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

Hi Portia, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
The most important thing I have done as a parent would have to be teaching my son it is ok to express how he feels in a healthy manner. I believe it is important to show our children how to understand and process their emotions because it will allow them to be kinder to themselves and others. I personally have parents who lacked the ability to connect emotionally, so I grew up without the ability to process my own emotions. I want my son to be able to understand that it is fine for him to feel all kinds of things without feeling embarrassed or guilty for feeling anything.

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?
I created Calm(ish) because I wanted to help those around me find that moment in their day to just breathe. Our whole day is often filled with stress and chaos; it can be overwhelming at times. We normally don’t have someone reminding us to just take a second and relax. I want my candle business to be that reminder to people. As an adult, I know there is no such thing as a completely calm day, which is why you can have a calm ish type of day. I am proud to offer people that reminder to take care of themselves before others. When people light one of my candles or use any of the products, I want them to think: I deserve this moment to myself. Other candle businesses are kind of pushing for people to just know their candles smell good and that’s it. I want my customers to actually be ok! I want them to cry if they have to or vent in that moment. I want to be that reminder that they are important.

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.
I live in Los Angeles, so there is an abundance of places to go. On Monday, we would go to some popular beach spots such as Venice Beach or Santa Monica. We would then catch a bite at either the Court Cafe on Centinela Ave or Roscoes on Manchester. The next day we would spend it in downtown LA. I would take them to the alley to do a bit of shopping then over to Little Tokoyo and then Korea Town for some bomb Korean BBQ. The next day we would spend it at either Six Flags or Disneyland. I would let them choose which one. Wednesday we would hit up a Breakroom which is a seriously cool rage room. Later that day, we could go to the Westfield Mall, aka Fox Hills Mall. Thursday we would go to Hollywood and walk down Sunset Blvd. I would try to get her to go hiking to the Hollywood sign, but I am sure she would say no. We could then go to Pinks Hotdog. Friday we would go to the Getty Museum then Whale watching in Long Beach. Knowing my best friend, we are likely to just crash and sleep all day Saturday and Sunday.

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 would love to shout out my son Avery and then my sisters Aneshia and Nadirah! They are the reason why I continue to push myself to be the best role model for them. I want to continue to show them that if I can do something that brings me joy, so can they. I love being a big sister just as much as I love being a mom. I want to continue to make them laugh and make sure I am there if they need a shoulder to cry on. Love you guys so much.

Website: www.etsy.com/shop/calmishco

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/be.calm.ish/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/becalmish

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