“Work hard and be nice to people.” In this episode, we chat with Sarah Spitsen, Chief Candle Lady and Food-Giver at Feya Candle, about how, despite living out of her van, she kept working hard and spreading love to build a successful candle business that gives back.
In this episode, Sarah Spitsen, Chief Candle Lady and Food Giver at Feya Candle, stops by to talk with us about her story of having to shut down her first business, to growing Feya Candle to where it is now!
Sarah has such a great story and has accomplished so much in her short time making Feya Candle what it is today. We dive into everything from her first brick and mortar candle store and the hardships of shutting that down due to financial reasons in 2013, all the way to starting Feya Candle and getting into various brick and mortar stores across the United States.
Inspired by her Granny Fe and Aunt Pamela, growing up around them she knew she loved feeding people as well as her new passion for making candles. So why not incorporate them together, and that is how Feya Candle began.
In the next 6 months, she had sold enough candles to warrant a trip to Haiti to help feed 153 children in need. That trip made such an impact on Sarah and planted a seed in her heart, she knew she was on the right path to happiness and success, but there was a long road ahead.
From there Sarah’s story takes a wild turn, where she ends up living out of her car for four months selling her candles to stores all across the country and using a portion of the proceeds to help feed people at 19 different homeless shelters in the cities she traveled to.
After her 6-month road trip across the US, she was off to a good start with 80 different stores carrying Feya Candles and has since set her goal to feed 1 million people by partnering with Kids Against Hunger.
Crate of Good featured Feya Candle as a product partner in our Spring 2019 box.
N Kristock: In this episode we chat with Sarah Spitsen Chief Candle Lady and Food Giver at Feya Candle about how despite living out of her van, she kept working hard and spreading love to build a successful candle business that gives back.
N Kristock: Welcome, welcome. You’re listening to The Science of Social Impact, a podcast from Crate of Good. We are on a mission to educate and inspire you to make social impact a key ingredient in your business and life. Thanks for joining. The time to make an impact is now.
N Kristock: December of 2013 and an entrepreneur is sitting at a table inside her store knowing that she has to close down. It’s a reality that so many businesses have to go through, but it’s one that we never think will happen to us and all the questions start to creep into her mind. Where do I go from here? What am I going to do next and how did we get here? Sitting at that table that evening was Sarah Spitsen. And friends, today we get to meet Sarah, the chief candle lady and food giver at Feya Candle. Sarah, welcome.
S Spitsen: Thank you for having me.
N Kristock: Absolute pleasure. Very excited to learn more about your story of Feya Candle and your journey of life. And as we start with everyone, we are going to jump right into what you believe. So Sarah, tell us, what do you believe, what is a core principle that you know to be true after your life’s work so far.
S Spitsen: After everything, all the ups and downs, the one thing I definitely firmly believe, is work hard and be nice to people. It’ll get you through anything,
N Kristock: Work hard and be nice to people. Well said, folks listening to this, if you can relate to that, that is a belief you have. Then let’s listen on and hear more about Sarah’s story. Work hard and be nice to people. So Sarah, take us back to the very beginning. We’re sitting at this store December of 2013 and we are staring failure in the face. Enter in Sarah.
S Spitsen: Absolutely failure in the face that actually that resonates with me very well when I’m thinking back to that time in life, I had hit what I would call one of my personal rock bottoms by that moment. I started a store on a whim. I had no clue what I was doing, but I loved it. In the first year I ended up getting divorced, had nowhere to live. It was pretty rough, could not pay my bills by any means, and was living off of a lot of IOUs. So I had to make the hard choice to close the store. I was, I was so far in over my head. It was ridiculous. And I had finally hit one of those moments that I felt a little desperate because I had no clue what I was going to do after that. I didn’t want to go work for somebody, but I didn’t have any, I had negative dollars instead of even just $0 dollars. $0 dollars would have been better.
S Spitsen: And it kind of just hit me. I went back to my upbringing. I was raised part of my life down in Southern Kentucky where my dad and a lot of my aunts and uncles lived and my Granny Fey and my Aunt Pamela were really inspirational and my upbringing, they were women who both had pretty extreme hardships throughout their life. But just to meet them, you would never know it because they were kind and they were loving and they were happy and just wonderful and most importantly to them, especially down in the South. They were phenomenal cooks and during my childhood I would get to watch them cook, hear about them speaking about cooking, towards the end started to teach me to cook and down there cooking is how you just show someone you love them, you’re taking care of them by feeding them and in almost one of those, you know, movie style lightning moments, it hit me.
S Spitsen: I know how to make candles because I guess I should’ve said my first company was a candle store and I know how to feed people and I know how to take care of people in that way and with the knowledge that people buy candles and people really need food out there, I realized that we can make a difference with what we’re doing and that’s how Feya began it all of a sudden, within a few minutes time, everything came together. We are going to sell candles. We’re going to give hungry children food. We’re going to call it Feya because we want this company to live like Fey and Pamela did.
N Kristock: I love it. That first business, the one that closed down in December of 2013 was there any social impact component to what that business was?
S Spitsen: There wasn’t. However, as I got more involved in the networking scene around my home city of Lincoln, Nebraska, I started joining because of being in business. I started joining nonprofit boards and committees and friends that also owned businesses. We actually started our own little nonprofit to raise money through events for other nonprofits and I realized that that was motivating me more then running the day to day business. I still love running the day to day business, but I was a little more excited to get out of bed when I knew I was going to do a give back event.
N Kristock: Awesome, so you’re running that previous candle business and it comes time to close down the doors. I mean starting one business is tough enough and then to fail at that one, that is a crushing blow. Talk to me about where you, where you dug in to find the courage to say, you know what, I can do this again and it’s actually gonna be candles again. But I can do it better this time.
S Spitsen: I continually believe in failing forward. It’s one of those to where if you don’t learn from your mistake, then it stays a mistake. But if you learn from it, you get to move forward and you can be better than last time. And I was raised by three parents actually. I had a real dad, a mom and a stepdad and all three of them, but really particularly my dads, they are such hard workers. And so when I say work hard and be nice to people, I really believe in that work hard. And if you fail once, that means you’re that much closer to getting to where you where you need to be. And so I considered all of those failures really lucky because I had enough of them that I figured I could be a lot closer to where I needed to be the next go round.
N Kristock: Awesome. So you are definitely also a product of the people that you have surrounded yourself with and your family members, specifically granny and auntie, who helped give you some of that courage to do what you’re doing now. And that giving spirit, which is awesome. So now it’s, in 2014 and as the years going along, your hatching this idea for what would be Feya Candle. And so talk me through what happens between, you know, December 31st, 2013, you close down business number one and then June, 2014 we officially launched Feya Candle. Talk us through those six months and it’s August through the feelings and the emotions and the strategy there.
S Spitsen: I think the theme of the, that first six months was in fact failure. I had so many product issues. Things would show up, broken things would show up not how I requested them. I was just, it was all over the place that for six months. But in six months I managed to sell 153 candles, which is pretty rough for trying to get going. However, that meant 150. Sorry, I think I just muted myself on accident. In six months I had the opportunity to raise that 153 meals and moving forward I was already connected with a lot of friends and now close acquaintances that were doing give back work in other countries. So I called up my friend Mark, he runs Jacob’s Well and also in Lincoln and I told him I wanted to hop on his next trip down to Haiti to help out. He was working with a community in Maui and building a school, a church, helping them get best business practices down and under their belt, just doing many things to make that community great because they were suffering so much. And so in June I hopped on a plane and I went out to Haiti. I had $153 in my pocket cause that’s how I did it. Then I just carried some cash and we bought food at the local market and, and that was our, that was our goal. That was my first giving trip down in Moe, Haiti.
N Kristock: Wow. So for those listening, if you haven’t added it up yet, Feya Candle has a social impact mission to provide meals to children in impoverished areas of the world, both domestically and abroad. And this is where we’ll get into really what is Sarah’s, the biggest problem that Sarah is trying to solve. So Sarah, tell us about the problem that you are most passionate about solving in this world.
S Spitsen: Always comes back to hunger for me. If you have a full tummy, there’s, I feel like no limit to what you can’t do or we can do, I apologize. And when children especially don’t have the means to acquire their own food and they don’t have enough food to live a healthy life, that just completely breaks my heart. That’s what hits me at the core. And so at Feya, we are feeding the world one candle at a time. We are trying to make our footprint on the world hunger issue and we’re, we’re continually moving forward with how we’re able to do that.
N Kristock: For sure. One of the things that we love to challenge listeners on this show is to think bigger. And I think that all all nonprofits, social impact for profit, I think we always need to be thinking bigger. And when we talk about world hunger, you know, those two words, they’re two short words. Very powerful. And probably too many people, there’s so many different images and pictures that come up in their head. But to put some scope around that problem, we know that according to the Food Aid Foundation, 795 million people don’t have enough food to live a healthy life. And that is staggering.
S Spitsen: It is. And when you think about the resources that our world has and all over the world, not just here in the US I feel like there’s gotta be a way that we can band together and change that number for the better and in a big way.
N Kristock: Absolutely. Some more research on world hunger starts to, we start to learn that according to the National Research Council, one in seven people are hungry. And so that stat is like, wow, one in seven, like I know seven friends. But let’s talk about like what is hungry mean? Cause that’s the first question I asked when I read that. I said wow, that’s pretty, that’s pretty awe. That’s a pretty jaw-dropping statistic. One in seven people are hungry. What does hungry mean? According to the national research council, hungry is the state of physical discomfort as a result of chronic food shortage or in severe cases a life threatening lack of food. And this is something that you have been able to witness firsthand in June of 2014 when you took a trip to Haiti.
S Spitsen: Yes. It was an experience that really solidified my why. When we got there, we had about a week’s worth of time to get to know the kids in the village, play games, organized fun activities even take them to the ocean, which they lived not even a half mile from the ocean, but just due to the dangerous terrain they were living in. Most had never seen it. And so after a week of getting to know these, just beautiful children and having a great time learning a little bit of Creole and French, which is what they spoke down there, I had the opportunity, the last day was our big feast day. We had, you know, smaller snacks and meals throughout the week, but the last day we were there is our big one, and we actually had to lock the kids in an area in order to dole out the food. Because if the neighboring village saw what we were doing, there could have been riots, a stampede, you know, the kids could have been hurt.
S Spitsen: And so by the time we finally, we got them all the food, we had them seated in this big closed area. My heart, I feel it was almost like, you know, the Grinch when his heart goes so many sizes and it breaks the scale. That’s what it felt like. I was so overwhelmed with just happiness and contentment and joy. And I remember some of the kids laughing at me because I just had tears streaming down my face. I was so happy. And just knowing that I, I was at that point kind of feeling like a failure. I had only 153 meals to give and these kids were merely sitting there happy and content. And I felt that finally, this is what success really feels like. This is what it means to do something great, is to make somebody’s life better if you have the power. And so I’m hoping to continually instill that excitement and that happiness and just overwhelming joy and every employee that joins the company, every customer that buys a candle, I want them to know how much this is impacting because after almost 40,000 meals that we’ve been able to deliver, this is it. That has a huge impact.
N Kristock: Something happened for you and Haiti were clearly a seed was planted and that seed grew and lives inside your heart and probably will for the rest of your life. And so we’ve gone on this hero’s journey with you and we’ve heard about how business one fails and you go through a period of self reflection and you have launched the idea for Feya Candle. So 153 candles are able to give 153 meals. But that is that is not where the story ends because it was not the second fail launched. Things were booming and, and the end of the story is it,
S Spitsen: No, definitely not. I, I even went through periods of time in the first few years where I did not have the money to buy groceries that week. And you know, I was very lucky I didn’t have a place to live all the time either. And coming up, I think we’re going to chat through. I in fact lived out of my car for a while.
N Kristock: Yeah, let’s go right there right now. I mean, they launch in 2014 and you go to Haiti and so you, there’s 153 meals distributed in Haiti and you know, to some people they would say, Oh, well what a great story. I bet she just went on to do a hundred meals here, a hundred meals there. And that was that. But this was the start of something. Great. And this is where you really started to grind. So let’s hear it.
S Spitsen: After Haiti I was still struggling quite a lot. We didn’t have a good product to sell yet. I had no money for advertising. I was working off of friends, dining room tables, you know, spreading out papers and charts and lists. And it was still a very big struggle. When I said I started with negative dollars, it was a lot of negative dollars. So I was scrounging and trying to be a scrappy as I could in any way to just sell these products. So by the end of 2014 I was still pretty down and out financially, still had not sold. I think we had $7,500 in sales that entire first year, which I’m here to tell ya, not enough to live on. Not a lot enough to grow a company on. And so I got this wild idea. I knew that I had to sell wholesale at that time.
S Spitsen: So I knew I had to sell the stores, obviously across the country. I live in Nebraska, so we’re not saturated enough to be able to make a living off of just selling in stores here. And my best chance was to sell to people in person. And I was really excited about the product. I was excited about the mission. People would hop on board if I was there in person. So my solution to all this was naturally, sell all of my belongings, hop in a car and live out of the car as I toured the country for four months selling to stores along the way. And it was not as easy as I initially planned. However, and I did have nights where I spent the nights in my car, but we eventually, by the end of that four months, I mean there are so many ups and downs in between.
S Spitsen: It was an insane roller coaster, but we had 80 stores carrying our products across the US by the end of it. And I would deliver meals to a local mission or shelter before I would leave every single city and go to the next one. So I was able to live out of my car. See the entire country. Meet these amazing business owners who loved our mission and work at, I think we worked at 19 different homeless shelters across the US and it was talk about really solidifying the mission and understanding who you’re working for. Most of the time in the mission, I didn’t work with volunteers, I worked with the people who were utilizing the services of the mission and they were the ones helping the mission stay on top and serve food and blankets and necessities and, and so I got a very firsthand view of who I was serving as I was working alongside them.
N Kristock: So Feya before, that is not, not anywhere near the top. If anything someone could say Feya was already close to the bottom, limited sales, not a lot of traction and you decide to basically just bet on yourself and sell it all, get in the car and drive around and put these candles into stores. And you said you did that for how many months?
S Spitsen: About four months. I think it ended up being just over four months to 12,000 miles.
N Kristock: You used we a couple times. And the story. Is it just Sarah at that point or are there, is there someone else or others involved?
S Spitsen: Technically just me. I always say we because throughout the beginning I have had friends, family supporters, our manufacturers that we found by that point out in Illinois. They’re the reason I could get out on the road because making candles in a car and a hot summer just doesn’t work. So I never have felt alone even though it was myself, at least for the first few years.
N Kristock: A really quick highlight. There is something that we all learn along the way and it’s that no one does it alone. I thought it was really interesting that you used the word we, even though I was pretty sure that it was just Sarah inside that car. What kind of car was it?
S Spitsen: It was a Honda Element and I got a donated wrap for the vehicles. So I had some sponsors that, you know, we popped their logos on the side. I was able to buy the car for extremely low price from a local dealer in Lincoln before I left. And it had feeding the world one candle at a time, just scrolling up the side. It was beautiful.
N Kristock: So cool. And even though it was physically just you in that minivan, like you said, there’s so many people, manufacturer, supporters, parents, siblings, friends that we really feel are driving with us on whatever journey it is or the business that we’re building. And it’s powerful enough to where we don’t even think about it and we say, we.
S Spitsen: Yup. Yeah. That’s one thing that I always get caught on when I’m doing an interview or telling someone about the company and everyone, they stop me like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. I thought it was you that started it who else was in this. I was like, well, you know, you have to go back to that story of there’s, so many people that the raising tide, you know, helps lift the ship.
N Kristock: Amazing. So for those who don’t know the definition of bootstrapping, it’s starting a business without getting, you know, really any major outside funding to start this business. And the story that we’re hearing from Sarah right now is so textbook bootstrap. Super impressive. We’re now at four months out of your car selling candles and talk to me about what happens next.
S Spitsen: I stopped in Lincoln, it was my last stop. I always planned that. I should kind of say at the very beginning of the trip I had moved to Colorado. I’d always wanted to, I figured just keep following my little dream and so I started in Colorado, but I had no belongings anymore except for my clothing and my laptop and my car. And so when I stopped back in my hometown in Nebraska, we had a big coming home party with friends and family here. And I was then at that point dating my now husband. And so I just stayed it felt right to be back home by that point in time, especially after living out of a car for awhile. And I very slowly got things off the ground by that point. We, like I said, we had 80 stores now that we’re carrying. They weren’t carrying a lot, but they were carrying enough. And so little by little we just kind of baby stepped forward, kept selling to stores, kept trying to get reorders kept, you know, giving to missions and shelters around our area. And then finally we hit a little bit of a ramp and we were able to give on a higher level so that we could work with kids against hunger, which is how we now give food. And that changed a lot of things.
N Kristock: Wow. So much about this conversation right now is to learn about your story. What drove you, how you drove there, how you got there, and you just mentioned that at your last stop in Lincoln you were dating someone who is now your husband. And if it’s not too personal, the questions on my mind, at what point does he enter this picture and what and what is, what is his initial reaction to I’m selling everything and getting in my car? Or did you meet him when you were living out of your car?
S Spitsen: No, I didn’t. I actually had known him for 10 plus years. We were friends. We’ve known each other for a long time already, always kind of been friends, traveled together before. And we started dating after I moved to Colorado, oddly enough he was from Lincoln. And it was one of those where the moment we actually kind of parted ways as friends, we realized, Ooh, we should, this is probably something more. So the moment I decided to sell all my belongings and hop on this road trip, he essentially just said right on, go for it. Do your thing. He is the most amazing, supportive individual I think I’ve ever met on this earth. So every harebrained idea I’ve ever had, every crazy thing I want to risk for this company, he is behind me 100%. We now have two kids and you know, they’re both involved in the way we give back and he comes to every single packing party and helps out, you know, he does everything to support me because he believes in this mission too. He believes in doing great things and he loves that his is what I do.
N Kristock: That is so awesome. There’s, there is kind of like this stigma or stereotype around an entrepreneur, you know, we say the term work hard and it’s, you know, this vision comes up of someone who’s in front of their computer 21 hours out of the day. Their head hits the desk and they sleep for an hour and a half. They wake up and there’s coffee right there that’s cold, they drink and they’re right back to work. But for you, family is a huge part of you being able to work hard. Can you talk about,how growing a family, how managing a relationship while you’re living out of your car, how then taking that relationship to the next level and having two kids in the picture, how has that actually helped you do what you do better at Feya Candle?
S Spitsen: I think that’s where the be nice to people comes in from work hard and be nice to people. We both understand that there are things we each love in life and, you know, kind of on an individual level. And so we work hard at them and we let the other person work hard. And then when you’re just nice to people when you’re kind and supportive and communicative, that’s what makes things work. You know, my whole life long, I’ve never been anywhere in any relationship that’s just so easy. And I don’t want to say that obviously our lives are easy because, you know, of course like anybody, we go through ups and downs, but when we’re both kind to each other and we’re both honest and open and supportive, that’s when everything works. Everyone leaves the room happy, it’s a win win situation.
S Spitsen: So I still work hard. I my mother-in-law helps with our smallest, our young son, which is amazing. And so that I can go to work in the mornings, but you know, I still, I do work on my computer while we’re watching TV at night when the kids go to bed. So it’s a big old mix. We figure out the timeline so that everyone gets to do what they want to do and we support each other when the other person needs it. I mean, it sounds pretty simple but that’s, that’s how we’ve made it all work.
N Kristock: Sounds simple in words, but it’s something that you have to act on every day and so it’s never easy. But it sounds like you’ve got a great partner over there. And thank you for sharing that specific part of the story. Cause I definitely know that there are some, some friends listening to this podcast who will say, man, this sounds great. I would love to be able to just sell everything and go sell out of my car. But my, my spouse, my partner, like what would they think of me? And I think what you found was that I don’t know, you love someone for who they are, not what they’re doing. Maybe, I dunno. And they, that your partner was able to stick by you and that was actually something that kept you going, which is really cool. Congratulations on that.
S Spitsen: And I will make a side note, especially now that our youngest is 10 months old. I don’t go on four month car trips anymore. I did that without kids, but I have even last year I did a three week tour. I would come home in between but I did a three week long tour while I was I think seven months pregnant. So you still, you know, some of those late nights and long hours are still rough. But yeah, it’s a little different with a couple of kids in the mix, but we still move forward.
N Kristock: That is really a good part of our definition of work hard that we’ve been able to make here today. Wow, that’s impressive. So let’s get a little bit technical here. There is a point on this journey where you have no idea what you’re doing. Take me to that point and tell me the first three steps that you took when you realized you had no idea what you were doing.
S Spitsen: So that was definitely back in December of 13 when my store was closing and I just had no clue where my life was going to go. I mean, I was divorced, I was homeless, I was a less than broke. And when everything hit me, when I knew what I needed to do, I, I just got up. I knew the name needed to be Feya and I knew that I could not afford retail anymore. It was so expensive. So I needed to wholesale, I redesigned our product to be wholesale friendly. I started contacting anyone that I could to make this product a reality and I just got my plan together. Everything in my head. I knew how it needed to happen, but of course, taking things from your brain and actually making them reality is harder than it sounds. So I just did, I did all the pieces. I branded our product, I made it wholesale friendly. I started reaching out to stores and I just went I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have necessarily any background on what I needed to do or how to do it. I just moved forward. Those were kind of my, my first little steps.
N Kristock: Awesome. So to recap that, we go back to when business number one closes. She’s starting Feya and the first three steps that Sarah takes, one she knows from her previous experience in candles, she needs to make the product wholesale friendly. She had 0 dollars, could not have a retail store and needed to make it wholesale friendly. From there, step two, she designed a logo phrase and a mission. Now you can get someone to design a logo for you. You can pay someone to design a logo. There’s a lot of great tools out there, but the end of the day that really just takes effort, sit down and look at what does my logo want to look like? What is my phrase? And most importantly, what is my mission? And third, she honed in on her wholesale skills. She was actually a trained psychologist and she was able to use those skills, to just really grind and start to sell. And those were the first three steps that she took when she realized that she had no idea what she was doing. Sarah, what would we be really surprised to know about you?
S Spitsen: I think kind of when you went back to that psych education, I have zero business knowledge and well knowledge, granted I’ve learned from the internet on the way, but I went to school to be a psychologist and while in college I took accounting 101 because for business and I thought it would be easy cause I needed a random math credit and I almost failed. And to this day, obviously accounting is probably not my strong suit, but to almost fail the only business class I ever took. And then now this is my career I think is pretty entertaining.
N Kristock: That is really awesome. It has been quite a journey for you. Out of all everything that’s happened from 2013 to now you’ve had these experiences, but are you, are you scared of anything today? Like what, what scares you?
S Spitsen: Other than snakes? Not much. I feel like through the ups and downs that I’ve been through and hitting my own rock bottom a few times. To be honest, I know that I, you know, there can’t be that much that’ll hold me down because, I’ve been able to get back up every single time. So I don’t want to say I’m fearless, but I don’t feel like a lot scares me at this point. I know that I can get through it. I know I’ve got amazing people in my life to lift me up if I need it. And this company has been statistically should not exist at all with what we’ve been through and we’re here today. So we’re, we’re doing good. We’re fine.
N Kristock: Let’s talk just a little bit about the company itself before we close out the show. So a Feya Candle right now is on a mission. First let’s just talk about the product. Give me the quick two minute pitch of what exactly is a Feya candle from a product standpoint.
S Spitsen: Sure. So a Feya candle right now is a six and a half ounce candle. Hint hint, larger sizes coming soon and they are all handmade and Ashkum Illinois by Heartland Candles on a little soybean farm by the most kind, amazing people you’ll ever meet. They have a beautiful little gift box for every single candle and there is going to be a surprise little matchbox inside. When it comes to the actual candle itself, we only use the good ingredients. We’re 100% soy, no chemical preservatives, high quality fragrances and cotton wicks. We make the really good products so that we don’t have to talk about it. What we want to talk about is what we’re doing with the products and how people can be involved.
N Kristock: Unreal. Feya Candle made here in America and you heard it here first. Larger sizes coming soon, but really who doesn’t like have a candle in their apartment, in their house? You buy it from wherever you buy it from. But why don’t you check out her website, look at some of these candles and try one. Just try one. And when you like it a ton and when you love the smell, buy another one, check it out. It’s an awesome candle. I have lit and smelled this candle and it’s amazing. But what is even more amazing is what Sarah and the folks at Feya Candle are trying to do through the sale of these candles. What’s that, Sarah?
S Spitsen: Feed the world.
N Kristock: Amazing. And do you have any kind of goal around exactly how many meals you’d like to provide?
S Spitsen: Yes. My goal from day one has been to provide 1 million meals through Feya. I think that’s gonna, that’s gonna put a pretty big stamp on this world hunger issue.
N Kristock: So cool. You know, we talked about world hunger and we put a number around it. We know that 795 million people don’t have enough food to live a healthy life. And Feya Candle is setting their goal at 1 million candles. I have no doubt they’re going to hit that and then go beyond it. But to everyone listening out here, whatever it is your starting, imagine if, I mean there are billions of people in the world. There are thousands, tens of thousands of businesses started every day. Imagine if just 795 of them started today decided that they also wanted to donate a million meals. I mean, we could, we can get to a better world here by committing to it. And we’re so happy to have people like Sarah and Feya Candle to be able to help us get towards that better world. I think Feya Candle also is doing a little bit of a nonprofit work as well. Is there a Feya Foundation in the future?
S Spitsen: Yes, we’re actually waiting on our approval right now as we speak. So ideally by the end of this month, or at least by the end of the summer, we will launch the Feya Foundation and we are going to be able to do so much more with our giving efforts. So stay tuned.
N Kristock: I love it. So the the final piece of advice we have, you know, folks that listen to this, this podcast, they’re business-minded. They’re social impact minded. Everyone knows someone that has started a business and a lot of people have ambitions start a business. So tell us, Sarah, convince me. Convince any listener why start a business with a social impact?
S Spitsen: Why not? I firmly believe that humans in general, they’re really motivated by happiness and purpose. If you look back through your own personal history, when have you been the happiest? It’s most likely when something great is going on around you. When you’re doing something great, when you’re helping others, when you’re being kind. And if businesses can start incorporating that on a regular basis, how much better would this world be? I mean, it doesn’t even matter what your political views are or you know, what you necessarily feel should be going on in the world. But if everyone was kind and they did something great with their products, which is totally capable, it’s totally doable just think what an amazing world we would live in.
N Kristock: True that. Very well said. Tell us how we can find out more about Feya Candle. Give us the site, the social, where can we go?
S Spitsen: Absolutely. So social is really easy. If you just find Feya Candles on any social platform we’re going to pull up and it’s F like Frank E Y A is what I always tell people. And then you can just go to Feyacandle.com to find our products and feel about our mission. And then once it finally launches, if you, you know, maybe you can’t burn a candle in your home or apartment but you still want to give back, we are going to do 100% donation straight to food, soap bars and snacks coming up with the Feya Foundation. So keep your eyes peeled on feyacandle.com for when that launches.
N Kristock: Awesome stuff. And now we will recap that short story that we started with back in December of 2013 we have an entrepreneur sitting at a table inside her store and knowing that she is going to close the doors, she doesn’t know what she is gonna do next, how she is going to make a living and she decides to jump right back into the business industry that she had just failed at. She launches Feya Candle in 2014. She sells 153 candles, which is enough to donate 153 meals, a core value of her business that she was taught by two of the folks that helped raise her, her granny and her auntie and she travels to Haiti. She gives out 153 meals, spends time in a village, interacts and serves with the children who benefit from those meals and it plants something that lives inside her heart.
N Kristock: Even still to this day, she comes back to the US and at a time when Feya is struggling, she decides not to pack up shop, but because she has looked at the problem and lived it, she decides I’m going to go even farther. I’m going to sell everything I have. I’m going to get into my car. I’m going to drive around and sell candles and that is what kicked off the biggest year for Feya Candle and kicked off much of the success and the story and here we are today in 2019 it has grown as a business. Sarah’s grown as a person that she now has a family husband and two awesome kids, and her business has a goal of selling 1 million candles to give 1 million meals to kids in need and helping that 795 million who are living in hunger. This is the story of Sarah Spitsen chief candle lady and food giver at Feya Candle. I hope you all have enjoyed listening to it and Sarah, thank you so much for sharing it.
S Spitsen: Thanks so much for having me.
N Kristock: Thanks so much for being with us on this episode of The Science of Social Impact a podcast from Crate of Good. Go make an impact in your world and we’ll see you next time.