We had the good fortune of connecting with Celina Leon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Celina, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
It can be hard feeling like you don’t know whether to keep going or to just give up. I strongly believe that if you truly want something, giving up should never be the answer. Instead, try reflecting and redirecting yourself. Figure out what it is that you truly want, create your plan to achieve your goal, and take small steps to get there so you don’t burn yourself out or become overwhelmed and discouraged. Remember to celebrate your victories no matter how small and take any losses as lessons learned and not as defeat. I read once that if you must start over, remember that you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience. I think that alone can really change your perspective and give encouragement when going through a difficult time.

Sometimes we really just need a break and that’s okay too. Focus on something else in the meantime or take some time off to rest if you need to. Just don’t give up on your dream.

However, if it’s something that is mentally draining and does not serve you; let it go. This could be a relationship or a toxic work environment. It’s okay to move on from things that have a negative impact on your life and/or mental health, and you should never feel bad about it. Look at it as one door closing so an even better one can open.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
LionHeart Handcrafted was created in 2020 during the first lock down. What first started as a way to pass time and put my energy towards something quickly turned into so much more than just that. While looking for supplies for my new endeavor, I realized how common harsh chemicals are in our everyday products and how easily overlooked they are by consumers. From there on out I was on a mission to create products with intention, no harsh chemicals, and educate our customers about the chemicals that are often found in candles and other home and body products.

As an earth lover I am also making it a point to be as least wasteful as I can and have my products be as Eco-friendly as possible. Always learning and improving for the sake of our planet and sharing tips with others along the way.

A couple examples of how we’re doing this is by using hemp wicks instead of cotton or wooden wicks. A few reasons why we chose to use hemp is because it uses less land to grow, it does not require pesticides, it enriches the soil it was grown on and only takes a few months to grow and harvest. We also use 100% soy wax instead of popular coconut/soy wax blends or coconut/apricot wax blends that contain paraffin wax which is a petroleum byproduct. All of our packaging is plastic-free and we even use biodegradable packing peanuts that disintegrate in water without leaving behind toxic residue, chemicals, or microplastics. I’m also proud to mention that with every purchase, one tree is planted through our partnership with @OneTreePlanted.

This business has proven to be challenging for so many reasons. I would have to say my biggest challenge so far has been sticking to what I believe in and want for my business, rather than taking what I feel would be the easy route and going with products like coconut-soy wax and wooden wicks that seem to be really popular and in high demand by consumers. My business is only 2 years old. I still have so much to grow, learn, change and accomplish. I can’t wait to see where we are in a few years and the impact we’ve made. I know there will be bigger challenges but I won’t give up on my dreams. I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s so much to do in Sunny San Diego all throughout the year. Did you know San Diego is one of the few places in the world where you can visit the beach, mountains and desert all in one day? How cool is that! If I had a day with my best friend, I’d start with breakfast at Morning Glory in Little Italy, followed by some fun and food at Belmont Park in Mission Bay. After dinner we’d head to Bobboi – Natural Gelato in La Jolla for a sweet treat while we watch the sunset down on shell beach. If we’re up for it we can then get some drinks in Pacific Beach later that night. Below are a few of my other favorite places to go which I recommend checking out if you get a chance:
Sunset spots:
Seashell beach in La Jolla
Double Peak park in San Marcos
Carlsbad State Beach
Mount Soledad in La Jolla
Potato Chip Rock
Cowles Mountain
Blue Sky Reserve in Poway
Cedar Creek Falls Trail in Ramona
With kids:
Balboa Park
Birch Aquarium
Sunset Market every Thursday in Oceanside
Of course, there are countless places to visit and things to see but to list them would take a long time. If you’re not from San Diego and ever come to visit, I truly hope you enjoy your stay.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
If I could give a shoutout to every single person I’ve met since I started this business I absolutely would. Everyone has been so supportive and I cannot be more thankful. It’s so hard to choose only one person or even just a few so if you’re reading this and I didn’t name you just know that I am grateful for you. I want to give a huge thank you to Mei at DayDream. I don’t think my candle making would have turned into an actual business without her believing in me, giving me a chance, and helping me along the way. I’d also like to thank Sam at PlanterSam’s for her kindness, her mentorship, and for also believing in me.
Of course, I can’t go on without saying thank you to my family for their support. Especially my parents, my son, and my boyfriend. I actually want to give a huge thank you to my boyfriend for all of his support. For helping me in so many ways and for reminding me why I started, giving me the push and confidence I needed to grow and for always showing up for me. I always say it but cannot appreciate you enough or ask for a better partner. XO.

Website: www.lionhearthandcrafted.com

Instagram: lionhearthandcrafted

Facebook: lionhearthandcrafted

Other: TikTok @lionhearthandcrafted

Image Credits
1st image – Nicole Paige Photography

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.