Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Harrison.
Ashley, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My story starts like so many lately. I was really burnt out during Covid. I work as a bedside nurse and saw so much heartbreak. It was one of the hardest times of my life.
In October of 2021, I started a new job and I started looking for things that made me feel like myself. I started making candles as a way to give meaningful gifts to people and be creative in a helpful way.
The idea of using exclusively repurposed vessels came naturally. I was using meaningful things for the family as a way of preserving memories. After all the terrible things humanity has gone through, I love the idea of bringing new life to items that have been discarded.
I came with the naming ritual because I wanted this to be a way to remind people that little rituals, like taking time for yourself (and burning a candle) how we can out in the work to bring new life to ourselves when we feel like we don’t have anything left.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been pretty smooth! I am doing this because I enjoy it.
I love the opportunity to be creative and make something beautiful. This endeavor is full of ups and downs. I have learned through trial and error how to make these items with the quality that I want to put into people’s homes.
I am working on expanding to online orders, but each one of my pieces is unique due to their origin so it is not something where I will have consistent inventory. Still working that one out
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My primary vocation in nursing. That background gives me a unique perspective on the creative side of things having a small business. I have learned to think on my feet.
It has been a lot of fun getting to know people through a more creative workspace in contrast to the science aspect of hospital care. I enjoy bringing the empathy that I have for people back into my life in a different way. I want to encourage people to take time for themselves.
Being responsible for the resources we have on this planet is important to me. I want people to see the everyday items we use in a different way. Even the things we use for enjoyment can be done responsibly. And investing in or using sustainable materials is easier the more you try it.
I have switched materials the more I learn about what I am doing. All my candles are made with 100% soy wax or coconut wax so they are clean burning. I either grow or my mother grows all the herbs and flowers for my candles and body care items. So they are local and ethically sourced.
It means so much to me knowing that I have put together as many of the ingredients as I can here in the kc area.
Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I would say that it has been so much fun getting into the small business arena in the Kansas City area. People in the Midwest are so friendly and welcoming.
I am so proud of being a part of a city that loves shopping small and enjoying the things that this area has to offer.
- Website: Theritual.store
- Instagram: @The.ritual.candle
Sarah Dean and Ben Rippee