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Introducing a start-up which lights a fire

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Woodstump UÜ, a little Estonian start-up, was found by four young ambitious entrepreneurs in November 2012. The company´s main activity is producing outdoor candles, grill logs and firelogs. At the moment, Woodstump UÜ idea is among the top 10 best ideas in Estonia’s biggest entrepreneurship contest Ajujaht, where they were selected from among 200 contestants.

 We had a chance to conduct a small interview with Eva Laks, one of the co-founders of the company.

 Why was such company created? What was the main driver?

It all started in summer 2012, when we went to the seaside with some friends and wanted to create the ambience of a living fire. Although we found a forest of trees from which to make a fire, the wood was too moist to light. The next time we travelled to the sea, we stopped at a gas station and bought a bag of firewood, which ended up creating excessive litter and took us a long time to light. We came up with the idea to produce ready to burn wood products, which would be easy to use, easy to light and transport, and which would be litter free.

 What are the main products?

Today, our product assortment includes three different products:

- Windcandle: a glowing outdoor candle with an interesting wood design. Suitable for use in both summer and winter – on a snow covered beach or simply burning in the wind. In the near future, we have plans to develop the product so that it is a two-in-one product, offering consumers a living fire as well as mosquito control during the summer season.

Grill-log: a hollow stump that is filled with barbecue charcoal made of wood. When lit using a firing tablet, the grilling process requires approx. 60 minutes, and the burning time is approx. 90 minutes.

Fireplace/firelog, alder flame decorative fireplace/fire log. Firing tablet for an easy fire. Burning time approx. 45-80 minutes.

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Picture: Windcandles

 Where are your products sold?

At present, the following are resellers of our products in Estonia: Sadama Turg (Harbour Market), the small craft shop Ehe ja Ehtne Käsitöö, the Coastal Folk Museum, and the Kõrvemaa Hiking and Ski Resort. Negotiations are currently under way with RMK information points to place our products for sale there. We have also concluded a cooperation agreement with the organisers of the Night of Ancient Lights Festival, who are selling our products on the basis of a campaign.

Could you please describe the target user?

The end user of our products is primarily a residential customer who spends a good deal of time in nature and values the convenience of an environmentally friendly live fire. One of our broader targets includes event organizers. Relying on the poll conducted at the marine and leisure fair Boat Show 2013, more than 60% of the respondents were interested and willing to buy Woodlight products from gas stations and supermarkets. We also received positive feedback from the organisers of the Night of Ancient Lights Festival, participants in the event were struggling with dry material to set up a live fire.

kaminapakk
Picture: Firelog

Are there any competitors in the field?
Our main competitors are all of the manufacturers and sellers of candles, torches, firelogs and firewood, both in Estonia and abroad. However, according to our data, there are no manufacturers or suppliers who offer an assortment of products similar to what we are offering: firelogs of different designs as well as different burning times.

Your product (the windcandle)  is among the top 10 best ideas in Ajujaht (Brain Hunt, Estonia’s biggest entrepreneurship contest). How great are your chances of winning?

We certainly rank among the 10 best business concepts. Woodlight’s chance to win Ajujaht 2013 is quite great, because our product targets a wide group and is cheap.

grillpakk
Picture: Grill-log

What are the main export target markets right now? Why?

Currently, we plan to focus on the export markets of Finland and Sweden, as those are our closest neighbours where such products carry their own meaning and emotion. In comparison to our products, Lapland Candle is widely known by the people in Finland.

What is the company’s biggest achievement so far?

Our biggest achievement, so far, is participation in Estonia’s biggest entrepreneurship contest Ajujaht, where we have presently made it through the top 200 concepts into the top 10. All of this has taken place in such a short period of time – eight short months since the idea came to us in the summer of 2012 – in which we have been able to develop a product and enter the domestic market.