We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea LaFitte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsea, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting my own business was not ever in my thought process. I have always been obsessed with candles. I was consistently purchasing them from stores or local businesses. I truly wanted to learn the process of creating a clean burning candle to pour for myself. I was not interested in using dyes or any additives. I spent hours, months researching all the different varieties of wax and ultimately decided on soy wax. This particular wax burns slower and longer than other waxes. That’s why I fell in love with it. There were so many months spent on every single detail from wick sizes, to vessels, fragrances and the name of each candle. The names for each candle were created after people and places that are incredibly important to me and made me who I am today.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Free To Roam LLC is a candle line that I created in Conroe, TX. This is the town that I met and fell in love with my husband of 22 years and where we have raised our 3 children. This town is so near and dear to my heart for that very reason. Naturally, my passion that I found first started growing within Conroe.
I had a local boutique in August of 2021 take a chance on me by allowing my candles to be featured in her store. That was huge for me!! Now I am currently in 13 different stores ranging from Conroe, Willis, Huntsville, Spring, Crawford, Waco and Valley Mills, TX. I love all the store owners that I collaborate with. We are not just a business transaction to each other. There are real friendships that have been made. We all have peaks and valleys with our businesses and I am grateful that we have each other to lean on during those times. Who knew that candles could bring some of the most amazing people into my life? I cherish that.
There have been many challenges during this journey. One of doubt and insecurities. I would ask myself if the market is oversaturated. etc. There are so many candle companies in my area. I wondered if it would be a good idea to even start up my own. I would often wonder how are other companies offering candles for that price. I would be lying to myself if I did not admit that I asked myself those very questions. When those thoughts come to my mind, I pray. I had to stop comparing myself to others. I am not them. All I can do is be me.
What sets Free To Roam LLC apart from other candle companies? I take such pride in my creations. I offer statement pieces along with my traditional square mason jars. Every statement piece can be repurposed or even refilled with a scent of your choice. You can enjoy those candles over and over. My customers love that and take full advantage of it.
I am a Texas based candle company. With that being said, majority of my supplies come from Texas companies. I only use one company that is based out of state but they are still within the US. All other supplies are purchased right here in the great state of Texas. How cool is that? That has been one of my top goals from day one. I may pay a little more, but it has totally been worth it. I will not back down from that decision.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Conroe is the place to be. There are so many shops that have opened up along with those that have been in the area for a long time. Some of my favorite places to visit and shop are located here. If you are wanting to do some shopping I would definitely drop in Bravely You Boutique, Main Street Merchants, MOD Boutique and Sweet Texas Treasure Boutique. Grab your girls and head over to Makeup Junkie Bags!! If you are needing some unique gifts for the men in your life, Branding Iron Custom Goods is the place to go. Every time I go in there, I find some of the best gifts. One of the absolute best places to shop for the entire family would be Cartwright’s Western Wear. They have been family owned since 1955. After all that shopping, you will need to grab a bit to eat and get a fabulous beverage from downtown Conroe. More and more night life has been created. You have a choice of Pacific Yard House and a place that I am a regular at is 202 Main. There is also The Corner Pub that has been part of Conroe for at least 18 years. 219 Social House Restaurant and Bar will be opening soon as well. All of them offer live music. Such a fun environment. The owners to all these establishments are truly the best.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I could not pursue my dream if I did not have the love and support of my husband. He has been a major contributor behind the success of my company. He owns and operates a successful HVAC company in our area. He is a wealth of knowledge and has helped me more than he could possibly imagine. My husband and our kids have celebrated each and every victory with me. Even during some of the challenging times, they all remind me why this company is so important to my heart. I love the support that they give me.