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Case Studies

Business Gateway supports candles with a conscience

Sandwick Bay Candles business owner, Megan Macdonald, used the insights from Business Gateway's workshops to help support her company.

About the business

Expat Megan Macdonald is no stranger to beautiful countryside. Originally from New Zealand and now residing in Stornoway, she took a leap from her previous job as an occupational therapist to embark on a new venture: Sandwick Bay Candles. The concept stemmed from her love for arts and crafts and now, following help from Business Gateway, is making bespoke candles in newly acquired commercial premises, right in the heart of Stornoway town centre.

Handcrafted in Stornoway, Sandwick Bay Candles are made using 100% natural soy wax, premium fragrances and pure cotton wicks. Handmade with love and care, the candles are made from soy wax because of its all-natural and biodegradable qualities, unlike paraffin alternatives on the market.

Sandwick Bay Candles has been operating for just over three years but its only now I feel the business is in a strong position, and Business Gateway has played an integral part in getting to this stage.

How Business Gateway has helped

Following her launch in 2016, Megan met with Business Gateway Outer Hebrides and discovered the services and workshops available in the local area. From there, she was offered start-up advice and attended a variety of local workshops ranging from advice on funding to digital support. She is now using this insight to coordinate additional networking opportunities for likeminded businesses in the area.

Megan Macdonald, business owner, Sandwick Bay Candles, commented: “Ultimately, it’s great to know you’re not alone on this journey as business can be tough. Business Gateway acts as a security blanket as I know my adviser, Derek, is always at the other end of the phone if I need to ask any questions.

“Sandwick Bay Candles has been operating for just over three years but it's only now I feel the business is in a strong position, and Business Gateway has played an integral part in getting to this stage. Thanks to consistent advice and support, I’m now in a place to accommodate more customers through my new commercial property and grow sales, just in time for the Christmas orders.”

Support provided

Advice on funding

Advice on premises

1:1 Business support

Signposting to wider support network

International/exporting support

What’s next?

Megan worked with her Business Gateway adviser to create a digital marketing strategy to boost social media reach and engagement to attract more customers. She now plans to expand her offering and grow sales through the newly acquired commercial property.

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