A senior at Old Dominion University, Koby Lomax, Founder and CEO of Ardent Candle, started his entrepreneurial journey 5 years ago. Over the past few years, he has perfected his product. Ardent Candle is an e-commerce brand that sells candles with high fragrance loads so that the scent fills the room. His top three scents are Cactus Fields, Salted Caramel, and Fruit Loops! The first steps he took in starting his business was to learn how to make his product and bringing it to market to see if there was even a demand for it. Over time he has learned so much but, in the beginning, it was just learning how to make the candles and then trying to sell them. It started out as a hobby and as the company grew, there were many ups and downs, but the company is growing quickly now and doing pretty well!
"My parents ran a very successful company growing up so for me, entrepreneurship seemed like the normal thing to do. After taking an entrepreneurship class during my freshman year of high school, I decided I wanted to start a business and the following summer was when I started." -Koby Lomax
When COVID-19 hit Koby realized he was going to have to do things differently. He had more time now but needed to use it wisely to increase sales. He came up with a plan that focused on his online sales. He realized now that more people were home all day, they would have more time to burn his candles. Koby came up with a plan to use coupons for Mother's Day, targeted email campaigns, and new scents to drive more customers to shop online for his candles. Recently Ardent Candle just had its highest revenue month in 2020 and nearly tripled its monthly income in 1 week.
Koby has learned new lessons every day! He was stuck at a certain revenue for a long time and it wasn't until he started focusing on how to change that, that it changed! GET A COACH! Athletes understand that they need coaches to grow and get better but in business, he believes the value of a coach is underestimated. A huge part of his recent success was his business coach who helped him devise a marketing plan that would work, held him accountable in executing it, and was able to take a look at his business and let him know what needs to be improved, where costs can be reduced, and what to look out for. She also helped him avoid many hurdles that would have been tough to handle himself. Do the work! You can read the books, watch all the inspirational videos in the world, and like all the quotes on Instagram, but none of those things move the needle for your business. You probably know more than you think so stop constantly looking for answers "just-in-case" you need them. Look at where you are and where you want to go and ask yourself "what can I do today to get closer". Then DO IT!
"The Strome Entrepreneurial Center has given me a space to manufacture, fulfill, and store my products which have been hugely helpful and without it, the business may not be in business today. The SEC has also given me access to a network of people who have been able to help me in so many ways and has also allowed me to help many people as well!" - Koby Lomax
In 5 years, Koby plans to build the company into one that can run on its own without him, and then he would like to step down as CEO and switch roles to CCO. He knows, in the beginning, he has to do whatever it takes to build the company but eventually, he would like to be involved less in the actual running of the company and more on the creative aspects of the company such as creating new scents, creative marketing ideas, and a number of other creative fulfillment's within the company.
TW: https://twitter.com/ardentcandleco (@ardentcandleco)
IN: https://www.instagram.com/ardentcandl/?hl=en (@ardentcandl)