Life of Indie - A Small Business Owner

Life of Indie - A Small Business Owner

Hello Teenies,

I'm Indrea, owner of O'steen Candle Co. I started my business in June 2019, because of my love and appreciation of what candles have been for me. My family suffered a tremendous loss when my husband passed away in 2017. Trying to gather my footing while going through my second and third trimester of pregnancy while still raising a grade school child was tough to say the least lol. At the time of my husband's death we resided in Arizona with our two children, my oldest bonus son D and our first son together Ry. While visiting family in California he was killed by gun violence, just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I moved back to California after a month to be closer to family with the abrupt change in our day to day and being pregnant I was gonna need all the immediate support I could get and being five hours from family was not gonna cut it. In my time back home I had time to reflect on me and my husband's goals for our boys. We had moved away from South Central LA to Arizona to provide them a better life. We planned to grow a business and purchase our first home by the start of 2018. I couldn't let those goals go unaccomplished so four months after having my baby boy, in February 2018, I moved back to Arizona to continue on my path to build the life our boys deserved.

I researched and developed many different business ideas, even considered adult stimulant products and devices. You know what they say, "SEX SELLS" lol! Although a lot of my business ideas seemed like a great path it just never really stuck for me. I've always loved candles! Something about lighting it and experiencing a calm feeling from the aromatic and visual vibe of a candle that just puts me at ease. Did I mention I'm a Hopeless Romantic lol?! Every time Valentines Day or Mother's Day was approaching I'd say, "can you just get me a card and candles or some nail polish?". Yeah I had a phase back then when I thought I was a nail art queen and I just love my natural nails, when they're not breaking anyway!

While out buying some of my favorite candles it me, why buy candles when I can make them! From that moment forward I began researching starting a candle business and started ordering materials and testing fragrances. My first intro collection included six fragrances and I only stocked 12 of each in candles and about 10 of each in wax melts. I sold all of my candles from the collection in two weeks and I was so excited because by the time I signed my closing August 27, 2019 my candles were sold! I've sold over 600 candles since starting my business and do not plan on giving up any time soon.

The pandemic of 2020 definitely threw a wrench in my operations and slowed down some sales because there has been a mass amount of wonderful candle makers who have joined the business of candle making. while businesses closed temporarily it made it much more difficult to get vessels which pushed back launches further than many may have desired. My business is completely funded by myself so it wasn't always easy to source massive bulk orders which have proven, from my observation, to be a more promising delivery of goods. I worked my way through by creating cement vessels in place of glass jar for a period.

No matter how difficult or uncertain it seemed I continued pushing and finding ways to continue growth in times of adversity! If you want to pursue your own business go for it! It's the best life changing experience ever. It teaches you so many things about yourself as well as others. Networking and sharing business information with other small business owners is what keeps me grounded and knowing I'm on the right path!

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