We had the good fortune of connecting with Charity Snider and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charity, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I love this question because I’m so impulsive at times. There was no extensive thought process. In fact, when I first started –I did everything wrong due to this very reason. However, I don’t take defeat well, so I eventually did my research and started doing things the appropriate way. It took much longer than I anticipated, but it was worth the wait!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career over the last 16 years has been in retail management with Nordstrom. During my tenure, in the positions I’ve held, I’ve been fortunate to have learned the ins and outs, do’s and don’ts and most importantly, the power of building relationships along the way. In February of the year 2021 I launched my passion project, The Good Life Candle Co.
I’ve been a creative for as long I can remember. I’ve always enjoyed creating, building, drawing, decorating, crafting, etc., it is truly my happy place! You know that old cliché, saying “when you do something you love, it doesn’t feel like work,” that’s kind of what I stumbled upon with this business. I love it, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, it took me roughly 10 months of research and practice, as well as a lot of trial and error determining the proper supplies before I launched. Once I launched, I discovered a need to change major parts of my business as I went along the way. I quickly realized that starting a candle company during a pandemic is something that a LOT of people did, so there’s been a tremendous amount of competition. This resulted in supply chain shortages and it also makes me have to be forward thinking in order to stay on top of my game.
The lessons that I’ve taken away in this endeavor are the same lessons I’ve learned in almost everything I’ve done in life, and that’s just to remain true to myself and who I am. Who I am and how I like to represent myself and my brand is reflected in each item I create. Whether it’s for the line, the vessels, or even the colors, the branding and marketing are all extensions of who I am and are very personal for me. The service I give is the level of service that I’d expect to receive and ultimately the goal is to create an experience with each encounter. I believe that everyone should experience moments and products that exemplify a “good life”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Welcome to the Show Me State! We would eat, shop and play all week. We would visit areas such as Central West End or Clayton for our upscale experiences for food and drinks., We’d go to midtown near the Fox Theatre for shows or visit the City Foundry for more local eats. It’s a no-brainer that we’d go downtown to see the world- renowned Gateway Arch and the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station. If you need a bit of retail therapy, we’d swing by the U. City loop or Cherokee street for cool and trendy spots; then head to Nordstrom or Frontenac mall for our designer needs. For a taste of black St. Louis–, Bait and Prime 55 are excellent choices for dinner, Red’s for bar-b-que, Marquee offers an awesome Trap n Brunch concept, House of Soul offers a live band treat on Fridays and Whiskey on Washington is a complete vibe. Lastly, there’s no way you can visit STL and not have Imo’s pizza, a box of Chinese rice with a Vess soda and White Castle burgers… not all in one sitting though!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a few people who deserve recognition for this particular move. My brother Eric and best friend Jae were both part of the inspiration for the business. They had both mentioned starting candle businesses as partnerships prior to me making the decision to do it solo. My father’s passing (Aaron F. Wilson, Jr.) is what drove me to jump into the business. It was the distraction that I needed to channel my grief into something purposeful. A lot of my inspiration for names of candles comes from my family. For example, my sister is an editor, so my candle “Booked and Busy” was named in her honor. My dad’s nickname was “Bruh,” there’s a candle named after him. My smallest candles are referred to as “Demi tins” because Demi is my daughter’s name. My mother, the grey haired matriarch of our family has a candle as well, “Silver Serenity”, named for her hair color and the serene feeling that the scent lavender is known for. She has truly been the calm to our storm. All three of her children and her daughter in law are entrepreneurs and she loves supporting each of us. They have all played a role in this business, so it’s important that they get these nods of recognition. In addition, I have an incredibly dope tribe of other friends and family who have dedicated substantial amounts of time, energy, opinions, and creativity to the movement. Special thanks to them all!