Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in candle-making but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Athena Chriest, Founder of Devine Flame, located in Northbend, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Devine Flame specializes in handmade intention-infused self-care products ranging from handcrafted coconut wax crystal intention candles to bath & body products, crystals, & apothecary items. We believe that it is not just a good product, but the energy and positive intention are what make these products truly magical & speak for themselves.
Tell us about yourself
Hi there! My name is Athena; I am the owner of Devine Flame, as well as our marketing manager, customer service manager, shipping manager, product development team, artist, and so on! I am a one-woman show, passionate about natural, organic, ethically sourced ingredients & materials.
As a child, I grew up very curious about the spiritual and metaphysical world. I soon took a liking to crystal healing and herbalism. One day I decided to try and make presents for my friends and family instead of buying them. I poured some soy candles and topped them with some Clear Quartz crystals I had found out crystal hunting around the Snoqualmie Valley. Then quickly went outside and grabbed some spring flowers to top the candle with. From then on, I seemed to think about different candle combinations I could use for healing non-stop. I would make some to use myself, and my friends and family would beg me to make more! —And then it hit me.
I felt I could really help people on their healing journey in life, even if that's just a reminder each day that you are loved, strong, or deserve time to relax! Healing is not usually a straight path, but when you have something to remind you every day of your goal, your goal will become clearer, and your mind and body will begin to align to get you to that goal. I opened my business as soon as I turned 18. I created Devine Flame to begin a journey of healing.
Not only healing myself and those close to me but spreading the love as far as it may go. I've realized my calling is to create, heal, & help. My products combine crystal healing, aromatherapy, & herbalism, with intention. I've created these tools for you to use on your healing journey.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a young business owner, my biggest accomplishment, I believe, has truly been being able to navigate this business world and teach myself how to run a successful business. When I first opened my business, I was very overwhelmed with all the new legal things that came with it. I felt that maybe I was in over my head. Flash forward to now; as a 21-year-old, I feel very proud of myself and how I was able to do my research and get educated and feel comfortable with the responsibility. I feel I have never stopped putting in 100% effort, and it is truly driven by the love and dedication I have for Devine Flame and how much I want my business to succeed.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a young woman being a business owner often comes with a lot of doubt, doubt from me, but also doubt from the outside world. "How's your little candle hobby" or "You're spending too much time on this pipe dream; maybe you should focus on a REAL job." or even "Wow, I can't believe that you are actually doing so good!"
I think this stigma around a small business that starts on Etsy always being a small hobby for someone needs to be thrown out the window. When I tell people my business is going very well or has picked up and I'm making candles every day of the week, they seem too surprised, as if they did not expect it at all. These little remarks are small, but it is part of a bigger stigma about a small business and also women in business. I want to advocate that just because your business is small, don't let anyone underestimate you and what you bring to the table. You are strong, and you have the universe on your side!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Pour your heart into it. If you deeply care for something and find joy in it, you are more likely to succeed and not give up when it gets rocky.
- Give yourself permission to take breaks, step away, and breathe. You do much better work and can expand your creativity further when you are relaxed and level-minded.
- Learn how to grow your following and engagement on social media and use that to the best of your ability. It is an extremely powerful tool to reach your peeps and get your business out into the world!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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