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Lauren Jeleniewski: The Woman Behind Birchouse Botanicals

 Tell us a little bit about yourself ad your brand.

Hello - my name is Lauren and I am the Founder + Artisan behind Birchouse Botanicals. We are a female owned business operating out of a tiny studio space located in Central, MA. Our mission is to create ethically crafted Soy Candles + home fragrance products that are eco-friendly, non-toxic and vegan in high end, luxe scent offerings.

What inspired you to start your brand or craft?

I was living in Florida with my husband+ doing all the adulting things; working full time, going to the gym after work (love me some CrossFit!), managing the house / family errands, etc. and I just felt uninspired. I had ZERO creative outlets and was desperately craving one! I jumped on Google and came across a really neat holistic health + healing studio located nearby. They offered an array of courses. so I signed up for several to see if I could find a hobby I could really become passionate about. I started with all the bath + body product classes (cause who doesn't love those?!?!) and then signed up for the candle making class. Not going to be modest here... my candle came out pretty badass (even the instructor was impressed!) so I came home, bought myself a little candle making kit online and then it all started!

What does an average day look like?

I am very Type A personality so organizing my week's schedule in advance is a non-negotiable for me. I spend time on Sunday afternoons making a weekly task list that I break down into -must do's- (tasks that have specific deadlines) and then -goals- (tasks that need to be completed but on my own timeline). I then strategically work my week out day to day - always allowing one full day for admin tasks (social media planning, accounting, etc.) and two full days for product making + production tasks - then I break the rest of the week apart strategically in an attempt to remain sane!

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I literally LOVE what I do! From making products, to attending market events, to sharing our business mission and talking about why our products are just so damn' good - it's extremely rewarding. If I had to choose one, my favorite part is the scent testing / selection process. People are always so surprised when I explain the process but so much time is spent on curating collections. The process starts months before a launch! We have a very specific niche + our business focuses on what we like to refer to as "Earth Inspired" scent vibes. We keep it clean + natural over here. I personally select each offering + always try to keep our brand in mind while doing so.

When you’re creating do you have a person in mind?

Like I touched on before, I feel like we cater to a specific clientele; those who strive for a healthier, cleaner, eco-friendly lifestyle. We want to create a community surrounding our brand that values our mission, so when we create we are always looking to serve that community first and foremost. I feel as though we have a scent vibe for everyone + I always strive to keep universal appeal in mind while creating.

When was your business founded and how has it evolved over time?

My journey began in 2017 as a hobbyist; gifting products to friends and family. The positive feedback I received from them really inspired + drove me to get out there and in front of more people. I participated in our first market event the summer of 2018 - I was terrified + had no idea what I was doing but I pride myself on being the type of gal that always jumps in + just figures it out! Ya know, fake it til' you make it! I was on a total HIGH all day! I had people swarming my table, made amazing connections within my community + left with almost no inventory. I also managed to score a meeting with the shop that hosted the event to discuss selling wholesale (and they later became one of my first retailers!). That was all I needed, just that one amazing day. The next day I was applying to every event I could find + making all the candles!

Are there any challenges that you’ve had to overcome?

I originally started this business when I was living in Florida, after getting established I then relocated to Massachusetts with my husband to be closer to our families (we were both originally born + raised here). When I moved back it was in a way starting over. I had established a client base, successful wholesale relationships, had online and social media presence, but the face to face, community connections were no longer there. I had to start developing this brand within my new community + space. I can now tell you, that original challenge has since become a positive for me. It has been less than two years + it was the best decision. I love New England and am never leaving again!

What is one piece of advice you have for a female entrepreneur just starting out?

Be AUTHENTIC! Imposter syndrome is legit. Do not worry or focus on what other businesses in your space are doing, you'll never establish the uniqueness that is YOU within your brand if you're modeling your business after others. I see countless businesses either starting out or even some that haven't found their niche yet copying or mimicking other businesses in their space. That's not the secret sauce! Find the niche that makes YOU, YOUR products and YOUR brand special - then go out and find YOUR people+ YOUR community - believe me amazing things will start to happen.

Let us know where we can follow you. Feel free to share any news on upcoming projects.

Website: LAUNCHING SOON! In the meantime shop us on Etsy!

Etsy:birchousebotanicals.etsy.com

Wholesale Platform:birchousebotanicals.faire.com

Facebook:facebook.com/birchousebotanicals

Instagram:instagram.com/birchousebotanicals

SHOP OUR COLLECTION OF BIRCHOUSE BOTANICALS HERE.


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