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Community Highlights: Meet Hannah Knutson and Adriana Ernst of Lakehouse Candle Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Knutson and Adriana Ernst.

Hi Hannah and Adriana it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Both of us being born and raised in the land of 10,000 lakes, along with all Minnesotans, we have found a deep appreciation for the beautiful land we get to call home, giving the ultimate foundation for our brand inspiration!

The Lakehouse story begins after both of us were let go of our jobs due to Covid-19 but together turned the adversity into opportunity. Adriana having the initial idea in the summer of 2020, asked if Hannah would help with the design. After a month or so passed with no updates, Hannah seeing the great potential in the idea, pushed Adriana to pursue it, eventually to the point that she decided to jump in as well!

The few months were spent with research and testing, as well as brand development, then launching to the public in November of 2020. We have been fortunate to be able to run our business as our full-time jobs after a few months of our launch. Starting in our kitchens to renting shared warehouse space, we have recently been fortunate enough to move into our very own warehouse facility in Eden Prairie which we look forward to growing into over the next few years!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In starting and running a small business, there are definitely obstacles that come along the way. With Lakehouse Candle Co. starting in 2020, it was most challenging to find supplies for our production. We had to spend quite a bit of our time initially just trying to find consistent supplies to sell our product. With starting in the candle industry, neither of us had ever made a candle prior to our business idea so that was definitely a challenge in the beginning with many hours of research and testing to get the product we felt was ready to sell to customers!

We also struggled to be able to do all of the tasks at hand ourselves, specifically trying to be our own accountant, and that was something that we needed to delegate to someone else to succeed in other areas in the company for it to thrive. Accepting that you can’t do all of the things to run a company successfully by yourself and instead to do the things you excel at was something that we struggled with and still do have a hard time with.

As you know, we’re big fans of Lakehouse Candle Co. . For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Lakehouse Candle Co. specializes in hand-poured 100% soy wax and crackling wooden wick candles. Our products differentiate themselves from others not by just being of high quality but by identifying with popular lakes in Minnesota. Creating a unique, personal experience for our customers. Brand wise, we both are most proud of the growth we have had over this past year and we hope to be able to continue that for years to come while staying true to our MN roots! A big part of that growth has been our ability to create custom labels for any lake, allowing any retailer or customer to honor their very own lake in their area, perfect for a thoughtful gift or a personal touch in your very own home.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
We would like to highlight a few people here: First, our families. They have been nothing but supportive throughout our journey to start this business. My (Adriana’s) mom specifically has been very generous with her time to come along to help with weekend-long art fairs, help move our company to a new location without being asked, and even go as far as ironing our hand stamped linen gift bags for customers. She has been nothing but supportive and shown her immense selflessness. We would also like to give a big shoutout to Hannah’s Husband for always being a reliable helper to lean on for extra hands at our art fairs, pouring candles, and much-needed moral support since the beginning!

Next, we would like to thank our wholesalers who have chosen to continue doing business with us. It is more than just a business encounter with many, it’s a relationship. We can tell that they. genuinely care and want to support locals. We are so grateful for all of our customers who have continued to support us as well throughout this journey.

A special thank you to our boyfriend and husband who allowed us to start Lakehouse from our homes which consisted of creating our product on our stovetops and candles scattered all over the house. You have been nothing but understanding and supportive.

Lastly, we would like to thank UMD and the Land of 10,000 Lakes for the connection and inspiration to bring us together and to eventually start a business together, Lakehouse Candle Co. We appreciate Minnesota and the privilege we have had in growing up here.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Adriana Ernst

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