Sisters jump into entrepreneurial pool

Jacqueline Bergstrom and Christina Hanson never imagined how successful their fledgling soap and candle-making business would be

  • Mar. 29, 2016 10:00 a.m.


Jacqueline Bergstrom and Christina Hanson never imagined how successful their fledgling soap and candle-making business would be when it began it last year.

The sisters started Backwoods Soap & Candle Co. when they realized there was an active and growing demand for their hand-crafted products in the region.

Their home-based business and its products are proving to be so popular that the enterprising and dynamic duo have been chosen as finalists in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award category at the Duncan/Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s 20th annual Black Tie Awards, to be held on April 9.

“We never expected to get to this stage in our business so fast, and I certainly never would have believed that I’d be a finalist in any business awards,” said Bergstrom, who also currently runs a daycare centre from her home

“We have a five to 10-year goal to open a storefront and host classes. But every time we establish some longterm goals, we tend to accomplish them within six months.”

The idea for the business began after Bergstrom took a soap-making class in 2013 and developed her own soaps. They quickly became popular with family and friends.

She said she decided to attend some local craft fairs and ran out of soap and hand-made candles, which she also added to her product list, within just a few hours of setting up.

“It was just crazy,” Bergstrom said.

“It was then that some business owners approached me to ask if I wanted to supply them with candles and soap to sell in their stores.”

Bergstrom said Hanson, who is the executive assistant in a local office of Investors Group, began learning the ropes of the business in an effort to assist with her sister’s growing demand for products.

Together, they work evenings and weekends from studios in both of their homes making candles and soap products.

Hanson said a part of their secret to success is that they use soy wax to make their candles, which is considered “clean burning and natural.”

She said the soaps are all made out of plant-based essential oils.

“I intend to take a nine-month clinical aromatherapist course to learn the benefits of essential oils and how to use them properly,” Bergstrom said.

“It’s a great business and we’ve been having lots of fun so far. I also really enjoy working with my sister. Her weaknesses are my strengths and vice-versa. We complete each other.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP detachments across B.C. are now flying Pride flags. (Submitted photo)
New Pride flag outside Cowichan RCMP detachment demonstrates commitment to inclusion

Pride flag flying outside North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment

NIFA’s Danni Dawson moves the ball past centre during last Sunday’s match against Gorge at Shawnigan Lake School. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
NIFA Pacific opens Div. 3 season

Debut match for new soccer club a loss to Gorge

Kerry Park Islanders players celebrate a goal in a game earlier this season. (Citizen file)
Three-goal first propels Kerry Park Islanders to win over Wolves

Monteith makes 40-plus saves for second straight game

Pilot Kevin Maher participated in a flyover of a ceremony at the Cobble Hill cenotaph on Oct. 22 in a 1940 North American (Noorduyn) Harvard aircraft. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Cobble Hill remembers lost military members with ceremony, flyover

Annual event commemorates those who died in non-combat roles

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

MNP senior economist Susan Mowbray presents the State of the Island Economic Report on Thursday night to conclude the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s virtual summit. (VIEA image)
Not-so-rosy State of the Island report caps off virtual summit

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s summit took place online Oct. 27-29

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Most Read