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Life & Work with Breanna Friedeck

Today we’d like to introduce you to Breanna Friedeck. 

Hi Breanna, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
In early July 2020, I saw an advertisement for fall candles from one of the “big companies.” I had my cart full of candles, when I had a thought: what if I learned how to do this myself? I quickly emptied my cart and got to work. I did hours and hours of straight research. Because of social distancing, I was only working 2-3 days a week so it was the ideal situation for getting started. I bought a few things to get started practicing and before I knew it, I had myself a candle. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I am very fortunate to have had the time and finances to fully commit to candlemaking — it is not an easy trade to learn and it can be very costly. I started candlemaking with the expectation that it’s likely that I’d fail, and that if I did, I would be okay. Before I made the plunge into full-time entrepreneurship, the most challenging obstacle to overcome was finding the right balance between my day job and my business. I was working 70-80 hours a week between the two, filling my evenings and weekends with candlemaking, networking, vendor events, etc. It started to take a toll on my mental health, and I knew I had to make a choice. I am 100% happy with the decision I made to be a full-time businesswoman, but the anxiety that comes from the uncertainty of running a business never really goes away. But I am lucky enough to have an amazingly supportive partner who is always there to remind me that everything is going to be okay. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Prior to Ginger Snapped Candles, I worked full-time for the federal government in telecommunications. I come from a STEM background and have always been passionate about technology, but it can be a limiting career path for someone who is also a creative. I found my stride once I started candlemaking. I truly believe that it was what I was put on this Earth to do. Not only is it something that I love to do, but it’s something that I can confidently say that I do well. It’s so much more than just pouring scented wax into jars. It’s designing labels, promoting your brand, networking, meeting people, being your own accountant, hours of trial-and-error testing out new products. It’s the ability and desire to continue to create, even on the days where I don’t feel like doing anything at all. The satisfaction that comes with making products that people really enjoy, that they come back and buy time and time again because it brings them joy, there is no feeling like it. 

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
If there is one final thing that I can share, it’s a word of advice. If you’ve been pondering an important, potentially life-changing decision for a while, but are scared about what the future might hold, take the leap. No matter how many times you try to ignore an itch, eventually, you’re going to have to scratch it. Normalize making decisions for yourself that are both physically and mentally healthier for you in the long run. Life is too short to not do what makes you happy. 

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