A Shropshire mum is joining the growing band of start-up businesses after launching a new candle making enterprise from her country home.
Based at English Frankton, near Ellesmere, entrepreneur Paula Fox-Kirkham launched her wellness brand PFK in January this year.
The mum of two has used her creative flair and passion for all things natural to develop a unique range of aromatherapy candles.
Handmade in the PFK kitchen, each natural soy wax candle incorporates a carefully devised and measured blend of plant-based oils.
The gentle aromas have been designed to help calm the mind and body.
Paula’s candle making venture was inspired two years ago by her mum who, at the time, had just been diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease called Myasthenia Gravis.
The rare condition causes muscle weakness and for Paula’s mum it also triggered many respiratory problems including pneumonia.
Desperate to try and help bring some form of natural relief to her mother’s symptoms, Paula began experimenting with organic essential oils.
Eventually, she hit on a blend of oils including lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary which helped to ease, calm and relax the breathing problems and uplift her mother’s mood.
“We began by diffusing the oils and both myself and mum were surprised by the impact they had on her overall well being,” explained Paula.
“The unique blend seem to instantly calm and relax her and bring much needed respiratory relief. Mum started using the oils on a daily basis and in the meantime, I had the idea of incorporating the oil blend into a candle.
“The thinking behind it was that mum could use the candlelight to help her meditate to bring added relaxation but at the same time, she would still be benefitting from the scent of the oils.
“I set about experimenting again and finally came up with something that worked and that’s how the business started really.”
The candles proved an instant hit with family and friends and the success has spurred Paula to take the venture to the next level.
After spending time fine-tuning the oil blends, Paula, a yoga instructor, has now developed a range of four aromatherapy candles each with different wellbeing benefits from relaxing to invigorating.
And, with a rapidly growing customer base for the handmade made range, the mum-of-two is determined to turn her kitchen table hobby into a successful business.
She’s anticipating the micro-operation will expand and diversify quickly and as such has plans in the pipeline to move production to a purpose-built unit on site as sales grow.
She is also already developing ideas for other wellness products under the PFK brand including bath and beauty items.
She said: “We’ve just launched a new website www.pfkwellness.co.uk to introduce the candle range to a wider market and I’m already considering taking on my first employee to help with production and meet growing demand.
“Feedback has been extremely positive from all our customers so far and each of the four blends has been very well received.
“I’m really excited to be on this magical journey and I’m looking forward to the challenges and successes which 2018 might bring.
“We are working very hard behind the scenes pitching the candle range into retailers and developing ideas for other products and long-term it would be a dream come true to see PFK wellness products stocked in large department stores.”
Later this year, Paula also has plans afoot to open an on-site PFK Yoga Studio and The Hollies Well-Being Retreat – two luxury properties, which will be available for business hire and short breaks.
For more information on PFK Candles visit the website www.pfkwellbeing.co.uk or follow the business on Facebook @PFKwellbeing and Instagram @PFKwellbeing.