If you've ever considered quitting your job and having your own business, you're my kind of person. Since I was a little girl, growing up in the small lakeside community of Oro Station, Ontario, I have dreamed of having my own business.
But, maybe like you, somewhere along the way I went down a different path. I had my daughter when I was young and worked my way through university as a single mom. I studied Sociology and did my post-graduate studies in HR, wanting to help others. I loved many aspects of HR and worked hard, eventually becoming Director of HR at a growing tech company in downtown Toronto. While there, I helped build an amazing culture known for its talented people and core values of being smart, kind and reliable. I helped grow the company from 20 employees to almost 200 and along the way we won multiple top employer awards and I learned so much.
It was an exciting journey and by this time I was married to my loving husband, had a son, and was 'balancing' a young family and my executive role. Despite the triumphs and challenges of my HR career, in my heart, I knew my dream was to have my own business that I could build for the long term.
One day on my normal morning commute to work, I asked myself a simple question: “What would I do if I knew I could not fail?”
The answer? To spark joy in the everyday lives of others with my own sustainable home fragrance and lifestyle company. Sustainable living has always been important to me and I have always loved candles, design and creating a warm, inviting home. I have also always been sensitive to certain fragrances and chemicals and would often get terrible migraines and headaches. I learned to be very conscious of the ingredients in the products I used to help ensure my home was healthy and safe.
When I set aside the fear of failure, I realized that I wanted to create candles that made me feel good and were good for me and our planet. I started researching candle making, fragrance, how to start a business, branding, and anything else I could get my hands on. It started taking me down a new path and for the first time in a long time, I was able to clearly picture my dream life. It was an amazing feeling and I knew I had to find a way to make it happen.
That's when I started saving as much money as I could set aside each month and making soy candles in my spare time. When COVID happened in March 2020, like many working women, suddenly my family needed me more than ever, and at the same time, my job in HR also became busier. I wasn't ready to launch my business just yet but I also needed to prioritize my family and my goals. I continued working towards this and by January 2021, I was ready to put my dreams and my family first. The day I quit my job in HR, I did a happy dance in my kitchen.
I spent the next year working towards launching my small business during a global pandemic, being really present with my family and rediscovering who I am. After a lot of research and time in the studio making and learning, I was ready to share my hand-poured candles with others. It was scary and intimating starting my own business, but I am so glad that I did because it's an amazing feeling waking up every day to do something I love with Bright Candle Co.
I have so much gratitude for every step of my journey so far. I am so excited for you to experience my candles and hope that they spark joy in your everyday. Before I go, I have to ask, what would you do if you knew you could not fail? Would you launch that great idea that you've had, or perhaps write a book, change careers, or move to a new country? It's incredible where life can lead you when you don't let fear hold you back.
Whatever you do, I hope you find something that sparks joy in your everyday.
Until next time friend,
MORE FROM CHRISTINA GJIRI
Connect with Christina Gjiri and Bright Candle Co. on Instagram @brightcandleco_ and TikTok @brightcandleco. You can find her sustainable soy candles online at brightcandleco.com and at select local markets and shows.