Luxus Home Fragrance Case Study
James and Zuzanna until recently, worked for a large candle manufacturer and in early 2015 the business was taken over, In James’s words, “We didn’t enjoy working for this company, and we saw an opportunity in the market for a candle maker who offered small runs and had the ability to engage with start up businesses.” and so they took the plunge initially making candles in their home. Interest in their fledging business grew quickly, and as the number of orders increased it became clear that pouring wax and creating beautiful candles in the family’s living space was unsustainable, “ In April we were approached to make a number of substantial orders, which was going to use up all our available cash. We had pencilled some of this money for equipment and security measures in a unit, so this had to go on hold.”
The couple tried to access funding from a bank, but were declined, “We had borrowed a lot of money to get the project started so our credit ratings were reducing all the time, and we were a new business with no track record. Both factors reduced our ability to borrow.”
After approaching a number of lenders they came upon the Fredericks Foundation website and made an online application for a loan, “I found the application process OK. The initial form filling and evidence was easy to upload. It took some time and a lot of question answering to get to the panel stage. I was a little nervous about the panel, but it was actually really enjoyable. I got to talk about my passion, the panel were really friendly and asked good, informed questions” The panel members were impressed with James and Zuzana and their achievements and agreed to provide the funding required, “(The) Loan was spent on a security alarm, new front door, filling machine and conveyor for packing candles and diffusers”
The loan has enabled Luxus Home Fragrance to expand, and to provide 7 jobs, 3 of which are permanent and James and Zuzana are hoping to increase the number of permanent jobs next year, and when asked about the future they are optimistic, explaining their intention, “To keep growing the business and to make beautiful candles and diffusers. Interest so far has been incredible, and we need to keep nurturing this interest and delivering orders on time.”
We at Fredericks Foundation are delighted that we were able to help and we will continue to offer business support. A final word from James about their experience with the Foundation, “....Lots of other “lenders” are out there, but no “lenders” that would listen to us. That was the difference............ We knew we could make the business work, and we needed someone to listen to our story and understand what we were about. Fredericks Foundation offered this, and when you can talk about your business to someone, they can see if you are serious and whether you can make a success of it. The help received from the Frederick Foundation was enormous, I can’t recommend the organisation enough, other businesses should definitely make the effort to fill in the forms and apply!