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Exploring Life & Business with JoJo Guzman of The Opening Day

Today we’d like to introduce you to JoJo Guzman.

JoJo, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
This idea came about while I was on a hike. One day, I just decided, “you know what would be a great idea? Making candles, but adding a personalized touch to them.” Growing up, my family was and still is big into sports. I specifically played baseball up until I graduated high school. I continue to play in leagues with friends, etc. However, since COVID restrictions were implemented last year, that had come to a pause. I decided that I wanted to craft something that not only would help relax someone while in the comfort of their home but also helped connect them to a sport we all loved but weren’t sure of when we would be able to enjoy that media message that “Opening Day” was coming.

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?
This road was not the easiest, however, I had huge support from my “fans” (see what I did there?) AKA family, loved ones, and friends. I had so many creative ideas but no draft of where to begin. One of my biggest struggles was being able to find reputable and safe materials since we at The Opening Day like to pride ourselves on being as eco-friendly and animal safe as possible. Fortunately, with the support of people around me, I was able to lock in where to start. Another struggle was actually making the candles, haha. I am by the far the least craftiest person you could ever meet, but I was dedicated to creating something people would love. It took a lot of trial and error products, oftentimes I felt I was ready to give up because I felt that it was just spending and spending and not even having a product ready to go yet.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The Opening Day candles was made to help celebrate not only The Opening Day in sports but The Opening Day for something big in anyone’s life (whether that be the start of a new job, relationship, etc.) it was meant to symbolize that exact moment and feeling. I used to coach softball at the high school level as well as coaching travel-ball softball at the 18 & under level, which also assisted in the idea behind my brand name and candle scents. I believe what sets us apart from others is that we continue to remain locally sourced and acknowledged within the community. We pride ourselves on “small-batch, big hearts.”

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The most important lesson that I have learned along my journey is the hard work and time it takes to establish a small businesses. Learning about the scientific aspect of making candles, packaging items to fulfill orders, etc. is still something I continue to learn about but find rewarding to see others acknowledge and love our products.

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