Shop this Friendor at www.hippiesoulcandleshop.com
We appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Miami, FL of Cuban decent. I’ve had a privileged life. That doesn’t mean that we had a lot of money or things, it means I grew up with an abundance of love and support. I was raised by my paternal grandparents because I was born to very young parents. My grandparents passed away some time ago and always in my heart and the core of my existence. Sadly, my parents passed away as well when I was 20 year old and only 4 months apart from each other. I’m married and a proud mom to my amazing son that gives me pure joy and purpose in life. He’s a gentle, sensitive, old soul.
I started Hippie Soul with the idea to help others find peace in their lives, bring joy through the connection of aromas and how they relate to feelings and emotions. Helping others find peace with loss of loved ones, self worth, guilt and overall past traumas. I didn’t know how I would do it. I just knew I wanted to do something to change the world! "That sounds like a pipe dream doesn’t it?!", I thought to myself but, if not, now, when?
I started looking within through self reflection and self awareness. I started to come up with ideas. I suffer from past traumas and thought, "what if I could help others by sharing my story". But, how does that become a business?
Taking time to reflect, meditate and finding opportunities to be grateful helped me ground myself, find peace and confirmation that the path I was about to embark upon was right for me.
"I have an obsession with candles, as do other people, so why not make my own?!" I thought to myself. I started to self educate, experiment, practice, and found myself creating the candles with so much intention as if I was giving each candle a breath of life.
With each oil I blended and each batch I poured, I started to name them and created a message of intention that I wanted to relay. Very quickly it went from these ideas I had in my head to becoming a business.
I like to say that we are all perfectly imperfect and to truly embrace that and help others embrace it, is one of the main drivers for me on my entrepreneurial journey. Every aspect of my creative process and every post I put out comes with the intention of love, inspiration, advocacy, and healing. Personal healing and helping to heal others.
Your products bring a sense of peace and calmness. Is this a reflection of who you are as a person and what you represent?
The short answer is YES!
Hippie Soul was founded on three core principles; to love, inspire, and touch lives. It goes beyond our candles, I like to think that our candles are a byproduct. My mission and vision is a focus on feeling, how you feel when you light our candles and provoking positive intentions and interactions for yourself, your life and those around you. The concept of I am you, you are me, and we are ONE.
If I can impact ONE person to love themselves, be happy, understand their worth, face their fears, lessen their pain, inspire them to chase their dreams, give love or be an advocate for others, then I’ve gotten that much closer to my mission.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. What has been your greatest challenge in business and what have you learned from it?
Overspending on materials and not selling in a timely manner and coming up with new ideas/products before fully executing on the ideas/products previously launched. I’m definitely still learning.
When you start a business (something that was completely foreign to me, prior to starting this journey) there will be loss in the first couple of years and that’s normal. I would say my biggest challenge has been self doubt. The reason I say that is because at times it has paralyzed me. Because I’ve doubted myself and allowed outside energy to affect my own energy, I’ve had many moments along the way where I’ve paused for longer than I should have. I’ve learned to listen to my intuition, quiet the outside noise and never forget why I started on this path. The reality is that there are and will continue to be many forks in the road that inevitably cause us to doubt ourselves. The best advice I can give, from my own experience, is to just keep going and keep growing. Learn from each “mistake” you make. Each so called mistake is a lesson that will help you get to where you want to be if you stay open to learning from it rather than allowing it to discourage you. Also, seeking feedback from others, but being clear on your vision. Don’t let what others think or feel get in the way of what you set out to do. Take feedback and constructive advice into consideration, but try to decipher what nuggets you will implement without compromising your vision.
Great advice, Josie! What are some of your hobbies outside of your business?
I love to go for a run outdoors in the morning because it’s the only time I can control LOL! I love to feel the outside air and sunshine on my skin. Most of my ideas come when I’m on my morning run.
Finally, where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
The candle business is booming! This will continue because candle making has been alive for centuries and comes with a wealth of history, spiritually and culturally. It seems over-saturated at the moment with many young startups like us which we feel is a great thing for business. I read something the other day on a page I follow on Facebook Small Business Moms it said (and I’m paraphrasing),"when you are doubting yourself and the business you created because there are so many other people doing the same thing, go to the grocery store and take a look down the bread isle, all the same products made by different companies". That was so inspiring and really hit home for me. There is room to continue growing in the candle making space and we are constantly thinking of ways to innovate as we grow our brand.
What sets us apart is our engraved vessels that offer a unique way to reduce our carbon footprint by eliminating the need to use paper labels. We use a local small business engraver, @YENGRAVE.
From my experience so far, customizations and unique offerings in this category is how we see this business continue to grow in the coming years. Collaborating with other small businesses is something we love to do. We see tons of continued growth in the candle industry and look forward to growing and expanding our brand in the coming years.
Thank you, Josie, for meeting with us. Miami Friendors sends you all the success in your future endeavors.