Yo Soy Candle: Aromatic affirmations and candles with purpose
Portland-based Leslie Abrams has a passion for empowering others through affirmations and intentions, which can positively manifest in our lives.
While her surprising scents bring their own unique spin to the world of candles (sweet orange chili pepper, anyone?) it's her approach that makes her stand out the most.
Combining her love for affirmations and candles, Leslie is building a community of candle-loving, affirmation aficionados through Yo Soy Candle. She not only sells her products online to customers far and wide, but through her Candle Creation Bar, she also brings local Portland-based customers together to share her unique approach to candle-making.
“When customers come in, they curate their own candle as well as intentions and affirmations. Through light journaling we’ll guide our customers to reflect on things like ‘what do you want out of your day,’ ‘how do you want to feel you wake up’ ‘what are you grateful for.’
Leslie’s process not only leads people to build a scent of their own, but to also develop an affirmation that is meaningful to them.
Everyone’s road entrepreneurship is different, often winding through passions and false starts before ultimately ending up where they want to be. For Leslie, it was an unexpected journey from aesthetician, to yoga student/teacher, passing by a few serendipitous nudges along the way, and now business owner.
Leslie shares what brought her to start Yo Soy Candle, what the entrepreneurial journey has been like so far, and she also shares some insights on saving that ever-precious resource time, thanks to Sendle’s integration with her website builder, Squarespace.
Sendle’s small biz quiz
Name, title, and location
Leslie Abrams, Founder | Portland, Oregon
How would you describe your business in a nutshell?
We empower people through positive affirmations and beautifully aromatic candles.
We choose unique scents with surprising combinations like ‘cucumber wasabi cilantro’ and ‘sweet orange chilli pepper.’ We pair our candles with affirmations like ‘I am brave’ or ‘I am resilient.’
This helps to encourage a positive mindset and promote healing and transformation by practicing the self-loving ritual of ‘I AM’.
The phrase ‘yo soy’ is Spanish meaning ‘I AM’ which is central to our business ethos.
How about in three words?
Eco-conscious candles (with a) purpose
What led you to create Yo Soy Candle?
I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset.
And Yo Soy Candle is my third brainchild.
I first started as an aesthetician, then a yoga instructor and now have an eco-conscious, candle business.
Going back around about ten years, (while I was still an aesthetician) I traveled to Costa Rica to study yoga. At the time I was really getting into the wellness benefits that yoga brings. That trip gave me a lot of clarity and deepened my passion for wellness.
After returning from Costa Rica, I hung up my boots at the beauty parlor and decided to focus on yoga and develop my own home aesthetics studio.
And many of my clients, who I had been working with for many years, supported me in my yoga venture, staying on as clients.
I really wanted to find a way to thank them. I was after a creative way to do this that wouldn’t burn a whole in my pocket.
So I picked up a candle making kit and whipped up around 100 candles for my lovely clients.
While it was meant to be a one-off gift, when I saw many of my clients after that they would ask me when they could expect their next candle.
And in that time a lot of serendipitous things happened which really nudged me towards the candle business and to take this on full time. So I took the plunge and committed to Yo Soy Candle.
And my love for wellness and affirmations was something I knew I could bring to this business to give it a lot of heart. And it really makes it more personal and meaningful to complement our beautifully scented candles.
What’s been the best part about running your own business?
I love interacting with customers, especially at The Candle Creation Bar. While at The Bar, the participants get to answer questions like, “what are you grateful for today? And, when I am my best self I AM__.” It’s so special to tap into that space with a person I get to know for one hour.
And the most challenging?
Running a business on my own is challenging. I have no one who is “in it” with me who I can turn to for help when I feel overwhelmed. Hoping to shift that this year. Marketing is also challenging for me and thankfully I am getting to a place where the product sells itself without much.
Eco-consciousness is clearly a big part of your story. What can you tell us about your business’ focus on sustainability?
We are a business with heart and purpose.
Our candles are eco-conscious and free of phthalates, dyes, lead, parabens and provide a long, clean, eco-friendly burn.
All our materials are produced and grown in the US and sourced through small businesses.
And of course, we have the services of a sustainable shipper.
Shifting gears to your workflow, how has your experience with Sendle’s new Squarespace integration been?
It’s helped me slow to the clock, saving me a lot of time.
Like many other small businesses, when I receive orders, I can spend a significant amount of time on arduous tasks like making labels.
During the peak season of candle sales from October through to January I can spend up to two hours a day doing my shipping related activity.
Having Squarespace integrated with Sendle is going to save me dozens of hours, especially during the holiday season when I am making 50-100 labels a day.
And because I have subscription boxes where customers can receive a package each month, I can now batch upload labels, saving me time on shipping.
This way I can streamline the shipping process which allows me to spend more time on my craft and not my computer.
And less time on the screen will be a lot kinder to my eyes!