- Tell us about what you do.
My name is Haley and I’m the founder + owner of Collective Harmony Co – a small business focusing on eco-friendly, all natural and sustainable ingredients to help create a more fragrant home. We believe that scent has the power to bring back some of our favorite memories and we hope our fragrances can do just that while helping to create new ones. We specialize in soy candles but have added several new home fragrances this year including reed diffusers and room sprays. Perfume, bath salts and lip balm have also been added as part of our self-care collection – which is something I feel very strongly about!
- How long have you been making your products and how did you get started?
I started making candles in the fall of 2017. Collective Harmony Co was born in May 2019. Before it was Collective Harmony my business went through a few different changes with the name, mission and products we carried. I initially started the entrepreneur life making tile coasters. I began making candles as I hobby at first to fulfill my obsession with always buying candles. It quickly grew into a passion that turned into Collective Harmony Co.
- What is your favorite part of the creative process? Least favorite?
I love finding new scents to make as well as coming up with names for our new fragrances. My favorite part would be coming up with new collection ideas and new products. My least favorite is wicking our mini mason jars – because it takes forever! But it’s worth it because our mini mason jar candles are just so cute and one of our best sellers!
- From where do you draw your inspiration to create your products?
I use Pinterest a lot to get my creative juices flowing, then I go from there. I usually do some research on what fragrances are trending, what seasonal scents are in and what ones performed well before. Between Pinterest, google and my suppliers I’m able to come up with new collections, new products and new scents. I tend to think “If I were shopping, what would I want” and usually create a fragrance or new product from that. I also use customer feedback on what scents and products are being received well and which aren’t. I’ve used a few customer ideas in the past to create new products as well – I’m grateful for amazing customers that support me + Collective Harmony and share ideas with us. I also like to draw inspiration from events and seasons in my life to come up with new fragrances or collections. We’re working on two new collections right now that are a combination of customer requests and different seasons of my life. We’re launching one of these collections on September 10th and we’re so excited to share it!
- What values does your business embody?
We pride ourselves on being a small business where all of our products are created and produced in our home studio. All work is done by hand and none of it is outsourced. We use all-natural ingredients like soy-wax produced from Soybeans grown right here in the U.S. as well as cotton wicks without lead or zinc. Our fragrances are all natural as well and don’t have any harmful toxins or bi-products in them. We believe in being as sustainable as possible and feel our fragrances help you to have a fragrant home without harming your environment.
- Is your business a full time or part time venture? Do you have plans to grow/expand?
Pre-Covid Collective Harmony was a part-time side hustle for me. After losing my job due to Covid, Collective Harmony Co has become a full-time gig. We’ve grown a lot in the last 6 months and will be joining the Painted Tree family in Naperville, IL this fall – which I like to describe as store like Home Goods but featuring all local small businesses! We’ve expanded by offering wholesale and wedding/party favors this year as well. Our plans are to continue to grow our wholesale footprint across the U.S. and expand our customized offering for subscription boxes, party favors, wedding favors, etc.
- There are many challenging that come along with running a small business. What is your biggest challenge and what is your biggest reward or success?
I would say our biggest challenge is standing out from the crowd. There are several small candle businesses in the Chicagoland area and across the U.S. – so staying relevant while also offering something unique is a challenge. I would say our biggest success this year was our Mother’s Day Gift box launch. We sold out and restocked multiple times and it was a huge success for us! I also have partnered with another small business this year by providing our Mini Mason Jar candles for their clients in their welcome boxes to their conferences. It’s always fun partnering with other small business and learning more about them, yourself and finding a new customer base.
- How do you spend your time when you aren’t creating?
It’s hard for me to turn off my small biz hat as I’m always thinking of new products, fragrances, etc. However, I love to explore nature with my Husband, curl up with a good book, watch current TV shows and movies as well as spend time with my friends and family. I also love to go see live music, and before Covid my husband and I would go to concerts of our favorite bands that were in town and go see our friends playing in their bands. There’s always music going on in our home too, as my husband was in a few bands over the years as a drummer.
- Salt and Branch sells only a few of your products. Where can people go to find more of your products?
- Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like readers to know?
Supporting small businesses right now is so important! Simply following on social media, liking, sharing and if you can – supporting by purchasing is so helpful. It’s true that whenever a small business owner gets another order or purchase, they do a little happy dance! It means a lot of me that products I’ve made by hand in our home studio are being used in our customers’ homes across the U.S. and it’s so humbling! Even if you cannot support a small business by purchasing right now; sharing, commenting, liking and following are a really big help to all small businesses!
Haley, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. We enjoyed getting to know you more. Go check out all of Collective Harmony Co's products at www.collectiveharmonyco.com.