Meet the Maker: EJ Wood of Untamed Supply
In continuing our celebration of Earth Month, we’d like to introduce you to another eco-friendly maker doing her part to make the world a better place, EJ Wood of Untamed Supply.
EJ always knew she wanted to own her own business — feeling it was the best way she could have ownership of her ideas and creative spirit, but when she founded Untamed Supply in 2015, it was primarily meant to help offset college tuition and textbook costs.
While EJ never thought her business would be candle-making, it was a natural fit. Having spent her childhood vacations hiking, camping, and kayaking, she describes nature and the outdoors as her church — a place she seeks out to find peace, de-stress, and reconnect.
Based on those experiences, all of Untamed Supply’s scents take inspiration from EJ’s connection with the outdoors. The Sweet Pipe Tobacco candle reminds her of her grandad and the fond memories she shares with him and Mother Earth is rooted in the smells and senses of thunderstorms in the southwestern United States.
EJ prides herself on feeling honest about what she’s doing and does everything she can to keep her products environmentally friendly. All of the candles at Untamed Supply are paraben and phosphate free –and contain no toxins or carcinogens. EJ also uses a soy wax, 90% of which is locally grown, and is a resource she can utilize season after season without taking anything away from the environment.
The National Parks have always been a place of harmony and peace for EJ as well. She’s so committed to doing her part to ensure they’re here for future generations that she donates 3% of Untamed Supply’s profits to the National Parks Service. She says, “If I can’t be there personally to volunteer, I want to be able to do what I can.”
EJ is candid about some of the challenges she’s faced: a name and branding misstep didn’t accurately represent the company or resonate with customers and took a year to correct. Meanwhile, obstacles in finding a space designed to suit her needs as a maker and businesswomen were also difficult to overcome.
EJ’s advice for future entrepreneurs is to roll with those punches. “When you’re a start-up, you’re like a baby, and you will face a lot of challenges,” she says. “There’s a lesson in everything – look for that rather than getting discouraged.” Those words come from experience. As EJ’s business was starting to grow, she heard critiques of her labels from one shop owner. Rather than being offended that someone didn’t completely love her brand or product, she listened to the feedback and fine-tuned what she was doing to improve her business. While it was hard to take at the time, she calls it a highlight as a business owner and entrepreneur.
Going forward, EJ has her sights set on turning Untamed Supply in to a national brand as she attends shows outside of her Midwest borders this year to bring her candles to everyone!
Come back next week and meet another Maker doing their part to keep our world great!