since but things are just as they were prior to the pandemic.

‘Sales are around the same. Some weeks are up, some are down - it’s swings and roundabouts. If I'm having a quiet period it gives me a chance to work on new ideas.’

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Lindsay now sells a much bigger range of products than she did when she was first starting out. Her range includes scented candles, decorative pillar candles, candle tarts, reed diffusers, car air fresheners, carpet powders and fabric fresheners. She and her staff hand-craft each product with eco-friendly supplies, and a diverse range of hampers can be made up as gifts.

The personal touch Lindsay applies to her products has resulted in a highly profitable business. ‘I love it when my customers message me to tell me how amazed or impressed they are by the products - it still gives me a massive buzz. Since we personalise our candles we receive a lot of heartfelt orders for weddings and bereavements. Knowing I've helped really makes it all worthwhile. When I have hard days I tend to reflect on that.

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Car air fresheners
Car air fresheners

‘I recognise a lot of names of repeat customers when processing orders and that always blows me away. It gives me a lot of validation.

‘I made very little in my first few years of business. I think I only made about £100 in the first year! But as the company grew, I kept looking back and thinking about the fact I started from scratch with a pan and jug in my kitchen. Reflecting on my achievements always gave me what I need to keep pushing forwards. Now I’m making six figures.’

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Like most businesses, though, Lindsay has been impacted by rising prices as the cost of living goes up. ‘Electricity costs and prices for supplies have shot up dramatically. My latest order for a pallet of wax had risen by £1000 since my previous order, so I'm looking at different suppliers to see if I can get a better deal. I would actively encourage people to shop small and support small businesses like mine to help keep us going.

‘For those looking to start their own business, I’d advise that you should be unique and stay strong. Start small and build up. Research everything and, most importantly, do not listen to doubt.’

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