"Owning a business has taught me that each year comes with its own challenges and waves. We have to be willing to ride these waves and cannot stay down when we feel that we have crashed."
Give us some background on your businesses.
Fleetwood Candle Co. sells hand-poured soy wax flower candles, polymer clay earrings & wheel thrown ceramics
What is the story and meaning behind why you started your business?
In 2020 I was working full time as a Special Education teacher for students with emotional/behavioral disabilities. When the pandemic occurred, I found myself looking for an artistic escape outside of my all-consuming occupation. I began the self taught journey of pouring candles, to give as gifts to my neighbors and family to help with the isolation that many were feeling during that time. I incorporated my love of nature and flowers by adding pressed botanicals and crystals to the candles. Seeing the joy and happiness these gifts brought to my loved ones created a spark that I had not felt in my professional life. With the encouragement of my husband, I left my teaching career in order to pursue a small business that has blossomed into a multi-media art adventure. In 2021 we moved to Colorado and I found a community of makers that helped me spread my work to several stores & markets, which has allowed me to continue creating gifts as a full time job. My work has since evolved and now includes several collections of candles, including wheel thrown ceramic vessels and handmade polymer clay earrings.
In what ways has being a business owner positively impacted your life?
Owning a business is not something that I ever saw myself doing. When I spent 8 years of my life pursuing a Masters Degree in Education, I felt I would always work in a classroom setting from 7-4 each day. Being a business owner has allowed me so much freedom in my life as far as creating a flexible schedule for family and my own mental health. I find myself working harder than ever, but I also happier than I have ever been doing something that I love.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned about life from owning a business?
Ebbs and Flows. Owning a business has taught me that each year comes with it's own challenges and waves. We have to be willing to ride these waves and cannot stay down when we feel that we have crashed. Constantly creating art can be draining and at times you feel as though you have no good ideas left, but if you can wait out the stagnant periods, something beautiful always happens on the other side. It is so difficult to manage all of the jobs that come with owning your own business, but it has taught me that I am capable of learning so much.
Where can people learn more about you and your business?