International Women’s Day on March 8 women all around the globe will celebrate how far we have come and have yet to go. It’s a day to bring awareness to issues past, present and future, honor the inspirational ladies in our lives and join together in intersectional solidarity across racial, class, and gender lines. We also want to highlight that this platform would not have been made possible if not for the tireless and relentless efforts of the women who came before us to build the foundation that began the gender equality movement. We celebrate the fact that women are now able to participate in all aspects of society, and we recommit ourselves to fighting for equality.
The History of International Women’s Day
This day was first officially recognized in 1911, but it was in 1909 that an official day of recognition for women's rights took place in the United States. Nearly one million people took to the streets to attend rallies in support of women's rights. These rights included the ability to vote, control their own income and property, gain custody of their children in the case of divorce, and fight against discrimination.
Since then, International Women's Day has grown into a global movement celebrated in over 100 countries, with women and men from all walks of life coming together to advocate for gender equality. In 2011, March was proclaimed Women's History Month in the United States.
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Whether you choose to attend a rally or march, have drinks with your besties, spend a moment to reflect on the challenges women are facing currently around the globe or indulge in a self-care bath, you are celebrating International Women’s Day. No matter how you choose to celebrate, there is no right or wrong and there is no judgement here.
As you probably know, we are a female-founded business and mostly women here at La Lueur Candles. We wanted to celebrate today by highlighting our founder Cayla Hogan, because we’d like to see the business and entrepreneurial landscape change with more female-led businesses and more women in leadership. By sharing Cayla’s story along with her successes and lessons learned along the way, we hope it inspires you to take risks and dream big.
It all began one afternoon in Aptos, CA in 2016, when Cayla and a friend had gone to the local craft store to make some DIY at-home candles. She immediately fell in love with candlemaking and was intrigued by the whole process from start to end, learning everything she could in order to make the perfect candle. Being a perfectionist, it had to smell AND look just right.
Once La Lueur Candles was born, orders from local stores came in almost immediately. Being a boot strapped small business with no extra funding, Cayla worked days on end to fulfill orders. Problems arose from having difficulty getting approved for any kind of loan or credit card and only being able to produce orders after customers’ payments came through, which eventually led to delayed orders. Meanwhile, Cayla was also struggling to pay her bills on time, because she would use her part time job earnings to invest in her business instead.
This went on for a few years until 2019, when she decided to make her passion business her full time career by resolving to do whatever it took to make that happen. Each day involved contacting stores, brands, and influencers to partner with. The major turning point was an email came back from a subscription box company that said they were interested in partnering and wanted 130,000 units. Up until that point, there had been no order bigger than 1,500 candles and with zero employees and zero funding, Cayla said yes despite the risks.
This one order allowed her to finally secure funding from the bank to hire 40 employees and order supplies for candle production. The order was completed successfully, and as a result of the partnership, Cayla was able to operate La Lueur on a larger scale in multiple different ways moving forward.
“Everyday is risky running your own business. It could all come crashing down for reasons you can't control or it could go abundantly well. All in all, after being a business owner, I wouldn't have it any other way. Candles, fragrance, and design are all something I am still passionate about and that's what makes it flourish. Its not always been easy but I think the more you take risks the more rewards you have. Not every risk I have taken has turned out well, I will say. But for the most part, I am a big fan of taking risks” - Cayla Hogan, La Lueur Candles founder
Even when the odds are stacked against you, and it seems like the world resists at every turn you make, believing in yourself can change your life and others along the way. Today, La Lueur’s clean, luxury candles housed in beautiful glass jars are still small batch-made in our warehouse. Take a moment to reach out to a woman who inspires you to be your own advocate this International Women’s Day.