A spark became a flame
Pride of the Macleay Series
Written by Julie Woodrow
Coordinator Healthy Communities
Kempsey Shire Council
Pride of the Macleay showcases the stories of leaders throughout the Macleay
To say that Ashlea Morehead is passionate about candles and their ability to transform spaces is an understatement. This energetic self-starter established her successful ‘Buddy and Me’ business whilst on Maternity Leave with her first child Buddy.
“I have always loved candles but needed to find a way to make this obsession more sustainable financially so I began making them myself. I coupled these skills with sourcing as much product as I could locally. From these basic ideas a locally run, home grown business was created with the aim of providing a real sense of connection to the broader community and in particular to local businesses.” said Ashlea
Like many small business owners, Ashlea has developed all her product branding, design, marketing, and promotion and has identified specific market segments to focus her energies.
Ashlea reflects “I developed the website in 2014 and simultaneously opened the home-based showroom. I wanted customers to experience the influence candles can have on their mood and emotions and this provides a perfect venue. ‘Buddy and Me’ now offers businesses a unique opportunity to connect with their customers and clients through my range of custom corporate candles. These can be sold to customers or offered as a gift with purchase, they may also be used for a special event such as Christmas, or used for advertising or marketing with a point of difference”.
Ashlea has gone to great lengths to ensure that her products are of the highest quality and only uses natural products.
“The whole business has evolved, it hasn’t been pre planned which makes it exciting and a steep learning curve. I am happy for it to develop synergistically. It’s not just a small business, it’s something I’m passionate about.”
As a qualified Occupational Therapist, Ashlea blends candle making with her innate understanding of sensory awareness. Ashlea is also a qualified Interior Designer, which further enhances her ability to make both the product and its environment aesthetically pleasing.
“I do all the label design and graphics myself and when working with businesses on custom products I ensure that the design meets their needs, including matching the fragrance to their enterprise. An example of this is a product I created for Crescent Head Surf Co which has both their distinctive logo and the fragrance being lime and coconut. Customers will remember their holiday and link it to the fragrance and the business which makes those special memories last even longer.”