Cornwall LivingIssue #108
Introducing Kiandles – a superb, sustainable business idea brought to life with the help of Outset Cornwall.
Working in a busy bar in Penryn, Kia-vanna Harrison became frustrated by the amount of waste being sent to landfill, particularly the waste wax from the many candles the bar uses each week.
She came up with a sustainable solution; collect the waste wax, learn the process of candle making, filter the old wax and mould it into new candle creations.
“I’ve always wanted to do something creative and I’m really passionate about the environment,” says Kia. “Moving to live by the sea in Cornwall made me so aware of how disposable the world has become. Doing something positive, even if it’s something small like keeping some wax out of landfill, is really motivating,”
Kia’s hobby soon grew, as she began selling to friends, on Etsy and back into the bar where the wax originated from. Word spread after posting her story and products online, and more local restaurants and bars decided to join Kia on her recycling mission by saving their used candle wax, seeing the value in reducing their waste removal costs.
In early 2020, Kia realised she needed more support to turn her hobby into a professional and profitable enterprise. After a friend recommended Outset Cornwall’s business start-up programme, Kia signed up and Kiandles was launched.
“Outset has been really motivational,” enthuses Kia. “Each session gets me excited about my business and makes me feel like I’m really onto something. The finance sections showed me what I’m actually getting out of the business and what I could achieve if I manage and organise it all properly.”
Kiandles is growing rapidly; Kia now collects waste wax from thirteen venues, and from households who donate at a local Zero Waste shop. She sells her candles back to the venues at a reduced price, to consumers globally via her website and Etsy, and through a retailer in Falmouth. Stock sells out faster than she can produce and deliver it, so she is now looking for more businesses to supply her with waste wax, and at making the collection process more structured, efficient and sustainable.
Kia says: “Even if you don’t have a completely clear business idea, you’ll definitely come out of Outset’s sessions with one. I’ve been using Outset Online alongside and it’s really helpful; work through the questions and a complete business plan comes out at the end! I would definitely recommend Outset Cornwall if you need encouragement to get your business started.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Outset Cornwall is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, HM Government and the Outset Foundation.
Find out more about Kiandles at kiavanna.wixsite.com/kiandles