I’m so excited to announce our new blog series “ Meet the Makers”. We’re taking you an intimate journey with Cozy with Posey’s wonderful vendors and their beautiful products. We hope you enjoy learning about them as much as we did. We’re starting this series off with Shakira from Ritual + Fancy.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Shakira and I make botanical tools that are designed to improve your space and spirit — including natural candles, bath care, and more.
Can you walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I burned out twice while working in the tech startups sphere as an event planner. I planned local, national, and international events for Fortune 500 companies and emerging startups. For me, this was a wild ride that was exciting and demanding but inevitably perpetuated a lifestyle that took a serious toll on my health and wellness.
It was a chaotic path, but one I’m ultimately grateful to have walked. Challenges create the opportunity for growth and success. Burnout was the doorway to self devotion and care, and in time, a business and way of life that nourishes me and others.
BURNOUT… I wouldn’t recommend it, but I’m glad it happened.
I was constantly overexerting myself by working 10+ hour days and rarely nurturing my introverted and artistic side. Nourishing myself properly became increasingly difficult due to newly developing food “allergies,” brought on by stress. The lack of nutritional wellness led to unrestful sleep, constant anxiety dreams, and eventually, periodic bouts of insomnia. The absence of balance also impacted my relationships with myself and others. I was engaging in this constant abusive interior dialogue where I’d berate myself if I didn’t accomplish this impossible and never ending list of commitments.
I was overextended, underpaid, and freely giving away my energy, time, love and attention to one-sided relationships at work, with some friends, and even a few family members. There was nothing left for me and I just broke.
SO CANDLES …
I hit a wall and realized something needed to change. A couple of weeks of vacation turned into a 3 month journey where I began to develop my self care rituals. I painted daily, meditated, worked out, journaled, delved deeper into the tarot and other divinatory arts, traveled to see friends that fed my spirit, made time to play and just be happy in the moment.
During my meditations, I would light candles. After a while I realized I was getting awful headaches from all my pretty designer candles. Even though a lot of the candles were made with quality soy wax, they still incorporated synthetic fragrances and other additives that were making me sick.
So, I started making my own all natural candles free of nasty additives. Eventually, I began sharing them with friends, family, and colleagues.
Fast forward a few years, I moved to Portland, ditched the stressful gig, doubled down on being true to myself, and officially became a maker of natural tools for beautiful moments.
Take us behind the scenes, what does your day to day look like?
I wake up, shower or take a quick bath, spend some time with my husband and animals while we drink coffee. Then, I walk to my studio, a separate building on our land about 100 ft from the house. I smudge the studio and myself with herb bundles that I've grown and harvested myself. Set an intention for the day. Consult my calendar and to do list then get to work. I start responding to emails and packing up online orders then, I roll up my sleeve and make candles and bath products. I end the day by tending to the garden or greenhouse (depending on the time of the year).
I play music and podcasts the whole time I work to infuse my goods with some extra loving energy. Monday's I listen to news and do the NPR deep dive, Tuesday I listen to industry related podcasts. Wednesday is about self-care and checking in mid-week for a recharge. Thursday and Friday are wild cards. Mostly music and fun audio books. A few times a week, I challenge myself to an hour of silence.
What’s your favorite part about owning a business?
I love owning my time. I make the rules and the structure.
What are your mission and values?
Inspired by ancient herbal wisdom from around the globe, our luxurious aromatherapy candles, home decor, and bath & beauty products are designed to bring about a sense of balance and relaxation. We use therapeutic-grade, ethically sourced materials to infuse our creations with real healing power and a little bit of magic.
Woman-owned and minority run, we hand produce each item in Portland (Oregon) for a greater conscious community. In an effort to support the creative, maker, and social good economies, we work exclusively with small businesses, boutiques, and markets. At year end, we donate 1% of profits to our favorite social causes.
What are you most proud of?
I'm really proud of this little business! Growth - It's growing everyday in spite of the constant challenges of raising a business from seed and navigating it through a pandemic and deeply uncertain economy. It's not easy but it's working.
I'm also very proud of our level of craftsmanship. There are a lot of companies coming out with candles adorned with flowers. We design each candle carefully to balance the shapes, colors, a overall look of the candle. I feel the attention to detail really shows and people respond to it.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
My personal outlets include painting and basically anything crafty. I LOVE to travel. Before I went to university abroad for all four years (2 years in Switzerland, 2 years in Italy).
Long term, I plan to open up a RITUAL + FANCY estate in Italy with a little farm, a make space, a farm to table restaurant, spa, and accommodations.
Check out Shakira's wonderful candles on our site!