Hi Jules, please tell us about your stall.
All Lit Up by Jules was established in 2015 and is my labour of love. I create hand poured Pure Soy wax candles in mosaic and coloured glass designs. These candles are created with love and every one of them is unique.
The candle glass is mostly all large in size and their burn time exceeds 60 hours. They are also presented beautifully gift boxed. Over the 6 years, I have been successful in creating 5 of my own fragrances – Tahitian Kumquat, Hibiscus Thai, In Memory Of, Fijian Tango and Paul’s Favour. Tahitian Kumquat is my best seller. It has a delightful citrus flare with a hint of lime which makes you feel like you are on a tropical island.
Hibiscus Thai presents with scented notes of coriander and orange with a splash of lime which is the personal favourite of many. In Memory Of is comprised of sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla and a dash of Lavender for calming. Fijian Tango is a personal favourite. The scents– pineapple, coconut, passionfruit and lime – sounds like a cocktail you could drink!
My latest creation, Paul's Favour, was a challenge from my brother in law who loves candles but wanted one that was more 'manly'. This has blends of leather, tobacco flower, oak, musk and ancient sandalwood. This was a challenge indeed. There are many other fragrances to choose from too.
In my spare time I am a nurse working part-time in General Practice so this candle craft is my Zen. This is particularly so over the last 18 Covid months. Having this business and creating my candles has kept me balanced. I also love recycling my candle glass and love bringing old used candles back to life. What once was old is new again. Customers will often come to me recycling their candle glass which is very rewarding. I ensure it looks brand new by the time I’ve completed the creation progress.
How did you begin your business, and why?
I was a trainer for my son’s junior football team for many years but when he finished playing at this level and starting playing more serious footy, my trainer services were no longer required. This meant I had free time on Saturdays.
My youngest son was into collecting old furniture that of course would benefit from a makeover. I found myself searching for upholstering courses on the internet. I had no luck finding this but while searching the internet, this candle course kept coming up. It started to get annoying I must say – because I really wanted to learn how to upholster old furniture to bring it back to life!
In the end I decided to give candle making a go and I have not looked back ever since. My candle teacher, Frosa, is a very talented candle creator extraordinaire and I have loved it from the get go. Frosa was and still is a wonderful teacher and a great mentor.
By the end of 2015 after lots of practice and giving candles to my family and friends I found myself deciding if I was going to take this hobby to the next level. And that’s just what I did. By the end of 2015, I had a business name thanks to my sister, Lea who came up with All Lit Up – I added the “by Jules” so I could an ABN. The rest is history.
My first break into the market scene was in Trentham at the Trentham Railway market. When I started out, it was really difficult to get into the market scene with candles. I was very fortunate to get my big break with being accepted into the Williamstown Craft market several years ago and more recently into the Woodend Lions Club market and the Ballan Lions Club market. I recently got my very big break being accepted into the widely renowned Flemington Racecourse Market but sadly have not been able to attend yet due to Covid lockdowns.
Where does the inspiration for each piece come from?
I had a wonderful candle teacher, Frosa. She was and still is a great teacher and mentor. It takes lots of practice to perfect the art of candle making. There is a real science to it. Even the weather and the conditions where you are creating your pouring process can affect how your candle turns out.
I particularly love colour and I adore mosaic glass. The art of creating a peaceful harmonious Zen is my biggest inspiration. I love burning candles and each candle I create I endeavour to create it to perfection.
What sets your designs apart from other stalls?
When you walk into a room and it is filled with a glorious scent and glow - it's the atmosphere that hits you and can make all the difference to how you feel and the experience you have.
When creating my own fragrances, it was lots of fun. Blending different scents and marrying them up was exciting. Writing the "recipe" was important - so you could replicate it again and again. As I mentioned earlier, I love colour - the brighter the better for me and I loved adding the little touches of gift boxing to complete the elegant look I was after.
What do you love most about being a stallholder at CMA?
It's exciting. I can't wait to be there in person at Flemington or Hanging Rock. As I have only recently been offered a stallholder position during lockdown, I am yet to attend an actual market. I have joined to be a part of the Virtual market which is a great opportunity to stay connected to the market life.
Visit the CMA Virtual Market, and support our stallholders!
Describe your experience of being a small business owner in Australia.
It's an incredible experience. I am so proud of what I have achieved with my candle craft, managing a business, working as a nurse, wife and mother of two young adults still living at home.
I could not do the market scene without the support of my wonderful husband. It's a heavy gig and one that I can achieve with his help and support. The most important thing to me is I love creating to give others the joy of receiving a beautiful candle piece of pure delight.
What are the challenges and rewards of being your own boss?
I think my biggest achievement has been fundraising for 2 very amazing organisations. Last year I did a fundraiser with my pink candle for the McGrath Foundation raising money for breast care nurses. We raised over $600 with the help of my customers purchasing a pink candle. $10 from every pink candle purchased was donated to the McGrath Foundation. This year I did the same but with my blue coloured candles. We raised over $240 for Beyond Blue.
Describe your perfect weekend!
Travelling to Port Fairy & walking the East Beach. But if in lockdown - doing a candle pour!
What do you see for the future for you, and your business?
My dream is to retire from nursing and spend all my time creating my candles.
What do you love about Melbourne and Victoria?
During this Covid climate it's been very difficult for a lot of people with the never ending lockdowns. Our beautiful vibrant city is struggling sadly. I pray it returns to its ever vibrant buzz of a Friday night dinner and drinks scene.
I want the markets to return to all their glory. We are very fortunate to have the beautiful city close to the coastal beaches but not too far away are our beautiful mountains and countryside without having to travel far. We are very fortunate.
What other stalls are you looking forward to checking out at our next CMA market day?
All of them. We have some very talented artists and creators.
What advice would you give to someone interested in setting up their own small business or stall?
Follow your dream and instincts - basically follow your gut. If it feels right then go for it. Make sure you cover yourself with the appropriate insurances and be honest and fair. Don't undervalue your worth and the hard work you are doing to achieve your goal. Some people expect to get everything cheap or for a bargain. Know your worth and if you have an excellent product - don't underestimate it.
How did you adapt and overcome the challenges of the past year?
Still working on it. I invested in updating my website and online shop and worked on advertising and putting myself out there more through social media. It still remains a work in progress. Balancing my time and trying not to burn out on all levels. Visit my site here - https://www.alllitupbyjules.com.au/