Why did you set up Milis?
I have worked as a cancer nurse for 20 years and when I became a mum, I was increasingly aware of what I was exposing my two small boys to. My eldest Theo has allergies, so it really made me think.
I love to burn candles in my home and, with a little research, I became aware of the harmful chemicals they can contain and that paraffin wax used in many candles is a byproduct of petroleum – I didn’t want that burning in our home. So I decided to make my own.
I enjoyed the making so much that for Christmas 2019 I made some for friends and family. I got such a positive response, I began to wonder where I could take it and Milis was born. I officially launched in March 2020.
What process do you use to create your products?
I blend essential oils and high-quality fragrance oils (vegan and paraben-free) to produce the desired unique scent, then I combine it with melted soy wax and pour into preheated jars where I have also placed a cotton and paper braided wick.
The candles cure for two weeks, then they are cleaned, packed and shipped off to be enjoyed!
What is your best seller?
Sparkle is my best seller – all of my candles have an 'inspired by' on the label, which my customers love!
Sparkle is inspired by my favourite tipple: a glass of Prosecco in my vintage champagne coupe and a frozen raspberry or two popped in. The scent is Prosecco, raspberries and vanilla.
What is it about your business that brings you joy?
There is so much about it I love, so it’s hard to pick one! I guess I enjoy creating something; the process is very rewarding, I get lost in the mixing of scent and pouring it is a kind of mindfulness for me.
Then I get to pass that on to my customers; my job is done. Scent is a powerful memory, so when someone buys my candle, they love to connect with the inspiration. It creates a connection between us.
What are your hopes for your business for 2022?
Growth! Slow and steady. I would love to expand my range this year to bigger candles, multi-wick candles, new scents and also soaps to compliment the brand.
I also want to introduce Milis to the UK. I have so many ideas, I am just getting started really.
What is the best piece of advice you would give a start-up business?
Keep going; the rewards will come. It has been tough. I still work three days a week as a nurse and up until six months ago I was full-time while launching and growing Milis.
So persevere and also get help when you need it. I have an amazing husband Jamie who supports me, also a wonderful designer Colm O’Connor (Colm O’Connor studio), and a fabulous mentor Clare Jordan that I sourced through the LEO mentorship programme.
I have also found connecting with other women in business locally, there is true talent out there and you can help each other out.
One last thing; just do it! It might not be perfect when you start, but don’t let that stop you. It will be perfect one day.