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Welcome friend. I am so excited that you are here. My name is Erin Elizabeth. I wear many hats but some of my favorites are: wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, cheer coach, and bible study leader. I am married to my favorite human, Scott and together we have two spunky kiddos.

  

 

I began making candles back in 2018 when I was postpartum with my son. Synthetic fragrances began to bother me greatly. I suffered from headaches, watery eyes, and an itchy throat. All of these symptoms made me irritable and over time I struggled to light even my favorite candles (Nest Fragrances). With a little research I was able to educate myself on synthetic fragrances and the harmful effects they can have on your body. I learned that most have chemicals derived from petrochemicals and contain phthalates (endocrine disruptors), benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and toluene (carcinogens). Many of the ingredients found in synthetic fragrances, or candle dye are linked to breathing problems, hormone issues and even cancer. Needless to say I was done burning and buying candles with synthetic fragrances. I began to create my own candles at home, with all natural ingredients and essential oils as my fragrance. 

Fast forward three years. In the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic, I was teaching over a dozen students with special needs, virtually. Working day and night trying my best to make learning engaging and fun despite the circumstances. Additionally, I was undergoing therapy for sexual abuse I endured as a child/young adult which made some of my days feel like a marathon. I struggled. I was hurting, overcome with anger and doubt that better days were to come. I lost over fifteen pounds, wasn’t eating or sleeping. Life was more than difficult. 

I made the decision to take a mental health leave of absence and focus my time and energy on continued healing. I began pouring more and more candles. I needed something to keep my type-a personality busy in my time away from work. I poured when I was sad, frustrated, or feeling hopeless. I noticed that with each candle I made, I felt better. My days were brighter. Slowly, I began to feel like myself again.

Through therapy, lots of prayer, and a couple hundred candles later, I am stepping out in faith and freely sharing my story. My grit, and my grace. Its messy. I'm far from perfect and unsure if I will ever be fully healed. But, I hope with these candles, you are encouraged. I hope you come to believe that no matter what challenges life throws your way, you can tackle them with a little bit of grit and a lot of grace. I pray that life's challenges will neither defeat nor define you [grit] and that you will extend kindness to yourself and others even when it's hard [grace].  

From VA with love, 

Erin Elizabeth 

May 24, 2021 — Erin Van Buren

Comments

Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn said:

You are literally the definition of a woman with grit and grace! I love seeing this vision and mission come to life!

Ellie

Ellie said:

Love this story! Thank you for being brave and sharing your journey and your wonderful candles with us! The world is lucky to have women like you in it!

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