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Meet Tatianna Amatruda of Wicks And Tricks in Mar Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tatianna Amatruda.

Tatianna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve wanted to start a business for a while now. When the quarantine started, my boyfriend and I both had to work from home so we started brainstorming business ideas. We both love candles (who doesn’t?!) and thought it would be a fun side project, but since then it’s really spiraled into a full-blown business. I loved the concept of creating cheeky, clever, and cute candle labels and that’s how Wicks And Tricks was born. We started reaching out to local manufacturers who make clean, soy wax candles and came up with fun lines like “Cheaper Than Therapy” and “I’m Not That Innoscent.” Having a candle business isn’t a new concept, but I’m really proud of how we added our own flair to it.

At the beginning, we were really just intending to sell directly to consumers online, but now we’re doing custom labels for weddings, selling at local Farmers Markets, and are in the process of getting into subscription boxes. We have really high goals and hope to get into larger stores in the near future as well.

Has it been a smooth road?
One of the biggest struggles for me is not having a ton of business experience, but that’s also part of the fun. We quickly figured out that we would need a concrete strategy for the rest of the year to get things going and keep us on track. It takes a lot of planning, patience, and a lot of cold-emails. There’s only two of us at the moment so we split all our tasks fairly evenly. Another challenge I’ve learned along the way is that businesses cost A LOT of money upfront and we didn’t have help getting ours off the ground. We both invested our own money into this and now I’m realizing how true the saying “it costs money to make money” is. I really applaud everyone who has tried to start a business with their own funds. It’s a lot of work and costs much more than I anticipated. But I really see every obstacle and hurdle as a lesson. We don’t see them as failures but learnings that help us optimize the business for future success.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Wicks And Tricks story. Tell us more about the business.
We specialize in your new favorite candles! They’re eco-friendly, hand-poured 10-ounce proprietary soy wax candles with scents and labels people love.

We launched in August, and our Cheaper Than Therapy definitely took off and became a staple for our brand. The irony isn’t lost on me, but my own therapist even bought one.

I’m most proud of how we’ve tackled obstacles together. We’re business partners, but we’re also a couple. We joke that we’re not a ma-and-pa shop but a gf-and-bf establishment. If you’re going into business with someone, it’s really important to have radical transparency, trust, and alignment on the vision at all times. We’re really lucky that our respective strengths complement each other and it’s been so fun to carry our relationship strengths into the business.

Overall, I’m extremely humbled by the love for the product. It’s such a joy to see people lighting up our candles in their homes and sharing it. It reignites our passion daily and excites us for what’s to come.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
A big trend I’ve noticed in the industry is the consumers’ desire to know about what’s inside the product and how it’s made. They care deeply about the materials and sustainability, which is an incredible evolution to the industry.

Socially conscious consumerism is a must, especially right now, and that’s why we’ve doubled down our efforts to ensure that every product delivered meets an ecologically sound and sustainable standard. It’s not just important to our customers, it’s important to us.

My hope is that this isn’t just a trend, but a permanent shift across all products we purchase, not just candles.

Pricing:

  • All of our candles are $24
  • If you buy 2 or more, you get 10% off your order

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Alondra Buccio

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