What began as a small hobby is now a multimillion-dollar success story.
Tamara Mayne founded Brooklyn Candle Studio in 2013. Because of her passion for the business, the studio now has 15 employees and 11,000 square feet of space at Industry City.
Mayne’s candles are sold across the country and at popular stores like Whole Foods.
“I started Brooklyn Candle Studio out of my apartment after experimenting with candle-making for 10 months, and it started as an Etsy shop,” Mayne said.
In 2013, she received a barrage of orders and decided to move to a studio in Red Hook. After outgrowing that space, she moved into Industry City in 2015.
Mayne was an art director before she started the business. She took courses on branding and received a communications degree. Her strong marketing skills contributed to the company’s success.
“From a marketing standpoint, I really focused on the creatives, the visuals, the placement, the photography, the copy, everything about it. I also focused on making a quality product,” she said. “We have amazing friends we work with. It’s the culmination of a lot of influences of these different things that got us to where we are.”
Despite the competition, Mayne’s products have done well in the marketplace.
“I think our packaging, being minimalist and so typography-focused, really stands out at first glance,” she said. “We are a stark contrast from Yankee Candle. I think we would compare ourselves more to luxury candle brands, but at an affordable price.”
The business struggled at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, but the customers didn’t go away.
“The lockdown was really hard for us because we couldn’t manufacture any candles during that time in the studio,” she said. “Because so many other people were quarantining and kind of wanted to enhance their environments, our direct-to-consumer sales skyrocketed during that time and it’s still very high.”
Mayne said being located in Industry City has been a big part of her success.
“I think that just having the space and network to grow was really huge, and to have the team at Industry City that helped us along the way,” she said. “We grew the entire way there when they created their Makers Guild. A lot of people discovered us there pre-COVID. It was great to see makers come by and see our shop. It’s a really beautiful space.”