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Startups

Beckie Collins Turned Her Creative Hobbies into a Growing Business

With Gypsy Soul - Leather and Wax, Beckie Collins caught lightning in a bottle, selling out her soy candles and, through social media and word of mouth, turning a passion into a viable, growing business.

By Evan Greenberg

Sep 2018

leather goods and candle
Photo by Brandon AlmsMaking candles along with leather jewelry and goods was just a hobby for Beckie Collins until she decided to start selling her products online. Purchase Photo

Beckie Collins has been making jewelry for her family for a long time. She’s garnered quite the reputation, too, and even started getting text messages from strangers asking her where they could buy a piece she made for her sister-in-law.

In December, Collins took her creativity a step further and began experimenting with candles. She grew obsessive, working to find the perfect blend among more than 100 variations. She wanted to use soybeans, making everything vegan friendly and eliminating the disadvantages of the mainstream candle—namely, they give some people headaches and tend to leave residue.

Once she found the right mix, she was ready to launch her online business, Gypsy Soul - Leather and Wax. Around March, she set up a website. The candle side of the business immediately took off solely through social media. Quickly, she began shifting her focus to the nine varieties of candles she produces. Now the demand often dwarfs the supply, but not for a lack of trying—for the record, Collins says she can make 200 candles a day. The business is thriving in ways she never anticipated. 

“[Making jewelry] was something that I always enjoyed doing,” Collins says. “Once I had mastered the wax part, I felt like I had something in combining the two passions that I could market and have a lot of time and a lot of heart in and a lot of soul in. It wasn’t just, ‘Hey, I want to start a business and make a lot of money.’ It came from building and creating something with my hands that people were coming to me about.”

It takes two weeks for the candles to cure, meaning they can’t be lit until then. Collins sells candles catered toward tastes of all kinds—she has three masculine-leaning scents and her candles have creative names such as Stress Less and Buffalo Cabin. She’s made jewelry and candles for weddings, sororities and many other functions. She has a background in graphic design, which helps her create individual, personal logos for each of the products at the events. 

“My goal was to build the website and see what kind of market was out there and all of a sudden it just exploded,” Collins says. “I literally have sold out of several different blends more than once, and I’m literally shipping orders all over. Almost multiple times a week I’m shipping orders out. I wasn’t ready for it.” Ready or not, Collins isn’t slowing down. “I would like to be in possibly boutique stores or maybe places that are more like a spa-type of business and form a wholesale relationship with them,” she says. A list of Collins’ retail partners can be found on her website.

Beckie Collins

Behind the Business


Date Opened:
2018
Number of Employees: 1
Mind to Market: Two weeks for candles, though Collins has a reserve stock at all times so she can immediately fill orders.
Most Popular Items: Stress Less, a rosemary-scented candle with eucalyptus and peppermint, and Frothy Coffee, a coffee candle with banana nut overtones.
Maker’s Choice: “I equally love to work with leather and pour wax. They both fulfill a creative need that I have.”