Meet Your Maker-Co-op of Creation

This week on MYM we have Desiree from Co-op of Creation. Desiree makes some of the most intricate and beautiful candles ive ever seen. When I saw her work on instagram I was so amazed and knew I had to reach out to her for this series. You definitely need to check out her shop and show her fantastic work some love.

Introduce yourself and your business.

I'm Desiree, the creator behind the candles and ritual wares offered at Co-op of Creation. We offer artisan soy and beeswax candles made with attitude and intent, and my husband does the woodworking and technical instruction side of our business.

How did you launch your business & what made you want to start a small business?

I originally started by offering my handmade creations at a small local market and online for friends. I stumbled into candle making after a life long obsession and it grew from there. Candles and ritual goods turned into my passion because I was always on the hunt for a scent that I loved, and could never find one. My goal was to create candles with unique scent combinations, that scent your room and inspire a feeling- whether its a warm and cozy feeling, or a fuck-you feeling.

What are some struggles you had starting your business and how did you over come them?

In the beginning I definitely struggled with criticism, and with my own self doubt. They are still things I struggle with. I also struggle with the social media aspect of it; I think most makers understand the struggle for balance between your craft and all the platforms to maintain to help drum up business. I handle it by keeping myself too busy to linger on any doubts I may have about my work or about someone's comment- if I am busy making things and coming up with new creations then eventually the thoughts fall by the way side. I always try to keep momentum!

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from everyone and everything around me! My crappy attitude from my day job, people I've spoken to through out the day, stories I've ready, trails I've hiked, the asshole who cut me off in traffic.

What motivates you as a maker?

I am motivated by the feeling I get when I make create a scent combination that makes people react viscerally. Its such a thrill to see someone get as excited about my work as I am! Im also motivated by the relationships I've formed with customers and fellow makers over the last few years. As a generally antisocial person, making these things offer a way for me to reach out to people in a different way and its been a pretty pleasant experience.

What is a goal you set for yourself as a maker/artist and how did you achieve it?

In the last year, after another successful maker friend took me aside and gave me some advice about my previous candle labels, I had my feelings hurt a bit. I took the advice and brought it back to my husband who agreed with that persons observations. We made a goal to completely change up the labeling to match what we had originally envisioned when we started this venture. It took a lot of work and saving and scrimping and eating a little humble pie but the result was better than I ever imagined! It gave me a sense of pride to see my product look like something that I wouldn't mind buying in an actual brick and mortar, and has opened a few opportunities to have my candles in actual shops.

What is your favorite part of being a maker?

My favorite part of being a maker is turning on some music and just letting it all flow out. Testing out crazy ideas, trying weird combinations, really seeping myself in the mythology that inspires a lot of my ritual candles. Its incredibly cathartic.

Do you have any tips for new makers/ small business owners?

My tip for a small business owner would be to utilize social media to find a few makers who can commiserate and offer support. Its a hard thing to take on, and sometimes you wonder why you are doing it, but if its really what makes you happy its important to push through the doubts that pop up and keep moving forward. Also, save receipts. Im terrible at that 😁

What are some hobbies or interests you have outside of your small business?

I love anything horror, backpacking, and I've recently taken up cross stitch in an attempt to find a hobby that I won't add to the shop- a hobby just for a hobby's sake! I also started a podcast not too long ago about history, science and witchcraft called Pinecones and Moonstones that has been a hoot to work on.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I adore the Aliens movies and David Bowie to a disturbing degree.

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