May 5, 2020
Guest Post by NaturalAnnie Essentials
I knew in high school I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I owned a few side hustles, from creating and printing invitations, to selling Avon. While I sucked at selling Avon, I was killing it as a 15 year old designing and printing invitations and event programs. That was, until my compaq computer died, putting me out of business.
In college, I had a different goal. I dreamed of a big corporate job: a position that would empower me to change in people’s lives through the workplace. When I graduated, I landed my ideal corporate job with a global IT firm and it did pay well. I enjoyed that role and was a proud workaholic for years.
In 2014, I gave birth to my first daughter Tiffany. Little did I know she would take me right back to where I started, an entrepreneur.
Images by Allie Dearie Photography
Today, when I’m not chasing my daughters Tiffany (5) and Thalia (2), you can find me creating all the things in my candle studio. I am a proud ‘mompreneur’ after stumbling into the exciting world of candle making by accident.
Tiffany was born with a neural tube defect called Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. She had a number of surgeries at birth that would later lead to skin irritation. When prescription medicine didn’t work for us, I turned to natural remedies to help heal her skin. To my relief, my homemade remedy worked! My passion and knowledge only continued to grow and I later decided to channel it into developing my unique brand. And so NaturalAnnie Essentials burst into life!
Images by Carrie Allen
While NaturalAnnie Essentials started out as a bath and body company, it transitioned into the home decor realm, offering a variety of soy candles. Today we are widely known for our tropical, vibrant, and uplifting vibe. Our candles are created to add to the ambiance around the home (see our signature collection), and to offer a dose of inspiration and humor (see our thoughts collection). I try to infuse my humor and lifestyle into my candles as much as I can, and this is what I found really resonated with my customers and admirers.
Images by Calvina Photography
In 2018 I officially left my corporate job to launch my full-time candle business out of my home studio. We repurposed the garage to manufacture our candles. This part of the process was super exciting as I got to do what I wanted with my space; I got to decorate, twirl around with my kids, and blast my music throughout the day while hard at work. While this journey is liberating, make no mistake—it certainly comes with its challenges.
Working for myself full-time has brought with it a list of hard lessons. I’ve gone through weeks where I’ve cried my eyes out when failure and rejections just kept rolling in one behind the other. I remember doing a wholesale trade show where I paid over $5K to attend, and left with not even 1 sale. I was devastated. The entrepreneurial journey can be devastating. But I’ve also learned never to give up because when you least expect it, you may just land an amazing deal out of the blue or have a solid 2 weeks of wins that make it all worth it. It’s a roller coaster that plays with your emotions, but it is well worth it if you are on the path you know you were meant to be on.
Images by Atelier 21 Co
I get this question a lot and always enjoy sharing my two cents, “What would you tell someone who is looking to start or have started their entrepreneurial journey?”
So here are my 2 cents:
Images by Kelli Hiser
Annya “Annie” White-Brown