We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica & Shane Washington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erica & Shane, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Without taking risks, our business wouldn’t be where it is today.
We both quit our jobs and took a huge leap in believing in ourselves and our idea: River Birch Candles. There were plenty of days that we didn’t know what would come or if a move we had made was the right one. For about 2 years, we didn’t know if we had made the right decision about leaving our jobs to pursue our dreams. There were even months that we were weeks away from homelessness, but each time the rent was due we had pulled through just enough.
The truth about risks is that you never know if they will pay off, but you have faith that they will. Something about this business, about us, just made sense that it would all work out. I don’t believe anyone in our lives truly saw what we saw in our business at the beginning, but in a way, that lack of faith from friends, family, and peers motivates you to prove them wrong and thrive more than they thought was possible.
What should our readers know about your business?
River Birch Candles makes beautiful natural candles, handmade matches, and organic looseleaf teas. We have the largest selection of matches and match blends in the world.
We are most proud of the 300+ stores and companies that we work with regularly through wholesale and partnerships.
It certainly wasn’t easy to grow to where we are today. We had friends and family not support us, we have struggled to get consistent orders and we had our top employee steal from us. For all challenges we have faced, we have learned no one is going to handle the problems but us. We embraced our role as “professional problem solvers” which has helped us move past challenges more efficiently and without fear. If you don’t have problems, you don’t have a business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Bistro B: Amazing Vietnamese Food with huge portions
D’Vegan: This Vietnamese restaurant is right next door to Bistro B, and has delicious food that is all vegan.
Rush Bowls: For healthier options, Rush Bowls is perfect! They have fantastic Acai bowls and smoothies.
Vegan Food House: Huge selection of delicious vegan optins. This is a must!
Flea Style: The cutest boutique with a large selection of clothes and home goods from local small businesses.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The two of us are huge proponents of keeping motivated through listening to speakers and reading books. Our favorite speakers include Art Williams, Jim Rohn, Eric Thomas, and Angela Duckworth. Listening to them about what they have endured and learned has been instrumental to our motivation through our darkest times.
We’ve also worked with a lot of amazing contractors but our photographer and friend, Charlee Tabor, has absolutely been the best. She is incredibly creative and taleneted. We are so thankful to work with her!