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We launched a business in the middle of a global pandemic!

When the clock struck 12 on the 1st January 2020, I don't think anyone pictured or imagined the world as it stands today. We knew of Coronavirus, but it was distant, we had no idea it would impact the world in the way it has. Infact, if someone would have warned us, we would have accused them of retelling the plot of Netflix hit ‘Contagion’.

One phrase I have heard repeatedly this year is ‘we are living in uncertain times’, yet despite this my sister and I decided to take the plunge and start a business. Birthed out of a need for a new challenge. Believe me, by May we’d indulged in every craze of lockdown. From banana bread to sprinkle cake to dalgona whipped coffee. Bored out of our minds, we decided to take on candles. Our first candle was made using a starter kit bought online. It was a simple lavender candle that you could hardly smell but we were so proud of it. The joy we felt from making that simple lavender candle on a sunday evening is what inspired us to keep going and try to create candles that reflected us and our best memories. Making candles became a form of therapy for us, curing an emptiness that arrived in lockdown.

The decision to make our hobby a business was based on the reminder that time waits for no man. One thing that struck about the impact of coronavirus was that it paused the world. It paused important plans people had for the year. It paused weddings, holiday’s, job plans and more. And it all happened suddenly. It made us realise more than ever, that tomorrow isn't promised. A fear of dwelling in the ‘what if’ inspired us to just get up and do it. We’ve always had conversations about our desire for a ‘side hustle’ taking inspiration from the LalaRae’s and Patricia Bright’s of the world. In fact, it was actually after watching a few videos on LaLaRae’s youtube channel that we decided it was our time.

We chose Aya as our brand name as it linked perfectly to who we are and the situation our business was created in. Aya is an adinkra symbol from our motherland Ghana representing a Fern. Fern’s are a plant that thrive in dark conditions and our business was birthed in an uncertain, worrying time. The conditions Aya Aromas was born in inspired us to create a brand that was focused on wellness, promoting self love and trying to uplift the lives of others. For this reason we decided to produce self affirmation cards that come packaged with our products.

If we’re completely honest, if it weren't for Covid-19 we doubt Aya Aromas would have been birthed at the rate it was or even at all. Despite Georgette being a key worker, we were both fortunate enough to have jobs that allowed us to work from home during the outbreak. Working from home these past few months has meant that we had a lot of extra time that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Time saved on getting ready, the commute and lunch times provided us with a lot of extra time to focus on mastering the science of candle making and designing our brand.

Aya Aromas has been live just under two months and we are shocked at the reception we’ve received. Goals we had for the end of the year have been accomplished and it’s only the beginning. In the two months since our launch, we’ve had purchases all over the world, sending our homemade candles to the US, Saudi Arabia and Europe. Amazingly, we’ve also had coverage in magazines we could have never dreamed of noticing our brand. It is only the beginning for Aya Aromas and we recognise starting a small business whilst working a 9-5 is a tough ride, it’s not all successes and wins. We hope that through this blog we can document our journey as a small business including the highs, lows, trials and tribulations.

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