We had the good fortune of connecting with Shontei Hampton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shontei, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Thoughts, oh how provoking they can be. It was one of the most challenging times in my life thus far. I had the opportunity to take a risk and make a decision that would change my life in its entirety. Leaps and bounds of full sacrifice would have to be reflected upon. Who was I too even think this was something that I could accomplish. It was a Thursday middle of the night phone call that would be the pinnacle of what true destiny begins to look like within ones life that holds so many coveted pieces.
A new life entered this world for greater good. The greatness of life continuing for a purpose. I was in a dark space having to pull myself up to be a new mom to a child I didn’t conceive. It was a moment where I was positioned to STAND IN MY GREATNESS and take a risk into further seeing who I AM! A moment that I asked for without saying the words. An opportunity to gain skills and experiences that would further enlighten my personal life journey.
My sister gave birth to a baby at 25 weeks gestation. 6 months and 5 days to be exact. A fragile 1 lb 12 oz baby boy was asked to be placed on my heart. As preparation back home began to take place I learned that my love for candles would have to take a back seat due to the ingredients in some of my favorite candle scents. Not wanting to give up my love of candles I went researching how to have more natural healing candles in my home with a new baby.
From this adventure, I learned how to make my own candles. It was such a great accomplishment for me that I wanted to share with my loved ones and others I just wanted to pour love into. A gift that would keep their inner light shining. What I thought was for him transitioned into an opportunity to be more intentional with my being while still holding space for the things and people I loved. I ended up leaving my day job to be a full-time home parent to my nephew. As finances began to take a toll on my household I couldn’t reverse my decision to care for my nephew. So, I sat with myself asking myself some hard questions.
It was the gut feeling I received that said Keep Shining. So I made more candles. What started off as a hobby of Self Care for myself created a stream of income and opportunity for strong social and emotional wellbeing for my family. Just like that supplies were ordered and now I am here being featured in sharing my love to give others the opportunities to love on themselves. This is where Lit Unity became “More Than A Candle”. We have became a safe space to reflect on our experiences through one of our Journaling With Tei sessions. Making connections with our creativity during one of our Sip & Scented candle making workshops to becoming one with self though a Yoga flow with Let’s Get Real with Wellness events.
Such an honor to honor those who want to be seen and heard!
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.
Growing up I didn’t think I had any talents. You know there are those times when you are asked what are you good at. You’re left thinking about all the societal expectations of a girl like me. Tall, smart and beautiful. You must play a sport. Model or at least play an instrument. I didn’t dance or sing well. No sports that I was exceptional at. I didn’t have any cool or exciting tricks I could do. Heck, I couldn’t even have friends in my home to even enjoy getting to know myself in a fun way.
Since I could remember I was a lover. I loved helping others. I loved seeing and feeling the energy from others when they received my act of service. It wasn’t until my senior advisor said to me “You are always so positive no matter what your are experiencing” where It made me think of just how challenging my life was and where did I get the opportunity that I so loved seeing with others for myself. It was in that moment that I said “Im still here”. I had to make something out of my life even if I wasn’t receiving the love that I should have to further encourage me.
Realizing that I desired loved from my loved ones left me disappointed in those that were supposed to love me. It was then I began indulging with ppl and activities that may have not been in alignment with my purpose at the time. Life got rough. I ended up homeless with my 2 year daughter at the time. I was forced to sleep in places I knew weren’t safe. I experienced heartache and still remained a nice person.
Through all the challenges I remained in thought although I’ve come into contact with some really harsh people I still had a desire to love and be loved. I got a job at a local telemarketing gig making great money. I was able to get a home for my daughter and I. I received the next level up at work due to my “nice” demeanor and hard work within the workplace. Doing all of this alone gave me more grit. A desire to make sure I was something more than just “The nice girl”
I continued my higher education from the notion of wanting to know how to effectively help people. I pursued a degree in Human Services. I was able to sharpen my skills further until I hit a road block. In helping people there was something missing. I needed to know why people did the things or behaved in the ways that they did. I then pursued my Bachelors of Science in Psychology. It was then that I had to opportunity to see and understand why my support system growing up wasn’t so supportive. This gave me more fire to help people see their need to be healed and why it was so important for the generations ahead.
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?
In celebrating the true Jersey Girl in me we would hit the beach and yes even during the winter. The shore area has so much to offer from the cheesiest slice of pizza to full experiences within all four beautiful seasons. Here were able to have close access to hitting the slopes , enjoying a cocktail on the rooftop of the famous Asbury Hotel, to even enjoying a night out at the famous Count Basie Theatre. The Jersey Shore has some of the most attractive sites around that feature some of the best small businesses whom I love to support. To get the day started id share a good seamoss smoothie from Griffys. A local all natural hot spot offering everything wellness. Id then get some movement in the body at a local yoga studio in Neptune with Sierra of Yogi Vibez.
After getting our energy right we’d take a trip to eat over at MacoBites. A local eatery full of great community vibes. Here you’re sure to feel the love and engage in great conversations with the owners David, Fritz and Jarret! We then take a moment for self to walk around the beautiful neighborhood to share all the great energy we built up. You never know how much a smile could touch someone right in your community. You know I share the love.
As the week progresses we of course need a resting moment. Here is where we take moment to listen to some local musicians at the Asbury Park Music Foundation. What’s day without great Music right. Id also take a moment to replenish the body at the local Salt Cave Studio. Maintaining the respiratory functioning for the great lives we enjoy living. Some of the best experiences are created here on the Jersey Shore, you should come see.
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 Shoutout goes to my support system! You all are appreciated to the max! The support and grit that I used from within gave me the strength to prosper from being intentional with where I wanted my life to go. I am grateful to my resilience. Grateful to my support system. Grateful for my challenges as I AM Enough!