We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Richard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alyssa, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult and most contemplated decision I ever made was starting my own business.
I’ve always been a “Daddy’s girl” and before I made the decision to go off on my own business venture I worked at my father’s company for 13 years assisting adults with developmental disabilities. I was passionate about it. I always felt it was my calling and that I would do it forever until I started to get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that it was time for something new.
Before my Grandfather passed, he said to me, “Stay by your Dad’s side at the company. He needs you.” So, I struggled with that feeling for about two years, reminding myself (every time I thought about doing something new) that my Dad needed me and that if I left it would be the ultimate betrayal.
Until one day, it hit me like a ton of bricks and despite the feeling of betrayal and risking a wedge in me and my father’s relationship, I knew the decision had to be made.
While leaving the company was a difficult decision to make it was also a risky one – to leave a steady income as a single mom with two daughters to feed and a mortgage to pay.
However, making the decision to start my own business has been the most rewarding.
Not only am I learning more about myself as an individual but the relationship that my father and I have is closer, stronger and healthier.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
In January 2020, I started Belmont Ave Candle Co. (the name was inspired by the street I grew up on) and turned what started out as a hobby in 2006, into a growing business.
Belmont Ave offers handcrafted coconut wax candles, room sprays, and select body care such as lotion bars, bath salts and body oils made with natural ingredients including essential oils, herbs and healing stones.
Getting up and running hasn’t been the easiest and I’m most proud of myself for seeing this business venture through.
There have been many trials and tribulations with starting a business from scratch as a single mom.
Finding balance was one of them and at times seems impossible to obtain. However, I’m learning how important maintaining balance is to running a business.
In the beginning I was so obsessed with wanting Belmont Ave to be successful that I would work long hours, got very little sleep and drank a lot of coffee lol.
I found myself getting burned out mentally and physically and not having the energy I wanted to have for my kids at the end of the day. After noticing the trickle down effect it was starting to have, I became more serious about having a schedule and creating that balance.
I’m more intentional about tapping into my mental, physical and spiritual health, daily by practicing yoga, meditating, journaling and taking time to self.
Balance is key. Otherwise what’s the point of all of this hard work if you can’t stop to enjoy the fruits of your labor?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I was born and raised in Southern California and there’s no other place I’d rather be! I love to hang out at the beach – Manhattan Beach is my go to if I want to just chill but if I’m feeling wild and adventurous, Venice!
Hamburger Mary’s in Long Beach is definitely an experience you have to have!
Brunch and bottomless mimosas at Peach Cafe in Monrovia.
For a bit of culture, we’re visiting the Broad and might as well visit the Fashion & Flower District in Downtown LA. Maybe even go to Perch and have a meal to some rooftop views!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family for always being supportive of me and my daughters.
Also, to my Dad & Giant Steps for providing me with the foundation and tools necessary to succeed in my own business ventures.