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Meet Christine Torres of Santitos Candles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christine Torres.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
My story actually began with the passing of my brother Johnny in September of 2019. I had been grappling with how to process my grief when in May 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic, inspiration struck. I was at the time unemployed; and sitting in the living room of my parent’s home. I suddenly had this urge to turn around and tell my mom that I was going to start making candles. I know she thought nothing of it since I am known to be quite the floater when it comes to starting and finishing projects, but, well… here I am.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has been everything but smooth; but I wouldn’t change a thing about these past few months. I started working again in July, and that set me back in focusing on my candles. Working 40 hours a week as an accounting supervisor and then getting home to making candles until 1 or 2 in the morning, some days it took its toll; however it has been the most helpful way I’ve learned to navigate the loss of Johnny. On the hardest of days; when grief comes in waves I end up making about 60 candles. “Productive pain”, as I like to call it. I recently got laid off in January again; and at first, I was a bit hesitant since making candles on the side was a way to help with my grief and add extra income. However, I have used the last month to expand my business, I went live on ETSY and am currently working on building my website, adding wax melts and room sprays. Scents take me back in time to simpler and happier, fuller times. Which makes it an easy choice for me to continue making them. I do everything when it comes to Santitos Candles. I make the candles, purchase inventory, sometimes driving an hour away to pick up supplies, taking product pictures, choosing scents, following up with orders, shipping, receiving, and all that in between. Never again can I underestimate what small businesses have to go through in order to make it.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I make soy wax candles and genuinely love it. The inspiration for my logo and brand name comes from my brother Johnny. Santitos, because he truly was a saint to walk amongst me and my family, The most loving, humbled, and faithful of heart. Marigolds because it just so happens that my brother was born on November 2nd, Day of the Dead. Marigolds are meant to lead your loved ones. Just like Johnny continues to guide me everyday. And finally, “with all my heart” is an exact copy of my brother’s writing from one of his many handwritten letters to me, Which reminds me to do everything full-heartedly. Every candle is made in small batches with so much love and the hope that my candles light up another’s life. My candles are unique in how they look. I use different containers, love adding crystal stones and dried flowers, and I am always doing a set of themed candles for the holidays. Halloween, Autumn, Christmas, Valentine’s Day….etc. etc. I use natural soy wax and fragrance oils for a cleaner burn than that of paraffin wax. I used to work at a bank for ten years and constructive feedback was a big take away for me. I am constantly asking my clients what they would like to see more of, following up on how the candles burn. Anything to continue improving my candles and the lives of my customers. I find myself letting others know I’m sending them “love and light.” I am, always.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I have so many. My childhood consisted of growing up in a cul-de-sac in Arleta. My grandparents lived to the left of us, and my cousins lived to the right of us. Spending every summer in the pool, pretending to be ninjas; running around, climbing trees, jumping off of things; definitely making travesuras for my grandma. Then the last two weeks in August, my parents took me and my three siblings camping; along with all my 30+plus first cousins. A tradition we continue every year for two weeks in July in Lake Tahoe. Growing up with my siblings is my favorite memory.

Contact Info:

  • Email: santitoscandles@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @santitoscandles

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