I recently went over to Parkminster Products HQ in Partridge Green to have a chat with the lovely Krystyna and her husband Richard. We chatted all things candles, business and future plans. Scroll down to find out more about why this lady has built such a successful business that started in her kitchen at home, and grown it into a vibrant flourishing company.
What was your background before Parkminster ?
I worked for an events company in Brighton for 8 years before starting Parkminster.
Richard has always had his own business and we had moved from Brighton to our house in Partridge Green. You could say I was getting itchy feet and started to think about things I could do to work for myself. I was in New York when I saw a salt scrub in a shop and when I came home I started making my own scrubs. I began selling them to friends and family, at local and village fairs. From this I started to think about expanding my range of products and began to make some candles in the empty salt scrub jars.
The business was growing well so we took the leap to book a stand at Top Drawer in 2012. I guess you could say this was when we really started to take it seriously. I always look back on Top Drawer as the starting point of our business. It was a nerve-racking experience but even back then we got amazing feedback from other stylists and brands on how we had dressed our stand!
Can you talk to us about your range?
When we first started, we had 3 candles, we now have 22 scents in the Star collection alone. In total we have around 30 scents across four ranges. We sell candles, reed diffusers, room sprays and soaps. My personal favourite has to be the Star collection because it was the first range I created.
How has your packaging developed since you started?
It has changed massively. When we first started we didn’t have the budget to produce the packaging how we wanted. We were making everything in house! The boxes have always been the same design with the star cut out, but the labelling has changed massively.
Personal highlights ?
Supplying to Japan is a big one, we stock into five concept stores in Japan. We don’t supply to any big chains and we only really supply to independent stockists. It has always been important to us that we remain exclusive and always in favour of the smaller stores.
Getting this workshop was also a big milestone for us, starting a business at home and growing to a point where you need bigger premises is actually a great feeling.
Can you tell us about the new salt scrub you are launching?
The salt scrub is something that I used to make when I first started Parkminster, and I always wanted to bring it back into the range – it fits nicely alongside the soaps or could be used as part of a gift package! The scrubs are classic and simple with a mix of salts and essential oils.
Do you think you are environmentally friendly as a company?
We are always trying to be more aware of the environment. We are in the process of trying to be completely plastic free. We buy recycled packaging. And any packaging we do use is bio degradable. We re-use any packaging that comes into us at present and we do not package any of our goods in plastic. We always encourage our customers to buy refills for the diffusers or re-use their empty candle jars for other uses as well.
Plans for the future?
At the moment we are happy with the way the business is growing every year. We throw about ideas of having a workshop where people could come in and buy the candles and perhaps do a workshop with us, or make their own candle, but it’s finding the right place for this that is the challenge.
Anything special for Christmas?
This year we have launched a new Christmas candle called ‘Noel’. It’s limited edition so we won’t be making it all year round. We have also recently launched a ‘Make your own candle kit’ which is available on the website and would make a lovely gift for somebody this Christmas.
To buy Parkminster Products you can visit the website here.