Filling the room with sweet scents… Student takes a tough time and turns it into a business opportunity
Published 10:10 pm Friday, June 4, 2021
BY IVAN SANDERS
Klacie Watson was a senior at Elizabethton High School in the 2020-2021 school year and like most students her age had to maneuver through a maze of changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic even having to compete in the State Chorus competition via a recorded performance.
But in that time, Watson also made a decision to do something that most students her age won’t even consider and that was beginning a business in her home by making candles and wax melts and selling them to a growing number of customers.
On Friday, just a few weeks removed from graduating from Elizabethton High School, Watson was standing outside the doors of her new downtown business at 407 East Elk Avenue preparing to cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the business, Klacie’s Candles and Boutique, in its new location.
She was joined by members of both Main Street Elizabethton and the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce for the big day for the young lady with a bright smile.
“We wanted to do something different during COVID when we first started,” Klacie said about starting the business. “It was really a hard time and sad so we wanted to do something for the community to enjoy, so we thought this would be a great idea for that time.”
When she first started making the candles in her home out of soy wax, her friends at school were supporting her by buying her products. Through those initial purchases and the word of mouth that came about, the business began to grow as the family began thinking about having to grow along with the increase in sales.
“I think that we were ready for it because she has so many good customers from the home,” said Klacie’s mother Wendy. “We had repeat customers that every other week were like, “I want to get the new scent”.
“Everyone was like you need to go bigger because you have some good stuff here. My brother was walking one evening and saw the sign in the window at this location and was like if it was meant to be we were going to check it out. Everything has just worked really well for us.
“When we were at the house making the candles, it was only the candles and wax melts,” Wendy continued. “However, since we got the store, we have the lotions, the soaps, the body washes, and even new products such as beard oil and hair serum so we are continually adding new products which are good for us and for the customers.”
Klacie was asked what some of the store favorites with the customers so far.
“We have a Caribbean Coconut which a lot of people like as well as Sundrenched Vineyard that is also a good one,” she said.
“Lemon Pound Cake is an all-around candle that we sell a lot of as well as Blueberry Cobbler which is selling really well,” added Wendy. “It depends on the season because we will swap out all of our candles from Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.”
While beginning a business is a daunting task to any adult, the thought process that runs through the mind of a teenager is sometimes the most difficult challenge to be overcome.
Klacie has tackled fears and second thoughts and has discovered that anything is possible when one sets their mind to it.
“You think about a business at such a young age and you think oh I would never be able to do that,” Klacie commented. “That is something that only older people can do and that is not the case. I never thought that I would be doing this but I think that anybody can do it.
“It takes dedication and staying with it. It was definitely a challenge with my school work and the business but my parents really helped me out.”
Wendy said that the help and support of Main Street Elizabethton and the Chamber of Commerce have been very valuable during the time leading up to the official opening of Klacie’s Candles and Boutique.
“They have been great – both Chamber and Main Street have been very helpful with getting us to know a few things about the downtown and what we need to do to make sure that we are ready to open,” she said. “They have been very friendly and have helped us because this is our first opening of a store.”
Both Klacie and Wendy said they are looking forward to what the future holds for the business.
“We enjoy doing what we do but we just want the customers to enjoy what we make and come back for more. I think that we will do well once the people know that we are here. It’s fun and we take pride in what we do.”