We had the good fortune of connecting with Jillene Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jillene, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I always loved candles. I love everything about them. I love the way they smell, the way they light up a room, the ambiance they create and the way your favorite candle can make you feel after a stressful day. Unfortunately, my mom after defeating breast cancer became highly sensitive and allergic to home fragrance items. So much so, that having a highly fragrant unlit candle open near her would trigger a horrible coughing spell. So lighting up candles around her ended. I wanted her to enjoy candles again! I researched to find clean and safe waxes and fragrance oils, instructions on candle-making, and decided to try and make candles for her. I was successful and used coconut wax instead of paraffin wax, and found clean fragrance oils derived from essential oils. From the idea that I could bring a little joy back in her life, even as small as allowing her to enjoy scented candles again, my business was birthed.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Right now, Amethyst Soul Home specializes richly scented coconut wax container candles. Every candle is hand-mixed, hand-poured by me in small batches. There’s something that communicates love when you know an item has been specifically created just for you, and not mass produced. I value that because we were all created for a specific purpose and are unique. Amethyst Soul Home SouLuxe candle collection features limited edition luxury candles with fragrances sourced around the world. The SouLuxe collection has been carefully curated to connect with the soulful you, and transform your space into a peaceful oasis you’ll never want to leave. This is a one-woman show from start to finish. The first lessons I learned were in time management and energy management. I learned about what is and not worth your energy, and its okay to create boundaries around time. I’ve also learned several lessons in knowing when to ask for help. If you aren’t good at something, HIRE SOMEONE TO DO IT. Even when your budget is tight, you’ll save much time and money if you hire someone who is qualified to help you. Anything truly worth having rarely comes easy. It has not been an easy journey, but every day has been encouraging. Working a full-time job, taking on other creative tasks like writing, on top of being an “solopreneur” with a business that demands time in order to make money is indeed hard, very hard. A huge struggle has been the financial strain of financing the business as a single woman and balancing your other financial demands. Another challenge for me has been getting my brand out there to the masses with limited resources in an overly-saturated market. The success of Amethyst Soul Home relies on the personal connection the items evoke. When you love an item, and it’s something you love to be around, you spread the word; you show it off. Much of my business has come from word of mouth because everyone is pleasantly surprised by the quality and longevity of my candles. So, that is why I’m excited to offer hand-crafted coconut wax candles. I strive for perfection, take pride in them and make the candles with love. I believe people can sense that when they receive the final product.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m originally from Northern New Jersey. I moved to LA 6 years ago, so of course I have plenty of visitors (pre-COVID -19). I love taking everyone up to the Getty Center. The views are spectacular on a clear day and you can easily see the ocean as well as across the west side of LA. Although a few of my visitors requested to see Hollywood Boulevard, I usually stay clear of that area. I avoid it like New Yorker’s avoid Times Square. There’s too much going on there. Instead I enjoy taking my visitors to Manhattan beach for the day, or shopping at The Grove, or a hike at Fryman Canyon. I like to avoid all the touristy spots and introduce my guests to new experiences. I love taking them to Messob Ethiopian restaurant in Little Ethiopia, or support the Inglewood Mexican restaurant, Fiesta Martin. Day trips up PCH and through Topanga Canyon are always a delight.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I hate to give this generic answer, but I owe my success and drive to my Mom. She was one of the main inspirational forces behind the creation of my company. She has always been in my corner, even when she couldn’t see my full vision. Through all the mistakes and the evolution of my brand, she has been a cheerleader and promoted my products like no other. She holds me accountable, pushes me towards excellence and helps me elevate my brand. When things got financially tough for my business, she supported and helped me buy everything I needed to keep the company going. I can’t thank her enough. I’ll be forever in debt to her.