In less than a year, Bright Soy Candle creator Kerry Young has gone from her small candle-making business to store owner with the opening of Bright Trading Co in Robe’s main street. It’s been one bright idea after another for the young mum who’s dream to own her own shop became a reality on September 11. “Bright Trading Co has been a natural extension of Bright Soy Candle Co, which has been around now for about 18 months,” said Kerry. “I had always been interested in home wares and the idea of having my own store, whether it be bricks and mortar or online.”
After the birth of her first child, Harper, in 2014, Kerry was keen to start her own business from home. Bright Soy Candle Co was born, and Kerry was able to successfully build her candle company while also caring for a newborn. “I had always loved soy candles and thought it was something that I could do from home and then sell online, or at one of the many markets Robe has,” she said. “It turned out that it wasn’t that easy to create a candle that both burned well and smelt great.” It took Kerry about six months of trial and error before creating the final “recipe” which has now developed quite the local following, with many asking for their favourite scent by name.

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In June, Kerry launched Bright Trading Co online after spending months researching, contacting possible suppliers, sourcing handmade beautiful and independently owned products, as well as talking with designers for her branding. The online store was an instant hit with all the local South East mums, growing from a small Robe and Kingston following to having orders from interstate and overseas. One of the hardest speed-bumps for Kerry to overcome was finding companies which would sell to her wholesale when she only had an online store. “It was tough initially to gain suppliers, many would not supply to purely online businesses, especially if you had not been trading for long,” she said. “Before the online store I spent at least six months researching small, artisan and handmade businesses, as I wanted to support other people like myself. “Many of our suppliers are ‘mumpreneurs’ like me who have built businesses around having families.” With the online business taking off, Kerry felt having a shop front would be her next project. “I had many locals request to come and have a look at my stock, and with most items in boxes it wasn’t an ideal showroom to display what I had at home,” Kerry said. “It was a big decision to decide on leasing a shop front, because we had to find care for Harper, while both myself and my partner Antony were working – but everything just fell into place perfectly.” Bright Trading Co has now developed from home wares, candles and baby decor – into a booming baby and children’s store with unique, well-crafted, well-designed and beautiful products for your little ones. With clothing available from birth to approximately six years old, children’s books, wooden toys and other great gift ideas Bright Trading Co is a well thought out and beautifully designed space, and a welcome addition to Robe’s shopping experience. The idea to focus on baby and child friendly came from realising there was a ‘lack’ of babies and small children clothing and gifts in Robe, and as well as herself, a lot of Kerry’s friends were having babies and people would head online or out of town for gifts. “You couldn’t even buy a nice picture book,” she said. With so many visiting Robe, now all year round, Kerry wanted to give them as well as the locals another place to visit while they took in the whole shopping experience. “Many people who visit Robe like to purchase something special as a reminder of their time here, or as a gift for someone,” Kerry said. “I think that’s why I initially started the candles, and why they were so successful. “The distinctly Robe logo, of the Obelisk, allows people to feel like they are taking a piece of the town home with them – I’m finding it’s the same with Bright Trading Co.”

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For Kerry it wasn’t about getting bulk supply of items which were cheap and easy to sell. It was about finding items which resonated with the type of people who visited and lived in Robe, many of whom enjoy finding unique and well-made items to give as gifts or take home for themselves. Kerry wanted to keep with the appeal that so many other Robe shops already had, she felt complimenting the already incredible shopping experience would give her a point of difference, rather than stocking items which people could buy at any shopping complex in the city. “I wanted Bright Trading Co to be stocked with items which you couldn’t just get anywhere, and which were created by other small businesses,” she said. “Supporting small business is very important to me, and to many living in regional areas, as that is what many of us are – so to be able to help expose another ‘little guy, like myself’ is amazing.” The last two months of trading have been even better than Kerry could have imagined, with many stopping by to check out the shop and show their support. “It has been beyond our expectations,” she said. “The support from the local community and from visitors has been phenomenal, it’s been a very humbling experience to have so much positive feedback from people who have been in the retail industry for years, as well as from those who just want to let me know we’re doing a great job!” For now Kerry is concentrating on restocking for the busy summer period, sourcing a steady supply of quality clothing and kids decor, and spending time with her family. It’s been a busy and exciting year, and it’s only going to get busier now that Kerry has a wedding to plan for and a new baby on the way. “I’ve never been the type to sit still for long and I’ve always looked for new challenges,” she said. “So much has happened in the past few months, and I am feeling so much more balanced with a store front, as it allows me to get all my book work, research and ordering done at the shop and be more focused as a mum when I am home. “Life is exciting at the moment and we couldn’t be happier.” For many finding the motivation to take all of the above on board can be daunting, but Kerry has managed to face everything which has been thrown at her head on! In a town full of creative entrepreneurs Kerry believes having a great idea, researching a LOT, believing in yourself and that idea, and giving it a go, even if there is a chance it won’t work out will help even the least motivated. “I found that talking with experienced people helped, and I found they are more than willing to offer advice as they were once in your position,” she said. “There will always be times when you will doubt yourself but if you don’t try you’ll never know.” Kerry’s excited for Robe’s busy summer season, which is only a few short weeks away. With all businesses preparing for the thousands of people who will visit Robe’s coastal charms, Kerry knows Robe’s only getting busier and a more popular summer destination and hopes the addition of a baby and children’s shop will be a pleasant and welcomed surprise.

 

For more information on Bright Trading Co and the brands available visit www.brighttradingco.com.au, or like and follow Bright Trading Co on Facebook and Instagram @brighttradingco.