We recently caught up with Ilkay Shafik, owner and founder of candle company First Moon, to learn more about the business. We were lucky enough to have First Moon exhibiting at the Country Living Christmas Fair in London this year.
I started my small business during the lockdown in 2021 at the age of 17 years old through my love and interest in candles.
As many struggled, including myself in lockdown, the low light from a candle and the candle’s flame helped me to calm and relax my mind during the difficult times whilst still
studying my A Levels.
I also found that certain scented candles like Jasmine, Lavender and Chamomile helped
me reduce my anxiety.
First Moon is the translation of my name Ilkay and I am based in the Kent area.
I strive to make candles unique and believe in protecting the environment by using non-harmful, eco-friendly, biodegradable and animal cruelty-free products.
A candle is for every occasion and I have lots of wonderful scents to choose from
including specific scents for different times of the year e.g. Easter, Mother’s Day and
I have also created a charity candle called ‘Eye Will Product You’ where I give 20% of the
profit to Women’s Aid who is a charity working to end domestic abuse against women
The most popular scent I’d say is Velvet Rose & Oud, Passionfruit Martini and Teddy Bear which is a soft and comforting scent.
I also make vegan car perfumes in over 10 scents which has been very popular too. Since starting my business, I have sold online through Instagram and Etsy and now through my new website. I have also sold my candles at craft fairs I’ve attended and been invited to all around the
My candles are also stocked in a local gift shop close to where I live where I have been a customer since I was a young girl.
This year November 2022, will be my first experience of exhibiting at the Country Living Fair.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous but I’m also very excited as this is my largest fair yet! I am looking forward to sell my products at the fair and meeting new people being customers or other exhibitors.
My top three tips for any crafters and makers is, research the market. If you’re looking to start a craft business, make sure there’s a demand. Advertise your brand and products through social media as you’re increasing brand awareness plus it’s low cost advertising. And only attend craft fairs that suit your products.
My advice for fledgling businesses is do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for help as it’s not ideal to try doing everything alone. Be different and be passionate and get your branding right and understand the marketplace. Starting up any new business is not only exciting but scary too so believe and be positive. Make sure you have enough money lined up and the correct business insurance.