Bristol-based entrepreneur and mum of 2, Keely Parsons is an inspiration to her tens of thousands of followers, having shared every step of her business and mental health journey right alongside them on social media as her customer centric approach has helped her to grow a much loved brand.
Keely, 25, is the Founder and Director of the wax melts and body product company, Sassy Shop Wax. Keely’s company specialises in a variety of beautifully fragranced wax melts, scented home and body products designed to nurture your mind, body and spirit. Initially starting the hobby after struggling to find original scents she loved, Keely has grown from her kitchen table to a multi-million pound business. Her brand prides itself on unique blends of wax melts including flavours such as; Blueberry Vanilla, Hot Cross Bun, Luscious Coconut, Antique Book Store and Tonka Dreams. https://www.sassyshopwax.com/
What is your business, when did you launch it and what does it offer?
My business is called Sassy Shop Wax, we provide customers with unusual scents for predominantly wax melts, but we also offer bath and body products, room sprays, fragrance oils and more… If you’re unsure of what wax melts actually are, they are similar to candles but just without the wick – they last much longer and are therefore a more economical way to make your home smell amazing for longer. Sassy Shop Wax products are cruelty free and vegan and we make everything by hand using a distinctive blend of soy and mineral wax, topped with biodegradable glitter. Our website offers a huge range of products from wax melt pots, to wax melt bars, tubs, as well as aftershaves, bath products and oils too. Since becoming so popular we now stock gift ranges for a variety of occasions and you can also purchase starter boxes and monthly packages on the website too our items have also been stocked in Boohoo, Pretty Little Things and I Saw It First.
What did you do before coming up with your business idea and how was it making the transition?
Before Sassy Shop Wax, I was working a 9/5 job in recruitment, but I knew this wasn’t what I wanted long term. After struggling with my mental health for many years, it was only through talking to others that I began to envision how I could make my life the way I really wanted it. I initially started making wax melts as a hobby after struggling to find the scents I was looking for, but I began to really enjoy it and it wasn’t long before I began to imagine how I could make it a career for me. Making the transition wasn’t easy, I started doing longer days at my job with the goal to save money, which could be invested into the start of my business, which meant at one point I was doing 12-hour days at work, commuting 2 hours and then working on the wax melts when I got home. It wasn’t easy and colleagues at work would often ask me why I even bothered but I knew there was potential for this to work. One night I just had this moment of intuition – I call it my SPARK moment – I honestly knew from this moment that my own business was going to be a success. The night of the “spark” my mind was flowing with ideas – I was getting goosebumps all over and had an extremely strong intuitive sense of knowing. I was led in bed with thoughts spiralling of the potential of Sassy Shop Wax based on the current wax melt market and innovation. I couldn’t sleep with excitement.
It wasn’t long after this that I then found out I was pregnant which was the most wonderful moment and knowing I had to provide for my child and other children we may have in the future, also spurred me on even further to make Sassy Shop Wax work; I knew I desperately wanted a job that allowed me the flexibility to be a good mum too, my parents always showed me how important that was. During my maternity leave, I concentrated all my energy into nurturing my baby and my business… I had to rope in family members to help fulfil my orders! This allowed me to quit my job in recruitment – but I continued to work 12-hour days – tirelessly into the evening, as I couldn’t keep up with the orders and Sassy Shop Wax continued to grow and grow…
How did you get started?
I was determined as ever to make Sassy Shop Wax a well-known brand so I began to utilise social media, to try and seek out which platform would be the most suitable for my marketing strategy. We officially established Sassy Shop Wax as a company in 2017 and since then it has grown from strength to strength. My partner, Theo, who I met at college decided to leave his job to help grow the business and he now works as the Operations Director. I was also lucky that whilst building my business, family members offered to help out where they could, especially after I had given birth to my son, Luca. By December 2018 after a year of hard work, I was absolutely overjoyed when my Facebook store managed to sell out within minutes of releasing new stock. That was the moment I knew I had done it – but I still knew there was so much more I wanted to do. I now have a strong team of 20 amazing people and we are now based in a 5,000 sqft commercial space in Bristol.
What has worked well about your business?
I would say I am truly so grateful for the team I have – they are fresh, mega-ambitious and we have really nurtured a down to earth family free culture here at Sassy Wax. We have also been really successful in nurturing a healthy social media follow which has obviously really helped the business to grow; being endorsed by celebs such as; Gemma Collins as well as being stocked in retailers such as Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing and I Saw It First has also been a huge achievement. I think what makes it work so well is the genuine passion myself and the whole team have, as this started out as a hobby it just feels very authentic and true to me and I think the success of the business lies within that.
How do you fit work in with the family?
My partner and I now both work for Sassy Wax Shop, we now have two amazing boys who are also part of the team. I am quite flexible being able to work from home and the office and my boys often come with me to work. As I mentioned, the team feels like one big family and it’s often all hands on deck.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Following horrendous bullying, I didn’t have much confidence growing up and I often felt like I was the odd one out at school. If I could give myself one piece of advice, it would probably be just to be more quietly confident in who I am and not to compare myself to other people. We are all on our own trajectories in life and there is no point comparing yourself to someone who has a completely different life or dream to yours.
What impact do you want to make?
Sassy Shop Wax has really grown since we first started at my kitchen table and the company is now turning over around £2.5 million. Going further than just business, I really want to give back to my community in any way I can. As I have struggled with my own mental health and I know so many others who do as well, Sassy Shop Wax is committed to supporting mental health charities and in May earlier this year, we decided to create a Marie Curie wax melt and every £1 from each segment pot ordered was donated to the charity… we do this often with different charities. I want to continue to make a positive impact by opening up the conversation about mental health wherever I can. If I can help just one person realise that their feelings are valid and normal then I will – there is so much value in being honest about your mental health and I want Sassy Wax Shop to take pride in caring about that.
To shop Sassy Shop Wax visit: https://www.sassyshopwax.com/