ImagiNation with Monica O'Flaherty

KINFOLK

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Occupation: Co-Owner, Kinfolk of Mine Candles

Favorite Productivity Tool: My most favorite productivity tool that my team uses everyday is an Electric Turkey Roaster to melt our soy wax and make candles.

Most Recommended App: Calm

Last Thing You Read: You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero — Awesome confidence builder and affirmations for being prosperous.  My mantra is “Prosper me lord so I can prosper others.”  Something that my cousin and business partner read to each other on challenging days is The Dailyword by Unity. It calms us down and helps us refocus on what is really important to us.

Tell us about your journey? My cousin Angela and myself started making candles at Thanksgiving for teacher and friend gifts four years ago. Shortly after that we started cold calling stores that we thought would love our American-made product and clever sayings. Confidence in going into a retailer and asking for a wholesale account comes from Angela's experience as an owner of a wholesale jewelry line. I had joined her over the years at market because even though I had left my cooperate job in sales to be a photographer, I LOVE SALES!  We suddenly also had customers finding us on Etsy wholesale. Much to our surprise we were both in our PJ's cooking wax in Turkey Roasters in our kitchens making candles. We come from a farming family and both love to cook so this feels kinda like canning. Between attending craft shows with our family and trying to make wholesale orders that were flowing in I decided I needed help making my batches. Maybe it had something to do with a candle that was returned that I had made with no wick! My husband fondly named it the Infinity Candle, it will never burn out! I also had made a batch with no scent, this became Plain Jane! Oh my I'm really not good at consistent production work for sure! So I told my cousin if I couldn't find help with production I was going to quit. I searched for a not-for-profit that I could teach a skill to and pay them to produce my orders. After many No's, I received a YES from a center training disabled individuals near my home. Little did I know these women would change my life for the better. I fell in love with these two women who I call "My Girls"!  They bring so much joy to me and I can't wait to see them each week. They are so PROUD of their jobs and can now make a whole order from start to finish! It's a thrill to watch their confidence increase and the bond we have is incredible.

What's your favorite part of your day? Sunset! I live about a mile from the beach in Florida. This is a time my husband and I can talk about our day while witnessing a gorgeous sky. It leaves us feeling grateful for this beautiful life we have.

When do you feel most successful? We have two children 23 and 17. I feel most successful when I witness my kids doing something they really love to do — art, creating something from nothing and cooking.

What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained? Going to the beach by myself to float, swim, read and nap alway recharges my batteries. Bonus if my husband walks down and brings me a cocktail for sunset!

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? Just get started even if you don't have it all together.  The universe supports ACTION not all the ideas in your head.

How do you optimize your day? Optimizing my schedule has to do with making commitments that I have to keep because I don't want to disappoint someone. ie my workers, customers, family etc. I go to the center every Tuesday and Friday and it's a highlight of my week.

Who is the person/people who allowed you to imagine more? My cousin Angela and my husband Marty.  Angela has a very successful jewelry business that I use to help with sometimes. Her confidence in doing one-of-a-kind vintage jewelry inspired me to think outside the box career wise. My husband also supported my choice to leave corporate America to dive into being my own boss.

What does imagining more mean to you and your story? An internal confidence that I can do anything and everything is possible. It's all an inside job! Imagining more is currently giving back to the center "My Girls" work at by remodeling it for all the individuals there. We can be successful in more ways than one. A deep sense of pride comes from improving their center and making it a place they can be really proud of.  
If you could do more of one thing every day what would it be? Telling the story of the positive impact of working with individuals with all types of gifts.