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1 Year Anniversary - Lessons and Love

Wow. 1 Year. 1 Year of learning, growing, challenges, and successes. So much has transpired in a year. In 2022, there had been conversations, triggered by my recovery from pancreatic cancer, and driven by my desire to be present for all my family's things. Meghan became affianced, Alex was active in band and I wanted to help, and staying home for 3 months, regulating my body made me realize I did not want to continue with shift work.

I've always been smart and creative. Then one day, after doing a podcast with Project Purple, speaking about my journey, sitting by the Mississippi River in New Orleans with Meghan, and yes, there were a few bloody mary's involved, we began to hatch a plan. Mom's escape plan. Mom's future. Over the course of history smart, creative people, have recreated themselves. Have started new careers, furthered their educations, written new chapters to their story. And so could I!

Candles made sense. Candles have always been a part of my world, since I was a teenager I've been passionate about candles. As a young mom, I tried to create candles from used candles and crayons. When Meghan was older, I sold Partylite Candles to supplement my income, while working at a funeral home, where I - yes - did candle services. I've spent more money at big box stores buying candles than I'd like to admit. When selling Partylite, I spent most of my income on candles and products - which I justified because I would've bought candles anyway, so I was saving money - girl math.

Here are 12 things I've learned over the past 12 months, since taking a leap of faith and opening myself to criticism, praise, and a vulnerability unlike anything I've ever experienced:

  1. Vulnerability! Wow, stepping into my own business was scary. Creating something so personal based on my life and my travels was both easy and difficult because it made me vulnerable to judgement. When you are selling your own creations it forces you to find value in yourself and your creation. I've never had a strong sense of self worth or value. I have grown as a woman, as an artist, and as a business woman more in the last year than my entire life!

  2. Every candle is like my own personal child. I pray over each one, and when they leave me I feel like a piece of me goes with them. I am grateful for each one of you who have spent your hard earned money to support this small business adventure.

  3. Lavender buds burn - like, really burn, and should be used in a discretionary manner.

  4. It took months and many bad candles (ask me about the ones made with Makers Mark) to create a formula that had a great cold throw (how it smells when NOT lit), and hot throw (how it smells when burning). As you can see, my vocabulary has increased too!

  5. Not all wicks are created equal. I have recently changed out EVERY woodwick (not an easy task to undertake) because I was dissatisfied with the burn (or lack thereof) and inconsistency of the wicks (some wouldn't burn).

  6. Cotton wicks are not my jam. Not my thing. I prefer the crackle of the wood, and wood wicked candles last longer, especially in my mix of soy and beeswax.

  7. This Crazy Lady is unique. I have a niche - who would've thought, but that means my candles are not for everyone, and that's okay. I'm grateful for my customers new and old.

  8. Not every container, no matter how cute, should hold a candle, and pricing a hundred different sizes creates too much chaos.

  9. I LOVE doing events, and appreciate having someone help me. Meeting new people, sharing my stories and candles, and traveling are definitely a lot of fun!

  10. Special Orders are fun and tap into my creative side in a way I wasn't expecting.

  11. Support has come in so many unexpected places, I've found myself in a constant state of gratefulness - Meghan, Alex, Wolfgang, Camryn, Rory, Roxanne, Becky, Terista, Kim, Kim, Shaniel, and Dale - you have been in the fire (literally and figuratively) with me, you guys have bought candles, sold candles with me, worked events with me, encouraged me, critiqued the candles, burned for the sake of review, and helped me more than I could have asked! Steve, our home has been chaotic, but it's been nothing but good vibes and energy, and even though your sniffer doesn't work, thanks for your love and accepting my crazy! My friend, mentor, and consultant Jeneen Masih of JMM Consulting - for your friendship, I am thankful; your mentoring (aka guidance, course correction, and support) will forever be an important part of my growth in business and in life; and as a consultant you are 2nd to none, you care about each one of your clients, and in turn set an example for each of us in your orbit.

  12. God set me on this journey, and has provided me with experiences in every aspect of this business so that I may be successful. I can look back on every chapter, every job, and see how a piece from each part of my life can be applied to this passion of mine. Next to my children, this has been my greatest adventure and has led me down more than 1 rabbit hole which has continued to inspire and grow Crazy Lady Adventures. My faith is truly my greatest asset, and every time I get caught up in: why, what, when, how; God shows me He is in control, and it's my job to trust Him through all the processes.

These pictures do not do justice to the past year, I mean, Alex and I drove to Alaska and Meghan and I drove to New Orleans, but there were big moments, and little moments, and lots of love! Thank you all for joining me on this crazy adventure. Stay tuned, because this Crazy Lady is just getting started!

Burn Brightly and Bee Crazy - Sandee

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