Lockdown: The Making of Mind Retreat!
Just 12 months after opening Mind Retreat Candles, and working tirelessly to build up the brand, Boris announced a national lockdown.
I must admit, I felt crushed. Years of hard work, planning, testing, investing in growth….all just ground to a halt. Events cancelled. Candle parties cancelled. A huge portion of the nation on reduced income or furlough, and even worse, no income. I couldn’t help but think this was the end of the business before we had barely begun.
Customer Service is Everything
I am a strong believer in building a relationship with your customers. Customer service is everything. I loved working events, hosting stalls and meeting the people who would be buying and using the products that I poured hours of my time into producing. I loved giving them the background into how the products are made and the ethos behind the brand. How could I possibly survive now I could no longer see my customers face to face?
One week into lockdown and I suddenly saw an increase in orders. Many via my Etsy shop or through my social media pages. Also, my local following of loyal customers continued to place their orders. I found that as the brick shops closed, people moved their shopping to online. It was more convenient, and given the lack of choice in shops for things such as gifts, Mind Retreat Candles suddenly seemed to be the gift of choice.
New Website Launch
Orders continued to flood in throughout Lockdown, and the addition of a private VIP group on Facebook meant that I was able to connect with customers on a different level. The next natural step was to launch a brand new website, with the help of Nathalie at WOW Design
Along with an increase in gift orders, the monthly wax melt subscription boxes, that were only launched a month before lockdown, saw a significant increase in subscribers. As people were at home more, home fragrance had suddenly become important. It was particularly important that the fragrances supported our ethos of relaxation and self care. As these continue to grow, at Mind Retreat we are constantly exploring new ideas and ways to make to make our whole product range better.
Stockists and Partners
As shops re-opened and life starts to return to some new level of normal, Mind Retreat products have been fully restocked at our local stockists.
Joules Designs, a stunning gift shop in Burnley town centre had a full wax melt restock. They sell beautiful wax melt warmers and burners, that compliment our product range.
TurtleBee are a plastic free, weigh and go style outlet. Their ethos is entirely focused on reducing waste, plastic and being as sustainable as possible. Claire has worked tirelessly to find stockists that support her own ethos and we are proud to develop a product range specifically for these stores. There are currently two Turtlebee stores, with a third one due to open this Autumn.
Acacia Style is an online fashion retailer who also stocks our full range of products. Katie has fully supported Mind Retreat Candles throughout our full journey and previously stocked them in her store at The Rock in Bury. She has since moved her store to a fully online outlet and sells the most gorgeous clothing.
We are also working with some other local companies to supply products for a whole range of concepts. Keep an eye on our social media updates for more on this.
Our new workshop is fully up and running and provides a great space for the production of all of our products. The website is seeing new orders on a daily basis from up and down the UK and we love welcoming new customers to try our products. There is lots going on behind the scenes and it’s an exciting future ahead for Mind Retreat Candles. We look forward to sharing the journey with you all.