We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa Giannuzzi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa, do you have a budget? how do you think about personal finances?
I don’t have a budget, per se, but as a recovered CPA, I obsessively track my income and spending! I’m passionate about personal finances and always know where I stand financially. I would love to help others improve their money mindset, better understand where their money is going, and navigate their finances to promote financial independence. I would say my lifestyle reflects my core values and what’s important to me. I enjoy staying out of debt and only buying what I can afford while maintaining my ideal standard of living. Because I have a strong vision of where I want to be in the future, I avoid impulsive spending. Therefore, most of my spending decisions are carefully considered and align with my long-term lifestyle goals.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I handcraft scented, soy candles in repurposed wine, beer, liquor and kombucha bottles. I enjoy creating gifts and preserving memories in the form of candles! I use 100% soy-derived from American-grown soybeans for an eco-friendly, clean burn, lead-free cotton wicks, and essential oil-infused fragrance oils. The standard-sized wine bottle candle holds approximately one pound of wax and has a minimum burn time of 65 hours. I pour my heart (and wax) into this business and find it quite therapeutic making candles! It brings me joy to put a smile on people’s faces as I commemorate my clients’ special occasions (e.g., weddings, anniversaries, birthdays) with a personalized memento. While recovering from the corporate world back in 2015, I was working at a trendy wine bar and noticed a lot of wine bottles with interesting labels going to waste (but at least being recycled) in this environmentally conscious town. I decided to collaborate with my dear friend, a mosaic artist, and explore the idea of marrying a passion for wine and love of art in the form of candles made from repurposed wine bottles. It started out as a way to make some extra money while handcrafting unique gifts for friends and family. I’m proud of how much the business has evolved, as I continue to find ways to enhance the bottle-cutting process, added candle dye to the mix and a new seasonal product line. It was literally a rough road in the beginning – we were cutting the bottles in a very time consuming, inefficient manner that didn’t always result in a clean cut. It seemed like a simple concept at first to cut the bottles, stick the wicks, then fill them with scented wax. We tried various methods, one of which resulted in a near mishap that almost extinguished our burgeoning business. I would love for the world (or at least neighbors in San Diego) to know that I am a female-owned, small business who appreciates locals shopping local! I will gladly accept any donations of empty (or full) wine bottles with funky, cool or otherwise interesting and unique labels. It really means a lot to have the continued support of clients during these crazy times.
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 are so many stellar places to eat, drink, visit and see in San Diego! For food, I would recommend fish tacos at Oscar’s Mexican Seafood in La Jolla, a hot and new restaurant on Coast Highway in Leucadia called Curated F&B, Born and Raised for amazing steak and a sophisticated vibe in Little Italy, Buona Forchetta or Bencotto for Italian food, brunch at the Brigantine or Naked Cafe, and Jeune et Jolie in Carlsbad for an elevated dining and drinking experience. San Diego is well-known for its microbrewery scene and my favorites include Viewpoint Brewing and Culture Brewing Co. I also enjoy Carruth Cellars urban winery (Little Italy, Solana Beach and Carlsbad), Nolita Hall in Little Italy and the Lion’s Share downtown for cocktails. I would spend some time away from the tourist scene in North County exploring Moonlight Beach and Swami’s Meditation Gardens. Take a surf lesson in Del Mar from Uriah Mirandon at Surf Sessions, then have a drink atop the Del Mar Plaza while listening to live music outside of Il Fornaio! Balboa Park is always a crowd pleaser with the beautiful Japanese Friendship Garden, botanical gardens, and various museums. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in one of their many grassy areas. Other fun things to check out include riding a bicycle along the Strand in Coronado, checking out Little Italy’s outdoor piazza, listening to live music at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, watching gliders launch and land at the Glider Port at Torrey Pines, hiking Torrey Pines for spectacular views, experiencing the hipster food scene in Mission Hills, taking in the sunset with a picnic on the beach, and kayaking or snorkeling in La Jolla Cove.
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?
I’m extremely grateful to my loyal customers and friends who continue to support my business and keep it afloat during unprecedented times! Thank you to all of you saving your interesting labeled wine, beer, kombucha and liquor bottles for ‘the cause’ and for spreading the word about my small, local business. My business thrives on referrals! Most recently, I really appreciated the opportunity to partner with another female-owned local business to promote their quarterly subscription box. I love the feedback, inspiration and suggestions for new scents and products I receive from my clients as well.