Meet Yesenia & Israel
Meet Yesenia & Israel, the Makers behind CalWicks
CalWicks, established in 2019, is a trusted candle company based in Long Beach, California run by couple/team Yesenia Rico and Israel Tejeda. They specialize in creating affordable, high-quality candles using minimal, all natural ingredients.
Read their story below
What inspired you to start your creative enterprise? How did you get into making candles?
Yesenia: CalWicks actually sparked from a slight candle obsession. We both really love candles, but didn’t really purchase them often because I often felt sick from the overpowering scents or chemical emissions that bothered my allergies. One morning I woke up and said I wanted to make my own candles and sell them and my boyfriend jumped right on board.
We had no idea where to start when we began or what our candles would even look like, but we dove in head first. With that said, I’d have to admit our first couple of batches of candles were a total fail (ha-ha) but after some quick research we were able to produce quality, great smelling candles.
We both have day jobs and do our best to balance our time between the two. Our growth is slow, but steady and for that we are grateful.
“We don’t really know where our business will go in the future, but we hope to continue to build something that will stick around for the long run.”
Describe your perfect day out and about locally.
Yesenia: Our perfect day out would definitely involve some California sun and a good hike. We are both pretty active and enjoy exploring new hiking trails and just taking in the fresh air. We also use this time to capitalize on taking product photos as well!
What does your workspace look like?
Yesenia: We live and create out of our 2 bedroom apartment. The kitchen is where all of the magic happens, believe it or not! Our workspace can get a little messy when we’re creating, but that usually doesn’t last long because I can’t think straight when things are disorganized.
“Having a day job and a side hustle can become draining so, I like to make sure I have some me time and that I don’t suck the fun out of making candles"
Israel: My day at home starts off with a 30 minute walk with our 3 dogs around our beautiful neighborhood. As for my workspace I would say that it’s a little less organized than I’d like but it works perfectly fine for me. There are several things that can get my creative juices flowing, but one I can always rely on is just having a simple conversation with some business-minded people. Once we get talking, the ideas just don’t stop!
“The scents are never overpowering, but offer a lovely scent throw that will gently carry throughout your home.”
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Yesenia: I spend all week at my day job, so I try my best to stay motivated and keep the momentum going on the weekend so I can work on everything candles! I dedicate some of my weekend to working on new scents, products, etc.
I would describe myself as hyper-organized. When things are out of place I feel like I can’t think straight and it screws up my creative flow. I’m a planner and a researcher so I need a lot of structure (which I know seems funny when it comes to being a creative). Like, who plans creativity? Well, I do. I do a lot of the behind the scenes research. I like to plan out my timelines for the day as well because having time to just unwind and relax is key.