Our Small-Business Interview Of The Week
D’Shawn Russell of Souther Elegance Candle Company
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is D’Shawn Russell and I am the founder of Southern Elegance Candle Company. We create hand poured soy candles that celebrate everything there is to love about the south: the aromas, the flavors, the traditions and the storied cities.
What were you doing before you started your business venture?
I was teaching young minds.
What is one of the biggest obstacles you faced when first starting out?
The biggest obstacle starting out was figuring out who my target audience is. What are you doing and why? As first, we tried to please everybody. We carried ALOT of fragrances and would create custom candles. It eventually became too much. Once I figured out what my passion is, applying that to my business was easier.
If you could give a rising entrepreneur one solid piece of advice what would it be?
Mainly that failing is a part of the process. Insecurities are a part of the process. All the negative stuff is a part of the process. It will not be all rainbows and unicorns! Too many times we quit right at the finish line. Rejection and failure is hard, but you should use it as motivation to move forward.
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Sleep. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it is a true luxury. And if I’m really feeling extra tired…. Vodka and cranberry!
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