Katie Watson: The Candle Doctor

Hello Katie! Firstly, welcome to Women’s Business Station! What made you want to join our community?

 I’ve recently started my own business, which I’d never done before and was looking for some guidance from people with a bit more experience than myself! I’ve also found when you work by yourself it can be a little lonely and overwhelming, so having people to run things by and ask for advice has been really helpful and made me feel much better supported.


We’re absolutely amazed to learn that you are a doctor AND an entrepreneur! What got you into making candles and what kind of a doctor are you?

I absolutely, can’t stress this enough, love candles and homewares! I buy them everywhere. A treat to myself is a fancy candle. They de-stress me, provide ambience, smell great – I love trying new scents and seeing if they’re for me! I’m still a doctor in training, and currently work within the specialty of anaesthesia within Tayside. My job is mainly focused on enabling people to have surgery under anaesthesia and working within the wider critical care team.


What obstacles have you come across giving both jobs the time and attention they both need?

You’ve got to love what you do – you’ll spend your life working more than anything else! And also that 24 hours in a day is largely insufficient!! Honestly though, no matter how much you enjoy something you cannot run yourself into the ground – that leads to stress and burnout, which is worryingly common in young doctors. If something important needs my focus, then that’s what I do, and things will tick over in the background until I’ve sorted that. Prioritisation is key.


What advice would you share with a woman just like you, who wants to become an entrepreneur?

Anyone can do this, but don’t underestimate the amount of work involved. Those stories you hear are real – some people start with an idea and some hope and a tiny investment. If you believe in it, then why wouldn’t you give it a try?

What have you learned the most about yourself through starting your own business?

I’m pretty impatient! In my doctoring job, we see effects quickly – it’s one of the reasons I love anaesthesia, you see things happen in action, real time. The business world doesn’t quite work like that, but I’ve tried to re-set myself so as to lower my stress levels!


What made you get into candles? What makes Dundee Candle Works different from others?

My doctoring job is tiring and stressful but it is the most rewarding and enjoyable professional life I could ask for – I absolutely love it. However, it is not particularly creative or free thinking, which led to me starting my own business focused on luxury scented candles and hopefully eventually other homewares. We try and base our products around Dundee and the surrounding area, so if anyone has any ideas then let me know! “Marmalade and Lime” is so popular. We also use coconut wax, which is very sustainable, versus paraffin and soy waxes. Being as green as possible is important to me.


Where can we purchase Dundee Candle Works products?

We’ve been fortunate enough to have found some great stockists so early in our business – our products are in EA Studios Broughty Ferry, Maisie and Mac in Dundee City Centre, Verdant Works and McManus Gallery Dundee and the Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel, St Andrews. We offer free delivery and gifting options via our website www.dundeecandleworks.com


What do you hope to get out of your WBS membership?

I hope to grow my brand and expand our range. I think our products could appeal to a market outside of the wider Dundee area, so I’ll be working on that hopefully with WBS input. Eventually I’d like to employ people locally, and teach skills that I’ve learnt along the way, about hands on product making or other bits I’ve picked up that could be of use. All of this could be helped by WBS, who have been so great to work with so far

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