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Polly Oswald, Founder of Cotswold Candle Company

Polly started by hand pouring candles for her family and friends from her small workshop at the end of her garden.  They proved so popular she found herself launching Cotswold Candle Company in 2015.  Her aim was to create new memories for her own family (she is a mother of three) and after a year of creating a fragrance library away she went.  

How did you find yourself setting up Cotswold Candle Company?

It started as a hobby having read an interesting magazine article about candle making. 

Cotswold Candle Company

What's your favourite fragrance? 
I love them all and they all evoke different memories but my overall favourite is Rose.

What inspires your range?
The beautiful Cotswold countryside where I am fortunate to live.

I would have no idea how to begin to make a candle.  Could you share with us how you create them?
I melt the wax to a certain temperature, add in the fragrance and then mix them together.  Next I pour the wax into the glass.  I wait for it to start setting and then place in the wooden wick.  It takes a good 48 hours for the candle to set and cure.

Being a mum how do you juggle production and growing the business with family life? 
It is a definite juggle.  The children are now all at school so I try to do as much work as I can whilst they are there.  Then I have free time to spend with them after school.  They really enjoy helping me out in my workshop so they come and help me from time to time.

The new brand look is so contemporary and chic - what was your inspiration for it?
Thank you!  I wanted something what would stand out on the shelf; a litte bit different.  The girl on the logo is to evoke a sense of old fashioned nostalgia and then the contemporary side with the font we have used.  The girl is also a part of me as the candle maker using fragrances which transport me back to my childhood.

Do you have any moments Polly where you thought 'Wow'?  Somewhere you stock, a place you have been to or got to do ...
I never thought I would get to stock John Lewis!  My range will be stocked in the new branch of John Lewis which is opening in Cheltenham in October.  I am excited to see where it will go from there.

Where do you see your business heading?
I would love to stock some more major retail stores and become a recognised brand.

If you treat yourself to chocolate is it ... dark, milk or white?
It has to be milk chocolate.  But I'd happily guzzle any as I'm a huge chocoholic!

Tempted by ... a chocolate profiterole or chocolate brownie?!
Chocolate profiterole any time.

On offer ... a cocktail or glass of champagne?
Definitely a cocktail ... I love a mojito.

Finally Polly would you share three words to describe what you have discovered it takes to set up and run a business ...
Determination, motivation, support