San Francisco, California
Founder of Soyful Aromas
Years in Business: 5 years
What inspired you to start Soyful Aromas? While simultaneously experiencing divorce, infertility, and a long awaited work promotion I found myself needing to be more intentional about my self-care. I needed to take better care of myself and focus on my whole wellness, including my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. So one day I Googled and ordered a candle making kit. The plan was to start a new hobby. I’ve always had a passion for aromatherapy and LOVE candles, so learning to make my own candles was a win win … and it truly was! I started gifting candles to several friends and co-workers, which led to the unexpected question of “how much?”. I have no background in business, nor have I ever wanted to start a business. However I learned that I was not alone and that for many women self-care was an afterthought versus a daily practice. Therefore, Soyful Aromas was created and I became a small business owner by default (smile).
What is the story behind the name? I literally prayed for a brand name and one day it came to me. It’s a play on SOY and SOUL (hence the self-care mission), as well as soys ability to produce a FULL long lasting aroma.
What is Soyful Aromas’ mission statement? Soyful Aromas is the epitome of relaxation transcending consumers to an ultimate state of self-care when they need it most. By providing simple relaxation, a CAREFREE mood, ME TIME, and a nice mental and emotional GETAWAY with aromas, I want to encourage every person (especially women) to be unapologetically intentional about their self-care every day.
What are some challenges you have overcome in starting this business? Given that I had no prior education, experience, or even a desire to start a business it has been very challenging for me to figure things out (i.e. logistics and requirements for starting a business). I definitely did things backwards when I started and I’m still learning as I go. I’m also challenged with being a one-woman-show. I do everything myself from beginning to end, all while working full-time and carrying for my elderly mother.
How does your business influence your life? Soyful Aromas definitely keeps me mindful about my own self-care. I’m posting about self-care daily on social media and sometimes my posts are driven by me trying to encourage myself. Soyful Aromas is more than a candle company, it’s a lifestyle brand. By being a small business owner I love that I’m able to directly engage with consumers. If I can inspire someone to be intentional about their self-care then I feel that’s more valuable than any sale.
In what ways are you striving to be a more ocean-friendly company? I definitely try to be intentional about the supplies I use to create my products. I not only want each candle to burn as clean as possible for consumers, but I also try to use the least impactful shipping materials to avoid polluting our landfills and oceans.
Therefore my candles are a natural, renewable resource derived from soybeans that are non-toxic. I use only cotton wicks and certified clean scents meaning oils are phthalate free and exclude materials with similar health concerns, including those on the California’s Prop 65 list.
Also a little fun fact is that the travel tins and spa jars are recyclable as well as can be repurposed. The tins are perfect for holding your small treasured items like earrings or rings and the jars are actually heavy based rock glasses that boast a simple yet classic and elegant design. The jars can later be used for serving a variety of cocktails or to simply store your essentials such as q-tips, pens, or makeup brushes. Lastly the bubble wrap I use can be recycled as well as any packing peanuts are dissolvable in water.
What have been the most successful/rewarding aspects of your business? The most rewarding aspect of my business has been all the amazing people I’ve met. During the past 5 years I’ve wanted to give up multiple times, but what keeps me going are the people I meet either in person, through networking, or on social media. When someone shares that they were encouraged, uplifted, soothed, or comforted by either something I posted or a candle I poured, it makes the late nights and frustration worth it.