I Started a Business with My Mom

Who starts a business at 2am? We do. 

For years in the Osman household we’ve had this running joke that when we open up a business, we’re going to call it Angry Hare. We’ve tried thinking back, but no one can quite remember exactly why. 

At 2am on a random day of the week, Angry Hare was born in our family room. 

Mom: “What kind of business can I start?” 

Me: “Let’s sell candles.”

Mom: “Okay.”

With the diligence of a self-appointed CFO, she immediately began researching product cost and profit. I browsed Etsy for the kinds of candles people were selling. 

As it turns out, you can make a profit selling candles and even with the bookish candle market booming, there was one genre of candle that didn’t exist yet. 

Comical candles. 

Comical candles based on BOOKS and movies and tv shows and pop culture and BOOKSSSSSSS!

This all happened in September of 2016 and it’s now Febuary of 2017. We’ve filled 54 orders (JAN2017), the majority of those orders containing more than one candle. That’s five months. WHAT. We had zero idea that people would even want to like our Instagram page let alone BUY our product! 

The comical candle business is still seemingly obsolete, as in, I am unable to find another retailer focused solely on selling candles with funny themes. How did we break into this?!

On accident. We literally did it on accident. We did it at 2am in our living room with half an hour of research. 

In those five months we’ve trademarked our name, gotten a logo, created over twenty scents, and have fought approximately 9,000 times. 

Running a business with your mom isn’t easy. She fronts the money. She handles the money. THE MONEY. She’s smart as a whip which means I have to also be smart enough to sell my product designs to her (“yes, mom, this Harry Potter candle WILL sell”). We have no idea what we’re doing other than that. How do taxes work? How do we keep track of our stock? Do we really need two different sized shipping boxes? WHERE DO WE STORE ALL OF THESE BLOODY CANDLES?!

Here’s the thing though: our five-month-old business is growing. Our social media is gaining a good following. We have brand representatives. Our Etsy store is getting thousands of views.

Sometimes when our lables won’t print right or our candles start to frost on the top or the giant mass of cardboard boxes we store in the living room gets too be too unsightly, we feel like we suck at this. 

Running a business isn’t fun. No part of it’s fun. 

What it is, is enjoyable. It’s enjoyable to see your hard work pay off. It’s enjoyable to see people like what you’re selling. 

I don’t know if I’d recommend starting a business with your mom. Fred and George certainly didn’t have Mrs. Weasley hanging around the joke shop, after all. If you can’t handle your mom’s ~momness~, then don’t do it. Me? I can handle her momness and that’s why it works. 

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