Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Martinez.
Hi Ashley, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am a mom of 4 amazing children and a wife to the love of my life. Two of my kiddos have special needs. One is on the Autism Spectrum, and the other is a heart warrior. I needed an outlet when my 3-year-old (the heart warrior) was small. I was struggling with anxiety and depression because of him having to be on feeding tubes and seeing him not feeling well. I did a makeup page on Instagram, but I saw an ad for a candle-making kit one day. I thought it would be a fun little project to do. I was addicted! During everyone quarantining for COVID, I took the time to perfect my candles. (So much time, math, and science connected to doing candles!) I started selling to friends and family, and they told me I should also try selling to other people. From there, Ash & Sage Co. has flourished. My kids love helping me place the wicks and design labels for my video game, anime, and kawaii line of candles. It can be challenging with 4 kids ranging from 10 months to 11 years old. I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The line of business I am in can be challenging. You go into the store and see so many candles and wax melts, just a portion of the price of what you sell them for. You have to keep in mind that your products are made in small batches, each unique and made with love. I make my candles with coconut soy wax and use clean scents, meaning non-toxic to you and your family. That is something that sets me apart from the large box stores. Competition with other candlemakers is tough, but I do everything I can to help encourage them to keep going and support their business just as they do mine! I also had a tough time at the beginning with managing time with having a company and having 4 kiddos. It has been a tough road, especially in the beginning!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a candle maker and love what I do! I specialize in making non-toxic products for you and your family. I have researched and found one of the best companies specializing in clean scents. I only work with coconut soy wax for my candles, so there are no harsh chemicals, and the burn is even longer than those from the store! I like to think my customer service has been something that I am known for, as well as the candles. I have become friends with almost every single one of my customers. I keep a binder with all my customer’s info about what they have purchased, what they liked, what they want to try, their birthdays (for gifts!), and more! It is important that your customers know that you genuinely care about them and that they are not just someone purchasing your items. I am so proud of how much I have grown. I have learned much through trial and error, mentors, and testing. I think what sets me apart from others is my products. I offer not just your everyday candles. I am leaning more towards video games, anime, and kawaii-inspired products. I even personalize labels for those that like to show off their Gamertag! I love what I do!
Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting?
NEVER GIVE UP!!! Sometimes you feel alone; no one sees your products, and you feel like a failure. It’s all happened to me. Don’t give up. Use social media tools (social media, marketplace, etc.) for advertising yourself. One of the best things I have done is having a booth at vendor shows. Meeting people face to face and letting them smell your product has helped me grow so much. Just know you aren’t alone. We all start out feeling the same way.
- Gamertag Candles- 9 oz. – $18
- 9 oz. Candles- $15
- Wax Melts- $8-9
- 16 oz. Candles- $20
- Body Spray- $8
- Website: www.ashnsageco.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/ashnsageco
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ashnsageco
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ashnsageco