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[Interview] A day in the life… Veena McCoole of Postcode Pours

Meet Veena McCoole, founder of Postcode Pours, who shares with us how the lockdown inspired her to start a business crafting personalised candles that celebrate personal… View Article


[Interview] A day in the life… Veena McCoole of Postcode Pours

Meet Veena McCoole, founder of Postcode Pours, who shares with us how the lockdown inspired her to start a business crafting personalised candles that celebrate personal memories and local pride.

Could you share more about your background and how these experiences led to starting your business?

I was born and raised in Singapore, and I’m half Irish and half Thai. My whole life has been an interesting cultural push and pull, if you like, between traveling to visit family abroad and never quite feeling like I fully belonged in any one place. This all changed, ironically, during the COVID lockdown—a time when we were stuck at home and couldn’t just travel to see our family.

Although I missed my parents being halfway across the world in Singapore, it made me truly appreciate not only London but specifically where I was living at the time. Before the lockdown, I had never even visited my local park! I was always so excited to be in the big city, going into Central London all the time and seeing friends. However, during lockdown, our lives were reduced to local supermarket runs and going on walks, waving at friends from afar and befriending neighbours. It gave me such a powerful shift in perspective on how much was going on around me, right where I was, and how much I had missed in the busyness of life.

During that time, we all picked up new habits and hobbies, and I ordered candle making materials and decided to make candles with ‘Putney’ and ‘SW15’ on them. I posted them in local Facebook groups and sold them for charity, with all proceeds going to Black Minds Matter UK, which was providing therapy and mental health solutions for Black individuals in the UK. After that, I started receiving requests for postcodes like Hackney or Surrey, and it became clear that this was moving beyond a fun project and into a business.

Your business has a unique approach. Could you explain what makes Postcode Pours stand out in the crowded market of home decor?

What sets Postcode Pours apart is the deeply personal nature of our candles. Each one is crafted to order, which means no two pieces are ever the same. We use a premium blend of vegan soy and coconut wax, hand-poured here in the UK, ensuring high quality and sustainability.

But the truly distinctive aspect is the postcode. Each candle is more than just a piece of home decor; it’s a narrative piece that celebrates personal memories and places. The postcode on each candle isn’t just a geographical marker; it represents a moment, a joy, an individual connection. Whether it’s reminding someone of their hometown, commemorating a first home, or capturing a special celebration, each candle holds a story. These personal stories make each candle a memory or a time capsule of a personal moment.

What is your professional background, and how do you manage your diverse career interests?

Postcode Pours began as a side hustle while I was deeply entrenched in the corporate communications sector. My career has always spanned various fields including journalism, media, and marketing. This variety helped lay the groundwork for what I now consider a portfolio career.

I’m a freelance writer for both publications and brands and alongside running Postcode Pours, I have also become a qualified coach, focusing on mindset coaching.

This transition to a self-directed career has been incredibly fulfilling. I thrive on the dynamic nature of juggling different roles and projects. It keeps my days varied and my creative and entrepreneurial spirits engaged. I believe in being a generalist—having my fingers in multiple pies keeps me inspired and ensures that no two days are the same. This approach not only suits my personality but also enriches every aspect of my work, allowing me to bring fresh perspectives and energy to everything I do.

What hurdles have you encountered, and how have you overcome them?

The most significant challenges have been logistical. Transitioning from a hobby to a business required a steep learning curve in areas like supply chain management and customer service. My fiancé has been instrumental in managing the financial and operational aspects, allowing me to focus on creative and strategic development. It’s a partnership in every sense, helping us navigate the complexities of a growing business.

As you look to the future, what are your aspirations for Postcode Pours?

A lot of people ask about scaling, and it’s a valid point. Every candle from Postcode Pours is still something I put personal care into; I design each label, personalise it, and see it through shipping. Scaling up when the core of your business is based on such a high degree of personalisation presents a real challenge. But that’s precisely what makes what we do so special. These aspects of my business are inherently difficult to scale, and I’m okay with that.

Our customers value Postcode Pours because each candle serves as a unique reminder of home or a personal memory. It’s about creating an emotional impact through a thoughtful, personalised gift, which is something you can’t replicate on a mass scale.

The choice of Centrepoint UK as your charity partner seems very intentional?

Our commitment to Centrepoint UK reflects a broader narrative about homes and belonging – themes at the core of the business. As our customers celebrate their homes and memories, it’s important to acknowledge and support those without such securities. It’s about giving back and building a community-conscious brand.

How has your engagement with the local community evolved since the business began?

Since the pandemic, I’ve truly become a neighbourhood girl! I spend significant time in my community, fully engaging with everything it offers and building strong connections with local businesses too. Some collaborations have involved businesses displaying my products or partnering on events. These experiences have been enriching, making me feel deeply rooted in my corner of the city. The shift towards local living has been profound. I no longer view it simply as residing in a major city like London, New York, or Paris. People are becoming increasingly connected to their specific locales—whether it’s East London or North London, that’s my village, that’s where my affinity lies.

Postcode Pours aims to capture this sense of belonging, tapping into the local pride and the tribal affiliations that define our communities.

How do you find peace and relaxation after a busy day?

I tend to live a lot “in my head,” and the best way for me to truly unwind is to just drop into my body. That means movement! I’m a big fan of walking, especially unplugged—no podcasts or phone, just me and the path. I’m so fortunate to be surrounded by lush green spaces and the river where I am, making the most of these natural settings.

I also love attending workout classes. There’s a fantastic one down the road at of Paola’s BodyBarre in Fulham. It’s a very community-oriented studio, and I cherish the time spent there, just being present, dropping into my body and boosting those endorphins. Reading is another wonderful escape for me; it’s such a great way to step away from the daily rush and lose myself in other worlds.

Find out more about Posctode Pours here

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