Scented Market one of five candidates for Ontario Made award

FERGUS – Local entrepreneur and candlemaker Kristy Miller says she was “unexpectedly thrilled” when her store, The Scented Market, was shortlisted for an Ontario Made award recognizing retailers selling local products.

The Scented Market sells candles, bubble bath and other home and body products made in the back of its Guelph store.

The business, which also has stores in Fergus, Niagara and Paris, was featured in November on the finale of CBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Miller said being shortlisted for an Ontario Made award shows The Scented Market is “on the right path in creating everything locally.”

Canadian Manufacturer and Exporters, the non-profit business association behind the awards, represents over 2,500 manufacturers.

The awards spotlight “Ontario manufacturers and retailers that help consumers make informed decisions in increasing the sale and awareness of Ontario-made products,” states a press release.

People can vote, up to ten times per day, for the winner in four categories through the Ontario Made website until Jan. 8.

Voters are entered into a draw for one of five $200 gift cards each time they vote.

Winners will be announced at the virtual award ceremony on Feb. 22. The event is free and includes keynote speakers and prizes for attendees.

Miller hopes winning will support the growth of her store, including a plan to move into a bigger manufacturing space.

She’s already amazed at the pace The Scented Market has grown since she created a candle on the stove in her home in 2018.

“Never in a million years did I think I would be here in four years, but man, I worked my butt off to get here,” Miller said.

Since she was featured on Dragons’ Den, Miller has noticed high school and university students “almost look at me as someone famous.”

She doesn’t consider herself famous, but a “prime example” that dreams really can come true with hard work, a commitment to core values, a “solid business plan” and “the right people” on your team.

“I’m proving to them it can be done and it is real – I’m living proof.”