In Conversation with Shavaun Christian of Spoken Flames

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Describe your business in a few words?

Spoken Flames makes immersive candle experiences that engage your senses and enrich your downtime.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

My desire to shake up a centuries-old candle experience. Instead of ‘light it and forget it,’ what if a candle could do more? Mean more? So I’ve reimagined a self-care staple (candles) as an active and more engaging product experience and am committed to the philosophy that ‘me time’ should be a time to immerse yourself in all the parts of you. From your fingers to your toes, to the corners of your mind; focus on your whole being. 

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

For over 12 years, I served ad agencies, startups and global brands through brand strategy and design.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Yes and no. When I was about 9 or 10, I hosted my first “garage sale” inside the apartment which I shared with my family. I recall the night before this first entrepreneurial endeavor, I visualized my parents showing up to my room (with their fanny packs—that’s where they kept their money at the time) and buying everything from my books to my plastic jewelry collection. I was so sure of the success of my “garage sale” the night before. But on the day of, no one showed up to my bedroom garage sale. In hindsight, that little ambitious visionary in me had entrepreneurial foresight, but it wasn’t until my early 30s did I embrace that passion and define it as entrepreneurship.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

With more people at home and craving unique experiences, the pandemic has presented an opportunity for Spoken Flames to fill that need. We’re intentional about our candles being immersive and meaningful. So it’s not just another candle in your home, it’s a multisensory experience and a source of motivation for your mantle (or desk, or dresser).

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Our immersive approach to self-care informs the craft of our multisensory candles, and the future of Spoken Flames. Expect Spoken Flames to continue to explore immersive self-care strategies and experiences, even beyond candles.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

Time is the most valuable resource. Spend and share it wisely.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

That it’s okay and, arguably, necessary to take risks.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

A lot of naps, candles and sitting in silence—generally near a window to hear the birds chirp and the trees bustle. Grounding myself in naturally occurring sounds, or no sound at all, has helped restore peace amid a chaotic year.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

Yes! There’s a pace for work and a pace for life, and a delicate balance to separate and enjoy both. My best tip would be to establish boundaries for what is ‘work’ and what is ‘life’ as a concept, and in context of your lifestyle and schedule.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a conversational Spanish speaker who studied the language abroad while in college and even received a minor in Spanish. 

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Write it down: keep track of and prioritize daily tasks.
  • Be a “time minimalist:” plan to achieve less than what you think you can in a day to remain productive, but not overwhelmed.
  • Take a midday break: work up a sweat, get out of your ‘zone’ or mix up the scent in your space as a means to reset and revive the energy of your day!

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

Being an Entreprenista means acting with confidence and self-belief that’s so strong, it inspires others to recognize the greatness within themselves to pursue their own wildest dreams.

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