We are very excited to bring you our second 'Chats with Makers' feature for 2021. Every month we will showcase a new independent business on our blog and Instagram. We hope you will enjoy reading and discovering some fabulous small businesses to support.
Gemma Baijnath, Founder of Cosmic Bloom Studios creates a beautiful array of eco-conscious candles and melts which are bound to bring fresh scents and tranquility to your home. Why not spoil your loved ones, family members, or friends? They make perfect gifts for Valentine's Day.
Gemma has really caught our eye over the last six months. We have loved following her business journey, collections and live sessions on Instagram, and feel like we know her already.
We are looking forward to catching up with Gemma this week.
A date for your diary: Friday 5th February - Cosmic Bloom Studios x LMM Instagram Takeover and Live at 6pm.
What is Cosmic Bloom Studios?
Cosmic Bloom Studios is a luxury, eco-friendly, home fragrance brand with big plans for the future.
My first product was the Amber Glass Jar Candles which I fell in love with. The idea of having something beautiful that can be reused and repurposed really appealed to me.
My brand is built on a foundation of mindfulness and self-care as this is something I was lacking in my life. I’d love to be the company that people think of when they’re trying to decide on their scent of the month or looking for eco-friendly, beautiful home fragrances.
When did your business first start and what made you do it?
I launched Cosmic Bloom Studios in August 2020 after taking a mental health break and quitting my full-time design job. I spent such a long time trying to find a hobby or new creative pursuit that I could make into my business because the only thing I knew for certain was that I wanted to be my own boss.
It took a lot of trial and error before I finally had the courage to start. I gave myself a launch deadline and started talking about it on social media. Making myself accountable and putting a date into the world really got me moving and eliminated any doubts.
What is the process of making your candles from start to finish?
It all starts with the wax and the fragrance oils, I use pure soy wax in my candles and cotton and paper wicks. I was determined to make earth friendly candles that meant something to me. The fragrances I buy are all vegan and cruelty free.
Every single scent I test has to really bond with me and evoke a memory or a feeling. I have scents like Lush Dawn, Misty Café and Balmy Zest, each scent tells a little part of my story so far; the Misty Café transports me back to a holiday in Paris where it had been raining but the comforting feeling of walking into a little café and being hit with the warming scents of fresh coffee beans, almond croissants and chocolate pastries is something I won’t forget.
Both of my parents are Mauritian and when I first created Balmy Zest, the lime zest and fresh coconut took me back to being on the island.
Which candle is your favourite and why?
That’s like asking for a favourite child or pet, am I allowed to love them all?! They all feel like my babies especially because of how I’ve named them all after special moments or places in my life.
I could pick a seasonal one, as we’re still in winter and waiting for the days to get lighter. Energy Meadow has turned into my go-to candle to light when I’m working from home. The scent is really vibrant and refreshing, with wild hints of lemongrass and lime zest, it’s amazing when lit in the morning. I always seem to have a productive day when I light this candle.
Do you have any candle care tips for customers?
Always trim your wick! Before I started making candles I can’t tell you how many candles I ‘tunnelled’ (this is where the wax doesn’t melt all the way to the edge of the jar).
Little tips like ‘trim your wick to 5mm before burning’, ‘make sure your wax pool is free of debris’ and ‘when you first use your candle, burn for at least 3 hours but no longer than 4’ are all incredibly helpful, but they also make your candles last so much longer!
I include little candle care cards with all candles I send out.
Are there any major obstacles you have overcome?
Putting myself out there and being scared to share small snippets about my personal life is definitely a big one. I’ve always assumed that being a ‘brand’ or a ‘seller’ meant that I had to use ‘we/our’ instead of ‘I/me’ when talking about what Cosmic Bloom Studios was doing.
Overcoming the stigma of being a one-woman business is not easy, and I’ve actually been very lucky to connect with a group of likeminded, amazing individuals who cheerlead, listen, and offer advice about life and business.
I’ve realised my business is a big part of me and I want to share how I feel about it and how it makes me feel.
Which digital platforms and programs have helped shape your business?
I started by posting to Instagram. On the run-up to launching Cosmic Bloom Studios I came across the Indie Roller community. If you’re a small business then you may know about the wonderful Leona who has built a supportive community of indie businesses. The support of meeting other makers and business owners has made me feel like I can really do this and actually have my dream job of being my own boss and eventually having my own shop!
What advice would you give to someone beginning their small business journey?
Go for it! I’m a firm believer in trying something new. If you want to see what happens then try a product in an Etsy store and on social media and you’ll soon figure out if it’s for you.
After I first launched, my love for being a small business owner has grown so much, I can’t believe how supportive the other indie businesses have been. I was so wary of entering the small business world and I had so many doubts like ‘there’s so much competition out there’ but I very quickly found out that every single business is special in their own way and there’s room for everyone.
Do you have any exciting products or projects launching soon?
I have recently launched the Pick and Mix Wax Melt Gift Set. I’ve been wanting to do a letterbox gift set for a long time and candles aren’t small enough to fit through your letterbox. The set comes with 4 wax melt sample packs in your choice of scent with a heritage greeting card that can be handwritten and sent to your loved ones.
The paper I use for the cards is made in the UK with real petals and meadow grass and delightfully unique. If you miss a friend or a family member, this is the perfect way to tell them you’re still thinking of them and miss them.
How can readers get in touch with you and find your shop?
You can find me at www.cosmicbloom.co.uk and on Facebook and Instagram at @cosmicbloomstudios. Come and say hi on a post or in my DMs, I’m always happy to chat and help you find your perfect candle scent!
If you've enjoyed this interview, or have any further questions for Gemma, please get in touch. Join us on Friday 5th February at 6pm to find out more about Cosmic Bloom Studios on Instagram Live.