A couple living in Bromley are receiving worldwide orders for their homemade candle business which they started up in lockdown.

Liz Carrera works full time as a specialist health visitor, while her husband Stuart works full time in IT.

The pair have two children aged five and aged two, and if that wasn’t enough to occupy their time – they have recently started a new business making and selling candles.

News Shopper:

After wanting to start up a business together for a while, Vendeo began in lockdown when Liz became anxious about what was going to happen in the future.

The pair started off with an interest in Italian sculptures, leading then to pondering over selling dry flowers and then soon enough they decided they’d make and sell their own candles.

Liz, 34, said that once they had started, the success of the business took over everything – including their home kitchen.

She told the News Shopper: “We looked at a few different avenues to begin with and it was all quite random and we didn’t know which direction we were going in.

“When we decided we wanted to sell candles, we thought we might as well try and make them ourselves.

News Shopper:

“Everything else took a back step because of Vendeo’s success and the quality then just got better and better.”

The pair started advertising their candles on Instagram during the summer last year, and had masses of pre-orders before their website went live in January.

Liz said: “We couldn’t even put the orders through the site and it had already gone crazy – we just didn’t expect it to go off like that.

“I think people thought these candles were special because we were making our own mould.

“Our candles are also completely unique – including our Medusa candle specifically which is one of the ones that we’ve shipped to other countries.

News Shopper:

“We did a lot of research with other companies and I don’t think there’s anything like this around.”

The Carrera’s have shipped candles worldwide – including to Russia, Australia and America.

They have also drafted in another couple to help them with the business and admin side of their venture.

Liz added: “It’s almost like we needed a focus but it’s really kept us going.

“It has been incredibly difficult and we’ve worked into the early hours of the morning lots of times but there’s still more we want to do.

We’ve worked with Pink Ribbon charity and made some candles with one breast or no breasts for breast cancer and all our proceeds from that went to the charity.

News Shopper:

“We want to do more for charity now and get some new ideas.”

The pair have also sold their candles at local fairs, and next week have a meeting with a “large” high street store about the prospect of selling them there.

Liz said: “We’re very excited about what’s to come.

“We’re continuously busy and even when we went to Devon for a week, as we were driving with the kids our phones were pinging and we were getting order after order.

“Now we’re looking at getting a place to make our candles in because we’re getting lots of corporate orders as offices go back.

She added: “I think the biggest thing is how surprised we are.

News Shopper:

“We’ve worked hard, we can’t sit and say it has been easy but we are so proud.

“The biggest thing is we want to serve the public, we’re really big on quality and we want people to be happy.”

Liz and Stuart’s candles can be found at @vendeostore on Instagram and online here.

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