Podcast #29 Water Your Own Grass


Alana Gilbert (also known as Ms. Candles) is the Owner / Operator of Mind Body & Scents, LLC. It was in the midst of one of the lowest times in her life that she decided to create peace where there was none. She was constantly running behind her extremely athletic teenage son and now ex-boyfriend that she forgot about Alana. Then GOD placed on her heart to make handpoured soy candles for her team and from experimenting, a business was birthed. In the search for escape from heartbreak and the hustle & bustle of life she found her passion. Alana's goal is to help others find time in their busy schedules to relax and make time for themselves on a regular basis. Her prayer is that her products will become a part of your daily routine of relaxation and pampering.



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Mia LaMotte 0:00
Alright, so I'm going to be bringing up my next guest in a couple minutes. Alana Gilbert, aka Miss candles of mind body. And since she is a mother, she is a business owner. And she's an overall badass. So I'm glad to have her on today and let you guys meet her as well. So welcome, Alana. How are you today?

Alana 0:26
I am. Well, good morning, hey Mia.

Mia LaMotte 0:30
Tell me about those earrings. You got on girl.

Alana 0:33
Oh, you know, I just stay branded. I mean, that's just what we do around here. So these earrings are mind body and cents. And they're part of my brand colors as well.

Mia LaMotte 0:41
Absolutely. Absolutely. And tell us a little bit about why you decided to do why candles?

Alana 0:50
Why candles, right? It was so random. I was getting over a breakup, I needed to refocus my energy. And I always make like arts and crafts little things for my team. I'm a manager for the company. I work with full time. And I was like, Yo candles, let's try something different. And literally, it was just a thought and it just manifested into like a role in business.

Mia LaMotte 1:12
A thought that manifested into a growing business out of a disintegrate. Yeah, on a hardware. I know heartbreak. So tell us a little bit about the process. So when you decided, okay, it's gonna be candles. Did you like start making them right away? Like, how did that How did that even start like you have the idea. But then what thought had,

Alana 1:35
I had the idea I talked to my homeboy at work about he was like, you should sell them. I've said this before I didn't, I was just telling him what I was gonna do for my team. He was like, you should sell the candles. I said sell candles. I said, Okay, literally went to Hobby Lobby, bought a whole bunch of different items and made some candles, took them to work. Everybody loved them. That's exactly how my business started. Like, I just dove headfirst and I was just getting an oil change you like candles, I'm at the gas station, pumping gas, you like candles, it didn't matter where I was. I'm asking everybody if they like candles, and I started off. Initially, they were only $8. So I was doing pre pre orders. No one gave me any money, you know, by just like taking all these orders writing everything down manually. And when I began actually making them, like mass producing, they didn't have a smell at all, like zero, it was horrible. And I cry and I literally just sat there was like, okay, so what are we gonna do? You talk to this person, this person, I'm going to my book, people at work everywhere, like, you got to produce candles. So I literally decided at that moment if I was going to move forward or just like, give up. And I decided to move forward. So I did my research, let everybody know, it was gonna be a delay. I'm very transparent, right? That's one of the best things about my business. I'm very transparent. So I let everyone know what was going on. And I just got to work. You know, it just began testing again. And I've just been growing and just, you know, making changes and adjustments ever since.

Mia LaMotte 3:04
So how long ago was that? Over three years ago? So it took you would you say it took you this long to really feel good about the product feel good about putting yourself out there? Like, how long would it typically take someone to start to finish from ideation, right? Because you talked about how India, so you can keep your mind. Right, right, while you went through this breakup, then you actually have a legitimate business. And you do you do this very well. So talk to me about, like, what was the thought process for you when you first started? And how's it very different from what it is today?

Alana 3:43
The thought process from when I first started that the most thing I changed was my insecurity. When I first started, I couldn't follow or watch other candle makers. It didn't matter if there were a big brand, a small brand, I was just very insecure. And whatever I was doing, I felt inadequate compared to someone else. You know, even if I sold 10 Candles one day, and somebody so one, or let's say 11 I was oh my god, I'm not good enough, or I was extremely insecure. And I'm at a place now where I talk about it all the time the bread out, do you and I'm gonna cheer for you, you know, but at the same time, this is what I'm doing over here. And this is good as well. So it's no more comparison and insecurity is dissipated. I'm just really thankful for that.

Mia LaMotte 4:29
Don't you feel like it's super important. Like, I've noticed this too, like when you are so busy looking at what other people are doing. It's really hard for you to be creative. It's hard for you to show up as yourself because you're trying to be other versions instead of you.

Alana 4:44
That was the biggest thing and this one particular Big Boss brand I was following heavy will very comparison right? And I was trying to pretty much mimic what they were doing and I spent so much money and when I finally got to a placed by Yo, I make candles. I don't have to do this. I don't have to do do that I make candles. And this is what I'm proficient at. And this is what I'm going to just invest my time and energy. And literally, it's been like it's grown since once I stopped trying to be like somebody else. Oh, that's,

Mia LaMotte 5:19
that's big. That's killer. Who Who else in the audience who's paying attention? Right? Who else can relate to compare yourself to other people who are doing the same thing in your industry? And does it help? Or does it hurt you? Because I found that did hurt me too. Like, you can go and I can go and look at other people's stuff and get inspired. Or I can take it in and be like, well, dang, I'm not there. So I'm just not going to do anything. Yeah, yeah. All right. So let's let's fast forward. Now you got your candles, you got your you have your processes down, you got everything going you like, Okay, I am Miss candles. I'm embodying Ms. Candles. How do you get to a point? Or how was it for you to finally say, Okay, I'm just gonna make candles. I'm just gonna be me. What switches? Did you have to make an order for that to happen?

Alana 6:15
When I looked at how much money time and energy was spent trying to do something else. I mean, literally, oh my god, I can't even describe it. It was just it was wasted effort. I mean, that's when the switch happened was like, Yo, like, focus, I look at your own grass water over here. It doesn't matter. You know? That's it. That's simple. But that's literally what it was.

Mia LaMotte 6:42
So watering your own grass looks like what?

Alana 6:46
doing my research challenging myself in my own lane, right. So I am Miss candles. That is a name that was given to me by one of my good friends. And um, with that I do challenge myself. So although I just make not just my canvas, although I am a candle maker, I did challenge myself to start another candle process meaning I was doing 100% Soy which is you know, Herb sustainable. It's like all the things right eco friendly. But I said let's see how we can elevate our brand song. And I want to use the word elevate lightly because soy is still 100% Like all natural. It's like great. But I wanted to go for a more luxurious can do exploring some I've started to incorporate coconut soy wax into my brand, extremely way more expensive. It's a whole different process, all the things but from a process of making it is much easier. And because now my smile on my cure, Tom it is it was just the best move I could have made for me to challenge myself.

Mia LaMotte 7:46
Yeah. And that's the point I want the audience to get right. You decided I'm going to stop doing this comparison. And I'm going to get in my own lane and start to do some research. Once you started doing this research, you found that there wasn't another way to elevate and and have your candles we mock juries. But and you kind of said to yourself, oh, you know what? That's going to be way more expensive. That's going to take me more time it's going to be this and you did it? What made you like what was your thought process? Talk to me about that? Like what is your thought process when it comes to making those kinds of business decisions and making sure that they're still aligned with MS candles brand and Alana as a person.

Alana 8:32
So in all honesty, what really happened I went to another candle makers business, and I did their candle making process, like they wanted their workshops. And it really just opened up my eyes to is more out here than just what you're used to. And I honestly enjoyed her candle the candle that I made with her products, and that's what made me research a little bit more because I was like, I was familiar with coconut oil because I'm gonna count on making groups which is very which I'm more mature so I can be there and give insight and wisdom as well as taking insight wisdom from them as well. So I've been exposed to it, but at the same time to actually experience it. I was like, Okay, I like this a little bit more and it cut down on my processing time like in half. You know, so it's more money, but at the same time just if it took me 40 minutes to make four candles, it takes me three no brainer.

Mia LaMotte 9:31
Right? Because time is money. Time is money. Time is money. So you have cut down your process by what? Almost 7080 90 I don't even know you know, I don't know, man so 90%

Alana 9:43
Yeah, pretty much.

Mia LaMotte 9:44
It was ridiculous. Yeah, that is ridiculous. But you were also open so here's what I heard. You are also open to learning from someone else in the business. So you stop the comparison you would like to see was this girl over here? No. So I'm going to be more productive number with And then the other thing that I heard was that you decided to be a part of a group and give your expertise when you could,

Alana 10:07
yes, definitely.

Mia LaMotte 10:09
Tell me a little about a lot about the switch in that because we can get into these groups and hide out and not contribute, or contribute in a way that turns people off. But now it sounds like you've really come into your own and you're like, you know what, I can make a contribution here. I know enough about this to say something. And I'm not afraid to learn from people who are doing it better than me. Yeah,

Alana 10:31
most definitely. And you know, me, that's something that we talked about in our branding courses together, you know, because I would never would have thought about it, like being around other candle makers, you know, but I had to get to a place of maturity, you know, I have self assurance, and now being there, it's the best move I could have made for my business. And of course, you do Hi, sometimes every time somebody posts, I don't have to say something, right. But when I do find that I can give legitimate direction I do. And sometimes, again, with me going into the coconut soy, I had to ask them questions, and listening to their feedback, because I was like, Well, what am I saying Kendall says work for this, and yada, yada, yada. And it was just, it was great. You know, just being in a group of like minded people, just by being in a coaching program with like minded individuals, you're going to grow a span, because you're, you know, you're guilty by association, right? So you're gonna grow and expand as well, like, you're only as strong as your weakest link. So you got to be around the best? Absolutely,

Mia LaMotte 11:27
absolutely. And you have to allow yourself to not have all the answers. I think that a lot of us feel like we can't get into these groups, or we can't do this stuff. Because we don't know what we're doing. Well, how the hell do you think you're gonna find out?

Alana 11:41
All right, you got to be amongst the winners, you know, and you also got to be at a place where you can sift it out, right? Just because someone is doing that doesn't mean I need to do it from that killer making the experience that I did go to, I don't do everything that she did, we don't even use the same necessarily products. But at the same time, it was still an eye opener for me to like, you know what, let's let's challenge ourselves. Like, I felt like I have soy down. It was doing well. But again, I feel like let's elevate let's do something a little bit different. So I'm really excited to, um, transition my company from soy and coconut soy to 100% Coconut Oil by the end of the year.

Awesome. Awesome. So we'll be looking forward to seeing those changes. Yes, yes. Yeah.

Mia LaMotte 12:25
You said a couple of things in there. Um, one of the things that you said was about, like, taking what they were doing, but then running it through your own filter, right? Because all the time because I'll say something to y'all. And y'all like, know that? Yes, no, no, but we

Alana 12:42
have to digest it. Right, we still need to hear it. And then again, we run it through our own filter, like you just said, it's like, okay, we can like make it work.

Mia LaMotte 12:50
Yeah. But you make it, you're making it work for you. And you're making it. That's how you make things your own. And I think a lot of us believe that. If somebody's teaching us something, we got to take the whole teaching that they give us and take it all in. But we can't make any twist to it. We can't think for ourselves. And I want you to talk about how how you were able to go to these classes, right? And or talk to these peers, and be among peers, and still no Alana was going to be solid.

Alana 13:23
So that came from getting over my own stuff, right? You know, like getting past me, I couldn't do this. When I first started 2018 I wasn't there. I wasn't mature enough, though, being where I am now was not 22. But even back at 22,021 2020, I was still growing and to the best version of me. So it all starts with just being I would say so self assured, you know, having the confidence. So that's what allowed me to be among peers and everyone else and not have to just follow someone else's playbook to say that sounds great. That's not for me. But I think I could tweak that and make it work. Like Thank you. But I'm not going to take all of that right. Yeah.

Mia LaMotte 14:04
All right. You take, you go to the buffet, and you take what you like, Would you feel like it's beneficial for you? And then you go and create whatever it is that you want to create? Yes,

Alana 14:13
most definitely.

Mia LaMotte 14:14
Yeah. And you do that in your life? Right. So you said self assured. Right. And I feel like there's also another level of self awareness. Yes, yes. Self assuredness. So what kind of work did you do to get to get to that, like, not only just like, personally, or professionally because you have to like they're they happen simultaneously, right? Yeah.

Alana 14:40
I'm in therapy. And let me tell you, so I tell every Listen, I need a shirt. I'm gonna get a shirt made. Listen, I'm in therapy. Do you understand? I pay someone to listen to me. Okay to get my stuff out because because because I'm dealing with a professional that level no allows me to get the crazy out, I'm just being very transparent. And because of that I'm not sitting with it. Oh, and manifesting and thinking about it and all the weird stuff. So it's, I'm getting it out in a much healthy way. And she's giving me positive feedback from business, personal relationship from motherhood, like all the things right. And the biggest work that we do is boundaries. You know, so and it's so important for me, because it's easy. I got to a place a couple years ago, I said, I'm going to make sure I show up for my friends, I'm going to be there, they haven't even they have something going on. I'm going to be there. I'm at a place now. I don't have to be at everything to still be a friend. I'm gonna support you cheer you on share your post all the things from the sideline. But if it's not going to be beneficial to my personal health, in this way or me thing, because I still have my own things going on. I'm going to be on the sidelines still cheering for you, but I don't necessarily have to be there. So that's where boundaries come in. Yeah, where I'm learning how to say no, no, no. And no, was no. And that's okay.

Mia LaMotte 16:02
And no, is a complete sentence. No, it's a complete sentence. So you don't have to explain to your friends or your family or your clients that why you're saying no, you can just say no. Right? So you mentioned a therapist. So you have help? I do? I do. And most entrepreneurs think that they have to do this on their own. And, you know, while you were working with a therapist, we were working together, right? You had you had someone doing some administrative work for you.

Alana 16:31
I did at one point I did.

Mia LaMotte 16:33
So we all get to form a team as we grow. And tell me about tell me about how the team helped you to get to where you are today.

Alana 16:46
So the team aspect will allow you to focus on the main thing and keep it the main thing, while you're delegating and giving this to this person just to that person. But having a team comes with trucks, and actually have to know yourself and understand. And we talked about this, they're not going to do it the exact way, it's not going to be perfect, but it's still getting done. And that's okay. Sometimes we just need to done not perfect. And when you get to that place, that's a whole nother level of just the boss, you know, which I'm gonna be honest. I scaled back in that regard, just for a small bit, because I'm just getting my SOPs together different things. But I'm, I'm growing back to that area of just delegating and letting is done i Perfect.

Mia LaMotte 17:35
Well, and perfection is is based on what

Alana 17:40
our ideology is, it's a lie. reality's absolutely true.

Mia LaMotte 17:45
Absolutely. I have a cousin who runs a pretty successful business. And she also believes that she's the only she and her her right hand person. They're the only ones that can do everything, right. And I'm like, This is why you have this is why you're exhausted. This is why you have other things going on. So for me, it's like, let's get to what your zone of genius is. And for you, it is making the actual candle, right. You're a great businesswoman. But I believe that that's what you love to do. This is why you started the business. So you have a creative outlet. And for you to be doing all the other stuff is actually doing yourself and your clients, the people who buy from you a disservice, right?

Alana 18:27
Yes, it is. And again, that's something that we're working towards, you know, this year to relieve some of these hats that I wear, because I really do want to focus on being the brand, right, the woman of the business, but it comes with time. Yeah. But I'm really excited about where we're going with my body. And since this year,

Mia LaMotte 18:47
absolutely. It sounds like you guys are on track for some amazing things.

Alana 18:51
We are. And we as a me, but yeah, I like to we

Mia LaMotte 18:57
will have other people on by the end of the year. Um, yes. Yeah. So let's talk about let's go back to boundaries, because you're talking about boundaries with other people. But when, as you've learned this, this thing about boundaries, what about the boundaries that you have to set with yourself?

Alana 19:12
The boundaries that I set with myself consists of keeping those boundaries. I'll give you a case to point. So yesterday, one of my girlfriends and she's a really good girlfriend, she wanted to come over specifically, and she's been over before bits, which are the houses side of things, but specifically to smell some candles, okay, and I sat here I wrestled with it the whole day because my sister have four sisters, so no one knows which one it is but her but she came over one time for a particular reason. And so to smell candles, um, and it was a really bad experience because I was a professional. I was home, the European and I think that kind of took them, you know, made them feel some type of way and I told myself this won't happen again. When I'm home, I want to be home I already work from home. I don't need to do Business per se, my girlfriend, she hit me. She said, Yeah, I could be at about 530. And I said, You know what? No, let me come to you. You know, yada, yada, yada. So and I went to her, you know, told her she was like, Girl is fine. She totally understood. But I just wanted to let her know like, you know, you're always welcome, because he's been over before several times. But I have to separate. And I'm so proud of me for doing that. Because it was a small part was like, I don't want to offend anyone else. But what about offending me? What about not holding my truths, my values, so I can't wait to tell my therapist, she's gonna be so proud of me. But that's how I hold my boundaries. For myself, the things that makes me are easy, and it gives me anxiety, recognizing it and not taking the same steps again. So that's me holding true to myself. And I'm really proud of myself for that again.

Mia LaMotte 20:56
It is right that says, self trust factor, like we grow up, not trusting ourselves, because our parents tell us what to do. Then we listened. And we listened to the boss or whomever we forget about, we forget about that we know what's best for us. And when you have those uneasy feelings, like you're talking about here, you trusted yourself enough to say, You know what, let me follow this. And then you took the step further to say, You know what, I'm gonna come to you, yes. Instead of people pleasing, which, you know, some of us are guilty of, I know, I've been guilty of it. But instead of people pleasing, you were like, You know what, I'm going to do what's best for me. And if this still doesn't align with what she wants, then we might have to just scrap the whole thing, or we'll just come up and think of something else. Yeah.

Alana 21:41
And I was okay with that, you know, again, but I figured she will be finally coming to our house where she totally was, but at the same time, again, people please. And I just knew, I just didn't like the experience that I had previously. And I said, and I told that person, I said, I'm not doing business in my house again. You know, like, I like this. I said, this won't happen. And I'm, and I didn't, and I'm really happy about that.

Mia LaMotte 22:07
Yeah, because our home is our sanctuary. And like you said, because you built your business out of your home, because your home is where you have your peace and your family. Like, why would you want to keep, like, recycling everything into into that into that environment? Correct? Yeah, yeah. So tell me how you feel like you're disrupting the candle industry?

Alana 22:31
How am I disrupting the candle industry? I will say, I am not shy of or scared of rebranding. Like, I will try something new. Yeah, if it doesn't work, I'm just going to keep you know, what, the one dark sidewall to some stick. Right. And so and it's a couple other things I've been working on in the background with the affiliate program. Even thought about making the the MLM company, you know, moving forward, you know, if a lot of different things we're working on, we're working on over here.

Mia LaMotte 23:05
Yeah. I love it. I love it. So if you had to give, like one piece of advice to entrepreneurs, to someone who wants to create a brand, what would you would you say?

Alana 23:18
Just jump, literally, because so many of us will just sit there and research so long that we just get stuck in our head. And although jumping, you're going to waste money, you're going to waste time, but at least you're you started right sometimes with you jumping, and even making mistakes. At least Elise you made you made a move, right? Because I made those candles and they didn't have a scent in the beginning. But because I had that accountability to all those new customers and clients that I've retained. I had to keep moving for like, I was going like I had to do something. Versus if I was in my head for a whole month. And then I made those candles as I did, I'm gonna start selling them. I want to quit.

Mia LaMotte 24:01
So your job was actually going out in the world and saying, Hey, I sell candles, you like candles, wouldn't it? Because I heard you talk about that. Initially you were like, and this is what I think a lot of people don't do. Right? They don't tell people what they're up to. And you were out in the literal streets saying, Do you like candles? I may include those and that's how you got your first set of orders. So the lesson for me in that is like you got to tell people what you do it isn't as simple as when I'm gonna fill up my tank at the gas station. I'm gonna tell the attendant I'm gonna ask the attendant if they like candles and can I put something here?

Alana 24:41
Yeah, I was definitely everywhere in the beginning of my business. I'm a little I don't want to say conservative when I'm reading it like all the time if I don't have my earrings most likely I haven't like a T shirt or if the nails the nails. I always have my brand colors on my nails and it's It's a conversation starter. You know, in other thing that helped transform my business the most was still going to events. But just attending when I stopped venting, and just always selling actually started having conversations, that was a game changer,

Mia LaMotte 25:18
or that lesson listening. This is huge what she just talked about. She's talking about networking. Yes, Sara Lee, because you can't network a lot when you're behind the table trying to sell stuff, your audience, you get to make connections and you get to talk to people and people get to know who you are.

Alana 25:35
It's more relationship based. Absolutely. Yes.

Mia LaMotte 25:39
But and are you doing more speaking to

Alana 25:44
tiptoeing into it just a little bit, just a little bit? It definitely. I'm really shy about it, honestly. But it's something that I really want to do, because it's so much to my story, that I want to get out there and to help and inspire your young woman, honestly.

Mia LaMotte 25:59
Yeah. So we're gonna see you on the speaking circuit soon.

Alana 26:02
You will

Mia LaMotte 26:05
call you and be like, speaking this week.

Alana 26:08
I know I know.

Anything else you want the audience to know before

we wrap up? Yeah, definitely. Mia, thank you so much for this opportunity, working with pleasure and our continued relationship. Thank you so much. I'm really excited to hear from the other women or other girlfriends, and we cannot talk about the coupon we have. Absolutely yeah, so definitely support each and every person as tune in today. We have a special coupon if you know me. I don't do a lot of coupons. I ain't really what I do. But for the viewers here disruptors day, you can say 50% If you go to my body a nd sense.com Yeah, this Raptors day, and we just started offering free shipping over on orders $100 or more as well. So check this out.

Mia LaMotte 26:56
Nice, very nice. Alright, so that's going to be part of what we email out to you guys to people who are attending, you'll get an email a follow up email, and those codes will be in there. How long is that good for?

Alana 27:07
Um, just a Sunday evening. Okay. So yeah, get

on it. Yes. And get your candles. I know. I know somebody who's coming on later on today. She said that she had read up on our order with you, too. So she's done that already? Or if she's gonna take part with a coupon? Yes, she did.

Because I changed my collection. Ah, yeah. And that's another thing. Again, I'm not scared to rebrand and try new things. So I changed it up. And I got rid of some things that I felt was working, but not to where I needed to. But this new mindfulness collection is everything it did very well in Charlotte.

Mia LaMotte 27:42
I love I'd love a mindfulness collection. So I'm gonna have to go and find my candles and put them in the bag. Yeah. The other thing that I want to say, Like Alana is like, I'm not afraid to rebrand, guys. As long as you're growing as a person, you're going to have a different brand. Right? You're gonna have to rebrand because, as I heard you talk as you got more confident. The candle formulas changed, right? As you change the candle formula change the way you do business change. So don't be afraid of change because it's inevitable and that means that you're growing. So this, love this. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for being here.

Alana 28:22
Appreciate the opportunity, and bye Thank you.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai