THEN: Business consultant and analyst
NOW: Owner, Sanctuary by Jasmine Gan
It was never enough for Jasmine to be just a business consultant, but deciding on what sort of business to run was a question she pondered on for a long time before she launched Sanctuary, a candle-making service.
‘I’ve always gravitated towards being a business owner and the right timing also played a big factor,’ said Jasmine, who founded Sanctuary in 2015 after spotting a gap in the local market for good quality soy candles at an accessible price range. Using her experience in consulting, branding and marketing from her previous jobs with CIMB and PwC, she created a brand of candles that has since amassed a loyal fan base. ‘It took many months of personal experimentation with methods and raw materials before I was satisfied with the quality and end result. From there, it was and still is a matter of keeping necessary controls in production to ensure our product doesn’t compromise on quality,’ she said.
Aside from product development, financing the business was the next biggest obstacle. ‘It was a challenge moving from the stability of a corporate job to bootstrapping a new business,’ Jasmine recalled. Shifting gears to becoming a business owner, she was hit with the realities of handling every detail of the business – from sourcing raw materials and supplies, manufacturing and hand pouring each candle, as well as distribution. ‘It definitely forced me to learn very quickly the ins and outs of operating a retail business.’ Her success with Sanctuary – which has now expanded to include scent diffusers – proves that it’s possible to make a living out of an artisanal craft, even if it’s not always the fragrant bed of roses you imagine it to be.
For the full range of stockists, visit jasminegan.com