Whilst many teenagers were happily watching Netflix or checking Instagram feeds when lockdown started back in March, 17-year-old Tyler Gore had other ideas.
The Tadcaster Grammar School sixth former decided to launch his own business – AIAS Candles - from his kitchen table after watching online and Google tutorials. Six months on he now has a flourishing fledgling business on his hands, with online sales booming and local stockists placing regular orders for his expanding range.
“I really didn’t know what to expect, it was an idea that I had been thinking about for a while and lockdown provided me with the time to make the products, plan, and then launch because there was so little else to distract me,” said Tyler, who is now back at school studying Philosophy & Ethics, Sociology and Business Studies.
“I started with six scents but that has already doubled and I am looking to launch a limited-edition Christmas scented candle, which I hope will be popular as we head towards December.”
All AIAS Candles are hand poured and made with 100% soy wax so they are both vegetarian and vegan friendly. As well as the candles Tyler has also launched a botanical range of wax melts and is getting enquiries from as far away as the US.
All that translates into a successful start-up that is already making a profit. As a socially-conscious business, AIAS Candles – named after a Greek hero in mythology – also donates a percentage of its profits to conservation group Game Rangers International (GRI) in The Gambia.
Tyler, from Thorp Arch, near Leeds, hopes the experience he is gaining now will hold him in good stead as he applies for university places for next year, or potentially takes a gap year and looks to volunteer abroad, possibly with GRI, who he is already supporting.
“I don’t think anyone would have recommended launching a new business in lockdown but it worked out for me, I was as surprised as anyone to be honest!” he added. “There have been some challenges, for example, legislation changed so I am having to look at reformulating the oils I use, but I am still expanding and it has been a great learning curve.”