Creating a truly unique and memorable experience is rare. It takes an exceptional amount of thought, time, business acumen, and maybe a little bit of luck. The Candle Pour, located in Tampa, Florida, has managed to strike the perfect balance. This week you’ll hear from Misty and Dennis Akers, husband and wife co-owners, about their vision for the candle-making business, why it was so important for them to create a true experience (rather than a product), and how they’ve managed to adapt in the days of COVID.
The Candle Pour is all about the atmosphere and giving people a place to create something—not just a product but a memory of a fun activity. And that is exactly what this week’s Yelp reviewer, Michelle M., experienced. Her review clearly shows that Misty and Dennis achieved their vision.
They’ve created a luxury space at an affordable price, and as we’ll learn in the episode, their effective pricing is important. In any industry, if the price isn’t right, finding success will be challenging. Pricing is essential, and it’s important for both business owners and consumers. Michelle talks through how The Candle Pour’s pricing played a role in her decision-making process, and you’ll hear from the co-owners about how they arrived at the model they currently use.
Something else that’s paramount to the success of this business—and why people like Michelle are compelled to let the world know on Yelp—is the staff. It’s something we’ve heard before and we’ll hear again in episodes to come. Choosing the right people is what makes or breaks a business. In Misty’s own words, “It starts with the right people. I learned this very early, and I don’t mean to sound harsh, but you hire slow and fire fast.”
So how does a business that is built around an in-person, tactile experience survive COVID? Misty and Dennis were asking themselves the same thing when the pandemic hit. But instead of resigning to the fact that they weren’t a COVID-friendly business, they innovated and came up with a solution that has found them even more success in some ways.
By the end of this episode, you’ll learn:
- The importance of atmosphere: It’s what people will first notice when they enter your business and can impact their entire experience.
- The price needs to be right: Finding the right price can be challenging, but it’s one of the most important decisions you will make.
- Hire smart: You can’t do it all, so the people you hire should represent your values and your passion.
- Think outside the box: COVID is impacting business owners everywhere—some harder than others—but where you can, try to think outside the box and innovate.
Interviews by Emily Washcovick; photos from The Candle Pour on Yelp
These lessons come from an episode of Behind the Review, Yelp & Entrepreneur Media’s weekly podcast. Listen below to hear from Misty, Dennis, and Michelle, or visit the episode page to read more, subscribe to the show, and explore other episodes.
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