We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Samantha Armstrong a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Samantha, appreciate you joining us today. If you could go back in time do you wish you had started your creative career sooner or later?
Looking back, I think the timing was absolutely perfect….It is what I needed when I needed it. I have always said, things always happen for a reason, and the timing of when I decided to plunge into my new business endeavor was actually what kept me from going insane.
Backstory: 2020 was a helluva year for everyone, so many difficult times were had by many…I suppose I was no different. March 2020-had to come off the road from my career-job, April 2020-husband looses job, following week gets in a bad motorcycle accident, May 2020-uncle diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer (like what my mom died of), June 2020-dear friend dies of suspicious causes, January 2021 best friend dies of cancer and the next week my uncle dies. I was in a constant state of sadness, used my creativity to distract my mind.
Samantha, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My candle crafting started out as just a gift giving idea for Christmas 2020; I often make my gifts for friends and family and wanted to do something different since I have made just about every damn craft out there. I absolutely love candles and thought I would give it a shot. I did a lot of YouTubing to narrow down the type of wax and wicks I wanted to use; and learn techniques. Once people got to sample my candles, like most people would say as a compliment “You could sell these”. I was like, hmmmm….maybe I could, but they are going to have my personality all over it. Everyone that knows me knows I am highly inappropriate most of the time, so why would my brand reflect anything but the REAL me? I wanted my product to be luxury….Because I just love ‘Fancy Shit’. So here we go….Fancy Trash Candle Co! My candles are made with the best wax on market, burns clean and evenly and holds/throws fragrance like nothing else! The wicks are made of wood, so the crackling will be reminiscent of a little tiny fireplace….so relaxing. So that is the fancy part….let’s get to the ‘trashy’ part….well, once you get passed the pretty glittery label and see the names, they will indeed get your mouth rinsed out with soap if your momma hears the words printed on the labels. Aside from my trashy regular line of candles, the other part of my business is co-branding. I work with other business owners/entrepreneurs (realtors, chiropractors, insurance agents, salon owners, coffee shops) to design a candle to either resale with their brand or give as thank you gifts to special clients.
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
Social Media has been the hardest to get a grasp of when you barely know how to add a picture to Facebook. I found out real quick that the best way to build your brand is get it out there to any and every event that would allow me to sell at (which has been challenging since my product isn’t ‘family friendly’). Once I start connecting with the public and just being me, cuss words and all…people want to stay connected and see “what I will come up with next”. I use only IG now and my posting not only showcases what I am up to in my “Dexter’s Laboratory”, but I also pull in all of the other small businesses I connect with to bring them up as well, this creates a comradery and their followers will also come to my page and follow. I am not where I want to be, but the growth is steady for sure.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
The most rewarding aspect of being a creative is just getting to do what I want….the ideas may not make me much money, but I have the freedom to find out if they will. My business/product ideas have been based on things and people that I surround myself with; I am constantly inspired by my life experiences and put that in my product. For instance, the color rose gold is my theme color for my business, the color came from a rose gold colored jacket that was given to me by my friend who died in January 2021. My signature candle is a Strawberry Mimosa scented candle called “Cheers Bitches”, which is what me and the BFF’s say every time we are out brunching with our Mimosas in hand! I could go one about the fragrances and the names…most everything has a meaning….I get to do that with MY creativity!
- Website: www.fancytrashcandleco.com
- Instagram: fancytrashcadleco
Product Photography: Esperanza Sanchez with Polyvision Marketing