The story of Catori Collection is one many aspiring business owners will find both relatable and inspirational.
Meet Candice Gaugain – a psychotherapist based in South East London. Candice has always had an interest in crystals and the healing energies and vibrations they can bring. She loved buying bracelets made of her favourite crystals and the idea that she could bring something so beautiful and influential around with her anywhere she went.
Candice decided to try her hand at making her own bracelets, learning how by watching YouTube tutorials and a bit of trial and error. She found the practice of making the bracelets to be something she enjoyed, and began selling them on Instagram in April 2017. Within a few months, her success drove her to look for something more “official,” which led her to open her Etsy shop.
Her goal was to do more than sell crystals but to be a one-stop shop for all spiritual needs, from crystals to sage and singing bowls. She named the business Catori Collection, drawing inspiration from a Native American word meaning “spirit,” and wanting her community to be able to build their own collection of beautiful items.
Candice recalls her first order and the shock of seeing that it came to her from all the way in Latvia. She realised the opportunity to scale her business further and knew she wanted to have her own branded website.
EKM seemed like the right fit for the Catori Collection- it was a UK-based platform that allowed her to integrate her existing Etsy store with her new website.
She says her favourite EKM feature is the ability to offer gift cards, but what really led to her success in selling online was having her own account manager. The ability to book in time to ask questions and get help with the setup of the website was really key in helping her to learn the ropes in how to manage her own online business.
Like so many businesses, the pandemic of 2020 brought new challenges to this young business. But luckily for Candice and Catori Collection, they were challenges based on unprecedented growth. Her sales skyrocketed, and when she wasn’t also running her private practice psychotherapy business from home and doing zoom sessions all of her spare time was devoted to packing orders and going to the post office.
Her trips to the post office became so cumbersome that her local postie sent her home with her own sack for bringing her orders in. Looking back, Candice jokes “That’s when you know!”
As of now, Catori Collection is a one-woman success show. Candice loves being the face of the business via her Instagram and allowing her customers to get to know her on a more personal level. She has made connections with like-minded people around the world and attributes the success of her brand to the wholesome feel that comes with her genuine love for what she does. She also loves being an independent business owner. Having Catori Collection has allowed Candice to make her own time and not be confined to a traditional 9-5. The flexibility allows her to run two businesses at once and still have time to spend with her family.
Candice had the exciting opportunity of being nominated for Crystal Shop of the Year in Lux Life Magazine’s “The Perfect Gift Awards.” But not only was she nominated, she also won the category for South East England!
Her advice to aspiring businesses is to never give up. You have to have the passion to make your business succeed, and if you don’t it isn’t going to work.
But she also advises taking your time. So many new business owners can get caught up in visualising the end result that they rush through the steps and do too much too soon.
So what’s next for Catori Collection? Candice is manifesting a physical shop. She’d love to have somewhere to represent the personality of the brand and be somewhere customers can come and have the full experience. She wants people to be able to come and connect with her products hands-on and feels this will help to continue driving repeat purchases.
“This is my passion,” says Candice. “My passion is to give back to people in a healing way. Between my psychotherapeutic work and selling the crystals and healing items- none of them feel like a job to me… because it’s what I love to do.”