Every week, we shine a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making clothes, accessories, homeware and more from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.
From fashion and beauty to homeware, accessories and food, we bring you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week, we chat with Iona and Craig Lackie, founders of candle and crystal brand Witchy.
How did Witchy come about?
We’ve always been interested in spirituality, from checking horoscopes to getting tarot readings, so we decided to make a business from the passion. Witchy started a couple years ago when we found out about how so many crystals are sourced – often using unethical methods. We then branched out into candles, which took off so much that we don’t even sell individual crystals anymore.
What three words describe Witchy?
Fun, mischievous, witchy!
Who is the Witchy customer?
Originally we thought that the Witchy customer would be people really into Wicca [a modern Pagan religion], but that isn’t the case. Our customers range from people who want a gorgeous smelling candle that looks good, to people who use them in their magic rituals.
Where do you find inspiration for new candle scents and your label designs?
This usually comes from what we find ourselves needing. For example, our recent release of The Fool came when we moved into our new factory/office/dispatch centre. It was a leap of faith and a new beginning, exactly what The Fool represents.
From there, we use our 70+ year old Tarot deck to make the label designs and go through our library of over fifty fragrance options to decide which suits the meaning and energy of the card the best. For example, for The Fool, its meaning of new beginnings and depiction of a young man going on a journey, spoke to a musky masculine smell for us. Luckily, we had the perfect one in our library of scent and assigned that to The Fool. It’s hard to describe, but some scents are just ‘right’.
Once we have the fragrance and colour sorted, we test 13 different wicks to find one that burns perfectly. This is different for each fragrance and colour combination, so we test every time.
What does a typical day look like for you?
After getting into the factory, we’ll make sure every email, comment, message and enquiry is replied to – the most important people are our customers so we do everything we can to keep them happy. After that, we’ll get orders printed out and sent, products made and whatever else is on the to-do list. At the moment ticking off the to-do list comes much later in the day as we’re so busy with existing orders!
What’s the best thing about running your own business? And the most challenging?
I think the best and worst thing is the same: being ultimately responsible. Nothing is ever someone else’s fault, which is a blessing and a curse. You can take the achievement when things are going well, but when things flop, it’s down to you.
The most memorable moment so far?
Probably moving into our new factory in April. We went from one table in a shared space to having a huge wreck of a former storehouse, renovating the whole thing and ending up with a huge Witchy factory. We’re hoping we’re a bit more prepared for candle season this year.
Which candle is your favourite?
The Fool. It’s not our most popular candle by far (I think the name puts people off gifting it), but I love the scent so much that we’ve actually made it into our own personal perfume.
Anything exciting planned for the rest of this year?
Lots! Expect to see new products, new lines and a couple of unexpected twists. We’re also now taking on retailers so you might just spot us in a shop!