Today we’d like to introduce you to Estefany Gallego.
Estefany, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I first got into candle making in 2017, I needed some sort of distraction, a creative outlet. My Wela (grandmother) was drifting away from the Alzheimers, I recently had my second baby, and I needed to find something I enjoyed doing for myself. I started with $10 worth of candle supplies I purchased from a local on OfferUp. I don’t even know what kind of wax or wicks were in the bag but I was excited to try something new! I made candles off and on until 2019 when I really got serious about the knowledge behind candle making. I watched videos, read articles, read blogs, searched websites, and tested so many candles until I felt I had some sort of an idea of what I was doing. When I decided to turn this hobby into a business, I really wanted to incorporate my culture and wanted to create a product that my customers could relate to.
That’s when I decided to label my candles with unique names in Spanish along with corresponding taglines that sometimes have bad words! Such as: “Sucia – Clean the &^%&*#% house!” Or: “Duermete Guey – Go the &$&# to sleep!”. I incorporated real-life feelings, thoughts, and experiences into naming my candles. The response was good when I first released these candles in October 2019, but it wasn’t until I attended my first pop up shop at AZ Mujeres Mercado in Phoenix that I knew people were hitting it off with these Velitas (little candles). If you ever see me at a pop-up shop, you will always see me there with my daughter Isabella. She is Velitas mini jefita (mini boss). Isabella decides which fragrances are keepers, helps with labeling, and provides general feedback and advice! Oh yeah, she’s also my biggest fan!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A smooth road sounds nice, but it hasn’t been all that smooth since I started with my business. There have been some struggles along the way such as figuring out the whole business thing. Constant testing and product changes. Sometimes the volume of work is a lot, so finding the balance was difficult. Curating the process of how everything works and runs has been hard as well, but I enjoy and love what I do. So despite the struggles, I wouldn’t have it any other way! A friend constantly reminds me that if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Velitas – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Velitas is a small batch candle company located in Arizona. We make hand-poured soy candles using a natural soy wax, premium fragrances, and cotton wicks. All of our candles are hand-poured in small batches to ensure quality for our customers. What sets our candles apart from others is their flare of Latinx culture with unique names and corresponding taglines. They’re relatable, humorous, real, authentic.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as creating a goal, devising a plan, and then achieving your goal. I personally always try to have goals that are in line with what I love or enjoy doing! I take my notes, set up timelines, and get to where I want to be.
- Website: www.velitasrei.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @velitasrei
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/velitasrei/