Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katherine Olenski, Founder of Embers and Blooms, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is Embers & Blooms, a small-batch candle company based in San Diego, CA. We have an eclectic customer base, ranging from people seeking out cleaner home solutions to people who love a long-lasting candle that was curated with love and intention.

Tell us about yourself

This business was begun during the summer of 2020 after I had been out of work as a hairstylist for most of the year due to the pandemic. I've always been drawn to creating with my hands, and when my passion for creating cleaner and more environmentally friendly products at home met that creative drive, that's when my business was born.

It still surprises me how many people I meet who gave up their love for candles because they couldn't find products that wouldn't give them headaches, weren't toxic to pets, weren't vegan, etc. My goal is to always provide a product that will enhance or ignite a moment of sanctuary for someone without sacrificing the environment, health, or wellness.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Any business owner who gets up day by day and simply keeps working through the overwhelm is an accomplishment! Personally, I would say that my biggest accomplishment is how much education I've been able to share with my customer base about the toxicity of the average scented candle and provide a better solution.

Building a community of wellness through encouraging meditation, quiet moments, and better solutions for ourselves and the planet is something that this business has gifted me and that I ensure I never take for granted.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Finding balance. When you love what you do, it's difficult to stop doing it. My business model is based around seeking balance and joy, but it truly is difficult to do so when the demands of running a small business with intention in this society of instant gratification feel like they take precedence. I often have to stop to remind myself that I can still provide excellent customer service while caring for my own needs.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Take time to dream and plan before pulling the trigger. Learning along the way is half the fun, but really think through what you want your business to be for you and where you want it to take you. Be in the driver's seat rather than just along for the ride!

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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