Here at House of Coco, we are huge advocates of self care. We believe that you have to fill up your own cup before you even think about pouring in to someone else. One brand that knows all about that is the Ambitious Candle Co, a brand that empowers women to perserve through life.
Their founder lives and breathes self care and for very good reasons. Here, we spent some time with AnaLisa Garcia to find out more...
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand, Ambitious Vibes Candle Co...
I started out making candles as a form of self care. As a healthcare worker and single parent during the pandemic, I really struggled mentally. I had just relocated with my son to California 2,000 miles away from my family and support system in Wisconsin. Because I was an essential worker, I was unable to work from home the way many other parents were able to while the kids attended school virtually, and childcare was extremely difficult to come by. Candle making became a therapeutic way of giving myself a break from the everyday stress to focus on creating something beautiful.
The decision to turn candle making into a business stemmed from trying to create a solution to my difficult situation. I was trying to figure out how I could work from home to eliminate the constant struggle of childcare and just wanting to be a more involved mother. I worked on branding and creating my first candle line and then started selling them at markets, while also working on building my website.
The success I have gained has been from simply showing up on a consistent basis. My candles started becoming well-known in areas that I showed up frequently. Most of the retail stores that you can find my candles in, happened that way because shop owners found me at markets in their area.
How do you want people to feel when using your products?
My candles come with an empowering message on the back label. I wrote each one inspired by my life journey. I realized that the overcoming I had endured resonated with many other women's journeys. I want my customers to feel understood, inspired, and empowered when they fill their space with my candles.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
Stop letting fear hold me back. There is so much growth that happens in the
entrepreneurial journey. You are constantly being challenged to get out of your comfort zone. There's always something new to learn and you really have to put yourself out there if you want your business to grow. This has been one of my biggest challenges that I am continuously putting the work in to overcome.
Who’s involved in the business and what are their roles?
My business is mostly run as a one-woman show. My aunt does assist at some of the events and I also bring my 7 year old who loves to help and learn about the business. He now wants to start his own business one day. My family back in my hometown in Wisconsin are always extremely supportive, ordering on a consistent basis and spreading word of my business any way they can.
Do you plan to launch new products in the future?
Definitely. I just added reed diffusers and car diffusers to my line that my customers are absolutely loving. I enjoy creating new and exciting products to offer my customers. I have something special I am working on now that my VIP e-mail subscribers will get first access to!
For anyone interested in launching a business, what advice would you offer them?
Do at least one thing everyday that will move your business forward. Trying to get everything perfect first and thinking you need to have all of the answers before you launch will delay your success. Don't get stuck in analysis paralysis. Stop overthinking and just do. You will learn as you go and there's always going to be something you don't know how to do that you will figure out when you get there.
Also, don't fear failure. Every failure is just a pivot in the right direction. It's just as important to find out what doesn't work, as it is to know what does. You won't know what's right for you and your business until you try.
Talk us through an average day in your life...
My morning starts with school drop off and then I try to get the cleaning out of the way so that it doesn't distract me. I catch up on business emails and social media, and then start working on other aspects of the candle business which includes pouring candles, packing/shipping orders, ordering supplies, signing up and preparing for markets and events, listing and promoting new products, and so much more. I am then off to work for my evening shift at the hospital. When I get home around 10:30 pm, I try to squeeze in a few more business tasks before bed. I do try to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night in order to have the energy to be productive the next day.
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
As a business owner, I have an endless list of things to do, which allows me the ability to focus on being creative when I want to be. When I am lacking creativity, I choose a non-creative task from that long list to check off. Some days, all I want to do is work with my creativity and avoid the daunting tasks. So it all balances itself out.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Social media has been such a great way for me to connect not only with my customers, but also with other brands. We have really created a community to support each other and collaborate to help each other grow. I love to highlight fellow small businesses on my page. Instagram is where I am most active and has helped the growth and exposure of my business in such a huge way. I enjoy doing giveaways and sneak peaks of what I am working on.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
Her life changed the moment she let it. It reminds me that I can create my own reality by going after what I want in life. If I do nothing, nothing happens. If I resist when opportunities arise, I stay stuck.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must visit list?
I have heard great things about Greece and it looks like an absolute dream.
What does self care mean to you?
Taking care of myself mentally. If I feel myself approaching burnout, I need to give myself the grace to rest. I'm always trying to use every moment in the day to check things off of my to-do list but sometimes I have to allow myself to check out, eat snacks, and binge Netflix.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
My current goal is to quit my job and be able to focus on my business full time. Being an entrepreneur brings me so much excitement and is extremely fulfilling. My candles can be found in a few California retail shops but I'd love to see my candles in boutiques internationally. I'd also love to open my own candle boutique here in California. My big dream is to open a non-profit to offer young girls and single mothers the assistance and education to become financially independent, whether that’s helping them go to college or start a business.
Where can people find out more?
I am most active on Instagram @ambitiousvibescandleco. I love doing giveaways and my DMs are always open!
You can order from my website ambitiousvibescandleco.com and sign up for my newsletter to get first access to new launches and events I will be attending. I am always looking to collaborate with other brands and showcase my products in new retail shops.