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How Is One Bush Business Showing Perseverance and Ingenuity in These Uncertain Times?

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

✦ Meet Katie Finnis, Wife, Mother and Owner of Moodee & Sass (M+S)

Katie is the maker behind Moodee & Sass Candles. She is passionate about creating high quality, luxurious and beautiful home fragrance products. Katie only uses quality 100% natural soy wax and hand picked fragrances to create gorgeous hand poured candles, diffusers, soy wax melts and bath products.

Just over 12 months ago she came to the realisation that she no longer loved her job, managing a grocery store in the gorgeous New England town of Walcha, NSW. Constantly in a silent battle with herself, bearing the guilt of not having enough time with her family or for herself, she needed to change.

A Bush Business Is Born

Watching farmers suffer in the drought, withstand wind storms, floods, mice plagues and devastating fires, spurred Katie to create her own job in the community she had grown to love.

She told us, “I contacted Samantha, the original creator of M+S and asked if she had the time to teach me all things candles so I could start my own business in Walcha.” Samantha agreed to a lesson, but also asked if Katie was interested in purchasing the small business. Katie quickly agreed.

From one lesson she took the reins and, with plenty of video, voice and text messages from Samantha, Katie’s passion grew and so did her knowledge.

Shop Front, Markets & Online

A little over six months ago, a close friend mentioned to Katie that a small shop front had become available in Derby Street, Walcha, and she jumped at the opportunity.

She saw what was missing in the small country town and decided to stock candles, homewares and clothes that would complement other businesses in the town rather than take away from them. Within three weeks, with a huge amount of help from her family and friends, she opened the doors.

"I certainly opened at a challenging time, but it's important for people to shop local and keep local people in business," she said.

Then after a wonderful 11 days of trade, COVID-19 closed the doors due to the mandatory lockdowns. Katie was also attending the local markets and some further afield that were also cancelled due to the lockdown, so she pivoted and her online business boomed. Now, she is a regular at the post office sending off parcels containing the beautifully scented candles.

Continuing to persevere for a wonderful but tiring six months, she made the difficult decision to close the Derby Street store as her family had relocated to the small community of Yarrowitch. She now operates from home, continuing to grow her successful online business and she also attends many local markets in the regions of Bellingen, Kempsey, Armidale and Walcha.

"The best thing is I can run a business while looking after our three-year-old son Colt, while supporting my local community."

Katie is loving having the perfect home and work balance and told us that M+S wouldn’t be the success it is without the continued support from her beautiful family, friends and customers.

She truly is a role model for all young mothers out there. Keep trying to better yourself, whilst looking after those that mean the most to you.


Katie Finnis

Moodee & Sass

Ph. 0421 669 788


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