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We are THREE!!


Another trip around the sun for ISFH. I still am in shock when I think back to double boiling wax on my kitchen stove and wonder how the heck we got here! I still pinch myself. It's literally been a dream come true. It's even crazier to think that in September, we will celebrate our store front's second birthday. Who knew that doing what I love while staying authentic to who am I would get us so far?!?!?


Have there been struggles? AB-SO-FREAKIN'-LUTELY!! Months where I wasn't sure if this was my brightest idea. The complications of juggling a full time job, a family, a business all while furthering my education. (There's a reason I am Ok with referring to myself as a crazy candle lady..) We've struggled, like all other small business, with competing with big box stores. I try not to take it too personal when I see friends or family post pics with another store's candle in the background.


But, importantly, have there been victories? HECK YASSSSSSS!!! From getting my bachelors degree to better my skills, to making candle with hundreds and hundreds of people. I get to work with the most amazing people and they aren't employees to me. They're family members who I happen to pay (expect Mr. ISFH, he won't let me pay him).


I've watched Alliyah go from a shy girl who second guessed decision-making to a confident young woman who is now our store manager. She will be leaving us next month to head off to college and while I couldn't be happier and more excited to witness all the amazing things she is going to do, I'm also extremely sad. Fun fact: I wanted, like, 6 kids. But God had other plans. Instead, I feel as though my life has meant to be filled with kids making the transition into adulthood. So many of them have made an impact on my life and I don't think they will ever know how much I truly cherish them. I hope Alliyah comes back not just to visit, but also to put in a few hours when she can. Her energy is calming to me and I just adore her.


And then there's Ashley. We were just talking the other day about how long we've known each other. When we moved here in 2009, she and I worked together at Old Navy. I'm pretty sure she was still in high school then. Let me tell you, she was just as spunky then as she is now. She is truly sunshine on a rainy day. The last few years have been a struggle for her and she is proof that we are not what happens to us, but how we react to it. While she left us briefly, I am elated she is back and I'm not letting her go again. Don't mind when you come in the store if we are singing and laughing until we hyperventilate. That's just how we roll.


Last, Mr. ISFH. The calm to my certifiably crazy. Every time in our relationship, if I have a wild idea, he rides along with me. I'm not sure he's really ever told me no (except when it comes to acquiring chickens or another cat). This September we celebrate 16 years of marriage and when I tell you I have no idea how he deals with me, I'm not lying. I'm complicated, moody and am the definition of hangry. I'm emotional, passionate and crazy. (Didn't I already say that?) ISFH would not be what it is today without his dedication not just to me, but also my dreams. Maybe someday he will let me pay him. For now, I'll praise him.


I always like to leave these birthday posts with a bit of advice and wisdom. Growing up, my parents always said "it must be nice" whenever someone had something good happen to them. Better job? Must be nice. Cool vacation? Must be nice. New house? Must be nice. For decades, I let that saying linger in the back of my head. Always wanting for something I couldn't have or was just out of my reach. However, a few years back, I had what I like to call a "come to Jesus" moment with myself. It was then I decided to adopt the mantra, "if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. Otherwise, you'll just make excuses." Stop holding yourself back. Make your own dreams come true. Hustle, work hard and be nice.Oh, and make friends!


Sending love & light,

Julia


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Happy Birthday! 😀

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