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Case study

Candles from the Croft

Mix of beige round and square candles decoratively laid out with cones and hessian material with scattered petals

Finding a niche

Coming from a family of crofters dating back five generations, Sandie Gordon was keen to start a business rooted in the industry. After a lot of thought and extensive market research, Sandie found her niche in handcrafting sustainable, vegan, eco-friendly home fragrances from her family’s croft in Altass in the Scottish Highlands. After endless testing and many sleepless nights, Sandie was ready to launch her business, Candles from the Croft, in 2023.

Seeking support from other industry leaders, Sandie reached out to Northern Innovation Hub’s (NIH) IMPACT30 for help.

IMPACT30 is a cohort programme custom-designed to develop young business leaders and entrepreneurs in the Highlands and Islands, focusing on the tools, skills and knowledge required for growth.

Everyone is backing your corner and willing to help ensure you get as much from the programme as possible.
Sandie Gordon, Candles from the Croft
Clear plastic pouch with yellow hand lotion with a purple flower beside it

Putting new skills into practice

Starting her IMPACT30 journey in August 2023, Sadie said: “My experience has been fantastic so far. My mentor has shared so much insight and has assigned me some great reading material to benefit my development. I’ve also learned a lot from the roundtables and from the experiences shared by my peers.

“Everyone is backing your corner and willing to help ensure you get as much from the programme as possible.

“Already I’ve developed new skills and I’m increasingly understanding the importance of being confident in yourself, as well as the product you’re taking to market.”

Just 11 months in business, and 6 months into her IMPACT30 journey, Sandie was already putting her new skills into practice and reaping the rewards. Hoping to grow her team and enter the international market, her mentor has helped her set ambitious goals for the year ahead.

Encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone, she added: “IMPACT30 has really helped get my business to the next level and I just can’t thank the coaches and mentors enough. I would recommend others in a similar position to apply - don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because you’ll get so much from the experience and certainly won’t regret it.”

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About the Northern Innovation Hub

IMPACT30 is delivered through the Northern Innovation Hub, a funding programme designed to build on and accelerate business innovation.

The Northern Innovation Hub was awarded £11m from the UK Government as part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal. The deal is a joint initiative supported by £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, Highland Council, HIE and the University of the Highlands and Islands. This programme also receives financial support through the European Regional Development Fund Scotland Programme.

Explore all business support delivered through the Northern Innovation Hub.

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