by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

An Uplifting Aura

faces_parkswilson2faces_parkswilson5What began as candle making experiments in their kitchens has turned into a full-time enterprise for Chelsea Wilson and Jasmine Parks. Co-owners of Aura Candles, Chelsea and Jasmine formally launched their small business in 2009 out of their Carlsbad homes.

“After supporting other makers’ candles for many years, I decided it was time to figure out how to make my own,” Jasmine shared. She found a willing helper in Chelsea, who had similar interests. The two met at church and soon became best friends and business partners.

“We spent countless hours researching, reading, trying, and failing and then trying again,” acknowledged Jasmine. “I believe the quality of our finished product is a result of so many failed attempts and the perseverance it took to get it right!” Their commitment, alongside the help of excellent mentors, has grown Aura Candles into a successful full-time endeavor.

faces_parkswilson3Aura Candles offers a hand-poured, soy-based candle that burns slow and clean and is beautifully fragrant. “Affordable luxury is what we’re all about,” Jasmine said. Working with top perfumers, creating a new fragrance for a candle can take anywhere from a month to a year. “The creative process is my personal favorite, but it’s also what makes me lose sleep at night!’ Jasmine shared. “We are very picky and each fragrance must be just right!” Chelsea added.

Name: Jasmine Parks
Profession: Co-owner of Aura Candles
Community: Carlsbad
Hobbies & Interests: Outdoors, graphic design, family
Favorite Spots in Carlsbad: Off Shore Beach and anywhere in the Village! Love Baba Coffee and Choice Juicery

Name: Chelsea Wilson
Profession: Co-owner of Aura Candles
Community: Rancho Carrillo
Hobbies & Interests: Exercise, music, fragrance
Favorite Spots in Carlsbad: Ponto Beach, The Forum, Carlsbad Village

faces_parkswilson6One of the benefits of small business ownership is being able to prioritize family. Jasmine, a Carlsbad resident and Encinitas native, and her husband, Jason, have two daughters. Her hobbies include hiking, walking, and drinking coffee. Chelsea and her husband, Steve, are both originally from Ohio and have called Carlsbad home for the last 10 years. The couple have two children and enjoy hiking and going to concerts.

faces_parkswilson4Looking ahead, Chelsea and Jasmine are searching for a small commercial space to house their growing business, which is currently based out of Chelsea’s garage. Jasmine’s goal for the long-term is “to land a large chain, maybe Anthropologie or Nordstrom, and attend one of the trade shows in NYC or Atlanta.”

As for advice to entrepreneurs, the women shared that good mentors, learning from mistakes, and moving forward in the face of fear are all important. But most important, they confirmed, is being passionate about the business. Jasmine reminded, “Make sure you love it!”