Sometimes a persons ‘why’ really resonates with me. I came across NOLA Candles online and talked to Liv about her story and her business. She sent me some candles to try, and I found out more about her for our blog series ‘Meet the Maker’. Although this product has not appeared in a L&L box, we hope to work together in the future.
Olivia donates 10% of NOLA Candles profits to the Neonatal Trust – a cause close to Mel’s heart as her daughter spent 14 nights in the Christchurch NICU unit.
Business name: NŌLA Candles
What do you make / create:
We made scented soy wax candles, reed diffusers and room sprays.
What inspired you to first go into business and make your own products?
Last year, I unexpectedly fell pregnant during lockdown. It was the best thing that has ever happened to me, but at the time I was a broke full-time student that had just moved back to NZ after travelling for five years – basically, as unprepared as I possibly could be to get pregnant.
I was incredibly fortunate: my family took me and my partner in and supported us while we got on our feet and prepared for our bundles of joy to arrive (yes, plural – twins!).
This however meant we needed to relocate, and when I was on the hunt for a job in the new town, people would take one look at my belly and practically dismiss me on the spot.
At first, this was really demoralising & defeating.
I’d always been a busy person, juggling multiple jobs to save up for my next travel adventure and all of a sudden I was unemployed, broke & felt stuck.
So after a few weeks of tears (I blame the hormones), I thought “screw it, I’ll make a job for myself!” Making candles was a skill I already had so I hit the ground running.
Everything else was and still is a bit of a learning curve!
What’s one piece of advice you wish you’d had when you first started?
Set some boundaries – work/life balance is hard to achieve when you are running a business but so important!
What’s your favourite product from your own range?
I recently launched a new scent ranged called warm sandalwood which I am obsessed with. I love it so much I’ve made myself a little perfume roller with it!
How do you like to treat yourself?
After the twins bedtime, I’ll make myself a hot choccy & binge-watch Modern Family. Usually, my hubby isn’t home from work yet so it’s a little bit of “me” time in the day.
What’s your go to place when looking for a gift for others?
I tend to pick up gifts for loved ones throughout the year and tuck them away for occasions – I find it makes gift-giving a little more thoughtful. So farmers markets, boutique stores, chooice – places where things are handmade or unique (& supporting locals).
What’s your favourite NZ made product?
I wouldn’t even know where to narrow it down – there is an abundance of talent in New Zealand!
Most recently discovered jewellery recycled from gin bottles (@ginbottlejewels) – I love this kind of kiwi ingenuity that balances beauty with sustainability.
Who are some of your favourite small businesses?
I recently had the fortune of attending an award event in my region that highlighted the talent in my area. Scared Art tattoo studio, Urban Naturals (my first stockist & favourite store in Masterton), gin bottle jewellery as mentioned above & nude kiwi skincare.
What can’t you live without?
Coffee – I am one sleep-deprived mama.
Where can we buy your products? And what are your social links?
Thanks Olivia – we loved finding out about your business and you! Disclaimer: Olivia sent me two candles to try and they were divine – I absolutely love her packaging, the glass and simplicity of the labels.
If you’d like to receive a monthly Little&Luxe box, that support small businesses like this, click here! We love what we do and we know you will too!