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Life & Work with Jess Novello of Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jess Novello.

Hi Jess, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’ve been obsessed with burning candles for a long time, I’ve always loved the ambiance they help create and the way that the scent can curate a specific vibe. I started experimenting with making candles for myself in 2014 which then translated to sharing them with friends and family. In early 2020, I decided I was going to make the leap into making things a little more official. As I continued to spend time researching ingredients, I realized how harmful a lot of candles can be for our bodies and our environment. Because of that, I wanted to ensure that my candles would be high quality, safe for homes and bodies, while also being affordable. I had spent a lot of time dreaming up what Flora and Fauna would be so it has been so much fun seeing everything come to fruition.

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?
Opening a business prior to the pandemic created a lot of unforeseen challenges but also offered a lot of opportunities to be creative! An unexpected challenge has been securing supplies. I’m committed to creating a certain quality of products, so because of that, I am incredibly selective with where I source ingredients. When the world essentially shut down in March, a lot of places I was purchasing supplies from weren’t open, had backordered items, or were completely out of stock. I’ve also really had to overcome some imposter syndrome with being a business owner. There can be a lot of self-doubt or anxiety with putting my product (and thus myself!) out there, so there’s been a lot of practice in being both vulnerable and brave.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m really proud of being a locally grown company. I was born and raised in North County, so being a part of the vibrant community of business owners here feels really special. It’s been so much fun to get to see my community respond to my candles and to be able to connect with and support other businesses in the process. I’m also really proud of my commitment to creating a clean product. When you research candles, you can see that there are a lot of ingredients that can be added in or used (such as paraffin or toxic fragrances) that are harmful not only to our environment, but to our health. I don’t create or sell anything that I wouldn’t burn in my own home. So, when you purchase a Flora and Fauna Candle, not only are you purchasing from a small, local company, you can also have confidence that your candle won’t come at the cost of your health or the health of our environment.

Any big plans?
Part of owning a small business means always evaluating, re-evaluating, trying, succeeding, and failing. It’s a process! I find myself analyzing every single thing down to labels, scents, market displays, and vessels at all hours of the day. My hope for Flora & Fauna is that we will continue to create a high quality product that is affordable. You can expect to see some new fragrances from us, new vessels, and potentially some exciting collaborations!

Pricing:

  • Tins- $12.00
  • Signature Jars- $17.00

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Gabriella Novello

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