Today’s WCW post is on Nubia Mejia and Mary Beirne. These best friends, now business partners, created the perfect stocking stuffer that also pays it forward at the same time: YesYouCandle Every YesYouCandle product is packaged with a “Gratitude Bracelet” (more on that later). The brand just launched three weeks ago and has already sold 125 candles! I met Nubia and Mary years ago through NY Comic Con, and was happy to be able to catch up with them recently to talk about this amazing initiative.
As an budding entrepreneur myself, it was inspiring to hear the process and to receive my very own Take 5 Candle (smells divine). Check out our fun q&a:
O.C.O: What inspired you both to create YesYouCandle?
Y.Y.C: While working on a project that required a soy candle, we couldn't find one on the market that transmitted the energy we were looking for. Since we couldn't find one, we researched the process of creating one and thus our journey began. We fell in love with the whole process from blending and creating the aromas, to hand pouring each and every one of them. The message we spread with the affirmations we write on the candles is so simple but immensely valuable. We want to remind people what REALLY matters in terms of spreading peace, love, and being grateful.
O.C.O: Tell us more about the #PayItForward initiative?
Y.Y.C: With the purchase of a candle online or at a market, we give away a complimentary "Pay It Forward / Gratitude Bracelet." They each have words of encouragement on them and we suggest you give them to a friend or stranger to brighten up their day. Life can often get crazy and the smallest little act of kindness can change someone's life! It's something we are very aware of at YYC and it's what sparked the idea. Our mission is to change lives and spread positivity one candle at a time.
O.C.O: What are your favorite scents from the collection?
Mary: It's so hard to pick but if I had to choose my favorites are Revive, Lavender.
Nubia: I love all of them! Seriously, we spend so much time creating them, they're our babies. Since 3 is one of my favorite numbers, I'll share my top 3.
1)My all-time favorite is "REVIVE". It kickstarts your day with this enticing aroma that breathes life into you. The blend was an accident that was meant to be (long story). I don't think it's a coincidence that it's our best seller.
2)Second I will say "TAKE 5". It's a great balance of relaxing while still maintaining focus. Notes of lavender and cinnamon make this an interesting blend.
3) Lastly, I will say Spiced Chai Latte. I'm a big fan of drinking Chai Latte's so it's no surprise I enjoy lighting this while being cozied up with a good book.
O.C.O: There are good days and bad days, being business partners/best friend's, how do you deal if one is having a bad day?
Y.Y.C: We always uplift each other. If one of us has a problem or is freaking out over something meaningless, we make each other take a pause and reevaluate what's going on. Instead of stressing out, how can I resolve this? Is this problem really worth negative energy? Most times you'll find it isn't. The key is being understanding, honest and inspiring to one another. It's the key to both an invaluable friendship and a successful business.
O.C.O: What’s a typical day like for you?
Y.Y.C: That's a fun question - making candles, social media, creating new blends for next season, being on Etsy, packing orders, checking inventory, copywriting, booking markets, setting up tables, being incredibly inspiring to ourselves and others, talking to people as much as possible about our brand and mission, eating cheese puffs, having a celebratory beer haha. The work is both very hard but rewarding.
O.C.O: Since you guys just started, what has been the highlight so far? What have you learned?
Y.Y.C: We believe the highlight is when we hear genuine reactions from people. When they say the candle makes them feel good or they love the scent so much and it uplifts their day. Also, meeting people and learning about their journey is so spiritually rewarding.
We have learned a lot about candles, essential oils, and Aromatherapy. Our senses as human beings are underappreciated. The power of perceiving smells, scents and aromas is a true gift. It gets us excited about meals, makes us appreciate nature more & affects our mood and spirit.
O.C.O: What skills were you able to bring over from your previous work experience that you found to be most helpful or practical in your business?
Y.Y.C: We are both very creative and have experience in crafting and branching out into various projects. We have backgrounds in design which gives us a good eye. Mary has years of experience in fashion design while Nubia has a vast resume in promotional design such as pieces/graphics for marketing. With everything we've learned in our previous jobs, we're able to balance each other out perfectly and we're very fortunate for that.
Nubia has a background in copywriting and Mary has experience working for herself and managing her own brand through another venture.
Nubia had a job about a year ago with a company that dealt with essential oils and she became smitten with them, however, she didn't know how to make a product with them until now. Nubia and Mary learned everything together from the ground up in terms of blending the oils with wax to create a beautiful candle & a finished product. It was probably as much fun as it was difficult. We could probably write a book with our hilarious stories.
Whatever one of us doesn't know the other figures out. Like we said prior, our partnership is a gift.
O.C.O: What advice would you give to women about to embark on a career in business?
Mary: The number one thing is to believe in your idea and go for it 100%. Be patient and detail oriented. Make sure you have an open mind, listen to your customer and meet their needs. It really helps when your business partner is in it just as much as you. Lastly, make sure you're having fun and you enjoy what you're doing.
Nubia: I would say to women in business, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. We're living in an era where women are fearless and they're speaking up for themselves and one another more than ever. Take that energy and run with it as fast as you can. If you believe and trust in yourself, there aren't any limits to how far you can go. Be genuine and keep good relationships. Treat others the way you want to be treated and have a good work ethic because a lot of people have great memories. Another very important thing is to have patience, Rome wasn't built in a day.
O.C.O: What do you define as success? What do you define as happiness?
Success can be defined in so many ways but for me to name a few it's achieving my dreams, doing something I love every single day and enjoying it. When it comes to success with YESYOUCAN.DLE it's creating a great product that people enjoy whether it uplifts or helps them relax through the day. With the Pay It Forward gift that our customer receives with every purchase is a success in itself. This complimentary gift is a beautiful way for our customers to spread happiness and brighten up someone's day and change the world one smile at a time.
When it comes to happiness there are so many things that make me happy. It's seeing someone smile, helping others, being true to myself, and most of all sharing life with friends and family. For YESYOUCAN.DLE its seeing someones face light up when they smell our candles. It's when someone shares their story with us and enjoys our candles and message. I can go on and on with the things that make me happy but we would be here all day!
Nubia: I believe success is putting effort towards something you believe in and care for. People are often intimidated by the thought of being "successful". The mind is a delicate thing and intimidation can often kill creativity. When you have an idea, and you have the courage and ambition to pursue it and make it come to life, you are successful my friend. I truly believe that. There are levels to the success of course but we must all remember not to be so hard on ourselves. Success for me through YES YOU CAN . DLE is seeing someone read the label and smiling at the affirmation. Hearing an aroma is their new addiction and you know that you made that happen for them, it's great.
Happiness for me in life is the ability to create & roam freely. It's also being able to spend time with my family and friends. Happiness for me through YYC is aroma and spreading positivity. The gift of giving is contagious, we give tons of love every day at YYC.
O.C.O: What’s next?
What's next?! So much!
We're currently brainstorming on our spring collection and we're planning to have it done as soon as possible. We're also growing our marketing strategies in terms of campaigns and fun features. Getting into a variety of stores is definitely on our hit list right now too. The future is so bright and we're just running towards the light.