Starting my own small business

 Can you believe that it'll be September next week? AHHH WHAT THE FUCK!!!! This year really has gotten carried away and now here we are, ready to leap into the fall season.

I have to admit that I have been very absent from this platform for a few reasons. The first is because I have recently gone back to work (at a new job) and I have found that my time is very precious. I have chosen to spend more of it reading and exercising and resting....going back to work has had a huge impact on my body physically and my energy levels.

Secondly, I have not been as in touch with my 'cancer feels' as I was in previous years. I have noticed more and more that I am less worried about cancer in the general sense throughout my day to day life...but now I am thinking a lot about who I am and who I want to grow to be. I am thinking about how cancer has changed the way I relate to people and has altered some of my core emotions such as love, kindness and empathy.  I am also really thinking about how I can help people with their lifestyle after cancer. This is something I want to explore more and then share with you all very soon.

FINALLY, I have started my own small candle business and have been VERY busy building it and going back to the 9-5 workday. Partway through the COVID-19 isolation and quarantine, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something with my new found time. I got to thinking about what it was I wanted to create, and my passion project came to mind. I decided one night, while literally brushing my teeth, that I wanted to create a clean-burning candle company that was safe for both people and the environment. That night, instead of sleeping, I worked on a business plan and wrote out pages of objectives, goals, the brand, and the concept for the brand.

After much research, sourcing, and about 30 anxiety attacks, I finally placed my first order for sample materials and began cooking up batches of candles. I tested different scents, different soy waxes (yes there are different kinds of soy wax) and I worked on finding the best vessels for the candles...vintage/antique glasses! I wanted as much of my business to be as sustainable as possible and not contribute to mass consumerism. I am a huge fan of second-hand treasures and wanted to share my love of it with my community. Each candle is 100% unique and created with thrifted treasures. And so, Simple Ritual candles was born!

This entire company mantra started with the idea of a ritual. By definition, a ritual is a series of thoughtful actions, practised regularly, to draw us into a sacred space. Rituals invite us to use intention, focus our sense, movements and feelings, to create meaning and purpose. The idea behind my brand is to define these moments throughout your day but lighting one of my candles. When you light a Simple Ritual candle, you are taking a moment to ground yourself, to be present, to honour and recognize your emotions and to practise whatever ritual speaks to you (for me it's reading a book before bed). I cook and create everything out of my family home in Mississauga, made with love, always.

I think that, not only as a cancer survivor but just as a human with a complicated and busy life, it's important to find small moments of peace and to intentionally stop, ground yourself, take a breath and then move through whatever you are feeling. I want people to start making this a priority for themselves. 

You all know by now that I am very much into holistic health practises and balance....I blab on a lot about this I know LOL. The thing that makes SImple Ritual special, because of the one-of-a-kind unique glass jars, if the fact that these candles are pure and clean. As a survivor and someone who is very music into treating the body sacredly, I wanted my product to promote clean living and burning as well. My candles are 100% soy wax sourced in North America, the fragrances are either pure essential oils OR paraben/phthalate-free scents that are CLEAN burning, meaning that they won't pollute the environment or your body while you burn them. The candles are also vegan, contain no additives or manufactured colours and are even Kosher! I wanted the brand to speak to everyone who wants to bring intention to their life and body :)

Another thing I want to mention here is the community, and how Simple Ritual is here to support. As a cancer thriver, it is very important for me to give back to my community - a community that helps support other young adults who are struggling with a cancer diagnosis, searching for a connection or support from someone who ‘gets it’. A percentage from every candle sale will be donated to Young Adult Cancer Canada (YACC). It is an organization that supports young adults living with, through and beyond cancer. YACC connects and supports hundreds of young adults across Canada. They are dear to my heart, as they saved my life while I was recovering from my two years of cancer treatments.

In 2017 I discovered YACC; I went to a young adult cancer retreat in British Columbia and met a group of strangers who helped me start my life again with their honesty, vulnerability, and their willingness to share the deepest moments of their lives. Connecting with these people was the start of my new life. 

ANYWAYS, I just wanted to let you all know that this blog will continue to run and be here for all fo you, just maybe a little less for a few months while I settle into running a small business alongside my life. I am still active on YouTube and have a new video out recapping my anxiety and my recent life happenings - definitely check it out!

Thank you to everyone for the support of this blog, and I will talk to you soon!

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