Years in Tampa Bay
Founder and Designer at Astral House.
What do you do?
I design mindful spaces that reflect one’s values, rituals and lifestyle. I also pour soy candles and curate a handmade home decor line that has both beauty and purpose.
Why do you do it?
I love to make people feel good, and I believe our environment shapes our mental health and our relationships. Our environment can be a source of stress or it can be a safe haven that makes us feel grateful and appreciative and lifts our spirit.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
I grew up in a hostile environment and from a young age, I realized the power of being surrounded by things we love and creating a sanctuary. My first job out of college was for a Fortune 500 company in their Home Decor and Textiles department. I loved coming up with looks and sourcing items for it from all over the world. I fell in love with the story of artisans and the feeling of impacting their lives through supporting them. I started Astral House by pouring soy candles in my tiny apartment, it grew to a home decor line and selling out at markets, then it organically grew into design.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
It’s a common misconception that I have a team of people. I still pour the candles, curate my shop and 3D design for interior design clients. I run my social media and set up and break down shops during markets. I do it all!
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
The scrolling and obsession with the 2D world, whether it’s Instagram or Pinterest, has made us less open to having a 3D in real-life tactile experience. In 2D you can’t see the full picture, what’s behind that couch, how it actually feels to be in a space. Experiencing a space through all of our senses is crucial for humans, and I’m currently in search of a storefront. I believe that a storefront is a next step in growing since I am in such a visual business; it’s important that customers can have a tactile 3D experience. Finding the perfect location during a pandemic has been challenging.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
Get out there and be seen! Participating in Keep St. Pete Local events has been huge for me. Local business owners have become my friends, I found mentors, and I always walk away with interior design leads. It has been incredibly humbling and empowering.