Candlemaker named Entrepreneur of the Year

FERGUS – Candlemaker Kristy Miller says she is a “living example” that dreams really can come true. 

The founder of The Scented Market, Miller has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by CanadianSME (Canada’s Small and Medium Enterprises) Business Magazine). 

“This is so much more than an award,” Miller said.

She hopes her accomplishment encourages people in the community to have confidence and take risks, because “your dream could come true too.” 

The Scented Market makes and sells candles and other home and body products, with stores in Fergus, Guelph, Paris and Niagara. The products are made on-site at the Guelph location.

Since launching in 2018 the Scented Market has donated more than $15,000 back to the community. 

Miller said it’s this connection to community that sets her apart – “I was never in this business to sell you a candle and walk away,” she said. 

Her intention from the get-go has been to encourage her core values: self-love and self-care. 

Gracie Klutz, a friend of Miller’s and fellow entrepreneur, accompanied her to the SME awards ceremony in Toronto on May 5. 

Klutz is a Fergus resident who makes vintage fashionwear like pin-up headbands, fanny packs, bow ties and scrunchies.  

Simply attending the awards ceremony felt like a privilege, Miller said, because it was “incredible to be in a room full of amazing entrepreneurs,” and she felt a strong connection with the other people there. 

Hundreds of entrepreneurs from across Canada were nominated, she noted, and “people flew in from all over Canada to Toronto for the ceremony.’ 

When her name was called out, Miller was shocked to realize she had won. 

“My heart sank into my stomach,” and she felt validated as a successful entrepreneur and practitioner of her craft because her peers were “putting me on this pedestal by giving me this award.” 

The SME awards are adjudicated by about 15 judges, Miller noted, including Rocco Rossi, the president and chief executive officer of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

“My business is a true definition of what I love and what brings me joy,” Miller said,

She added The Scented Market’s new collection of beach glass candles are inspired by one of her favourite ways to relax and take time for herself: collecting beach glass. 

She said the three candles in this collection make her feel “warm and fuzzy inside.”

Miller tries to spread these joyful feelings to her customers. Whether it’s through a candle scent triggering a loved memory or a “sugar scrub that gives your legs a pep in your step,” she said its “those little things in life that have such a big impact.” 

Miller noted she fills her own “happiness cup” by “being inspirational to others in the community.

“If I can only inspire one person a day, my job is done,” she said.