We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Azzopardi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
When I started Scent + Sprout, I knew I wanted to find a way to give back. With every purchase made at Scent + Sprout, a tree is planted on your behalf, with One Tree Planted. Each month I focus on a new location and so far trees have been planted in Australia, Guatemala, the Amazon Rainforest, California, Florida, Oregon, Mexico, Costa Rica, Appalachia, Peru and Ontario. I also use eco-friendly packaging where possible, from the biodegradable packing peanuts which dissolve in water, to the Kraft paper that the candles are wrapped in.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I initially started researching the art of candle making, I knew that I wanted to create a product that was not only aesthetically pleasing, but also something that was all natural. I had learnt that there are a lot of toxic ingredients that go into candles, from the wax you choose, to the fragrance oil and the wicks. So I wanted to create candles that I knew I would be confident burning in my home without worrying about any harmful effects.
After months of watching YouTube videos, joining candle forums, a lot of trial and errors and months of marketing leading up to launch day, I knew I was ready to start selling them.
I would be lying if I said it was easy, but it has been very rewarding. The biggest challenge that I have found is understanding what products work and don’t work. It is a lot of trial and error, but you learn so much from those failed projects, because you continue to learn and grow from your mistakes. My biggest lesson that I have learned is that If you wait for everything to be perfect you will never start.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is a tough question, with so many things to do in New York City, it is so hard to narrow it all down to a week. But I would explore a few different neighborhoods each day.
Day 1: Exploring Brooklyn
Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and walk through Dumbo and get the iconic photo of the bridge (Washington Street and Water Street). Take the ferry to Williamsburg where you will find many Australian cafes, my favorite is an oat latte. Explore some of the many rooftop bars, my personal favorite is Westlight which has amazing views of the New York Skyline. Ending the night at St Mazie, a jazz supper club.
Day 2: Soho / Chinatown
Soho is one of my favorite neighborhoods, and I love window shopping and getting lost in the streets. Head to Broadway and do some shopping and then grab dinner at Sola Pasta Bar, my favorite restaurant for pasta, followed by Apotheke a cocktail bar in Chinatown
Day 3: Greenwich Village, Meatpacking district and Chelsea
Greenwich Village has some of the prettiest streets, and it is also home to the friends apartment (100 Bedford Street, Corner Grove). Make sure to grab a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery.
There are many things to do in Chelsea, start by walking the High Line along the Hudson River, before exploring the shops at Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market. Meatpacking district is right by the markets, and has some beautiful cobble streets and many shops to explore.
Day 4: Midtown
Head to Madison Square Park and grab a hot dog at the very first Shack Shake. Head to 5th Avenue for some shopping, and visit New York Public Library. Head to Grand Central Terminal and try some oysters at the Oyster bar. End the night at Top of the Rock for some amazing 360 views of the city.
Day 5: Times Square and Broadway
Head to times square and explore the many shops around, before grabbing an early dinner and catching a show at Broadway. I just saw Mrs. Doubtfire and it is a must, I would definitely see it again!
Day 6: Central Park
Head to Levain Bakery and grab some cookies before strolling through Central Park. Rent a boat at Loeb Boathouse and row through Central Park Lake, grab lunch at the Boathouse. Make sure to check out the Museum of Natural History.
Day 7: FIDI and South Manhattan
Visit Wall Street, the 9/11 memorial and check out the sunset at Battery Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would have never been able to start Scent and Sprout if it wasn’t for my husband Roberto. He has been my number one supporter and has been there with me every step of the way. From financing my initial start up costs, to being my scent tester and my biggest cheerleader. I also appreciate all the small business owners that have started this journey with me, it has been nice to have people that can relate to the rollercoaster that is being a business owner.