We had the good fortune of connecting with Robin DeRosa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Robin, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I don’t know if my definition of risk is the same as other. I was diagnosed with autism at age 29 and I’m barely starting to connect the dots that led me to the person I am today. As far as risk goes, in the textbook sense I’ve always taken them. As soon as I turned 18 I left my hometown and move to Washington state to live with my half brother that I barely even knew. I was always a nomadic spirit. I didn’t care if our sibling-ship would develop or if we would mesh. We did and my big bro became one of my best friends. I kept going though, if I wanted something, I’d do it. If I didn’t have resources, I would find a way. I was one of those cases… ya know the ones where this broke kid who doesn’t even have a car is landing in different States in the US and making memories. I hopped trains, slept in old warehouses, crashed on couches, and slept in a teepee for a night while exploring the universe on peyote. I tried my hand at stand up comedy and was a slave to it for 10 years. I took a risk and drove from Oregon to Los Angeles and audition for The Groundlings. Will ferrel, Kristen wiig, Phil Hartman and many other legends studied at that school. I was traveling with a friend and he didn’t let me focus on my craft, I left him at a Walgreens and drove in a sleepless daze (do not recommend) to my home in TX. I was desperate to get home before I got the results to my audition. I wanted to be with my family. I was crossing from Coachella into northern Arizona when my phone went off. The results were in. I called my sister and she held my hand virtually so I could read the results out loud. I got in. I auditioned three more times after that and got in every time. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work. Due to covid, I’m able to take courses online so I’m set to start again by December’s end if all goes well. In the meantime I decided I wanted stability. Ive been married for over 4 years with two beautiful kids. During the pandemic I took a risk and started the candle business. Which is dumb in retrospect because lots of people lost their sense of smell. Somehow we prevailed and within ten days of selling candles, I signed my first lease. I wanna circle back to my autism diagnosis. My heart and mind dont and cannot follow societal norms. I don’t understand risk in the Webster sense. My mind doesn’t fear. I don’t fear losing because I come from a place where I have already lost everything. Just this week my shelves gave way at the shop and I lost my entire candle inventory. 165 candles where damaged and destroyed. In a span of minutes my business plummeted. I regret nothing because in these risks I found my love. Bringing light to others. As dumbledore says, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art always varies . It morphs, it disappears and reappears in a different form. It’s quite the miracle that I can even produce art. I don’t have much of an imagination because I’m autistic. I don’t have day dreams. I can’t see thoughts only hear them. So I don’t even know how to describe how I produce the art that I do. It’s almost stream of consciousness. I just go into autopilot and let my sub conscious bring forward my past joys, traumas, pains, and aches. Im proud of the fact that I was not given the ability to imagine but found a way to do it anyway. I found a way to create a brand and make it appealing. I found a way to hold a job when society told me I didn’t fit in to the workforce. I’m proud that I always find a way. I’m proud that my candle scents can trigger long gone memories for folks. I’m proud that they can attach their memories to new scents. I want the world to know that when I make candles, I make them for the world . I never really lit candles for myself before I started making them. I never consciously said “hey imma go buy a candle”. I make them because I want to see the joy in my customers soul. Side note: I’d also make a great asset during an apocalypse..

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Saturday Morning: Breakfast at Rochas. Everyone needs good a taco.

Lunch: we’d swing by Sweet Temptations in McAllen TX

Dinner: I’d take them out to Pepes on the river to get some drinks and some country dancing with the snowbirds.

Sunday morning: Breakfast at the Country Cafe in Edinburg and talk about how the antiques make us feel like a ghost is going to possess the nearest porcelain doll.

Lunch: I’d pack a picnic and we’d hang out my La Lomita in Mission. We’d sit in the pews of the church amidst the scours of prayers and candles. Hoping that each person that came in here to petition God, gets the grace they were looking for.

Sunday night: go to south padre island. Walk the beaches barefoot until the sun went down, then go into the ocean, holding hands and then we would scream. Scream for our hearts, or minds, for our Earth. Then we’d go back and sit on the sand. Feeling better because we allowed our bestia to take hold for a bit.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shout out to my community. My friends, my family, my spouse, and the citizens of the Rio Grande Valley. My story is never my own, this story belongs to us all. The moving parts of a machine. I am only the head, my spouse is the heart, my sister is the strong arm, my customers are my spine, my friends are the legs that hold up our weight… I can go on and on. I never could imagine doing this alone. There is no way. I love you all dearly.

Website: www.lecheazul.co

Instagram: Instagram.com/lecheazulcandles

Facebook: Facebook.com/lecheazulcandles

Image Credits
Alyssa Shantae

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