Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sarah Moslemi, founder of Carpe Noctem Candle Co., located in Stillwater, MN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Carpe Noctem Candle Co. is a luxury candle and home fragrance brand specializing in curating unique scented candles for every candle lover out there. Our purpose is for the fragrance to come first when deciding what you love and don’t love versus reading the notes on the label. We offer a true olfactory experience to our guests to let them find the scents for their home and body that bring up positive memories and feelings, so we offer over 60 different scents in our space. We also have a Pour Your Own Candle Experience in our upstairs studio. Our expert Chandlers (candle makers) guide you through a fragrance exploration, teach you the fundamentals of candle making, and tap into your creative side. Founded in 2020, the Carpe Noctem Candle Co got its name from the popular Carpe Diem to seize the day. Carpe Noctem translates to seize the night. Whether our customers enjoy lighting a candle to relax and unwind to ensure a peaceful night or to get lit with one of the dark collection’s exotic fragrances and celebrate the energy of the night. We want to create a feeling within our customers that will be remembered and cherished.

Tell us about yourself

I live in Stillwater, MN, with my husband Dariush and five children. Two of which have graduated and now attend college in southern California. My husband and I work together as a business team. We opened our first business, Studio One Yoga, over ten years ago. Since then, we have opened two more Studio One Yoga locations. Not long after that, we opened The Velveteen, a sneaky and hidden speakeasy, and recently we opened an organic dive fusion restaurant, The Wild Hare. We have passions for candles, fitness, food, and ambiance that have fueled our business path. With the hectic schedules of children and running businesses, candle-making was my pastime. I was obsessed with the balance of creating new scents, imagining new ideas, and the math of what ratios and products work together best to create a blissful experience.

During COVID, when our fitness and restaurant businesses were closed, my “past time” became more prevalent, and Carpe Noctem candles was born right in my own kitchen. I was intrigued with research and developing beautiful luxury candles, and loving our historic downtown community, we opened our first retail location in the sweetest space, one that was perfect for our apothecary style shop for our fellow community and tourists to enjoy shopping. I opened Carpe Noctem with the idea of offering a space for others to have a creative outlet without the hassle of ordering every tool and product necessary to create a candle, which inspired our Pour Your Own Candle Experience classes. I continue to work my passions developing and creating new fragrances in my workshop, teaching and practicing yoga, everything yummy and healthy food-related, and traveling when the opportunity is there.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The ability to let go of fear and put that energy into faith. The reward of watching something that was just an exciting idea become a reality as well as received and supported by the community and our guests offers an incredible sense of accomplishment.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Hard isn’t my favorite word in running a business. I also stay away from words like “crazy busy.” Being a business owner, I’ve learned many valuable lessons through the years. As an entrepreneur, many believe being their own boss sounds fun. But the truth is, being your own boss means you have the ability to boss yourself around to find solutions, not excuses. You take responsibility for the hard stuff and give praise to others, and you show up, no matter what. Having a successful business is about creating a business that you would be doing or willing to do without an immediate monetary reward and praise; you need to love doing it. I love challenges and obstacles that come up, and I love the research on how to fix, grow, and make something even better. Which also means delegating to people who do things better than me. It was “hard,” or a better word, a challenge, to learn the ins and outs of running a business, especially maintaining the discipline to keep learning and working the parts that are dull and boring. Learning to make them enjoyable. It is also challenging to accept that you won’t be liked and loved by everyone, and neither will your product. There’s a lot of self-love and confidence that was built over the years. I had to learn who I was and that what I could offer was awesome without having to please everyone.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Make sure you want to do it for yourself and love the energy of what you choose to do. Money is energy; when you get the energy moving, the money will come in. So make sure it’s something that gives you energy and satisfaction.
  2. Lose your ego and delegate - other people are better at certain tasks than you. Trust in them, invite them in and inspire them to help you run your business better.
  3. Do way more than what is expected of you and expect more from yourself than from anyone or anything else.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We are very excited to be launching our online, direct ship-to-consumer portion of our business in spring 2022!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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