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leonie@prettyfrank.com.au
Pretty Frank is a Finalist in the Local Business Awards! | Pretty Frank
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Pretty Frank is a Finalist in the Local Business Awards!

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I'm so excited and beyond proud of my little business for being recognised as a Finalist in the Local Business Awards.

It's because of your votes that I've been named a Finalist in the sole-trader category, and I am so thankful. I believe that successful small businesses start with the support of family, friends and colleagues.

Part of the judging criteria involves providing some info to the judges and I wanted to share my answers with you.

Describe the product or service your business provides

Pretty Frank creates scented soy wax candles that are as green as you can get.

What makes my candles different is the degree of eco-friendly measures I’ve taken across every facet of my business. I source components products from Australian-owned business and they’re all entirely vegan-friendly.

The designs are understated, and mostly monochrome and many of the fragrances are original mixes by me. The glassware is made in moulds to ensure a safe burn and consistent finish, which also makes them perfect for reusing when the candle wax has been burnt out.

I also offer custom work which is favoured by brides and wedding guests looking for a unique gift for the happy couple!

Briefly describe the history of your business

I started making candles in 2016 as a hobby and when friends and coworkers wanted some for themselves, I started the business.

Since then, I’ve learnt about websites, marketing, social media, market stalls, wholesale selling, managing cashflow - there is SO much more than pouring candles.

Making a candle is part science, part art. There are creative elements, like choosing the type of wax, glassware, wick, fragrance, colouring and then the technical aspects involving ratios, measurements, timing and temperature. It’s a rewarding practice that takes time to master, but through research and testing, a modern candlemaker can create new products which will be loved by their customers.

Describe how you promote your business

Pretty Frank is all online in 2019. I’ve created a modern and stylish website for shoppers to peruse 24/7 via computer or mobile. Buyers tend to find me via word of mouth recommendations or through Facebook or Instagram.

Building relationships with other small businesses has been pivotal to the success of Pretty Frank and these collaborations help with exposure for a small business.

Describe the level of customer service and the quality of products your business provides

I’m a pedant with an eye for detail and it took a lot of testing and perfecting before I could sell my candles. I spent months experimenting to create the initial design and “recipe” for my candles, and I still tweak my products to this day to ensure that my products are superior quality.

All components for my candles are sourced from Australian-owned businesses and combined expertly by hand from my studio.

All orders are made by me, packed by me and shipped off and the beauty of being a sole-trader is ensuring consistent standards across my products and the service I provide. I’m very proud to have a 5* rating on both Facebook and on Google.

How are staff trained and motivated?

By staying up to date on industry-trends and seeking out more information on marketing, I’m easily motivated to keep my business moving forward and staying ahead of the curve.

I ensure that I stay ahead of the curve by listening to my customers, developing products that they want and finding ways to be even greener in my business.

Pretty Frank is my side-hustle, in addition to four-days/week with a real estate agency. My goal is for Pretty Frank to become my full time job, so by chasing growth and knowledge, I know that I’m moving closer toward what I want to achieve. Staying motivated isn’t so hard when you’re working toward your own goals!

Detail your commitment and endeavours in business and/or environmental sustainability

Pretty Frank was built around sustainability for the environment. One of the top concerns for most voters last election was climate change, so any modern business must innovate to recognise these concerns and offers products or services which recognise these concerns.

The candles I create are quality products, made by hand from my studio with entirely vegan-friendly products. It took a bit of time to research every component that goes into making a candle and ensuring that it’s vegan-friendly, however it’s been worthwhile to create products that I back 100%.

The boxes I use for shipping are recycled and shipped with a carbon-neutral carrier and I encourage my customers to reuse their candle jars for storage, too!

By the new financial year on July 1st, I will launch a new initiative for Pretty Frank - one tree planted for each candle sold. I’m extremely proud of this addition to Pretty Frank’s offering and will be excited to see native trees being planted to rebuild Tasmania’s biodiversity while stimulating tourism, creating jobs and revitalising local farming, all as a direct result of candles being purchased!

Detail the successes of your business over the last two years

In May this year, I spoke on a panel for a women’s networking group, The Urbanistas on the topic of “Traditional Disruptors: The Butcher, The Baker and the Candlestick Maker”. I was excited to speak alongside food industry heavyweights, Suzy Spoon from the Vegetarian Butcher, and Nadine Ingram from Flour and Stone.

Being recognised as an expert in the candle making industry has also opened up the opportunity to write blog posts for one of Australia’s leading wax supplies, All Seasons Wax Company. I’ve written guides for them on using their wax and experimenting with new candle types, as well as creating content used on their social media and advertisements.

Describe how your business supports the local community

The most simple and beneficial way to support others business is by spending money with them. I source my candle components from all Australian-owned businesses and support them in the simplest way possible.

I’m a supporter of other candlemakers, and make use of Facebook to share information and answer questions in groups for other business owners getting their start in the industry.

I’ve been blogging since late last-year to share advice and learnings with other candle purveyors and makers.

In July, I have a workshop planned for the 12th where I’ll teach a group from the Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre how to make candles. These grassroots groups are exactly the way I see Pretty Frank having an impact on the local community, as I work to empower other business owners and women in particular.

Describe where you see your business in the future

I anticipate that the growth of Pretty Frank will rely on wholesale selling and relationships and I look to create and nurture these relationships in the future.

New ranges of candles include more inclusive ranges designed by a variety of creatives to ensure cultural representation. I’m currently working with an experienced graphic designer to create a collection to celebrate Eid this year.

Combining community and supporting other small businesses, my passion for the environment and beautiful products.

What makes your business a winner?

The people who win share a few common traits. For one, they need to be willing to throw their hat in the ring. Without giving it a go, they’ll never even be in the competition.

Secondly, they’ll keep working at something until they are a winner. Failing at things is a given and we should seek to learn what we can when we fail.

With my small business, Pretty Frank, I’ve fallen off the horse many times, only to learn my lesson and get back on to give it another go. I’m relentless in combining creativity for products, with hard work and spending time finessing the details to get it right.

It’s what I do today and it’s what I’ll keep doing in the future to ensure that my offering is a leader in the marketplace.

Pretty Frank, Finalist in the Sole Trader category of the Local Business Awards