Hi Jessica, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico where I study Dental assistant. I moved to Orlando with my parents in 1988 and married my husband, a wonderful Iranian man. While my daughter was a baby, I studied at night and got an associate degree in Medical Assisting. I worked in the medical field for a few years but I wanted to be there when my kids got off school and be a stay-at-home mom. While my kids were at school, I pursued my real passion, art.
I like to create things, paint, draw, and anything creative. I remember when growing up, I was always painting and drawing, I used to draw my parents in their daily life; it was natural. I’m a self-taught artist at heart. How I became a candle maker? Little did I know that one day my daughter would change the course of my life. I have always liked candles and have them in my home for the scent they provide and for ambiance. One day my daughter gave me a high-end candle as a gift, this candle was superior to what I was used to, the wax was silky smooth, white creamy, lovely scented and I love it but I could never spend that much on a single candle. I’m a very curious and Inquisitive person so, I started researching this wax. Coconut wax is the newest in the candle industry and not yet widely used, I’m surprised that people hardly know about this wonderful silky wax. One day I decided to create a candle-like the one my daughter gave. I bought a pound of Coconut wax, what scent should I use? I asked myself. I’m surrounded by Persian culture, their cuisine, their aromas, and their spices. I mixed the scent of Saffron, Rose petals, and Pomegranate and I created my first candle.
Everyone that visits my home started asking what was the aroma and where it was coming from? I would reply,” is PERSIAN NIGHTS”, the candle I created. From that day, every family member and friends wanted to buy my candle for their home or as gifts. I wanted to create more candles, a collection perhaps. I wanted different candles, I started my research on exotic destinations around the world, their culture, and what aromas are original from that country. I wanted to have a collection of candle that was uniquely scented and at the same time pay homage to diversity and my love of other cultures and traditions so I called this group of unique candles THE DESTINATIONS I also need it a name for my business and brand, I consulted my greatest fans, my two kids and my son suggested alma. Alma in Spanish means soul, that’s perfect alma the soul of the people. Alma candles were born and it’s the first collection. I started searching for farmer’s markets and pop-up shops in the Orlando area. Alma candles is three years old and it has 21 different and unique candles, scented wax sachet, and Car air fresheners.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Not at all, is hard to create a business and harder to keep it going. I struggle with learning new software and build a website by myself. SEO is very important to be seen on the web and struggles to find ways to advertise without spending big money on it.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I make luxury coconut wax candles in unique exotic scents. I specialize in handcrafted scented candles, I don’t just buy a bottle of fragrance and pour in the wax, no, no. no. I test, I mix the fragrances myself and test some more until I’m happy with the scent and what I want to convey throughout the scent. What sets me apart is the uniqueness, there is no other company doing exotic destinations candles and very complex scents, and my great customer service.
Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I didn’t have a mentor but networking in candle-making groups online, learning, and practicing is very important and so is using the best ingredients possible.
- Luxury coconut wax candle $23.00
- Luxury coconut wax candle $23.00
- Car air fresheners $8.00
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.almacandle.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/alma_candles
- Facebook: facebook.com/almacococandles
- Other: www.Etsy.com/shop/Almacandles