Friday, June 1, 2012

Shameless Self-Promotion

I'm going to start this entry with a little backstory about me...  Before my current "career" as a homemaker, I had been a computer tech and database designer for twelve years, working at the same employer from 1997 until I was 'let go' unexpectedly just before Christmas of 2009.  A little over a year later, in March of 2011, I finally found work as a personal caregiver for a man with cerebral palsy, which was a big change, but I felt needed in ways I never had in IT and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, after less than a month I suffered a serious back injury on the job and was no longer able to perform my duties.  This left my left leg permanently impaired and left me unemployed again--but now my job search was limited to jobs I would be physically able to do, and employers who would take a chance on an applicant with a physical impairment. 

My "Moon Flower" test pillar
Meanwhile at home, my partner and I love candles--they are one of the things I am most passionate about (aside from food of course).  We had been using PartyLite, but had been finding recently that their quality seemed to be going off--less fragrance, and less consistent burning.  I also tried some from a couple of popular small, independent candlemakers, and while the fragrances were great, some of the candles just didn't burn right at all, and would either smoke incessantly or drown themselves out.  Not to mention that candles get expensive when one of us is chronically unemployed!  Since I had time on my hands, and since we weren't having luck buying candles we were happy with, we decided I should order some supplies and try my hand at making our own.  I did discover that crafting a quality candle is a little more complicated than it sounds--but I also found out that I very much enjoyed it and after a short learning curve, I was able to make lovely candles that we were happy with and that burned beautifully!

We even got pretty boxes for the
candles!  My computer background
came in handy designing the labels. :)
We shared a few of them with family and friends, who all agreed that they were very nice, and that is when we got to thinking that maybe I should make them into a business of my own.  So, after another learning curve for building an e-commerce website, Paradise Lake Candles was born.  The website is a work in progress, but it is very much a labor of love--we're having a great time testing new fragrances for the site.  (As of this writing, one of the ones that is currently in testing called "Moon Flower" might be a new favorite of mine!)  I'm hoping that soon I can start contributing to the household again with my candles.  If I could make a living doing something I enjoy as much as candlemaking, then Paradise Lake would live up to its name for me. ^_^

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