Maritime Makers – Foxy Frog Scents

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Happy Monday.  I’m so excited to introduce you to today’s Monday Maker.  I’m a person who likes to curl up and read by candlelight (in my head, right now, I can hear my Mom telling me that I’m going to ruin my eyes!), so when I happened across FoxyFrogScents, it was like all my favorite things collided. A book lover too, Kara makes soy based candles, with scent blends that are inspired by her favorite books, movies and TV shows.

Read on to learn more about Kara’s own tale.

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Could you please begin by giving us a brief intro to your yourself and a description of your shop/product.

Sure! I’m from Dartmouth originally, and recently returned after a few years out west, in BC. While there I acquired a creative writing degree, then worked for a few years as an editor in the health care industry. After coming back home I started looking for ways to live a more creative life, and that’s how Foxy Frog was born.

With Foxy Frog Scents, I make soy candles inspired by stories. Mostly books, because they are my favourite, but also some movies and TV shows. Books and candles together is a natural combination to me. I love setting the atmosphere of a story with my scents- I love the idea of having Butterbeer burning while flipping the pages of Harry Potter. But I also love having fun with the combinations, like a Bookworm candle that smells like gummy worms, or Princess Leia’s Buns, which smells like cinnamon buns.

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Before Foxy Frog was born you were living the corporate life as a copywriter. Have you completely left this role behind, and what was that transition like?

Well, I was doing a lot of freelance copywriting, which meant a lot of articles and materials on insurance and pharmaceuticals. I don’t do that anymore, but do still write creatively or on topics that interest me. The difference is, I don’t choose projects based on the pay check potential, which is lovely.

What would you say is the single greatest challenge, and the single greatest reward to being an entrepeneur?

The greatest challenge is time. Finding time, managing my time, making time for other things- it is so easy for a business to become all-consuming. I have to remind myself that at the end of the day, really, it is just a job, not my entire life, then prioritize accordingly. The greatest reward is seeing something that began as just a hint of an idea grow into something real.

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Congratulations, you have just enjoyed your first etsy-versary. What has the past year been like for you selling online, and what have you learned about the experience that you can share with some of our newer sellers.

You know, I still sort of feel like a new seller. Even though I’ve had my shop for a while, I’ve had most of my success selling offline. I just started concentrating on the online market recently. The only advice I have to give is to be patient- sales won’t just happen right away, especially if you don’t market elsewhere.

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Where do you hope to see your business go, and do you have any developments that you would like to share with us?

Right now, I really am concentrating on building an online presence. I just started on Instagram, I’m working on a website, and I’m trying to update Facebook and Twitter more than once every six months.

A few months ago I had an Etsy order from South Uist, which is a tiny island in Scotland with a population of about 1500. It also happens to be where my family emigrated from in the 1800’s, and I visited the area with my father and brother a couple of years ago. The tiny little order I got really opened my eyes to what I was missing out on, all of the untapped online potential, all of the people I wasn’t reaching because I wasn’t putting the effort in. So the next phase for Foxy Frog is working on marketing, developing an online presence, and reaching people outside of the Maritimes.

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An avid reader myself, I love the book-inspired fragrances. What is your favorite product, and is it actually one that is also a favorite book/show of yours?

It is difficult to choose- I make my candles based on stories I love, so it’s hard to pick a favourite. I have a Harry Potter line, and a Game of Thrones line, and I love them both… But if I had to choose, I’d have to say my fairy tale candles- Fairy Dust, Rumpelstiltskin’s Gold, Mad Tea Party, to name a few. I love them because they were the first candles I made, because the stories remind me of my childhood, and because, to be honest… they smell the best. Fairy Tales are imagination and magic and happiness, and I try to make the candles reflect that delightful mystical mood.

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Being a handmaker, do you have a handmade possession (heirloom, gift, something you made yourself) which you particularly treasure?

Oh, my whole life is handmade. I got married a couple of years ago, so that’s left me with a few treasured pieces- my mom made my dress, my mother-in-law made the cake and the invitations, and I made pretty much everything else. But more than anything else, I’d have to say my house. We aren’t building it from scratch ourselves, obviously, but my husband and I just bought a house in downtown Dartmouth that’s almost 100 years old, and not a single room is safe from our renovating wrath. And I’m not just talking a new coat of paint- walls are being torn down and built up all over the place. But we’ve also restored a lot of original features- stripping paint and ripping up laminate flooring to reveal beautiful hardwood underneath, and installing a working woodstove in a space that’s been out of commission for decades. We are also keeping pieces of the parts that need to be destroyed. For example, we are building a table from wood that had to be removed from another part of the house. We tore down panelling in the dining room to reveal wallpaper with little houses on it underneath, so a little house will be cut down and framed to hang in the finished (non-wallpapered) room. The whole thing is a massive project that will take years, but I think it’s really special that we are doing it all ourselves. And of course, it will smell amazing.

Can we find Foxy Frog anywhere other than etsy?

Yes! I am at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market every Saturday and Sunday. You can also find me on the Christmas craft show circuit around Halifax, and on the geek scene at Hal-Con and Spring Geequinox.

foxy1Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Kara.  I can’t wait to pull out my Harry Potter books again, curl up in my favorite space, and have the gentle scent of Butterbeer in the air!!

Visit FoxyFrogScents on etsy by clicking on any of the photos above.

(Submitted by Carol of stringmealong and ThisBorrowedMoment)