Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

How we built it: Veena McCoole, founder of postcode pours

Give us the elevator pitch. Tell us about your brand.

postcode pours makes products inspired by where you are, designed to celebrate whatever “home” means to you. our vegan soy and coconut wax candles are hand-poured in the UK, and every candle is personalised with the name of your neighbourhood and postcode, with 20% of profits donated to youth homelessness charity Centrepoint UK.

What inspired you to set up your company and what goal did you have in mind?

postcode pours was founded in the lockdown of 2020, when most of the world was confined to their homes and travel wasn’t an option. I was based in Putney at the time, and gained a new appreciation for the leafy neighbourhood that I was spending more time than ever before in: from my morning runs in the nearby park, coffee runs on weekends and working from home all week long. I began making “Putney SW15” candles at home, selling them to local neighbours and residents, and donating proceeds to charity. Customers picked up candles from outside East Putney station, sharing their stories of living in Putney and memories of the London suburb from decades ago. 

Pretty soon, I was fulfilling custom candle orders across South West London as word-of-mouth led new customers to request other postcode personalisations for their candles, and was born. 

I was born in Singapore to Irish and Thai parents, educated in the UK, attended university in the US and now live by the river in London. Without a single place to call home, my life has been defined by where I’ve spent time, an ethos that inspired postcode pours. For me, postcode pours is a way to celebrate my newfound sense of home in London and share it with others. 

What was your biggest challenge in Year One?

Figuring out how to scale the production of personalised candles was challenging, as initially we were outsourcing the printing of custom labels. This meant we could only take orders on a monthly basis and fulfil them in batches, due to having to order labels all at once from a supplier. Now, being able to customise and print labels at home has given us a lot more flexibility to personalise and send out candles on a more regular basis!

What has been your biggest marketing success to date? 

Sali Hughes featured postcode pours in a Christmas candle review on Instagram in 2020, which led to a big jump in our following. We also produced large wholesale orders of customised candles for Boots No. 7 and Michael Kors, which was amazing!

What has been your biggest mistake so far?

Not switching to outsourcing candle production sooner. I was never an expert candlemaker, and our production capacity sometimes stifled our ability to fulfil more orders and grow the business. Now, the candles our manufacturers hand-pour are of much higher quality than the ones we were able to make ourselves at home. They still use vegan soy and coconut wax and come in lovely white painted vessels that create a warm glow from the inside when they are lit!

What are your plans for the future? 

postcode pours is still my ‘side hustle’ alongside my day job, and there are no plans to take it full time. I enjoy the creative outlet having a small business affords me, and especially love writing personalised gift notes for orders that are sent as presents to others!

How we Built it

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