Sable’s Scented Scentsations is a testament to the saying that necessity is the mother of all innovation!
Sable is a CFS participant with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who has embarked on a very inspiring entrepreneurial journey, born of necessity.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when all in-person activities suddenly came to a halt, Sable found herself confined to her home and completely isolated from the world and community that once engaged her and gave her so much joy. Idle, bored, and unhappy, Sable needed to get busy, quickly.
Sable’s creative mother, Octavia, and her dedicated CFS Direct Support Professional support staff, Gladys Paredes, put their innovation hats on and joined forces to help set Sable on a new adventure based on a most simple idea—making candles at home. Once the idea took hold, the creative trio put themselves to work in a new business they aptly named “Sable’s Scented Scentsations.”
The trio quickly gained momentum, producing an impressive 200 candles in the first two months. Even though the pandemic has ended, their enthusiasm has never waned. The process of making candles has become an ongoing, collaborative effort, with Octavia and Gladys working diligently with Sable to master the art of steering wax, shaping candles, and adding color and scents until each unique Sable Scented Scentsation candle is born.
Gladys, who has been working at CFS and with Sable for seven wonderful years, tells us that the pandemic was so hard on Sable. Gladys felt she had to come up with something to keep Sable inspired, engaged, and happy again. After researching projects that they could do at home, Gladys explains, “I came up with the idea of candle-making and brought it home to Sable and her mom. Everything was closed, and I really wanted Sable to have something new to do. She loves arts and crafts, so I thought this would be a great new skill for Sable to learn. I taught myself how to make candles through YouTube and then started teaching her and her mom.”
Sable’s Scented Scentsations has since become not only a young and thriving new venture but also a shining example of a business that is fully owned and led by three amazing women of color!
Bringing this inspiring experience to CFS, Sable and Gladys recently took part in CFS’ Pop-Up Shop for Entrepreneurs. The Pop-Up was set up by CFS’ innovative team to help our participants promote their arts and crafts during the 2023 holiday season. It was accompanied by an Entrepreneurship Day Workshop where CFS participants and staff were invited to exchange ideas and learn from one another about how to make their entrepreneurial ambitions, dreams, and ventures come to fruition. Sable and Gladys were a big hit in both the pop-up and the workshop where they shared their journey, showcased Sable’s candles, answered questions, and engaged with a very enthusiastic audience of their peers.
When asked what gave her the most joy about her newfound craft and candle-making business, Sable said that her favorite part of the process is “adding the colors to the wax” and “matching the scents with the colors.” She loves matching fragrances like lemon scent to correspond with yellow candles, and lavender scents to the blue and purple candles. Simply, Sable says “I love the candles!”
CFS has supported Sable’s project by providing Sable and her mother with financial reimbursement for all the money they invested to start their candle-making business. They can now reinvest that seed funding into their growing venture. Meanwhile, Sable’s DSP, Gladys, remains a pillar of support, managing her work at CFS and with Sable, while helping lay a rock-solid foundation for Sable’s new business with Sable’s mother. Sable’s Scented Scentsations and its owners are also being supported by CFS to explore new avenues for expanding their business online and considering retail partnerships.
A soft-spoken and warm individual, Sable has found more means of expression and voice through her craft of candle-making. Gladys proudly acknowledges the powerful language Sable speaks through her new work. As they navigate their candle-making enterprise, Gladys says, “I think we’ve reached a point now where Sable and her mom can run the business independently. That’s something I’ve always wanted for them.”
The story of Sable’s Scented Scentsations spreads beyond wax and wick. It sheds light on the power of resilience and the joy of innovation.
CFS is proud of all three of these powerhouse women of color who overcame the onerous challenges of the pandemic together to give life to an inspiring, exciting, creative entrepreneurial adventure. We are sure this venture will succeed!