Behind the Brand with Clare from Clare Makes
Where can we support your business?
Tell us a little about yourself 👋
Hi! I'm Clare and I own and run Clare Makes, an Australian native botanical candle business. I'm based in Sydney's inner west, I have two kids and a very patient husband. In a former life I was a beauty blogger, and then a travel/lifestyle blogger - I always seem to have something creative bubbling away in the background.
When did you launch your business? 🚀
Clare Makes was launched in 2020 after the birth of my second child.
What makes your products unique? 🤔
Clare Makes is an Australian native botanical home fragrance business. I don't make cookie scented candles; every candle has at least one native Australian scent note, like eucalyptus, boronia, wattle, lemon myrtle - the list goes on. The design is fresh and modern, and the candles are all named after a significant Australian historical figure who inspired each scent.
What was the inspiration behind launching your business? ✨
When covid first hit, I'd just had a baby and was spending 90% of my time indoors in my apartment. I wanted a way to bring the outside in; to fragrance my home in a way that wouldn't overwhelm my newborn, but would also scent my home with real, natural, Australian plants, herbs and flowers. Australia has so much unique and diverse flora and fauna, and I wanted to create a range that would bring that into the home.
What does a typical day look like for you? ⏰
Clare Makes is still my side hustle, and time with my family is my priority, but I have one day per week that I focus 100% of my energy on my business.
Typically, it looks like this -
- 7am: Get the kids up, dressed, and off to school
- 9am: A late breakfast and catching up with the Real Housewives while I check emails on the couch.
- 10:30am: I start making candles. I make them in small batches of 6-8 and I usually do 3-4 scents in a day if I'm running low on stock.
- 12pm: A break for lunch & then I pack orders that have come through from the day before
- 3pm: Pick my kids up from school/daycare, come home and do a bit of laundry
- 6pm: Dinner time!
- 8pm: TV time with my husband and catching up on more emails/admin.
- 11pm: I'm usually in bed at this time... If not, I'm on TikTok.
What are your top 3 tips for small business owners for running their business? 📝
- Your business exists to support you - you don't exist to support your business. Make sure the time and money you're spending doesn't come at the expense of your personal and family life.
- Have a unique point of view. If you see someone doing something awesome, that's great! Now do something different. The candle market especially is so saturated but if you've positioned yourself correctly you can definitely differentiate yourself.
- Don't be afraid to reach out for help. There are lots of resources available, regardless of what stage your business is in.
What are your business goals for the future? 🎉
Long term, I want Clare Makes to be a thriving, female led business, that helps people scent their home with the smells of Australia.
Medium term, I have a bunch of new products I want to launch, including diffusers, wardrobe scents, melts, etc.
In the immediate future, I'd love to make my candle business my full time job. I love my other, "professional" job but I really thrive when I have autonomy and creative control.