Sunday, November 18, 2018

Introducing Pacifica Grace Studio


I’m excited and proud to introduce to you Pacifica Grace Studio today! 

About a month after I resigned from my full-time corporate finance job, I got the idea to launch my own business selling handmade pure soy wax candles and wax melts.  I've been working more than full time since early October to launch my business on November 15th.  I’ve worked hard on product testing, product development, graphics, branding, web domain, all the financials, business plans, getting the appropriate licenses, social media, marketing, writing product copy, actually making the candles & wax melts, designing product labels, product styling & photography, shipping, customer service, etc.  I'm doing everything myself and it's a one-woman show!  :)

What’s in a name?

I named my business Pacifica Grace Studio because this combination of words hold deep meaning for me. Grace is my mom's name. I lost her to cancer in 2007 and my life hasn’t been the same since. It's my way of remembering and honoring her. Also, the meaning of my Chinese name is grace. It's actually two characters that mean "grace & mercy" together. Pacifica is derived from the Latin root for the word "peace". Plus I live near the Pacific Ocean, so it evokes that as well. Both words have individual meaning to me, but together they mean "grace & peace", which is how the apostle Paul greeted the Corinthians in I Corinthians.  I’ve always loved that greeting.  Plus, who couldn’t use more grace and peace in their everyday lives?

For the store launch I am offering nine scents initially for the holiday season.  The are available in 3 sizes in candles and also in wax melts


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Pumpkin Chai

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Caramel Popcorn

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Apple Maple Bourbon

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Cranberry Marmalade

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Pumpkin Souffle

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Peppermint Bark

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Gingerbread House

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Winter Forest

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And star shaped wax melts of all nine scents.  They are so cute and fills up a room with flameless scent really fast. 

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I also have a special limited edition blue-lid jar of our signature scent Grace.  I’m donating all profits after cost of sales of this product to the American Cancer Society.  Once this sells out it will not be restocked.

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I don’t have room to carry a lot of inventory, so the candles and wax melts are made to order when a customer orders it.  Soy wax does have a 24-48 hour cure time, so total production time is between 3-5 days before shipping out.  After doing a ton of research on shipping, I’ve decided to ship USPS Priority Mail, which includes tracking numbers and some insurance.  This ensures my customers receive their products in 2-3 days transit time.  This also gives my business some shipping cost predictability.  For the launch I am only shipping to the United States right now.  I just don’t have the capacity yet to fill out the necessary customs forms and figure out shipping costs to other countries right now.  But it’s always a possibility in the future.

I know some of you have been LONG time blog readers and have followed my little ol blog for many years!  I’m incredibly grateful for you, especially since I haven’t been blogging as regularly in the last few years.  I’m glad that you’re still here and still reading.  I’m offering a special discount code for my blog readers.  Please enjoy 10% off your total purchase through 12/15/2018 with the code BLOG10 in my store.  (Click on the link and it will automatically apply the discount for you!)


I won’t always just be talking about my business here on the blog, because I have plans for new blog posts and content that I’ll share in a future post.  But I will be sharing some behind the scenes of running the business, because that’s obviously a big part of my life now. 

You can subscribe to the newsletter for new product announcements and exclusive subscriber discounts.  (It will not be more than one email per month.)  This is the best way to ensure that you actually see our special promotions and product announcements, since Facebook and Instagram algorithms can be somewhat finicky.

Like & follow Pacifica Grace Studio on Facebook.

Follow on Instagram.

Thanks so much for reading and sharing in my excitement for the launch of Pacifica Grace Studio!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

What I’ve Been Up To + A New Venture

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Thank you so much for all your comments from my last blog post.  I was overwhelmed that anyone is still reading this blog, and that some of you took the time to comment so thoughtfully.  I appreciated it very much!

I meant to blog more often, but I was doing other things and got busy with a new venture.  I will talk about it towards the end of this post.  First a recap… each one of these things probably deserve their own post, but like I said, I got kind of busy in October.  Winking smile

Towards the end of September we went to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland!  I had gotten tickets back in July as a celebration of me leaving my job.  We had never been to this special event before.  It ran from mid-Sept to October 31st at Disneyland, on certain nights. 

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There were no lines on most rides during the party.  We got to trick or treat too.  There was special Halloween fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, and special Frightfully Fun Parade.  It was the most fun I’ve had in a long while!  I highly recommend going next year if you’re local to SoCal.

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We went to Ohio in mid-October to visit Todd’s family and to enjoy fall festivities.  We don’t have fall weather in San Diego in October, so I loved bundling up and doing fall things!

We went to the Castle Noel in Medina, the largest Christmas museum of its kind!  We saw one of the original Elf movie costumes there and we were so excited! 

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We went to a farm and picked out pumpkins, ate corn and apple cider, and went through a corn maze.

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We had a family pumpkin carving contest.


This was ours (Todd and I were a team).  It’s the Corpse Bride.

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Whose pumpkin reigned supreme??

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And we watched a Buckeye game together.

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Speaking of which, of course college football season started back in September.  We’ve been enjoying our football Saturdays!

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Todd did another triathlon!

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I went to the beach a couple of times.

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We hung out with friends.

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I finally finished all the Harry Potter books for the first time!  And saw all the movies!  I loved them!  I went to the library (OMG, freeeeee books!) and read books.

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And I cooked meals. 

Instant Pot Chili Mac

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Thai Green Curry Tofu with Bok Choy

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Chicken Enchiladas

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Chicken and Dumplings

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Let’s see, what else have I been up to?

I’m launching my own business!!!  For the last month I’ve been setting up my business, getting permits, product testing, scent designing, designing labels, branding, graphics, making test products, concepting out product photography, etc.  It’s taken me full time working every day.

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Can you guess what my new business is?

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I am opening a new Etsy store to sell handmade soy candles and wax melts!  I’ve name my store Pacifica Grace Studio.  It’s a name that really means a lot to me.  I will talk about it in a separate post.

Store will be here on Etsy.  You can follow on Facebook and Instagram too!  There just may be launch special coupon codes on social media! 

I’m aiming to launch on Thursday, November 15th.  Obviously that’s only 8 days away and I have so much to do before then.  But stay tuned to the blog or follow on social media for any updates on launch date and special coupon discounts for followers.

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the last two months since leaving work.  Winking smile

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Friday, September 28, 2018

The Next Chapter

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After contemplating for more than a year, I did it.  In June I turned in my resignation at my job.  I had worked in accounting and finance with the same company for 25 years.  During the last two years, it was not the same great place to work at that it once was.  After doing some personal financial analysis, Todd & I decided it was the right time for me to quit my job and take a long sabbatical.  I’m open to working at a part-time job in the future, so it’s not a true retirement yet.  But after 25 years of working month-ends, quarter-ends, and year-ends, I was ready to do something different.

I wore this shirt that I made using iron-on transfer letters on my last day of work, ha ha.

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I was going to leave in mid-July, but in early July my management asked me to stay until the end of August so that they could have time to find my replacement.  They offered some additional bonus compensation to me and I agreed.  My last day of work was August 31st.  My replacement started on 8/27 so I only had a week to train him.  I did the best I could. 

Oh and the week before my last week, I had my hair dyed pink again.  To celebrate leaving the workforce.  My hair stylist Mel posted this photo on her IG account.  My hair was VERY pink this time, LOL.  But I really like it.  It’s me.

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A couple of weeks before my last day, my best girlfriends at work had a goodbye lunch for me. 

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I would be sad, but I know I’ll have regular lunches with these ladies still.  I was so blessed to have this supportive group of women to hang out with at work. 

On my last day of work, they happened to have a Hawaiian Luau luncheon quarterly celebration at work.  So I went out in style!

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I didn’t cry until a couple of days later.  Working there for 25 years was a HUGE chapter of my life.  The company moved us from Dayton to San Diego, changing the course of my life forever.  I’ve made some friends there that I’ve known since I was 23 years old.  I chose this time to leave because they are making tremendous changes at the company in the next few months and most of my old friends will lose their jobs.  I wanted to leave anyway, and it was a good time to not see the changes the next few months.  (My job was not in jeopardy, so if I would have stayed, I would have had to experience every one I knew leaving.)

I sent out my goodbye email to everyone on Monday of my last week at work.  I would like to share it here too.

Subject:  Onwards & Upwards

Colleagues & Friends,

In 1993 I was a starry-eyed accounting graduate from The Ohio State University, beginning my career at NCR, full of hopes and dreams for the future.  I worked hard, got my master’s degree while working full-time, relocated from Dayton to San Diego, held various positions in accounting and finance, and learned so many lessons along the way.

It’s 2018 and I’m once again a starry-eyed (albeit older) person, trying to find my way in this world.  After months of contemplation and deliberation, I’ve made the difficult decision to leave Teradata and start the next chapter of my life.  It’s been an awesome 25-year run and I’m immensely grateful for the entire experience.  I never imagined that I would stay for so long at the same company.  It really is a credit to the wonderful people I’ve gotten to work with along the way.

You may be wondering, what are my plans for the future?  For the immediate next few months, I will be visiting family across the country, tackling some home projects that I’ve put off, and figuring out what makes my heart sing again.  I’ve come to realize that just because I’ve done something for 25 years doesn’t mean that I can’t do something new in the future.  The possibilities are endless and I’m really excited to explore them.  It feels scary and exhilarating at the same time, sort of like that one time when I jumped out of an airplane at 13,000 feet.

My last day here will be this Friday, August 31st.  I hope to get a chance to talk to you individually before I leave.  If you are in San Diego campus, I will see you this Friday in the courtyard for the campus luncheon.

You can keep in contact with me through these channels, and I really hope you do.

(Contact info redacted for privacy purposes.)

Warmest regards,

Christine  Newman

Had to turn in my badge and sign a form the last day before I left.

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I’m tremendously proud of all that I accomplished during my 25 year career.  I think it’s really rare for anyone to work at the same company for that long anymore.  I’ve survived many many changes and reductions in force.  I always did my best in everything and tried to contribute and add value to business decisions through my financial analysis. 

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I’m excited to start the next chapter of my life! 

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