Name: Elizabeth Cameron
City: Birmingham, Alabama
Side Hustle: It all began with a passion of wine and candles. I wanted to begin a hobby that would give the best bottles and labels a new life. Candle-making to me has brought stress relief, creative ideas, new friends, and time for me to express my artistic side. Who doesn’t love a great smelling candle? No-one!
Introducing my new branding this year has really made me excited to what my little creation is becoming & what the future could hold for me. I look forward to bringing you the best candles that you can enjoy in your homes!
How did you get started?: I love staying busy, and when I am not busy I get bored very easily. Someone gave me a glass cutting tool for Christmas one year. I started candlemaking as a hobby and made candles as gifts for family and friends. I have experienced countless trials and errors and have more cuts on my hands than a normal person would probably have. I love what I do and hope that one day this creation of mine can be a full-time, fun job!
When/where do you work?: I currently have a day job so I only have time to work on ECamandCo during the evening and weekend hours.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Where do I start!
As a small business owner, it is very tough to balance so many different aspects of life and also making sure that everything remains as organized as possible in order to operate in a timely manner. I would say the top 3 most challenging aspects for me are as follows…
1. Balancing work and relationships. At times it is hard for me to stop working. I always can find something that I can finish or something that I can start on. It makes my social life very hard. I have had to turn down many social events because of an upcoming show or order deadlines.
2. Financials. Understanding the boring side of owning a small business. Let’s face it, it is very scary at times, especially when you actually register as a business and decide on being an LLC. Sometimes I automatically think that the IRS is going to come after me!
3. My attitude. Sometimes I let my emotions get in front of me and show it in the wrong ways to my loved ones. Multitasking in all aspects that it can involve can bring on anxiety, stress, fear, and anger. Trying to ignore these feelings and forcing myself to stay happy and positive is a huge challenge.
4. I said three but here is number four. Because I am a one-woman shop, finding the time to be as productive & focused as I can be with the actual production of my candles and things as simple as website changes, invoices, and photography can be hard. I find myself half finishing projects and moving on to something else. BAD BAD BAD!!
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I have so many rewards that I do not take for granted. I absolutely appreciate return customers that come to see me at Pepperplace and who praise my candles and truly love what I have to offer.
It also makes my day when I get messages from my family members saying how proud of them they are. It truly makes all my hard work worth it.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My boyfriend Taylor, my parents, and my grandmother Millie. Without them, I would not be able to have ECamandCo and definitely would not be where I am today without their help and support.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I love following other candle companies large and small. They will bring my creative juices to life and also help me to stay on track with my goals and dreams.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I hope to be recognized outside of the Market at Pepperplace family! I love them, but I want to continue to grow and maybe make a few magazines and also be in many, many stores!
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
DO NOT GIVE UP!! Life is hard, and it always will be. I have to remind myself everyday that it will all be worth it in the end, and if for whatever reason what I am doing doesn’t become something huge, never have regrets. Not everyone can say that they started their own business. Dream big and work hard and the people that stay with you through thick and thin are the ones that should matter! Take criticism as a way to grow. Have thick skin and don’t let others bring you down!
Featured Image: Lindsey Ann Photography