We had the good fortune of connecting with Kira Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kira, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Nothing in life comes without taking risks. To be successful, you must take a risk. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The thought of failing is not only embarrassing but terrifying, but success does not come without the risk of failure. This is something I came to terms with this past year. Before starting my business, I was a teacher. I taught middle school students and coach high school basketball. One of the main things I used to preach to my students was to find something you love doing and figure out a way to make money from it. This way you never work a day in your life. This is advice I have given out for years but never took myself. When we were forced into quarantine due to the pandemic. I started doing a lot of self-reflection and one thing I realized was that I was not happy. I honestly was depressed. My life was not where I wanted it to be, and I felt I had been wasting years. I got the career I always said I wanted to do, but I was not happy. I realized I love working with children, but I was not satisificied doing the work. I realized it was time that I take my own advice, “finding what I love to do and make money from it.” This was the birth of KayDee’s Kandles by Kaydee Kustom LLC. Crafting has always been my passion and is therapy for me. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I would exit reality and surround myself with my crafts. I love making candles and I love creating art. So, I decided to combine the two and create art out of wax and turn it into a candle. Starting a business was scary because here I am a struggling mom taken hard earn money and investing it with the hopes that it will pay off. I decided for me to ever be happy, I had to not be afraid of taking the risk. Most of my unhappiness and feeling of unfulfillment was because of my fear of taking risks and putting myself out there. I was afraid of failing or worse that others would know I didn’t succeed and I would be labeled as a failure. However, this outlook on life is when I noticed many others around me never reached their dreams or never enjoyed a blissful life is because they were to afraid to take a risk. Putting my art out there was already risk-taking for me. As an artist, I keep my work hide with only those close to me seeing it. This is due to the fact that I fear the people will not appreciate or understand my work. Building confidence was a must for me to be able to make that leap and take that risk, of not only showing my art but turning it into a business. As a mom, I also want to show my son that he should never be afraid to take a risk. That if he ever wants to achieve success he must go out there and take a risk to achieve. I am confident that I am not taking this risk for nothing. That this is my true passion. I will be successful. Taking these first steps will only help me build a bigger brand and stage for myself.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am what you would consider a rookie in the business world. I recently decided to leap fate and became an entrepreneur. My business is growing. I started really small and continue to expand each day. Although, my business is making candles. I don’t like to consider myself a candle maker. I consider myself to be a candle artist. As my candles are not just a candle but a work of art. I am not just selling a jar full of scented wax. I am selling my customers an experience. You can buy a candle from anywhere, but nowhere can you find a candle-like mine. As a new entrepreneur, I would say most of what I have learned has come from trial and error. Of course, I did my research and had mentors who helped me along the way. However, nothing can prepare for the real thing until you experience it yourself. I have found that the biggest challenge that I face is not having enough hours in the day and becoming greatly overwhelmed. Being the owner, employee, marketing team, saleswoman, etc., all on your own can be very overwhelming at times. With that being said, not allowing myself to get mentally fatigued is just as challenging as becoming physically fatigued. Sometimes when this happens, I feel like I bit off more than I can chew, and I want to give up. I remember why I started my business, my goals, and who I am doing this for. Even on those days when I get no sales, no likes on my recent post, or when I can get a scent to match my wax, I remember never to give up and keep trying.
Overall, I have learned that things take time and not to rush. Sometimes you have to slow down and take it one step at a time. That running a business is rocket science. There are many things to learn and do.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend came into town, the first thing we would do fresh out of the airport is visit Speedy Street Taco. They have the best tacos in the Valley. I would have them try their steak burrito. My friends love to shop, so a visit to the Scottsdale mall would be on the list. We would also drive around Paradise Valley and look at the beautiful homes sitting on the mountains. We would visit a couple of my favorite restaurants like the Rodizo’s Brazilian Steak house, Snooze for breakfast, a few of my favorite taco shops, and one of the beautiful casino buffets. Arizona has amazing outdoor adventures. I would take them on a hike through the mountains (of course not in the summer), we would visit Lake Pleasant, and of course, a trip to Sedona. For the nightlife, we would visit Old Scottsdale. We would check out a couple of fun bars there and a nice club Intel. To end the trip, we would have a nice chill cookout in the backyard, listening to music and having great conversations.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My son is my motivation. He is the reason I do everything I do now. I things I work for is to give him a better life and an example that he can do it too but better. I would also thank my family as they are my number one supporters.