We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Alvarado and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michelle, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I work a 9-5 on top of running a growing business and it isn’t easy at all. I’m not good with time management, diagnosed with ADD when I was 15. I’m hyper-aware of my mental health. I really have to push myself and give myself timelines and deadlines to stay on track. I have two planners, multiple notebooks and pieces of scratch paper with lists and reminders. With the pandemic, its almost been easier to manage because I don’t have the distraction of a social life (going out with my friends, etc).

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Candle making is an art. There is so much to making the perfect candle. From weighing wax and fragrance oils to pouring the wax at the perfect speed and temperature. It took a lot of trial and error but I have mastered how to make a sustainable candle that smells incredible. All of my candles are scented with in-house blended fragrances; meaning no basic scents here. We don’t use scents straight from the bottle, we blend and test mixtures until the perfect feeling is evoked. I want the world to know that when they’re buying a VGA candle they are getting a one-of-a-kind product that is sustainable and carefully handcrafted.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Food: 405 Teppanyaki Food Truck
Myke’s Cafe
DoughGirl Pizza
Dave’s Hot Chicken
Raffi’s Place
Marugame Udon
Raising Cane’s
R Coffee House

O’Melveny Park
Victory Trailhead
Chatsworth area hikes
Backbone Trail
Griffith Park

Reseda Point
Mulholland Drive
Topanga Canyon

Hang Out:
Descanso Gardens
Japanese Garden (Van Nuys)
San Fernando Mission
Pio Pico Adobe (Mission Hills)
Los Encinos State Historic Park

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?
My boyfriend, Michael Watkins. He has pushed me to keep going and is always there to pick up my slack. He helps me make candles as well as run the financial side of the business. He prefers to be in the background of operations but without him none of it would be possible. He is a perfectionist while I’m the dreamer and without him my business would have stayed in the hobby stage.

Website: www.valleygirlcandles.com

Instagram: valleygirlapothecary

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.