We had the good fortune of connecting with Richard Guerra and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richard, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Firstly, you could always find a candle burning in my apartment and in 2017, I signed-up for Manready Mercantile’s candlemaking class and was inspired to hear how Travis Weaver began making candles in his apartment and mastered the craft by watching YouTube Videos. After class, I went home with my handmade candles feeling like I actually created something rather than just consuming.
Secondly, I spent a majority of my adult life working in an office and found myself spending my weekends at local markets in Houston. I was intrigued with the opportunity the markets gave artists and small business owners to use their talents and share their work with the local communities. I could sense an ambitious and entrepreneurial spirit as I shopped and talked with the vendors and I felt like this was an opportunistic time to start my own business.
The final push was when my future wife suggested that we just take the risk and begin our own candle business. She started watching videos and doing the research and here we are now!
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.
I am currently a Senior Compliance Consultant at Bank of Texas in their financial asset management department. I help employers and their employees with financial planning for retirement and manage a team of two. I began working in the industry while a freshman in college and gained valuable experience that brought me to where I am today with the bank. I had the opportunity to work with managers who taught me integrity and the importance of showing up to work on time and ready to be productive.
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.
If my best friend was visiting Houston, I would start the morning by fueling up with amazing fresh brewed coffee from Catalina Coffee on Washington. If the Houston craft coffee scene had a patron saint, it would be Catalina. After some coffee and croissants, we would head to 19th St. in the Heights and explore the quirky and vibrant antique shops and galleries and maybe find some rare vinyl at Vinal Edge Records.
For lunch, we would head to EaDo and experience Houston TexMex at The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents for teaching me the value of hard work and helping me realize that no matter the circumstances, discipline and commitment can take you long way.
My daughter for always believing that I could start my own business even when I couldn’t realize it.
My wife for her ambitious and courageous spirit and always willing to take me out of my comfort zone.
All the passionate small business owners, particularly in Houston, who inspired me to start my own business.
Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life was a great influence in my life. It made me more self-aware of my own weaknesses and challenged me to overcome my fears with hard-truths so that I could find my own mission and purpose in life.