Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Scarlett Sturgis, the founder of WIckbox. Scarlett combined her love of candles with her entrepreneurial drive and created the first luxury candle subscription box. Wickbox curates candles to your preferences, giving you the ultimate luxurious experience. We love their motto: “One, treat yourself. Two, let your light shine.”
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I was born and raised in the South. I graduated from College of Charleston with a degree in Arts Management & Hospitality & Tourism Management. After graduation, I moved to Europe for a few years (Amsterdam & London) and worked in the corporate events industry. As a daughter and granddaughter of entrepreneurs, I’ve always dreamed of having my own business. I started Wickbox not long after moving back to the Carolinas. It serves as a wonderful creative outlet and taps into my passion for home decor.
2. What prompted you to start Wickbox?
I had a dream (literally). In the dream, I was chatting with a couple ladies in the mall about how I wanted to start a candle of the month club with candles that are much higher quality than what you can find in the mall. As soon as I woke up I started jotting down all my ideas about it and had a rough business plan and a packaging vision pulled together in a couple days. At that point I had never even heard of a subscription box, but I soon realized there was a whole market out there for them and candles were an untapped part of that market.
3. How do you make Wickbox stand out among other monthly subscription boxes?
Personalization is key! It makes a big difference that subscribers have the opportunity to complete their scent profile and we handpick their candles to match. It takes the fear out of buying candles online that you can’t smell first. Also ensuring that each candle we send out is in a beautiful, on-trend container definitely helps us stand out to those subscribers who value aesthetics and love home decor. And of course the quality of the candles is top-notch.
4. What is your most successful form of marketing? (In terms of sales.)
Instagram has been my most successful form of marketing. I’m a visual person, as are many of our subscribers, so having a beautiful Instagram feed is a great tool to drive sales.
5. Where do you hope to see Wickbox in 5 years?
I hope to see Wickbox helping women in crisis in a big way. I feel called to help women who are facing crises like homelessness, financial struggles, domestic violence, and more, and I would love to use Wickbox as a vehicle to help fuel that mission. We are already doing that on a small scale but I would love to increase those efforts exponentially as we continue to grow.
6. Are there any aspects of running your own business that you absolutely hate? Love?
I don’t really enjoy the monotonous admin types of tasks, but I absolutely love curating our candles each month. It’s so fun to hunt for beautiful candle containers and luxurious scents that make the homes of our subscribers feel warm and inviting — like a retreat they can’t wait to relax in.
7. What tools, apps, best practices etc. do you use to stay organized?
I’m really starting to get into automating tedious tasks through applets in IFTTT, and Tailwind is great for scheduling Pinterest and Instagram posts.
8. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Traveling inspires me and fuels my creativity like nothing else. I love to experience new cultures including the unique design aesthetics in different parts of the world and the stories behind them. In my home you will find decor pieces from my travels around the globe, and those souvenirs continue to inspire me long after my trip is over.
9. Who is a #BossLady that inspires you and why?
I love the business Kendra Scott has built centered around philanthropy and family. Her business gives away so much to various charities every year, and it’s an inspiration to see how a business can experience rapid growth while simultaneously sowing into the lives of others.
10. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Make sure you do your research on how to have a successful launch because you want to make sure you capitalize on the initial buzz as much as possible. Also, having a side-hustle is perfectly fine until you can afford to make it full-time. That’s how I started with Wickbox.
Just for fun…
Favorite show to binge-watch: Friends will always be my go-to as new shows come and go
Style icon: Serena from Gossip Girls
Cocktail of choice: Scarlett O’Hara or Mojito
The perfect Saturday includes: Exploring a new city on foot or by bike, grabbing lunch at a local market, and browsing through home decor boutiques.
If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I’d be in: Japan during cherry blossom season – I’ve traveled a lot but this one is still on my bucket list!