Customer storiesSmall business

How Photoroom fuels social media growth and expansion for The 1994 Candle Co.

Sonia Acosta
Sonia AcostaMay 28, 2024
How Photoroom fuels social media growth and expansion for The 1994 Candle Co.

The challenge: Nick Hawkins, a marketing and communications manager by day, struggled to balance his growing candle-making business, The 1994 Candle Co., with his full-time job and the demands of creating and editing visual assets for social media.

Our solution: Photoroom gave Nick a robust and easy-to-use platform for enhanced and efficient product photography. This enabled him to repurpose images, remove backgrounds, and create new photos quickly and easily, saving significant time and effort while promoting his brand.

Results: Nick now has more time to focus on making and selling candles, has improved the quality and efficiency of his product imagery, and plans to focus on the business full-time, continuing to leverage Photoroom to support further expansion and success.

In March 2020, when it felt like the world was falling apart right outside his door, Nick Hawkins of Omaha, Nebraska turned to candle making as a hobby; something fun and soothing to keep his spirits up and his mind at ease during a tumultuous time. One year later, the marketing and communications manager officially turned entrepreneur and launched The 1994 Candle Co

Today, the once side-hustle turned successful small business has already celebrated its 3 year anniversary and experienced substantial growth. Especially in the last year, since adopting Photoroom for enhanced and efficient product photography, The 1994 Candle Co. has seen significant time-savings and more growth than the previous two years combined. Most recently, the business expanded from just direct-to-consumer (DTC) to wholesale.  

Nick’s entrepreneurial journey: Preserving memories with every scent

“I started this business because I wanted to inspire connection and memories within people. Our scent is one of our most powerful memory triggers and candles are the perfect way to elicit nostalgic feelings and create a warm, inviting atmosphere in any space.” - Nick Hawkins, Founder, The 1994 Candle Co.

Nick learned candle making from other artisans on YouTube. Now, he runs his own channel dedicated to helping candlemakers—whether hobbyists or business owners— turn their passion into a full-time endeavor. Through this, Nick is proud to give back to the community that helped him get started.

Along with YouTube and a highly supportive community of candlemakers, social media—specifically Instagram—has played a huge role in Nick’s success with The 1994 Candle Co. In fact, Nick credits his strong, national customer-base that spans from New York to LA to social media. Today, Photoroom makes a majority of the product photography that drives that social media success possible. 

Using Photoroom’s AI photo editing technology for artistic and business growth

About a year ago, I was talking to another candlemaker friend about how social media takes up so much of my time. As an experienced marketer, I know how to run social media, but I don’t have the time. She recommended I check out Photoroom and that’s when everything changed. - Nick Hawkins, Founder, The 1994 Candle Co.

Nick is not only a seasoned marketer, but also an avid photographer with more than 15 years of experience. He knows what a good photo looks like and he knows how to take one too. But nothing beats the speed and quality of Photoroom, he says. As a one-man entrepreneurial band (with occasional help from his wife and friends) with a growing business and a full-time day job, Nick was finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the demands of creating and editing visual assets for Instagram and Facebook—assets that are critical in growing The 1994 Candle Co. brand and driving sales. 

“I’m really skeptical when it comes to AI photography and photo editing because I am a photographer and I want things to look realistic, but it really does. I rarely ever get a background from Photoroom that’s like ok, you can tell this is not real. They all look so good and so realistic.”

Without Photoroom, Nick says it would take him at least a couple of hours to get the imagery he needs for a few simple social media posts. Instead, the app allows him to repurpose product images he already has, remove the background, and create a brand new photo by typing out the exact scene he wants and letting the AI generate it in seconds. 

“Photoroom is a huge time saver for me. It allows me to have much more freedom and gives me back precious time I need to go make and sell more candles. I just LOVE it.”  - Nick Hawkins, Founder, The 1994 Candle Co.

What’s next for The 1994 Candle Co. and how Photoroom will play a pivotal role

“I’m so proud that we’ve made it this far in just a few years without hiring anyone and have continued to grow,” Nick says. “Our biggest focus right now is getting into more shops and businesses across the U.S. Eventually, the plan is to expand globally, too.”

"Whether it’s repurposing an existing photo with a new background or turning a simple photo into a sale-generating masterpiece, Photoroom will continue to play a pivotal role in our growth and success.” - Nick Hawkins, Founder, The 1994 Candle Co.

💜 See how other businesses of all sizes are using Photoroom to drive success or try Photoroom yourself today!

Sonia Acosta
Sonia AcostaWriter, content strategist, and brand marketer. Here, I write about Photoroom's positive impact and explore creative ways to celebrate each other.