Small Business Month – Client Success Stories: Serendipity Candle Company, Collingwood Ontario
Serendipity Candle Company: Natural Soy Candles Inspired by the Ocean
The inspiration for Serendipity Candle Company came from Jennifer Ageeb’s admiration for the beautiful island of Nassau. While visiting her mom in the Bahamas in 2002, Jennifer fell in love with the natural beauty, tranquility and vibrancy of her surroundings. She searched for souvenirs and keepsakes that truly reflected the island. Much to her disappointment, she realized that many of the souvenirs were poor quality, unsustainable or imported from other countries.
Determined to give both tourists and locals an option for high-quality products that were an authentic representation of the island, she began Serendipity Candle Company.
Jennifer was further inspired by her mother’s diagnosis and battle with cancer. Alongside her mother, Jennifer became aware of the vast number of products on the market that are full of toxins and chemicals that are harmful to our bodies and our health. This realization stimulated Jennifer to create pure natural soy candles that are free from any pollutants and carcinogens and fully biodegradable.
Jennifer operated her business in the Bahamas for 14 years and then decided to move back to Canada. In moving her operation to Collingwood, Jennifer knew she would need capital to successfully get her concept off the ground. “Before we even opened our brick and mortar store, we contacted the Centre for Business in Collingwood to learn about their programs and the support that was available,” says Jennifer. Serendipity Candle Company used the Centre for Business and the Community Futures Program for a small start-up loan so they could purchase supplies in bulk and be able to pass those cost savings down to their customers.
“Since our initial loan, we have gone back to The Centre for Business many times for advice and support. We have worked together on many initiatives, including finding more ways to be involved in the community,” Jennifer says.
One of the biggest challenges that Jennifer faced was initially getting the business off the ground. “Everything takes time, energy, and money. Since we make everything ourselves, we need to develop scents and new products. Having support from an organization like the Centre for Business and the Community Futures Program takes some of the stress off as they can provide you with financing, general business advice, and assurance that you are on the right track.”
When Serendipity Candle Company opened their Collingwood store front in 2016, they only had 25 scent options and one or two different styles of candle jars. Today, they have over 175 scent options, numerous different candle sizes, and a custom candle program where individuals can create their own custom candle line. Her own custom scents reflect her years of experience in making candles as well as the local community, including “Collingwood Chardonnay”, “Moonlit Snowshoe”, “Apres Ski”, “Wasaga Sands”, and many more.
The company also offers a very popular wholesale program that enables businesses and local groups to customize their own candles, jars, labels and packaging.
Jennifer’s biggest piece of advice to someone looking to launch their own business would be to find your passion. “It’s so important to do something that you are passionate about. Don’t go into it for the money. Do it because you have a passion, you want to make a difference, and because it makes you happy. When you can go into work every day and be excited because of the new challenges you’ve created for yourself, that’s when you know you’re successful.”
20 Balsam St., Unit 14,