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A Moment With Our EDTP Graduate: Meet Brandon Witcher

Posted on 5/29/2017 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

Brandon Witcher and Tanisha Witcher are the owners and operators of Ascention Candles Creation, and Brandon is a graduate of LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program. We had a chance to sit down with him to ask about his experience with entrepreneurship and LAEDA's training program.

LAEDA: Entrepreneurship is a very challenging path to take with many different possible directions. What made you decide to become an entrepreneur? Why did you choose your industry?

“I had a passion for being my own boss before I met my wife and business partner, Tanisha. I was a teacher, and I knew that I wanted to start my own business, but I did not want to leave my career without having a really good business idea to start. After, I got married I noticed the passion my wife had for candles and she said to me, ‘It is too much work making candles and it is hard to do by yourself.’ Thereupon, I told her that I would help her and we can start our own business in this industry. Then we both sat down and decided how to make this into a business. I have to say that making candles is hard work and it takes a lot of dedication.”

LAEDA: Tell me about your experience while attending EDTP. What have the major takeaways been from the program? Have you had any “Ah-ha!” moments? How did the program help you?

“The experience was really great. It gave a good comprehensive view of business. All the classes were relevant in terms of expertise level, general business, and how to launch a business. It catered to various levels from the professionals the EDTP had. I really learned the aspects of what it takes to open a business. I took a lot out of this program, especially the marketing classes, which made me realize who I was selling my products to and what I was selling. It was interesting because the marketing classes really refined who my demographics would be. I appreciate all of LAEDA’s dedication to helping small businesses, answering any questions that we had, and generally being concerned about our success.”

“Ah-ha moment is when you go into business things will evolve. I am using what I used in the program and using it as an experiment because you have to find out what works for you and what works for your business. Don’t be afraid to try something a little bit different then your original plan because business is always evolving.”

LAEDA: Tell me about your journey on the road to business start-up. What have been some of the challenges, successes, failures, etc.?

“A challenge was pricing. My wife and I had to play around with how much we were charging for our candles. Each candle has a different price based on the material used to create it. We needed to know what price would lead the customers to keep coming back. In order to set the right prices for each candle that will draw loyal customers through our doors we had to do the following: collect data on income variables in low and high, a lot of studying of trends, watching customers buying patterns, and asking our customers questions about what they value. This challenge eventually turned into our success because we found out the price that brings in loyalty.”

“A failure is that we have no sells from our website. A website is really important because people usually look you up on the website and then contact you. So right now we are in the process of increasing our buying from our website. Any challenge that comes before us, we face and use our resources to turn into our success.”

LAEDA: Could you tell me a little about where your business is today?

“In our business we create handmade candles that look like beverages and desserts.
We give people realistic representations. Our business began in September 2016 and my wife takes care of artistic things, accounts, and making the candles, while I take care of the business side. Everything is handcrafted, which provides a personal touch. Currently, my wife and I are working on our website and really starting to think about putting together our sales materials and our packages so we can get into gift shops and flower shops. We will probably hire an employee to focus on our sales portion.”

(5) LAEDA: Do you have any advice for future (or existing) entrepreneurs?

“Don’t be afraid to fail because entrepreneurs are often afraid of the initial failure, don’t be afraid instead get more creative with your problem solving.”

Congratulations to Brandon Witcher for completing EDTP and recommitting to his journey on the path of entrepreneurship. Ascention Candles Creation is a company that creates handmade candles that look like beverages and desserts. It also gives people realistic representations with a personal touch in every candle. For more information, check out Brandon Witcher and Tanisha Witcher on their website at https://www.ascentioncandles.com or email them at bwitcher@ascentioncandles.com and you can also reach them at 609-238-2179.

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Winter Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.LAEDA.com