Annya White Brown has been making her signature hand-poured candles for over half a decade now — but the NaturalAnnie Essentials founder wasn’t always in the business of wax and wicks. “When my first daughter was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, I turned to natural remedies to help her,” Annya tells us. A carefully concocted blend of essential oils, herbs, and butters — all informed by Annya’s Jamaican roots – became the balm that soothed her daughter, and eventually, blossomed into a small business opportunity of its own.

In 2016, Annya added candles to her roster of natural body care products — and the rest was history. “Once I introduced candles to my audience, they were immediately a hit,” says Annya. “My mind was blown, and I’ve been hand-pouring candles ever since.” Now, five years later, Annya and her small team produce thousands of their 100% vegan candles in small batches, right from her home studio in Connecticut. 

But it wasn’t until COVID that the team really began investing in marketing her business with video. “Last year, we really shifted the focus,” says Annya. “There was nowhere to go, and video was the only way for us to show our audience that we were still out there and making stuff.” So, Annya and her team turned to Vimeo Create to expand their advertising to new platforms like TikTok — and saw their conversion rate jump by a whopping 5.5x in just a few weeks.

Online presence with real-life impact

Annya and her team operate as an ecommerce business — no brick and mortar to be found — but work hard to create an online environment that connects with and appeals to her customers: smell-o-vision not required. “It’s tricky being an online candle company, because our users have no way to smell our products before we buy them,” explains Annya. “Video helps give them a better idea of what they’re getting, and gives them more confidence in the quality of our products.” 

The NaturalAnnie team is great at giving their customers a peek inside the action – from intimate studio tours to natural ingredient spotlights – and have used video throughout their marketing to build their social community to nearly 30,000 strong. But in 2020, Annya and her team doubled down on their commitment to video, as a way to keep their customer connection in fighting shape.

Taking on TikTok

While sheltered in place with her mom, husband, and sisters — all of whom work at NaturalAnnie — Annya needed to find a video tool that was easy to learn and even easier to use, for her and any member of the team. “That’s how we came across Vimeo Create,” says Annya. “Now we can all make polished content we’re proud to share. We use it every day.” 

After making it work during the pandemic, Annya and her team began to expand their video distribution to emerging platforms and markets like TikTok. “We held off for a while on sharing video on TikTok, because we thought we had to be amazing video creators – or great dancers – to make content that looked good,” says Annya. “Now we use Vimeo exclusively for our video ads, which has saved us thousands of dollars and lots of headache.”

Now empowered to create videos with just a few folks and a phone, Annya and her team have been able to scale production to up to 75 videos a month – and rack up record-breaking stats in the process. After just two weeks of running their new Vimeo Create ads on TikTok, Annya drove nearly 200,000 impressions, and NaturalAnnie conversion rates jumped up to 5.5x their prior average. “We don’t need expensive equipment and tools to get our message across,” says Annya. “Vimeo helps us take our production in-house, without a budget.” 

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