By: Hunter Mylek
What drove you to start Self Care Sunday?
Like many people, quarantining at the very beginning and throughout the pandemic left me with a lot of idle time. Thankfully, I had the ability to continue working my job (which I had just started on March 2, 2020) completely remotely but this meant I was at home every moment of almost every day—which I’m sure my dog enjoyed but I wasn’t used to. In previous years, I was in school full time and/or working multiple jobs, dog sitting for friends, or navigating some aspect of life so I never had “free” time; I was always doing something. Quarantine gave me the time I needed to sit with myself and my thoughts and examine parts of my life I never knew needed much attention—my mental health/wellbeing and my personal relationships. I decided I needed to be more intentional so with that at the forefront of my mind and the world slowly reopening, I began practicing “self care Sunday” as a way of intentionally reconnecting with friends, family, and myself.
This self-declaration paired with a random YouTube search for “businesses you can start under $500,” led to candle making. I didn’t know if I would enjoy candle making but I knew I liked DIY and was willing to give it a try. From there, I started to acquire more and more materials and a stockpile of candles which I initially just gave away until it was suggested that I start selling them. Through my work at the Michigan Small Business Development Center – West Michigan Region, it only made sense that I do things the “right way” and turn my hobby into an official business.
How did you find success?
You have to define success for yourself because (1) living up to someone else’s expectations is unfulfilling and (2) everyone starts businesses for different reasons. I don’t know if I’ve quite found success yet but if I had to give an answer it would be: by doing. It’s not just about selling products though that is a goal, it’s about having an idea and going through every step of the process—making mistakes and learning along the way. I’m hard on myself and set very high expectations for myself and my business so when I feel impressed by myself, I find success.
What does your business mean to you?
Self Care Sunday wasn’t the first idea or hobby I thought about turning into a business but it’s the first to make it this far. Oftentimes, people will talk about my products or my business and I’ll respond with something like, “I’m trying.” I have to continuously remind myself, “No, Qi’Shaun. You’re doing.” Self Care Sunday is an extension of me and my values—everything you see is me from the logo (which took months and months and I’m so thankful to my friend for) to the packaging to the ingredients. I’m intentional about every aspect of the brand and that is also a reflection of the type of person I am.
Why do you feel self-care is so important?
For some reason, we feel selfish for turning down coffee with a friend simply because we don’t want to or don’t feel like it or we feel guilty for requesting PTO/vacation days or we feel lazy for staying in bed all day. But why? Hustle culture has made it seem like every single waking moment has to be spent doing something productive. Don’t get me wrong: I was born and raised in Detroit—hustle runs through my blood. But, hustle culture is toxic. Sometimes, taking time to rest and reset is the best thing you can do so that you have the mental capacity and energy to continually hustle and pour into others.
What are some lessons you’ve learned from starting your own business?
Starting and running a business is not easy even if you have all the steps and resources laid out in front of you. You have to remain persistent, consistent, and disciplined. Not every idea is a good idea. You should stop to reflect on your progress—yay you!
Outside of Self Care Sunday, Qi’Shauns days are filled with work and school. She is the Program Coordinator for the Michigan Small Business Development Center – West Michigan Region where they provide consulting, business education and market research to help small businesses launch, grow, transition and innovate. She is also pursuing the next steps in her educational journey as a Professional MBA student at GVSU. To check out Self Care Sunday click Here.