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Meet Tiffany Kelly of Little Maya Moonbeam in East Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Kelly.

Tiffany, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
If you ask me how I’ve started anything in the past eight years, the answer will most likely include some mention of Maya. As cliché as it sounds, she inspires me more than anything and obviously, without her, Little Maya Moonbeam wouldn’t exist.

I started LMM in 2017, when I found myself stuck in a place where I was lacking creativity and passion for the first time in my life. I spent a solid 5-6 months prioritizing work over – well, nearly everything – and because of that, Maya ended up spending more and more time on her tablet. I remember slowly coming to the realization that I was turning into the person and parent I said I’d never become. I knew I had to make some changes to restore my creative drive and a healthy work-life balance.

I started carving out time for fun projects and activities Maya and I could enjoy together that didn’t involve screens, monotony and disconnect. We ended up buying our first candle-making kit and instantly fell in love. An existing hobby of ours, collecting crystals from local shops, is what inspired us to make our first crystal candle. A few crystal candles later, Maya told me she wanted to sell them to her friends at school. I was impressed by her little entrepreneurial spirit and, having similar thoughts myself, wanted to encourage the concept. I decided Etsy would be a great place to start and a fun way to teach Maya some of the important life lessons not typically taught at school.

Since then, LMM has evolved and I’ve incorporated my career in digital advertising to help other small businesses succeed as well. In addition to Etsy and our website, we sell at local pop-up markets, occasionally host events and Maya has developed some impressive customer service skills. It’s been amazing to watch her learn the value of hard work, patience, being a self-starter, believing in yourself and even profit and loss or the occasional failure. Best of all, she’s learned that she can turn her visions into reality and succeed in something she’s truly passionate about with the right amount of creativity and determination. To me, that’s the real reward and ultimate measure of success, especially because our children are our future.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road, but I think it’s important to embrace that and appreciate it. I will always struggle with the concept of a healthy work-life balance because I am lucky enough to love what I do, making it hard to walk away at times.

In addition, I’ve always been overly-ambitious when it comes to personal success, my career and vision in general. A big reason for that is because I wasn’t dealt the best hand in life and, instead of taking the same path, I chose to use that as motivation to do and be better.

On top of Maya and a time-consuming career, it can be difficult to find the time to fulfill LMM orders, make candles or bracelets and update Etsy listings. However, it always gets done and is always time well-spent because I enjoy the process.

Please tell us about Little Maya Moonbeam.
Little Maya Moonbeam is a shop and blog that specializes in crystal candles, custom gifts, various creative services and digital direction. But to elaborate, it isn’t just a side project, a hobby or even a necessary second source of income. LMM was born out of passion, purpose and creative intent.

We don’t sell candles because we have to, we do it because we love the process of creating them and watching other people enjoy them. The same is true for digital services as I already have a full-time career in digital. I offer digital direction to other small businesses through LMM because it’s what I’m passionate about and it’s rewarding to help them succeed.

I started my career in digital nearly a decade ago – in digital advertising, marketing, branding, and more recently product management. In that time, I’ve found that reliable and trustworthy people can be hard to come by in business. I believe character is everything and the keys to success are kindness, grit, curiosity, empathy and truly loving what you do. I think that shows in my work and, if anything, that is what sets me apart from others. Some simple advice I stand by – “Work hard and be a nice human.” It will get you further than you think.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Lessons learned are valuable and necessary for growth so I wouldn’t do anything differently if I had to start over.

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Image Credit:
Denise Black, Jason Black

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