This sweet mama is sharing her experience as a flouring business owner and entrepreneur of the candle company Farmer and the Belle and a mama to two sweet boys. Her candles are AMAZING and I love her story!
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family:
My name is Selena Gibbons, aka Wryah and Nolan’s mom! I have a super handsome and talented husband, Daniel, 2 little boys that melt my heart and also make it skip a beat all at the same time (can I get an Amen from my fellow #boymoms), and 2 fur babies, also boys. I am surrounded by all boys, all the time, I would have never imagined this would be my life but I am immensely grateful that it is!
2. What prompted you to start a business?
So many experiences and people inspired me to create this company. My entrepreneur- minded husband, my desire to create, the motivating female powerhouses I have watched fall and get up again, and my two boys that are watching their Momma. I knew I needed something for myself after having my second son. Although being a stay at home mom is a tremendous privilege and filled my days, there was something missing for me. I always knew I had a desire to create ever since I was a little girl. I loved art class. For a while I thought I would become a Disney Animator! After meeting a candle maker at a local event, I thought maybe I will try this! A youtube video and a lot of trial and errors later I started to get the hang of it. I realized how creative I can be, mixing and blending, designing logos, and packaging. I started to fall in love with the idea of having my own business!
So the next step we did was to buy on of the Airstream Interstate Grand Tour for sale at Airstream of Santa Barbara so we went on a tour around the country to make my product known while we enjoyed the travel with my family !!
3. How did you decide on the name/brand of your business?
It came to me in the shower…literally the only place I get peace and quiet for 10 minutes. My Nana has inspired me my whole life, she was always a big kid herself. She never gave up though, she worked so hard, using her hands, in a factory to create the life she wanted for her family. Although her job was intensive and her hands were worn she always embodied the ideal of feminine for me. She was strong, beautiful, loving, creative, funny, and brave. Her mother’s middle name was Belle and I always thought I would use her name and her mother’s if I had a little girl. The Farmer portion of the name is in honor of my grandfather. He is a retired Marine (view here for marine supply) and Army soldier that fought in Vietnam. He has worked in the fields of Indiana and built a home and a family with my Nana. He is also an artist and a woodworker. He embodies hard work, courage, and creativity. I was singing the Farmer and the Dell song that day in the shower, remember I have two little ones, and it hit me! Farmer and the Belle!
4. Tell us more about your product/business and your role:
Farmer and the Belle is a home fragrance company that hand pours 100% soy wax candles using quality ingredients. We use fragrance oils that are phthalate free and essential oils blended together to create our scents. Last year we expanded to include room sprays and reed diffusers.
Sometimes I feel like a one woman show but lately, within the last 6 months, I have learned to ask for help and hire other passionate entrepreneurs .One of my favorite parts of owning Farmer and the Belle is the community that we are creating of female owned companies, other moms, students, wives, military spouses, and more that are entering my life at the perfect time to build and create something so beautiful, I would never have been able to do on my own.
5. Do you have a storefront or do you work from home?
I work from home 100% We are in the market to expand my workshop but my dream is to have that space on our property and still separate from our home.
6. What does a normal “work” day look like for you?
Let’s see, I think my current situation is a great snapshot into my life…I am sitting in bed with both little ones. One is home sick from school and the other is snuggled up next to me. We are watching funny youtube videos to make us laugh and I am answering these questions!Each year and season this changes. When I first started Farmer and the Belle I had a newborn and a 3 year old. I would test out new scents and make candles a couple of times a month. Looking back now I realize I was in a research and development phase. Once I found quality suppliers for all of my ingredients, I was able to devote more time to establishing my core products and coming up with my brand. Now that my oldest is in elementary school and youngest is in part day preschool I have more time to devote to my business. I schedule meetings, deliveries, production, shipping, etc during the times both boys are in school. That is best case scenario! During our busy season, I find myself staying up late, packing and shipping, sending emails while I am parked in my driveway, and making candles on a daily basis.
7. How do you handle work + kids?
This is a great question that I am still working through. With each chapter and age comes new challenges and also new areas of freedom. Now that I am in a chapter where both boys are in school for at least part of the day, I have more freedom and time for Farmer and the Belle to grow.
8. How do you balance all of the roles that you have?
There is not a balance and I actually do not think it is realistic to strive for that “perfect balance”. What I do know is that I need grace in all areas of my life!
9. What is the best aspect of having your own business?
The best aspect of having my own business is having something I can pass to my boys in the future. I want them to learn hard work, setting goals, achieving and also failing, creativity, and community. I believe owning my own business is able to show them all of those character traits. I also LOVE the community that we are building. Our photographer is a physical therapist by day but has a passion for photography, our website designer/brand designer is in the customer experience industry for a large corporation but her passion is graphic design work. I love watching these ladies blossom while they are using their God given gifts.
10. What is the hardest part about owning your own business?
I am so hard on myself. With that comes insecurity. It comes out so much more when you own a small business. It is your work and your heart, that you pour into your products and business and when a negative review or a failure happens, it hurts that much more. Last year we grew tremendously and with all of that exposure we opened ourselves up to more criticism. Instead of my confidence trending with our business it actually took a major hit. I have grown and learned so much from those times. I learned that I can not make everyone happy. I will always strive for excellence in our customer service and products but there are somethings we have to let go. Not everyone is going to love your business and that is ok!
11. What are some long-term or future goals you have for your business?
Long term, I see us owning property where I can invite so many vendors to come together, learn from each other, encourage each other, and build each other up! I love coordinating events! I also dream of extending Farmer and the Belle to our home and lifestyle. I know we started with candles but I believe it is just the beginning!
12. What do you do when you’re not being supermom?
This one literally made me laugh out loud. I just picture Elastigirl in Incredibles and wish I could have her super powers! I love to travel with my family. We currently have 3 vacations planned for this year. I found that I am motivated by these times where it is just us together. I love to see their smiles, and get so excited to see my children experience something for the first time. I love making memories. I have also been known to love some self-care…can I get another Amen? I love a good spa treatment, a manicure and pedicure, and maybe a glass of champagne!
13. What famous person would you love to have dinner with, and why?
Rachel Hollis, Rachel from Friends, and of course Joanna Gaines! I just think it would be the best girl’s trip! I am so inspired by Rachel Hollis, her vulnerability and humor, Joanna Gaines for her integrity, family-centered business, and honestly I would just love to go shopping with Jennifer Aniston!
14. What are the best resources that you’ve found as a small business owner and mom?
People, people, people! I ask questions and get to know other vendors at every event I am a part of! I also follow other small businesses and bloggers on Instagram to gain inspiration. One of the most inspirational trips I have ever been on was our mini vacation to the Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas. I was inspired by the environment, the people, the design, but most of all the feeling of family and togetherness they have created in the middle of this town. It was amazing.
15. What is one piece of advice that you can give to a mom starting a business?
1. I just read, “Girl, Wash your Face”, such a great book! One of the many things I learned from the author, Rachel Hollis, was that creating is a privilege, it is a gift (that more precious than any groomsmen gifts) that many people in this world do not get to experience. I think being thankful and remembering how special and an honor it is to have the time, resources, and opportunity to create something is so important. You don’t have to create, you GET to.
2. Listen to your gut. It is conviction and will lead you to making the right decisions.
3. Good is the enemy of great.
4. Build a tribe. Surround yourself with people that are honest, hard-working, encouraging, and that challenge you.
5. Set your priorities and try hard to stick to them. Ours are God first, family second, business third. These priorities help us when we need to make decisions. We mess up, we are far from perfect, but that is what forgiveness and grace are for!
You’re going to want to go give this mama a follow!