The Scented Market is a local business known for its eco-friendly soy wax candles. Each candle is vegan-friendly, free of dyes and gluten, and handcrafted with a unique blend of beautiful scents that The Scented Market has become synonymous with.
Born and raised in Guelph, Ontario, CEO Kristy Miller recognized a need for beautiful, healthy soy candles in the industry after experiencing the soot that mass-produced, conventional candles were leaving in her home. Inspired to find a cleaner alternative, Kristy began researching and playing with ingredients and created her first line of signature soy candles out of her home’s kitchen in March of 2018.
Later that year, her dedication and unique signature style paid off, and she moved production into her first retail store.
The Scented Market line now includes cruelty-free self-care products free of phthalates and parabens, like bath salts, bubble baths, body lotions, hand soaps, and shower steamers. In addition, it offers luxe fragrance, homecare products such as cleaning and room sprays, and seasonal decor pieces.
Mindfully produced, all products are made with eco-friendly, sustainable packaging. There is also a Jar Return Program at each store, and candle refills are available. The company’s eco-friendly offerings combined with its self-care values allows its community to bring the spa home and feel good about it!
You can find The Scented Market at four retail locations across Ontario: Guelph, Fergus, Niagara-On-The-Lake, and The Blue Mountain Village. Its products are also carried by over a hundred wholesalers and can be found online at thescentedmarket.ca.
Tell us about yourself?
Kristy Miller is the founder and CEO of The Scented Market, a Canadian business known for its self-care mission and soy wax candles, home decor, and body products.
Kristy’s journey began with a simple fascination for scents and their power to evoke emotions and memories. She was determined to craft clean, eco-friendly candles for her family and friends to enjoy, pouring countless jars out of her kitchen in Guelph, ON. In 2018, her dedication and unique signature style paid off, and she moved production into her first retail store. Five years later, The Scented Market has expanded to four retail locations in Ontario and supplies hundreds of stockists throughout Canada and the USA.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
I would say, “Don’t underestimate your value!” because I realized I was underestimating my value before my experience with Dragons’ Den. Also, “Dream a size too big so you can grow into it!” has been my tried-and-true motto for a long time, and I will never stop telling myself this!
What problem does your business solve?
The Scented Market offers handmade soy wax candles and bath and body products that are a cleaner, more eco-friendly choice for those looking to make healthier choices and reduce their environmental impact.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Kristy recognized a need for beautiful, healthy soy candles in the industry after experiencing the soot that mass-produced, conventional candles were leaving in her home. Inspired to find a cleaner alternative for her family, Kristy began researching and playing with ingredients and created her first line of signature soy candles out of her home’s kitchen in March of 2018.
What is your magic sauce?
The Scented Market is innovative in the candle industry because not only does it offer eco-friendly self-care products for customers to buy, but the team actively works to create a community that customers can belong to, where everyone lifts each other up and encourages self-care.
This community is built upon a couple of things, including excellent customer service. For us, this entails welcoming your customer, making them feel at home, and educating them about our products, their benefits, and how to properly use them.
For example, when someone shops in our store, not only do they enjoy the visually pleasing and calming atmosphere that we have carefully curated, but they are met with friendly guidance by our staff to help them find the self-care items they need.
Our team is knowledgeable in all the bath, body, and home decor items we offer, in addition to their ingredients and scents. They inform customers how to properly enjoy their soy candle, like making sure the wick is trimmed and that the flame is snuffed out rather than blown out once they are done burning it.
The Scented Market provides excellent service not only in-store but online as well.
It has a team of staff in charge of the maintenance and organization of its website and customer relations. When shopping online, customers are met with a visually pleasing and well-organized website that allows them to easily find what they are looking for, ask questions through a chat box, and search for instant answers to commonly asked questions.
It also offers a detailed list of scents and themed blogs. Additionally, customers who sign up for text messages, newsletters, and the TSM app also receive additional savings and early access to sales and promotions. Online shopping is the norm for many people, so the team ensures that they get a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience through the website and mobile communications.
Social media, reviews, and email are all used to collect customer feedback and improve products and services. The team actively reads and responds to customer comments and discusses them in staff meetings to improve upon products or offer new products based on the needs that customers express.
Last but definitely not least, Kristy goes on Instagram/FB Stories every day to ‘talk’ with her community and encourage them to prioritize self-care. She actively works to make her business people-first and offers products to improve their lives. She thinks that for many people, it’s so important to see that there are real people behind the brand. This is what truly cultivates culture and community. It’s a huge part of why she started the business, to connect!
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Two of my short-term goals include decreasing The Scented Market’s environmental impact even further and continuing to grow our candle community.
Long term, I want to expand The Scented Market into the U.S. and continue to grow the business online.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenge we’ve faced so far was pivoting our business during COVID-19.
During COVID-19, we outgrew our ‘production facility’ (aka the single-car garage in the Miller home) and moved into a 3,000-square-foot retail and manufacturing facility in Guelph.
We were determined to scale up the business and needed to start with the production facility even though we were in the middle of a pandemic and faced a lot of uncertainty.
The team held a grand opening of the store in September 2020 (during one of the weeks out of lockdown) and officially launched.
The pivot was incredible. The community rallied around the business. The fact that it was women-led, local, and eco-friendly really resonated with everyone. People waited hours in a lineup, six feet apart, just to be able to walk through the doors and support our business. The Scented Market has since grown, but that sense of being supported and loved by the community has never waned.
How can people get involved?
You can shop The Scented Market at four retail locations across Ontario: Guelph, Fergus, Niagara-On-The-Lake, and The Blue Mountain Village. Our products are also carried by over one hundred wholesalers throughout Canada and can be found online at www.thescentedmarket.ca.
Join our candle community / follow us on social media!
FB: @The Scented Market
LinkedIn: @The Scented Market
Pinterest: The Scented Market
We also offer a CANDLE FUNDRAISER Program where every candle sold results in $5 back to the organization running the fundraiser. For more information/to start a fundraiser, fill out the link here: www.thescentedmarket.ca/pages/candle-fundraising?_pos=1&_sid=bb9b7d67d&_ss=r