Jen Trammel is the founder and owner of Rooted In Collective. All ingredients used for Rooted In Collective candles are carefully chosen for their high quality and clean burning performance: a combination of organic coconut-soy-beeswax; plant-based and essential oil blends; raw wooden wicks that provide a soothing, soft crackle; phthalate-free; dye-free; paraffin-free; and practical and simple candle jars that are easily repurposed.
We asked her how she turned a disappointing crafting experience into a viable creative business, and how to nurture your creative side with self-care.
Rooted In Collective was born from a disappointing home candle making kit. Can you elaborate on how that experience transformed into a business?
Yes, what started out as curiosity in the craft store turned to disappointment in my kitchen with a less than quality candle. I was actually visiting craft stores on a regular basis trying to find something that would take care of the creative itch I felt brewing in me for years. I had been an elementary school teacher for a stint, a stay-at-home mom for many years, and as my kids were quickly becoming more independent I felt this deep need to "raise" something else, like maybe growing a business from the ground up.
That disappointing craft store candle experience quickly transformed into a challenge/obsession of figuring out how to make a really quality candle. What I lacked in formal business education and training I made up for in passion and genuine interest. I dove head first in the research of candle making and found that there was a very strong balance between the art of candle making and the science of candle making, which I loved.
I also did research on market trends, learning about the viability of the candle industry forecasted over the next decade or so. Everything I read pointed towards growth and expansion for the candle market, so I took that as my green-light-go.
Fast forward several months and many, many batches of flubs and failures later and I had fine-tuned my candle making into something I felt really proud of, with clean burning ingredients being paramount (no paraffin, no phthalates, no dyes, no additives, no synthetic color stabilizers) and a crackling, raw wooden wick setting my candles apart from the mass of typical candles on stores shelves.
I owe my sweet community in Yakima all my thanks...there's a strong entrepreneurial spirit in this town; "local love" and support is a real thing. It's the reason Rooted In has continued to grow and spread into communities around the PNW and beyond.
Candles are such a self-care item, which seems so important now. What do you do to balance nurturing your creativity with the more stressful sides of being a creative business owner?
That is such an important question. I tend to get laser focused on whatever I'm doing and starting a business from scratch has been no exception. For years now, my go-to stress relief has been exercise.
When I'm on a run I tend to get super creative and ideas become clearer for me; cardio helps me release built up tension; and yoga helps me settle down.
One new habit I've been adding to my bedtime routine is doing a "brain dump" every night. On my nightstand, I keep a notepad/pen and write down every random thought that comes to mind. Not really a journal but more of a list. That way I can close down my active mind and actually sleep. I'm finding it works and, bonus, my to-do list for the next day is already done.