Wednesday, September 6, 2023

BUSINESSES OF THE SKOOK: Loki and Layla Candle Company

BUSINESSES OF THE SKOOK: Loki and Layla Candle Company, located at 301 S Centre St, Pottsville.

Owned by: Joe and Ash Barnes

"I wanted to open up a candle company, we burn a lot of candles at home. At the time I was working for a high-end retailer and saw the amount of candles we sell. Originally, I thought about buying private label candles, I then decided against that and we decided to make our own. The name comes from our dogs, Loki and Layla. It was kind of funny because for the longest time I was looking for a logo, and then when we came up with the name, the logo came to us.

Additionally, we make skin care products under the Runic Apothecary brand. We both have skin issues, so these are products that we know work for ourselves, and we know it’ll work for others. We then kept expanding and expanding and it took off.

Covid was a huge hurdle for us. We opened in May of 2019, but opened our first store in December, 2019 right before Covid, but by law had to close down. Recruiters from the king of Prussia mall then reached out to us to try and get us to open up a store down that way, and we decided to do that because the mall was open and it was a way for us to create revenue instead of shutting down permanently. We felt that if we wanted to stay in business we had to take advantage of this opportunity. The hurdle there was driving down to King of Prussia every day and having to deal with 40 hours of travel every week, and then in addition our online orders suffered.

We decided in late 2021 to move our store back to Pottsville, and have been open at our new location since April 2022. Marketing has been a struggle in this area as well. People still have it ingrained into themselves that there are no stores downtown and there is nothing to do, but there are so many new shops in downtown, and more opening month by month. There are areas now that you can walk down the sidewalks and go store to store. We have boutiques, Drasdis, great restaurants, etc. The business’s all try to work together, so our advice would be to get as many in your community and work together to promote each other and incorporate each other into different events. We are all small business owners, we know word of mouth goes a long way, so definitely jump on board with other local businesses to get involved. Also, don’t be afraid to fail and struggle at times, you’re going to, but how you handle those failures is how you succeed."

Follow the Loki and Layla Candle Company on Facebook for more information.

Photos by Jocelyn Barrett /People of Skook /Danie Mae Photography, LLC