Lily By Design: Summer Company Success Story

Based in Ripley, Lily By Design features handmade, all-natural and eco-friendly products that support self-care. From unique soy candles to beeswax lip gloss, lotion, bath bombs and bubble baths, this youth-driven company was founded by Huron County local Lily Conley.

“The concept for the business started by making soy candles with my grandma,” said Lily. “We started making them together in my spare time and I really liked spending time with my grandma, she’s really entrepreneurial and she helped me start my business by teaching me the skill of candle making.” 

Lily By Design candles are made from all-natural products and offer a much healthier option. “We don’t realize how many chemicals there are in traditional paraben wax and the next thing you know, we’re inhaling chemical fumes. I found that making candles and self-care products using eco-friendly materials was a really relaxing experience for me. It’s not just about the products, there’s also a design element to everything I create and I really enjoy that too” explained the young entrepreneur. 

 “Plus I love being so involved in the community. I go to a lot of markets around Huron County and Huron Kinloss and I love interacting with people, especially when they have enjoyed the products and have a really relaxing experience,” said Lily. 

 This summer, Lily expanded her business to include a storefront location in Ripley, ON, as well as her online store. Lily was a part of a youth-driven pilot program that was a partnership between Community Futures Huron and Huron County Economic Development. Through this pilot project, Lily received business training, coaching and mentorship and a $3000 grant to support her summer business. 

 “With the pilot program, I learned a lot about running my business – how to make displays, how to create an inventory point of sale system and how to do my finances,” remarked Lily. 


Lily by design

“The program has been really beneficial to the growth of my business. It wasn’t just the training, coaching and grant money that helped me, it was the work that was required for the program – it actually got me doing the things I had avoided or didn’t know how to do, like accounting and cash flow and cost analysis. The fact that I had to do it gave me the opportunity to double down and understand these important aspects of my business.” 

 “I also learned a lot about branding and understanding more about how I want my company to be perceived by the world,” said Lily. Lily explained that after learning more about branding, she started tracking which products were sold and to whom. This gave her valuable information about which audiences liked which products. Ultimately a deeper understanding of her audience has helped her continue to refine her product development to continue to meet their needs and desires. 

“I would definitely recommend this program to anyone considering it,” said Lily. “The best thing you can do is take an opportunity you have and continue learning and this will ultimately affect the growth of your business” added the 15-year-old entrepreneur. 

 Lily also commented that there were many benefits from the program that contributed to her growth such as the networking opportunities and the freedom to try new ways of doing things and continue iterating and learning. 

 To explore Lily By Design’s products visit or follow on Facebook and keep an eye out for Lily at local markets this fall and winter.  

 Do you know a young person interested in starting their own business next summer? Click here for more information from Huron County Economic Development’s Summer Company program, funded in part by the Province of Ontario.

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