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Community Highlights: Meet Angela Chen of Taolia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Chen.

Hi Angela, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
It was on Valentine’s Day of 2021 that changed the trajectory of my life. It may be the most romantic day for most people, but for me, it was one of the worst days of my life. I went through a terrible breakup with my ex of five years after he decided to leave me for someone else. It was a long distance relationship and I had plans to move across the world to be with him but due to COVID, their borders closed down for all international travels, and that’s when he started to look elsewhere.

I remember I felt devastated, emptied on the inside and felt half of me was gone. I had no motivation to do even the simplest things, so I would just be on the couch or in my bed, scrolling endlessly on TikTok, trying to get my mind off of him. Then I came across a candle making video suddenly appearing on my feed. It looked very interesting to me with the whole process and so I decided to try making some candles myself just for distractions. I bought a few supplies and started experimenting with candle making and ended up falling in love with the process. It felt therapeutic to me and temporarily took away the emotions I was having. Suddenly I had a realization that during the times I was with my ex, my attention was all on him and our future, and it is time for me to shift the attention to myself and I needed to do more for myself. It was that moment that I felt my inner entrepreneurial spirit came out. That I wanted to create something for myself, a brand, a business. Candle business became a thing to me and that’s when I started researching everything I needed to know about making candles and running a business.

Fast forward to November 22, (11/22/21), the day I launched my business. It felt so amazing seeing that I was able to turn my own vision into reality. I learned to perfect six scents of candles in nine months after so many testings. I eventually quit my tech sales job in March and travelled to Europe for a bit to do some self-reflection and to do some reset before I come back to fully commit to the business. I also work as a content creator and a social media manager for a rew clients so there’s a lot of things that changed for me in a year and a half.

My candles are currently being displayed at three locations and many more to come.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Testing and perfecting the candles. Documenting every change of a variable, because even if I tweak a little thing, it could change the whole product. Also getting the brand awareness out there. Also being in a competitive market for candles.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Taolia?
Taolia is a luxury scented candle brand inspired by the aromas of Asia, with a modern twist. It is inspired by the teachings of Tao. One of the most important teachings of Tao is simplicity. Therefore, our candles are made with uncomplicated ingredients. They are hand poured in small batches using coconut wax blend and premium fragrance oils in reusable double-walled borosilicate glasses, which can be reused as drinking cups after the candles are done burning. Currently we have 7 scents, with 1 just added recently in May. I am most proud of the branding I’ve created for Taolia, which is to bring a luxurious experience with the candles and also inspire people to practice sustainability. I am currently working on new scents and more size options so I definitely want them to stay tuned! Also, I offer free shipping on orders over $75!

Do you have any advice for those just starting out?
Be bold, and don’t be afraid of reaching out to people. Make sure this is something that you really want because running a business is a 24/7 thing. Don’t be in it for the money, be in it because you’re passionate about the business, and that’s when you’ll learn to do everything on your own, because you will then do whatever it takes to make your business grow. You’ll find yourself doing the uncomfortable things and that’s how you learn to grow.

Something I knew when starting out; finding good suppliers is definitely key and they make or break your branding. I spent a lot of money getting samples from suppliers and some of the things could’ve been shown over an email instead of receiving in person. The shipping costs are expensive and I could’ve saved some money by them just sending me pictures of the samples. But definitely not everything could be accurate if not seen in person.

I also underestimated the lead time that would take to get my supplies from overseas. Because of the shipping delays and port backlog last year, I now know to prepare my orders way ahead of time.

Pricing:

  • 36

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.taolia.co
  • Instagram: taoliaco
  • Facebook: taoliaco
  • Other: Tiktok: taoliaco

Image Credits
Ryan Chua (for self portraits only)

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