Patty Johnson is stripping away the toxins and focusing on simplicity with Reborn Co. ingredients, only using soy wax and essential oils.
The scents, however, are all unique. Magic Library channels the world of Harry Potter. Road Trip is reminiscent of a journey on historic Route 66.
She hand pours candles in her south Springfield shop, which sold $100,000 in 2017, and has worked with 15 businesses on signature-scent candles since buying the business in 2016. Sales for 2018 were undisclosed.
SBJ: How is your business structured and what are the core products?
Johnson: We do candles, wax melts and car, truck and room sprays. We were totally surprised by how successful the business was. It was just supposed to be a hobby in retirement. About 80 percent of our business is wholesale and (the rest) retail. We are in over 100 locations in four states. In Springfield, we are in over 35 stores.
SBJ: What are the challenges and opportunities to manufacturing your candles in the Ozarks?
Johnson: There doesn’t seem to be anybody in the Ozarks that makes candle jars, especially the top quality kind. That would probably be the biggest challenge outside of the growth. We’re lucky if we have one day off a week. We feel very blessed by the opportunity and how much people love our candles. Each year, we’ve been growing by 50 percent.
SBJ: Were you inspired by another business or entrepreneur?
Johnson: Johnny Morris. We literally are a block away from where he started selling out of his dad’s store. If Johnny Morris started selling fishing supplies out of his dad’s store, that is very inspiring to me.
SBJ: What was the first thing you made?
Johnson: I’m from an Italian family in St. Louis. Both sides of my family owned restaurants. I had a catering business in the 1990s. I just always loved cooking and creating recipes. The candle business, it also involves creating recipes.
SBJ: Was there a moment when you knew this company was going to work?
Johnson: We were about two months into the process and I noticed that there was a million candle companies out there. I told my husband we have to come up with something to make us unique. We decided that we would come up with a candle and call it Ozark Mountain and instead of opening one jar of oil and scenting our candle, we were literally going to use as many oils as we could to make it smell just like when you’re driving in Branson. It really took off. At that point, I was hooked.
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Cody Ritter, owner of Base Construction & Management LLC, attributes the company's fast growth in part to keeping customers happy. Base Construction & Management LLC is one of the Springfield Business Journal 2019 Dynamic Dozen companies, recognizing the 12 fastest growing companies in the area.
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Michael Wehreberg, Wehrenberg Design Company, discusses the shift in the last five years in web site design to mobile-first designs. Ultimately, you have to think of the human first and serve them with ease, and Google will give you credit for being mobile friendly.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, struggles with the process of renaming his restaurant. The process led by Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency Longitude LLC. Ömer expresses all of the emotions he is going through as they work together to revise his seating, menu, hours, and a name to reflect those changes.
It is projected that 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 years old everyday for 19 years, and non profits are going to be competing over the coming years in a fierce labor market. Give Five was developed as a civic matchmaking program to help connect capable retirees with charitable organizations that need help. Greg Burris outlines the problems the program addresses, opportunities for individuals and organizations, as well as how United Way of the Ozarks is licensing to the program to share with other communities.
Jamie Kinkeade noticed most of the women in her fitness classes at The Studio were wearing Lululemon. She knew her clients were driving to Kansas City to purchase the brand, so she approached the athletic apparel company to stock their merchandise in her store, The Movement. They said "no" at first because they were not looking to expand into the Springfield market, but her persistence paid off.
With more job openings than people to fill them, it is time for your company to evaluate how you are motivating and engaging your team to help you retain and attract the best talent. Sherry Coker, Executive Director at the OTC Center for Workforce Development, walks you through tangible and intangible incentives that encourage employee engagement, performance enhancement, and higher job satisfaction.
"When we first started we thought we could pretty much do this on our own," discloses Vera Gibbons with Baby Foot®. "We thought we knew what would be great...that's not really what happened." Gibbons recommends partnering with a strong marketing partner early and give them a budget.
With four generations in the workplace, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of how each approaches brainstorming can make all the difference in arriving at the best idea. Boomer Kay Logsdon, Director of Applications at CultureWaves, and self-described fossil Millennial Locke Hilderbrand share what their trends research at CultureWaves tells us about generational differences and tips on how to bridge the gaps. Generations in the Workplace is an ongoing multi-episode series tackling the issues of generational conflict.