We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Kirstos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sara, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting my own business was somewhat of a happy accident. Travel had always been integral to who I was even before I ever got on a plane. I had pictures of places I planned on going when I was younger plastered all over my walls. I fantasized about traveling the world and romanticized it too. And when I eventually did travel I had already checked off all of those places on my list. I had so much appreciation for all of the experiences I had thus far and found myself going back there in my head often. I remembered walks down cobblestone streets of Siena to a perfumery I frequented. For years I couldn’t get the aroma of that little boutique out of my head and would find myself going to grab the emptied perfume bottle I had from those days just so I could remember. I would daydream about the aromas from tea rooms that I spent a lot of time in. Even the crispness of the alpine air of Switzerland was just so memorable to me that I was almost desperate to hold onto those memories. Back then I was really into D.I.Y. home decor projects (still am) and thought why not create some candles and create some kind of memento for myself. It was so easy for me to recall very specific aroma cues of a place and suddenly I was creating several candles of different places. It was like my own way of story telling that I wanted to share. Coupled with the fact that I am a big believer in self-care practices, it made sense that I would start a business around candles.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’d like to think what sets me apart from others is my vision and imagination. I’ve always been driven by those two things in my life and I feel excited about the fact that they can take my ideas for my little candle shop further. In terms of where I’m at currently, I’m definitely in the early stages of it and still have a long way to go. It hasn’t been easy staying the course to be honest, but I’ve learned that it’s important to stay passionate and remember your vision and your goals. I would love for the world to know that while my business/brand was inspired by travel, in the future I’m hoping to incorporate more products that lend itself to self-care and elevating a moment or experience wherever you are.
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?
I love the super casual side of L.A. like the Westside. I would probably center most of our outings around artisan coffee shops because that’s very much my vibe. Plenty of places for some cool hikes, Franklin Canyon Park is my favorite, it’s huge, beautiful and you could and usually do spend hours there. I also love The Huntington and definitely think it’s worth a visit. A stroll along the Venice canals and even down Abbott Kinney would be another must. Maybe a visit to the Americana, the Grove, Melrose. Did I mention most of this would be centered around food. So plenty of great options there at just about every corner just depends where you spend your day. And of course the beaches, from Venice Beach to Manhattan and Malibu….plenty of time for fun in the sun.
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?
Yes! I’d love to give a shoutout to Mona Tehrani who has been basically spearheading the mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and transform the lives of stray, abandoned, senior and medical dogs for over a decade. While we’ve been side-by-side as partners of DogTag: You’re It! Independent Rescue Group, her endless passion, selflessness and undying compassion for animals is inspiring beyond words. For more information on how to donate to DogTag: You’re It or become a foster or adoptive parent reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!
All images are my own!