When Aditi (அதிதி in Tamil) Ramesh, a New Yorker of Tamil descent, was furloughed from her advertising job at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, she knew that she’d been handed an opportunity to turn her long-standing passion for candle making into something more than a hobby. So she stocked up on wax and wicks, set up shop in her parents’ house in New Jersey, and immersed herself in creating candles inspired by the ancient Tamil tradition.
For Ramesh, candle making is a fine art. Every fragrance she adds has to undergo rigorous testing. Wax also matters. Compared to paraffin-based candles, which contain harmful chemicals, natural wax doesn’t hold fragrance as well, so testing is key. As Ramesh experimented with burn times and materials, searching for that perfect candle, she shared snippets of her journey on Twitter and Instagram, building her audience and getting support and encouragement from candle-making enthusiasts.
By September, after hundreds of all-night burn tests, she was ready to launch ADITI, an artisanal line of Indian-inspired candles. Made in small batches with 100% natural materials, ADITI candles are non-toxic and cruelty-free, burning longer and smoother than most candles, and include fragrances such as honeysuckle jasmine, sandalwood, and vetiver. And with evocative names like “Madras Summer” or “Twilight Moss,” the collection is as much a homage to Ramesh's Indian roots as it is an exploration of her American identity. ADITI candles come in stylish packaging, produced by a Chennai printer who employs underprivileged workers.
“I wanted to be part of something bigger than just candle making,” Ramesh said.
Because Ramesh planned to sell her candles online, she needed a secure payment platform that would make it easy for her fans to shop and be simple to implement. As an advertising tech worker, Ramesh knew how important it was to choose an e-commerce solution that boosts sales, doesn’t waste customers’ time, and helps her engage with her fans.
That’s when Fast came in.
Partnering with Fast
Fast eliminates the tedious ritual of searching for a payment card, typing out shipping information, and trying to remember a password – just to complete a purchase. With Fast Checkout, customers click one button and it's done.
“The team at Fast is incredible,” Ramesh said. “They are fully committed to my success, and their customer service is top-notch.”
After signing up with Fast, Ramesh felt confident she could start selling her candles. She built a website and let her social media followers know where to find her. Turned out, they’d been waiting.
“It was like turning on a switch,” she said. “I went from zero to a hundred orders a day. Fast makes it so easy for customers. You press one button – and it’s done.”
ADITI tripled its sales in the second month. During the 2020 holiday season, the company is selling five times the amount sold at launch. There’s virtually no cart abandonment. Everyone who makes it to ShopAditi.com ends up buying something.
With her Fast-powered store up and running, Ramesh can concentrate on growing her business, which now offers international shipping. She’s working on new fragrances and planning to partner with subscription gift basket providers that would help her reach more customers. A number of wedding services companies also expressed interest in wholesale buying of her candles. Mindfully crafted and meticulously poured, with fragrances that relax and inspire, ADITI candles are a perfect antidote to the loss of scent in a COVID world.
And with the turnkey Fast Checkout, Ramesh can scale her business securely and efficiently while focusing on what she loves most: making candles.
“Fast proved to be a perfect product for my stage, she said. “As my business matures, I want to continue to grow with Fast.”