Start-up lifestyle brand Ocean Sands Collective specialises in creating handcrafted soy wax candles, trending homewares and luxurious body care products with high-quality scents at affordable prices. 

The Sydney-based business was founded by emerging entrepreneur and full-time university student Caitlin Sankey in December 2016, after a year of research to identify gaps in the retail market and to select the finest natural ingredients for use in the range.

In 2017, Sankey joined AGHA’s exciting initiative The Launch Pad, after searching for an opportunity to acquire new customers, gain business support and increase brand promotion

“The idea behind Ocean Sands Collective came from growing up between Port Stephens and Sydney’s Northern Beaches. I wanted to create a relaxed, beachy and Hamptons-inspired range that would brighten and enhance any area,” Sankey told the Australian Gift & Homewares Association (AGHA).

“We decided to exhibit in The Launch Pad at AGHA Gift Fairs because it was a fantastic platform for new businesses to utilise in order to get their foot in the door. We were looking to exhibit as a small business to help increase brand awareness and found that this was achieved,” she said.

According to Sankey, the biggest benefit of having a presence at AGHA Gift Fairs included building relationships and getting the Ocean Sands Collective brand into the hands of other businesses and retail buyers looking for their next best seller.

“Exhibiting at AGHA Gift Fairs has been an invaluable experience. You can learn so much about the entire industry. I had to evaluate what worked well and figured out how to improve those elements that didn’t work,” she explained.

“The process of connecting with retailers and stockists has also been great. We always love meeting new customers and getting to know them. It’s a wonderful way to show and explain all of our home fragrance products in person, so they can see what they look, feel and smell like.”

Ocean Sands Collective currently boasts several stockists across Australia, including florists, hampers, fashion boutiques, newsagencies, beauty salons and homewares stores.

The business recently added an exciting Christmas range, expanded its current marble collection with a new fragrance, and is in the final stages of testing formulas for innovative products that are yet to come.

“Going forward, we would love to continue to expand our amazing stockists to work alongside and share our journey with,” Sankey said.

“I would definitely recommend AGHA Gift Fairs to other wholesalers and start-ups. Do your research and make sure it is what you need for your business. It’s an amazing experience to be surrounded by thousands of unique products and to gain insight into the industry,” Sankey said.

Follow Ocean Sands Collective on Instagram and Facebook. For further information about participating in The Launch Pad, click here.