We had the good fortune of connecting with John Devereaux and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Traveling as a performer (most recently in a little musical you might’ve heard of called Hamilton) sometimes made it difficult to find stability or a sense of home. To center myself, every time I’m in a new city I make it a point to get a candle with the same scent. This way wherever I lay my head feels familiar, comfortable, and a bit like home. Candles are my anchors. If they’ve done this much for me, I thought why not make some by hand, and share the sense of calm and peacefulness we can all use in these times. Moreover, with Broadway closures continuing into the summer of 2021 — affecting thousands of crew and performing personnel, including myself — it seemed all the more important for me to create a way to help bring people home in a sense, no matter where they are or what they’re going through. We all know candles can set the ambience of a room, but the closest of our senses tied to memory is scent. The name is Of Yours because when you light our candle or use our products, you’ll be reminded of a special someone, somewhere, or something of yours. Each candle scent is named after those close to me in my life for a personal touch, and a sense of connection to the products.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The one thing that has got me through everything is the principle of gratitude. Being grateful and expressing that gratitude daily; for the opportunities I receive, the friends I have, my parents, the food I eat, etc. Quite literally everything! It brings me into the present moment and really makes me appreciate all that is happening in that moment. I am where I am now professionally because of that and realizing if I’m still here, I still have a chance at another opportunity. For acting it’s that I might not have gotten that one gig, but I know for a fact there will be others. Others that will be meant FOR me. I always say, there is nothing that can stop what is for you and there is nothing you can do to make something for you that isn’t meant for you, so why stress about it? Focus on what you do best, put in the work, do it for YOU and the rest will work out how it’s supposed to. As it comes to being a new small business owner, I just transferred all of that into how I approached creating and operating Of Yours Products. I just opened up shop about 4 months ago and I joke ask myself every couple of days “Why aren’t I a millionaire yet?!” But I do seriously apply little by little steps to make sure I’m at least moving IN that direction. I think was easy to put in the effort to become more successful but it definitely wasn’t simple. My mistake was thinking once I learned something, that was it; that all of it would be automatic. Wrong. The practices in being successful are an everyday exercise. It doesn’t happen all at once. I would get so overwhelmed thinking about all the things I wanted/needed to do before I realized i can take smaller bites. So taking each day as it comes and doing what needs to be done to at least take a step (no matter how big or small) toward my goals, has helped immensely with my overall success. I’ve always been one to think about the bigger picture and how we are all interconnected to each other. Yes, I have my own dreams, goals, and desires, but I know those will be impossible to achieve without help and support from others. And in the same vein, some others’ dreams, goals, and desires would be impossible to attain without me. If we were to lean into the peaks & valleys of having a lot of perceived success and then seemingly none, we would realize that the times where we think we have none is the perfect time to support someone else’s goals. Also, it builds up momentum for reaching your next peak. This way I always feel like I’m using my energy in a beneficial and productive manner. That’s why when the (theatre) world stopped last March, I decided to shift that energy into Of Yours as a way to continue to bring people joy, comfort, and a little escape.
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.
You know, after living in Los Angeles for 6 years, I never went and did the super touristy stuff like the Star home tours or hiking up to the Hollywood sign. And now I want to haha so definitely those. In addition to that I LOVE museums; my favorites in the area are LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), The Broad, and the Getty. I can’t wait for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures to open up in September! For eats, I stick to either Noho (because that’s my neighborhood) or near Santa Monica. All of the places on Magnolia Blvd (EAT, Yard house, The Fat Dog, I could go on and on) are choice. You can’t go wrong. There’s also hole-in-the-wall soul food restaurant called Mom’s BBQ in Noho that I can’t get enough of. If we weren’t in a pandemic, we would probably hit the Santa Monica strip in WeHo for nightlife fun and drinks. Trunks bar is where the night should always start (stiff drinks at an affordable price haha) Wow there’s so much to do in Los Angeles they would probably have to schedule a 2nd and 3rd trip!
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 mother Joyce is not only an inspiration but she has encouraged every dream I’ve ever had. She instilled in me the ability to go after the things that I want in life and know that if I do the work, I can achieve anything.
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