When Laura Simonds and Christopher Hathaway of Dixmont found themselves lighting a large number of candles while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, they realized it might be cheaper to make their own. So they did and turned it into a brand that is on the cusp of her first birthday.
“During the pandemic, we, along with the rest of the world, were very stressed and there were a lot of unknowns,” Hathaway said.
The couple found that lighting scented candles during the day helped make their home a more peaceful place in an uncertain and scary time. That costly habit grew into an idea for a business focused on “making people comfortable in an uncomfortable moment,” Hathaway said.
The couple began researching and developing their products in 2020, then officially launched Your Day Just Started in October 2021. The couple sells candles, wax melts, room sprays, and more on their online store while holding down full-time jobs.
“We do everything including designing the labels, building our website and building all of our products,” the 29-year-old Hathaway said. “Anything you can think of, we do.”
In their spare time, Simonds and Hathway create their products, and the concrete containers that hold the candles, in a spare room in their house, which they have converted into a studio.
Simonds said one of the hardest, but most important, steps was figuring out how to describe its scented products to customers who are almost exclusively online and can’t smell the candles for themselves before they buy.
“We went to great lengths to not only give people a description of scents, but also what people might feel or imagine when they smell them,” said Simonds, 30.
For example, the pair’s “breathing” candle smells primarily of sea salt and fresh air. On their website, the couple wrote that the product smells like “a warm summer day walking along the coast of Maine.”
While the couple’s products are available at Tiller and Rye in Brewer, they said they’d like to bring their products to more local retailers so more people can see, smell and interact with their candles. Eventually, Simonds said he’d like to bring the brand to more retailers in the state and across the country.
Hathaway said they invest any profit they make in developing new and improved products to promote the brand.
If the business continues to grow, they said they would also like to graduate from their home studio and find a new production site.
“We want to grow to be as big as we can because I think we have a good mission behind our business,” Simonds said. “We want our customers to feel joy when using our products and find comfort in the uncomfortable parts of life. If our products help them get there, it means a lot to us.”