Interviews · Updates

New Posts Coming Soon

Hey everyone! Exciting News!

I will be coming back next week with a new post! Thank you for being loyal followers and readers of my blog.

If you are new here, please click through to catch up on past features.

It is my goal to be more consistent with my content.

Again, thank you for being patient with me when life got a little crazy.

If you know of any small businesses in Central Florida that would like to be featured, please let me know!

As always, thank you for reading and I look forward to posting more soon!

Have an amazing day!


Beauty · Hidden Gems · Interviews · Small Business

Natural Beauty: Wildflower Beauty by Jessica



This week, I am writing about Wildflower Beauty by Jessica, a small business located in Winter Garden, Florida. A local shop that differentiates itself by creating natural, handmade bath, body, and skin products. They hand-make all their products so they know exactly what goes into them. As Jessica herself says, “What really makes us unique is that our products truly are 100% natural. Most ‘natural’ products aren’t 100% natural… there are still fragrances, preservatives, etc.  A product doesn’t have to be 100% natural to be called natural, but we really are.”


A Personal Commitment

Wildflower Beauty was started by Jessica as an answer to a personal need. As one who has sensitivities and allergies herself, Jessica would spend a lot of money on products that claimed to be natural but, with further research, she realized that these products still had harsh chemicals in them.

Jessica then started making products for herself so that she would know exactly what they contained. She said, “I came to find that other people had this need as well, and only a few months later Wildflower Beauty by Jessica was born.” This came with a promise to their customers to never use harsh chemicals or preservatives, only natural and organic ingredients.

Jessica now gets to be creative with her products and fill a need. She does this by listening to her customers and evolving her product, all while never compromising on the mission of the company.  As with any business, Jessica hopes that her business continues to grow, but she never wants to sacrifice quality to do so. “The most important thing is to have a positive impact around us.”

This positive impact can be seen through their partnerships with other local businesses as well as through their generous donations to local organizations.

One noteworthy example is her partnership with Axum Coffee, a local coffee shop. Jessica uses their coffee in certain products, and Axum Coffee sells her products at their Winter Garden location. “By partnering with others in our community, like Axum for example, we are keeping the purchasing as local as possible and supporting Winter Garden in a financial way too.  Every little bit helps and we are always trying to find opportunities to partner up with local businesses.”


Jessica’s story is an awesome example of the commitment it takes to become an entrepreneur. She saw a need in her community and is doing her part to fill it.

What started out as a hobby turned into a full-time job and, as is often the case, this comes with benefits as well as some challenges along the way.

“It took me almost 3 years to quit my very amazing full-time job as a project manager at a college… with wonderful benefits, hours and salary.  I gave that all up though to be genuinely happy, but it was a challenge and a scary jump I had to make.  It’s also very hard to not only run the business just like other business owners, but personally MAKE my inventory as well. Plus, with a 9-month-old baby, my hours are maxed out.  Trying to balance being a mom and the business is tough, but I did it exactly for that reason – to be able to have a family and be at home.”

Now she gets to do what she loves for a living. She also now has the ability to be active and involved with her family and the community around her. “It has been my life-long dream to own my own business, and I finally have that and all of the perks that come with it.  Even those nights of working til 3am is worth it to me.”

Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

“The biggest thing is commitment.  It is all or nothing, and if you aren’t 100% in then it will be much harder.  You also must be willing to grow, take feedback and possible criticism without taking it personally.  Anyone that is willing to give you feedback is actually helping you, and listening to those around you when it comes to feedback is important.”

She also advises that aspiring entrepreneurs will need to learn more than just their craft. There are many aspects to running a business that require time and patience. For Jessica, this was taxes and bookkeeping. “I am a creative person and learning about all of the licenses, taxes and things to file was a lot of learning.”

Through all of this, Jessica really embodies what it means to be an entrepreneur. She saw a need, learned how to make a product better, and partnered with the community to make her brand truly unique. Her own words say it best: “We really are different than the rest! Just read our ingredients.”


Thank you so much Jessica for your time and willingness to share your story!
If you would like to follow Jessica, her social media accounts are listed below.

Wildflower Beauty Instagram

Wildflower Beauty Facebook Page

Be sure to check out her site to find natural products that can be beneficial for you, too! Treat yourself to an all-natural spa day with her spa collection. Also, in mid-March she will be re-releasing donkey milk soap, a very rare product with incredible natural properties for your skin including natural retinol. Jessica partners with a local farmer who supplies the milk, ensuring freshness and it is exclusive to her shop in the area.

Previously this amazing product sold out online in only ten days! Follow Jessica to find out when this anti-aging gem will be released and shop her online store in the link below!


Link to Shop
You can also visit her shop in person at: 100 W Plant Street, Winter Garden Florida 34787

Thank you, everyone, for reading!

Remember to shop local and stay beautiful.

Have an amazing day!



All photos are graciously taken from the Wildflower Beauty Instagram page or from Jessica’s online shop.

Hidden Gems · Home Goods · Interviews · Small Business

Beautiful Candles with a Beautiful Mission: Collective Kindness

Hello friends!

Today’s article is about two inspiring women who have turned their passion for helping other people into a business.

Collective Kindness Logo

Liz and Leah are a mother/daughter team of entrepreneurs in Central Florida who make candles under their brand Collective Kindness. When I met them for the interview, they both were genuinely kind people whose passion for helping others was contagious.

Beautiful Candles with a Beautiful Mission

Collective Kindness started out as a passion project for the two ladies and now has grown into a full-fledged business. Leah was looking for opportunities for her then 12-year-old daughter to do things to help the community. Finding a lack of opportunities to serve the community, they started doing kindness projects themselves, funding them out of their own pocket. They soon realized that they would have to start making money to continue these kindness acts.

Having served on many charitable boards and working with charities in the past, they realized that starting their own nonprofit or charity could limit their options on what they could accomplish. So, instead of starting their own charity, they made their own candle making business: Collective Kindness.

They started out at the Windermere Farmer’s Market where they quickly started to gain a following.

What Makes Them Unique

They really wanted to make a candle that was different. Both Liz and Leah’s oldest daughter are very sensitive to fragrances and allergens that can be typically found in commercially produced products. It was important for them to research how to make a “green” candle. They needed to learn how to make something that looked good and smelled great but would not be harmful to people, their pets, or their homes.

They invested a lot of time and money to make their product the best it could be. Liz mentioned that there are so many grades of wax, wicks, and fragrance oils that they continually test to create the best possible product that they can.

They currently have over 60 scents that are featured in different collections. Ranging from botanical to gentleman’s to boho to seasonal they really have a scent for everyone. According to Liz, scent is a very personal thing and that is why they offer so much variety to make sure that everyone is satisfied with their product. The vessels that they use are also important to their business. From classic tins and glass containers to vintage tea cups or beer cans, the vessels that they use are as unique as any other element of the candles.

It is all about repurposing and reusing. They wanted to be the most sustainable they could be. Even the wrap bags and tissue paper are from recycled paper. The candles are vegan and certified kosher, as well. The candles themselves have no phthalates which are chemicals found in many mass-produced candles.  The wicks have no lead or zinc and are 100% cotton. They are also a certified green business.

Tea Cup candle Picture

Wanting to give old objects such as tea cups new life lead them to start their recycle and refill program which now is a mainstay of their business. Not only are most of their containers recycled, but they want you to reuse them as well, offering a 20% discount off the next candle if you bring in the old container (excluding vintage and antiques).

They also offer custom pouring. During the interview, they joked between them that they often get gorgeous antiques and beautiful bowls to turn into candles, but sometimes they also get a Trader Joes spaghetti jar to fill. They are proud of this aspect of their business as it is another way to repurpose.

Another core aspect of their company that is important to them is their branding. The branding on their main collections stay the same but they have distinctive designs for special collections. In this way they guarantee not only a great candle but a beautiful package as well.

They added in plants about two years ago to further their home collection. They sell succulents and air plants. They get these plants from their own garden or from a local company called Live Trends out of Apopka. They also sell other small gift items such as tumbled Italian marble coasters and hand painted porcelain bowls. In the future, they want to expand their offerings to feature more local artists.

For now, almost everything is kept within the family or through friends. Liz’s sister makes the coasters and they hand pour the candles themselves. They have a connection with local artist Susan Steele Meyer who creates designs that you can only find in Collective Kindness’s shop. She will sell to different vendors but she will not paint the same designs. These hand-painted bowls fly off the shelf every Christmas because they are keepsake items that their customers want to enjoy for years to come.

They love it whenever customers become obsessed with their candles. Liz recounted a story of a recent event where a young man came to her and said “Hi! I’m Rob and I am your biggest fan.” They like being the proverbial light for people who may not have been able to enjoy candles before, such as people undergoing chemotherapy or who have severe allergies. They recounted another story of a woman who came in and said, “I have loved candles all my life but my son has severe allergies and I have never been able to have them in the house until now.” They find it gratifying that they can bring joy into people’s lives through their product.

Giving Back

Libby's Legacy Candle

Featured above is the Libby’s Legacy honor candle which supports breast cancer awareness with every purchase

Since it is their own business they can help with whatever projects that they want. They can pick a person, an organization, or a local business and use the proceeds from their business to give back.  They have helped children with special needs, breast cancer research, and The Habitat for Humanity. They chaired a build where they raised money for two women’s homes. They helped a family through the adoption process. They pay attention to the needs that they see around them and then give back wherever they can. Liz said that they don’t pick the project, the project picks them. Every single project they have done or person they have helped has started by simply talking to someone and listening to the need.

They try to stay as local as possible because they really want their dollars to impact their own community. It means a lot to them to be giving back and being an inspiration to others. They look forward to growing so they can expand their scope of giving even more.

Future Growth

They are working on future projects that will expand their outreach and potential to impact others. Some of these plans include partnering with other vendors to include more variety in their store and expanding space to create and give back to the community.

They currently have wholesale accounts and want to expand on that in the future. The dandelion logo has become synonymous with their business to the point where even the people at the tax office recognize the brand.

I asked if they saw it turn into the full-fledged business that it is today and Leah responded that they honestly didn’t. Leah just had her third child and didn’t expect this to happen. Liz and Leah have always been involved in giving back to charity. Leah said that her parents raised her to give back to the community. They had sat on charity boards in the past but realized that there was a void of businesses in the community whose core mission was giving back to community. They wanted to change that. When they started, they thought that it might just be something fun to do. Liz had a full-time job and Leah was a full- time mom. Within a year of them starting the business, it boomed to something that they could have never foreseen.

The Story That Started It All

Leah called Liz one day and said, “I am so tired of hearing bad news on the radio, on TV, and on Facebook. Let’s go do something positive today.” Liz having the day off said, “Ok what do you want to do?” “Let’s go feed people” Leah replied. So, they went to Publix bought some ingredients and went back home to make sandwiches. They then went down to Lake Eola and started feeding people simply by walking up to people and saying, “Are you hungry today?” Everyone was so responsive. They were so grateful that someone would take the time to simply be kind.

In talking to them, I could tell that this experience and other similar experiences really made an impact on the direction of their company. Shortly after this occurred, one of Leah’s friends posted a video with the tag “Kindness is Priceless” which soon became their mantra in giving. Leah explained that even their name, Collective Kindness, reflects this line of thinking. They consider everyone, including their customers, involved in the process a part of giving back. So, it truly is a collective kindness.

They really want people to get involved in the community, find out what they can do to help, and just be kind. Say “good morning.” Hold the door for someone else. Do the simple things that make someone’s day better. Be the light in the darkness.

Thank you so much Liz and Leah for your time! You both are amazing!

Picture of Collective Kindness shop

Picture of the Collective Kindness shop in Winter Garden

You can find Collective Kindness

At the Plant St. Market in Winter Garden, FL

Thursday-Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm Sunday 11:00am-6:00pm

On their Etsy shop: Collective Kindness Etsy Shop

Follow them on social media too!



Thank you for reading!

Remember to shop local and be kind! Have an amazing day!