The holidays are an especially busy time for any retail business, but for Lisa Williams-Laufer and her Nectar Republic, it has already hit an insane peak.
That’s because she got the keys to the former Oaklyn Reece space at Clifton Square and opened her business 15 days later.
“It was just kind of crazy,” Williams-Laufer says.
She had a soft opening this weekend.
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“I didn’t want to set myself up for failure,” Williams-Laufer says of wanting to start slowly.
Her grand opening is on Saturday for Small Business Saturday.
Williams-Laufer started her business out of her home three years ago to make handmade soy candles with strong fragrances.
She’s been selling in boutiques and – shockingly to her and just about everyone else – Whole Foods Market.
Williams-Laufer was selling her candles at a local farmers market when a buyer from the chain approached her.
“It’s just really kind of taken off from there,” she says.
“Are you kidding me?” was the general response Williams-Laufer says she had to landing with the chain.
“It’s really hard to get into Whole Foods,” she says. “I think God did a little magic that day to make that happen.”
She says she wanted to have her own place, too, though.
“I needed to get the business out of my basement.”
She says she needed the employees out, too.
“Having college students coming in and out of the house was a little wild.”
Williams-Laufer says she also wanted to hire more employees.
“Just the growth was really kind of what drove us to move out of the basement.”
In addition to candles, the store will sell bath products, home decor accents and holiday greenery.
Williams-Laufer says she’ll sell items from other local artists as well, such as knitted pieces, ceramics and refurbished furniture.
“We just kind of brought everybody together.”
The space is 1,300 square feet.
A “French country farmhouse-style boutique” with a “cozy cottage feel” is how Williams-Laufer describes it.
Half of it is for production of the candles, and the other half is retail.
“It’s really kind of quaint and small,” Williams-Laufer says.
She wants to do classes, such as wreath making, in the space as well.
There’s a chance Williams-Laufer could one day expand the retail side and then move the production elsewhere.
The store will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Williams-Laufer says 5 percent of her profits will go to Save the Bees.
“I always had a passion about saving the bees, and I wanted to align my craft with a cause.”