A year ago, I decided—a bit impulsively—to start a candle business. When I told people about this new endeavor, I was often graciously met with support, as well as one recurring question: why? I never really knew how to answer that question. Why did I start making candles? Well, why not?
Prior to delving into the world of candlemaking, I was a total candle hoarder. Nothing drained my bank account quicker than a Bath and Body Works 2-for-$24 three-wick candle sale (this was also prior to my knowledge about all the toxic chemicals that go into their candles, alright…it’s called growth, people). I loved lighting a candle while reading a book or watching movie, then smelling that scent months or years later and being instantly brought back to what it felt like to experience those stories. I suppose that feeling is what sparked my desire to start making candles of my own—I wanted to experiment with scents to try and create those comforting, immersive experiences for other people.
I couldn’t have predicted when I launched L+F that in a matter of months, the world would completely turn upside down. Nothing says “hey, maybe you shouldn’t be starting a business right now” like a global pandemic, am I right? What started as a fun little passion project quickly became my only source of income, as well as my only source of routine and normalcy in a world that was overwhelmingly new, frightening, and uncertain.
Working on L+F is one of the few activities that has consistently distracted me from the dumpster fire that is the rest of the world. It gives me a purpose, calms my anxiety, and challenges me to keep thinking creatively—a task that proves quite difficult amid total global panic. I am grateful beyond measure that in such a dark, challenging time, I was able to find something good and hold on to it.
Finding the light and sharing it with others is what inspires me now as I think about the future of L+F. I take pride in making products that, quite literally, add a little brightness into peoples’ lives. Whatever this next year may have in store, I hope to continue spreading joy and comfort to those who need it. Though this first year in business didn’t go quite as planned (to say the least), I find myself looking back on this time with tremendous gratitude and a very full heart. Building L+F has not come without challenges, but it has been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
To all who have supported me in any capacity along the way, thank you. Every ounce of love you’ve shown L+F means more than I will ever be able to express. In one year, this little business raised $300 for Black LGBTQIA+ organizations, released 18 products, and received orders from as far away as Australia. Thank you will never be enough, but since it’s all I have: thank you, thank you, thank you.
I have many exciting plans in store for the future of L+F, but like all things, they’ll take some time. Thank you for allowing me the time and space to grow, learn, and create something I can be proud of. Here’s to the next chapter and to continuing to spread the light.