Businesses of Banyule’ presents Original Soy Co, Heidelberg West
One step into Original Soy Co’s HQ in Heidelberg West and your senses are immediately tantalised but the soft aromas of sweet strawberry and creamy coconut. As you breathe deeper, your eyes are drawn to the thousands of candles and diffusers in 40 breathtaking aromas.
This isn’t a huge surprise for Founder and Managing Director, Vanessa Stone. It didn’t take this soy candle business very long to gain a loyal customer base. In 2010, at her very first Warrandyte Market stall, Vanessa sold so many candles she knew she was onto something. Within a few short weeks, she was surrounded by long queues, bursting with customers eager to purchase. This was just the beginning.
“I never wanted to be known as a small business. I always saw the bigger picture,” explained Vanessa. “Every year that passes, the business triples in size. This has been the case for the last four years. Our candles are sold all over Australia, except for WA. They’re next.”
Vanessa has never been afraid of hard work. She attributes her strong work ethic and dedication to her father, the founder of The Original Waffle Company.
“My parents owned a bakery in Belgium. After immigrating to Melbourne 25 years ago, my dad launched The Original Waffle Company. He worked incredibly hard to get the business where it is today,” shared Vanessa. “He’s my inspiration. We’re very close.”
In honour of her father, Vanessa decided to name her candle business, The Original Soy Company. Eight years on, her beloved business is going through a rebranding process.
“We’re modernising our brand. We just recently updated our website and all our packing is all being revamped. The process has brought a name change too – we’re now known as Original Soy Co. But we will always be an ‘Originals’ family.”
Running the business is a real family affair.
“My husband helps out whenever he can but he has his own business. We have three kids and two of them, my youngest (10) and my eldest (18) love helping out,” rejoiced Vanessa. “My daughter, the 10-year-old, is about to launch her own line of candles. She created four fragrances. I’m very proud of her.”
It’s no question. Vanessa is a ‘Super Mum’. When she’s not producing products in the warehouse, she’s at home managing the company’s paperwork and designs.
“During peak periods I’ll usually work six to seven days a week. But I will only work nine am to three pm in the warehouse, so I can drop my kids off at school in the morning and then pick them up later in the afternoon.”
Vanessa works with three other staff members, all of which are mums.
“I really wanted to employ mothers. Like me, they also work during school hours. I have wonderful staff. We get along really well and they work incredibly hard.”
When asked what Original Soy Co has install for us all, Vanessa certainly had a few ideas in mind.
“We’re getting ourselves ready for expansion. We’re aiming to move into a larger factory within the next two years. But in the meantime we have quite a number of new creations and product lines set for release, so be on the lookout for those.”
To view or purchase Original Soy Co’s range of candles and diffusers, simply visit their website.