about rinkydink art

a page written by the business owner

Aimee Carroll (Business Owner)

Hello! If you’re reading this it means you’re interested in how RinkyDink Art got started, or maybe you’d like to get to know the owner a little better. I’m normally not one for self-promotion but I think it’s important that you know how I got started here, and how this business became my dream full-time occupation.

So, grab a cuppa, get comfortable, and we’ll get to know each other a little better! I’m Aimee, pleased to meet you.

Embracing weirdness

Well, without going too far back, I’ve always been a bit different. I was that person in high school who had a side-swooping fringe, racoon eyeliner, who studied art and loved creating pieces that made people uncomfortable. That’s right, an emo kid. It was fine, because I had an amazing group of fun, kind supportive friends who shared the same interests as me. It’s just, those interests were usually the subject of ridicule and bullying by a lot of the other kids we went to school with.

Fast forward a few years and I’d learned (thanks to those ~wonderful ~ high school years) to hide and supress the things I enjoyed that were a little different. I basically became swept up in the idea that I had to act and behave a certain way to fit in with the people in the real world. I’d let my interests leak out, don’t get me wrong, but it would be as subtle as I could make it.

This kind of attitude carried on into my University years. I studied Computer and Digital Forensics (a degree which I’m proud to say I have a first class honours in and I’ll never let anyone forget it), which was a heavily male-dominated subject. There were literally 2 girls on my University course. Thankfully though, the people I went to University with were incredily, i n c r e d i b l y weird (no offense guys).

I felt liberated by them, because it allowed me to finally start letting the version of myself out that had been locked away for so many years. I started expressing myself again, in my clothing and hair choices. It felt so great to just be myself again, even if it was only a little! I never really thanked my Uni friends for that, so if you’re reading this, Ryan, Scott, Olivia, Matt, Jamie, Rob (and all the rest), thank you! In a similar way, I need to thank my amazing housemates that I had, Daichi, Lee, Finn and Lerato. Without meeting people who were so unbelievably proud to just be themselves, I don’t think I would have ever had the confidence to do what I’m doing right now.

As my degree studies went on and on, I started getting back into creative projects as a way to keep busy outside of studying. During my work placement in Cyber Security, I started drawing again. This made me want to start up a small side-business where I designed T Shirts. I did just that, but because I was using a third party to make and ship them, I didn’t really feel like I was in control and I wanted to take a more assertive stance over my business.

It began to dawn on me that running my own business was something I actually really enjoyed, and wanted to do more of. The thing was though, the T Shirts I was making weren’t really me. A lot of the designs were based on films and TV programs, and didn’t really feel unique. I wanted to start a brand that was me. I wanted to create products that didn’t exist anywhere else.

That’s when RinkyDink Art was born!

Candles are ART. To me, anyway!

Candles and Creativity

I used to work with an amazing and talented woman who built her handmade chocolate business from the ground up. Her entire business was based around being different and making chocolate with the fun left in. To this day, she remains my biggest inspiration and the reason this business has done so well. She inspired me to make candles that were fun, different, and something only I could come up with.

I wanted to create candles that were miniature art pieces. From the scent they carried to the artwork on the lid. After much testing, trials and tears, I finally had something I was proud of. That’s really when the business started to take off.

When I started this business I worked part time as an IT Support Analyst. When I applied for that job, I initially thought I’d be there for about 5 years with the eventual goal of being able to quit and run my own business for a living.

I was there for 18 months.

It was a real shock to me how quickly everything took off! The candles were a huge hit, and I feel so lucky that the support and encouragement I received from the incredible RinkyDink community that is ever-growing has allowed me to pursue this venture full-time.

Eco, Vegan and Different

As a vegan myself, I wanted to create candles which were sourced from natural and sustainable materiable, which didn’t have a harmful impact on the planet. That’s why, though it’s much more difficult to work with, all my handmade candles use soy wax. Though the pillar candles do use paraffin wax, this is still better to me than beeswax or anything sourced from an animal.

I wanted to create a brand that was clearly thinking about the future of our planet. As someone who is a constant worrier, climate change is something I’ve been afraid of since I was first told about it in first school. It’s one of the reasons I was glad to stop running a fashion brand. I wanted to start something that was not wasteful and didn’t have a high impact on the planet.

All my packaging is 100% recyclable and biodegradable. Something I’m still super proud of as so many businesses are yet to take this step. Plus, I’m looking into expanding my range of products to be refillable and reusable to save even more on waste.

I’m thrilled to say that as this business continues to grow and expand, the health of the planet and animals will always be the number one priority.

Some Final Thoughts

I’m going to open up to you all a bit here, please be kind 😅

Why I started my own business:

I’ve been working since I was 16, and between the ages of 18 & 21, I experienced some traumatic and really emotionally heavy stuff that messed my head up. I’m not quite ready to open up about that here yet, but it (in conjunction with some nasty childhood stuff), means that I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which loves showing up as IBS, BBPV and other fun stuff!

Anyway, not trying to invite a pity party, just giving context. So essentially in some workplaces, I would get myself into a right state where I just felt like I was a failure and I couldn’t handle anything. I’d basically just shut down and become a different person. As a result, it would be recommended by my GP that I needed time away from work (this happened multiple times).

I could not stand explaining my mental health to my manager. Traditionally male (as I worked in STEM), I hated telling them my story over and over, explaining abuse I’d suffered & trauma I’d experienced.

I didn’t want to explain my reasons for needing to look after myself to people who (frankly) couldn’t care less. I’ve had incredible experiences with managers who have been compassionate and kind, but they came after the rubbish ones who were only interested in me coming to work and doing my job.

The mad thing is, now I run my own business (and have seen a genuinely GOOD therapist), I never feel like I used to when I’m a bit stressed.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I believe that you CAN do what you love and make money, if your heart and mind are 100% there with you. Creativity would help me when I was anxious, so I turned it into my job. It isn’t easy every day, but every day I find a positive, and it feels so great to finally know what I want to be when I grow up now 😂

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