Many local entrepreneurs build their business endeavors out of a hobby, with Monica “Mo” Jones doing just that.
After losing her job in April 2020, Mo took her hobby of candlemaking and turned it into a business, establishing Divine Scentervention in June of 2020.
“Candlemaking originally began as a hobby, but then I became ill and knew that I needed something of my own that would allow me to make income, but have my own schedule,” Mo shared. “As a lover of candles, I thought that making my own would be a way to save money, and after researching and testing I realized that I was good at it.”
Opening and operating a store through the pandemic is an achievement in itself, but Mo can also say that she has created a business that has already experienced growth within the first year. On top of that, she has managed to operate and run the business on her own, while dealing with a disability.
Being visually impaired creates an ongoing challenge for Mo, but she overcomes her impairment by taking extra care and time to ensure accuracy and quality when making her hand-poured candles and wax melts. “I try to make every purchase relatable and add a personal touch. I don’t want my customers to feel like just another sale,” Mo said.
Like many retailers, she is facing supply issues as products become scarcer. To combat the increase in shipping costs, Mo buys in bulk when possible.
As a solopreneur, Mo faces the challenge of handling all aspects of her business operations on her own. Mo shared, “I think that any business is going to be a learning experience, but I wish I would have known more about bookkeeping. I’m learning as I go, and having a business degree is helping.”
Her advice to others thinking of opening their own business is, “Do what makes you happy but be prepared to work. Owning a business is harder than working for someone else. There are no real days off, and you will be exhausted, but it’s worth it.”
Mo has plans to expand her product base in the future and eventually hire employees to help in her business. She says the best part of owning her own business is that it “gives me the freedom and flexibility to work when I am able to and to rest when I can’t and not worry about if I am going to lose my job.