Great Small Businesses: @dropdeadcandles!

This week’s interview is with @dropdeadcandles !

  1. Tell me a little about yourself:

“Hello! My name is Mel and I am the Bitch in Charge at Drop Dead Candles. Owner/Operator would be a more professional title but I like to keep things spicy. 

I am 30 years old and I live in Oshawa, Ontario with my partner, Tim (business title: babe candle maker extraordinaire and head of snack procurement). We have a shiba inu named Citra and a chunky tuxedo cat named Stella.  When I’m not running Drop Dead or working my big kid job as a Registered Nurse, you can find me in a shapeless bag type-outfit eating snacks or napping.”

2.   How did you come up with your store business name and the idea to open up this business?

“So my origin story goes something like this: I really wanted a skull candle but the ones I saw online we’re super cartoony or super duper expensive. I’m a crafty lady so I decided I would buy mold making and candle supplies and make one myself. My first skull candle turned out really rad and I posted it on Facebook to show it off to my friends and fam. Soon enough I had a whole bunch of folks asking me to make them candles and offering me actual money for my creations. Being a Capricorn, the cash register noises started going off in my head and I was just like … This could be a legit business! 

I’ve always been artsy fartsy so this was a welcome (and needed) project as my day job as an RN didn’t allow for a lot of artistic creativity. As for the name … I have “Drop Dead” tattooed to my shins (long story short: I liked the phrase and was a wild/weird 20 something) and because I was making exclusively skull candles at the time, Drop Dead Candles seemed like a good fit. The biz was born and the name has stuck … even if I’m doin far less skulls these days. “

3. What are your top 3 selling products and why?

“This year, hands down, the babe candles. I’ve been making woman body shaped candles since 2019 and they always did well but for some reason in early 2020 the entire world started making female form candles and it’s been a hugggee trend. I would be gone from being literally the only person on Etsy to have them to there being hundreds of shops selling them. 

At first I felt pretty cheesed off and cheated, but I quickly realized that making a popular product only meant that my item was more in demand – and because I already had an established brand and a rad following of loyal custies, I was a lot further ahead that my new competitors. Instead of feeling cranky about the whole thing, I shifted my focus to concentrate on what makes my brand unique: my options for various skin tones, my packaging, my brand voice, my photos etc.  

As for other best selling products … Our Halloween Collection always does super well.

We do bleeding skull candles that have red inserts inside that “bleed” red when lit … those are always a hit.

Our large palmistry candles are also a big seller – they’re totally unique (at this time no other palmistry candles exist in the whole wide world!) and they’re even featured on an Etsy TV commercial this year! How neat, right?” 

4. What is a unique fact about yourself that not many people know?

” Ouuuu … shameless plug opportunity! My partner, myself and a second couple are opening a craft brewery in Oshawa in 2021. I like to call it “Durham’s alternative Brewery” but everyone else thinks that tag line is turbo lame and makes fun of me. ANYWAY, It’s in the early stages and we have soooooo much work to do but I’m thrilled about this new chapter. “

5. Do you have any exciting news or promotions that you would like to share?

“If you join our email list you get a coupon for 20% off FO LIFE:

We’re most active on instagram – @dropdeadcandles – so feel free to follow us and come along for the magical journey that is our social media!  

You can shop Drop Dead Candles at:

Thank you so much for the interview!!

Until next time!

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