As I continue my journey to change my ways from fast consumerism to a more sustainable lifestyle, I have discovered so many amazing sustainable and ethical brands which has led me to connect with real-life individuals who are smart, driven and business savvy. Meet Tania Py, founder of Tree Candle. A company that sells handmade Eco-friendly soy wax candles that are poured into different natural containers such as bamboos, coconut and seashells. Read my interview with Tania Py to know more about Tree Candle.
For our readers to know more about the woman behind Tree Candle, could you start by telling us about yourself and your background?
Sure. I grow up in a farm in South Brazil and there I learned the importance of protecting the environment. I graduated in Communications with emphasis in Marketing at the Catholic University in Porto Alegre. My first job was at Xerox Corporation where I learned so much more about business and marketing than the 4 years at the university... I moved to Los Angeles - California in 1999 where I worked for a Xerox agency in Century City. In 2012 my husband and I moved to Florida where I worked for Microsoft for 2 1/2 years. I left Microsoft in October 2015 with the goal of helping my husband on his company that was starting to grow and needed help to go to the next step. After about 4 months I found myself with a lot of free time and started to think what to do next.
What is Tree Candle?
Tree Candle is a home-based company that is committed to have as many trees planted as possible. We manufacture 100% Eco Soy wax candles hand poured into natural containers like seashells, bamboos and coconut shells. We have a commitment to plant a tree for each purchase made.
Photo Credit: BLOGWITHLIPS
How did the idea of starting your own candle business originated from?
Everything started when Bruno, my step-son came to visit my husband and I in February 2016. During his visit, I told him of my love for handmade products and my dream of starting my own business. That is when he suggested a handmade candle company. Not only that, Bruno also suggested the name of the company and gave me all the tools to start it. He is one of the founders of Sand Cloud Towels. An awesome company that donates 10% of its net profits to the marine life.
All your candles are made with high quality Eco soy wax, are all natural and are not tested on animals. What is the motivation behind selling Eco-friendly and sustainable products?
Natural products use to be only products available when my grandma was around (beginning of 1900s). Then, the industrialization came along and all the sudden, natural products were banned as not as good or not as effective. Nowadays people are realizing that natural products offer no danger to our health and are much more effective than many industrialized products. I will always fight/defend a more natural world. Where people will try the natural products before going for artificial/industrialized products.
Photo Credit: BLOGWITHLIPS
Photo Credit: BLOGWITHLIPS
How does owning an Eco-friendly business affect you personally when it’s time to shop for yourself and your family?
I always look for Eco-friendly products. I haven't always been able to purchase natural products as they used to be very expensive. But now, more than ever, we find Eco-friendly products at a very reasonable price. In terms of fruits and vegetables, the key is try to purchase what it is in season and for that, I like to go to the small stores that offer locally grown fruits and vegetables. There are many places, local business that offer a variety of products that are Eco-friendly, natural and many times, handmade or locally grown.
What are the challenges you’ve come up against since you’ve started your own company?
The biggest challenge we came across every day is how to keep our products on our potential customer minds when it comes the time for them to purchase a gift for themselves or for their friends and family. For that, we have built a team of ambassadors that help us to promote the company and cause on social media. But that is not enough. So, we decided to start advertising. We were contacted by Vogue magazine in the UK to advertise in their December issue. The one that commemorates their 100-year anniversary. We decided to give it a shot. Hopefully will make a difference. Enough so we feel more confident with the future of the company.
Another very big challenge is to keep bringing new products to our line of candles. Since we first started, our ambassadors have requested us to have products that they could proudly wear. Which obviously could not be candles... Because of that we decided to offer t-shirts and mugs. The problem is that t-shirts and mugs don't go along with the idea of offering 100% natural products... that is why we hesitated so much. But, that will allow us to still commit to have a tree planted for each purchase made. We now have 3 different t-shirt designs in different colors and 3 different mugs designs as well. Let's see how will that go.
Photo Credit: TREE CANDLE
Photo Credit: TREE CANDLE
What is the best advice you’ve received from other businesswomen, if any?
I haven't received any advice from other businesswomen. Bruno is the one who keeps giving me advice. He has a vast experience with the type of company we are building. Sand Cloud has been in business for almost 4 years now. So, they are many steps ahead of Tree Candle. I go to him every time I have a question/problem.
As a woman entrepreneur, what advice would you give to other women who are in the process of starting their own business?
My advice to other women is to pursue their dreams but always having the reality of it in their minds. Being an entrepreneur means to be committed to your business 24/7. You see, when you work as an employee, your job is usually Monday to Friday from 9 to 5. When you are an entrepreneur, even when you are not "physically" working, your mind is always working.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
That is very difficult... specially because Tree Candle is a home-based company. Before I used to go home to relax and recharge. Now, I have to get out of my home in order to really relax and have some quality time with my husband. It was not easy in the beginning... but now my husband and I worked on a schedule where we have at least 3 "free" hours daily and at least 1 free day every weekend where neither of us is allowed to talk about business.
In a world, mostly ruled by men, what do you think is the most significant obstacles to women’s leadership?
I believe that nowadays we don't have as many obstacles as we use to have with women's leadership. More and more women are getting into positions of leadership and performing with absolute success. We still face the problem with the compensation part of it. Men still make about 20% more money than women when executing the same job. I just learn that it will take another 200 years for that to change... But it is up to every woman to fight for it. Just so we can change this reality faster.
Do you have any plans to expand Tree Candle?
Yes. We do have plans to expand. But we are too new as a company. We need to became more solid to be able to go to the next step. My dream is to have a strong and solid company that will be able to invite our Ambassadors to go with us around the globe helping non-profit organizations to plant trees.
Where can we purchase your products?
Everyone is invited to visit our website www.treecandle.com to find our line of Candles, Mugs and T-shirts. Our candles are also available on Etsy. Also, if anyone would like to become an ambassador for Tree Candle, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the details.
I would like to thank you for this interview. This is my first and I loved the opportunity to tell people more about our company and cause.
A tree is planted with every purchased. Use code BLOGWITHLIPS to get 30% off on your order at www.treecandle.com
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