• VisionPassionFaith

Updated: 1 day ago

Enjoying the Process

I believe that love and gratitude are the two most powerful forces in the universe. And this is indeed true within business and entrepreneurship.

The amount of wisdom accumulated along the entrepreneurial road is invaluable. Entrepreneurs and Artists embrace the entire journey, and are the most "on track" when they enjoy the process.

My third interview in my "Entrepreneurs and Artists: Like Fine Wine" series is with Karen Kampfl, Founder of Soul Spark Candles. Made in San Diego, Karen created Soul Spark Candles to spread a little love and gratitude wherever the candles are burned. Hope you enjoy this interview, as much as I did!








Me: Your vision and mission is spreading love and gratitude. Where did this vision emerge from?

Karen: Back in 2016, I felt a shift going on here. People being in a hurry and only caring about themselves. There seemed to be a loss of camaraderie, and I wanted to do something to kind of spread positivity in my little circle and see where it would go. Around that time, my best friend was doing a class on affirmation writing. I wanted to support her in this, and took her class.

During this same time, I was selling gifts and many of my clients were asking about candles and I did not sell candles. One of my friend's boyfriend had thirty plus years of knowledge in the candle business, and I asked if he would help me. He was instrumental in this, and the company has grown organically since then.

My Takeaway:

I am a big believer in intentions, clarity of intentions, and purity of intentions. When we are clear in our intentions, the universe does seem to deliver people, clues, creative ideas and insights. Being present and taking one step at a time is important. Karen's story is an example of how this does indeed work. Life does seem to unfold in beautiful and amazing ways, when we are aware, present, clear, and pure in our intentions.








Me: How did you come up with the idea for the affirmations, crystals, as well as the amazing and luscious fragrances for each candle? and the amazing packaging?

Karen: I literally came up with the affirmations and names for the candles in an hour or so. I wrote it all down in my notebook, and the start of it was very clear to me. It all came together naturally and organically. In one week, I had the entire business handwritten.

My Takeaway:

Most of the best entrepreneurial ideas start on a napkin, or in a matter of a few hours. Big elaborate business plans and "decks," which many labor with and talk about, in my opinion, do not bear the same "fruits" as the ones that start out simple, organic, and in the flow.







Me: So many entrepreneurs start out with a clear vision and along the way get "distracted." Much of this "distraction" comes from others who are giving them ideas, suggestions, ways to "improve" and to "grow" their entrepreneurial endeavors, etc...

Some entrepreneurs stay true and focused on their core vision and others start listening to others, who most of the time have no clue about any of the "unsolicited advice" they are spewing. How do you stay so true to your vision and not get distracted?

Karen: I never deviate. I don't follow any other candle brands. I don't want any distractions. This is way more than a 'candle business.' I sell a lot of my Healing Candles. Lots of people are going through so much. I hear so many stories from others, and I know I am on the right track. I am clear on my vision, and I am not in this to 'chase the money.'

My Takeaway:

Karen is so spot on! Do not deviate! I find it so odd how there is so much "unsolicited advice" that others want to give entrepreneurs and artists. One of my mottos, which I mentioned in a previous interview –

"never despise small beginnings." As long as we are moving forward and taking steps which are aligned with our unique vision; clear and pure in our intentions, we are on the right track on our journey.





Me: I know your "Confidence" scent is one of your favorites, mine as well. There is an amazing quote by Marie Curie on confidence:

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." - Marie Curie

Want to chat a bit about confidence and perseverance?

Karen: One needs to stand for something! Whether starting a business, pursuing a career, etc... one needs to have a clear vision or one will get sidetracked. I sell a lot of the Confidence Candles to those between the ages of 15-35 years old.

Me: This is great! Leading up to my next question!! What advice would you then give younger women, specifically, who are just starting out in their careers and entrepreneurial endeavors? Many get a bit "bummed" when they have a challenge or bump up against a "struggle."

Karen: As I have gotten older, I have learned to not fight against the flow. When I fight against the flow, it ends up hurting me. The best things just come. If I allow them to come to me, and I am not 'chasing' the next big thing, I am good. The gut is never wrong. When there are times I work against it, I end up in a '"wrong" place. Trust yourself and it is so important to believe in what is right for you.

My Takeaway:

Don't get side tracked! Go with the flow! Flow and Resonance are two of my favorite words! One of my favorite sayings is "Don't Push the River." As Karen shares, allow things to come, as these things are usually (if not always) the best things and meant for you! The older we get, the more we understand this, on a deeper and deeper level, as we have acquired the evidence and the life experience to know this to be true.





Me: Do you have any non-negotiables and/or core values that you remain steadfast to?

Karen: Live and Let Live! Everyone is entitled to be who they are. As long as people are not impacting me and affecting me, I say "live and let live."

My Takeaway:

Live and Let Live!! One of life's great mottos for sure!




Me: Last question is on introverts. The last couple of women that I interviewed are introverts. I know you are most likely extrovert? What are your thoughts on the introvert/ extrovert scale, as it pertains to entrepreneurs and artists?

Karen: Oh no, I am definitely an introvert. I am the closet introvert and very shy. I am a very deep thinker. I am really a homebody, and an introvert deep down. I am only an extrovert with my business.

My Takeaway:

This is the great last question, as well as insights, possibly for many. I really thought Karen was an extrovert, though she is so similar to me, this does make sense. This may possibly be why others think that I am an extrovert, for many of the same reasons I thought Karen was. It is clear from all three interviews in this series, the 'Triple Threat' in the Entrepreneurial/Artist categories: shy, deep, and introverted!




Me: Lastly, any good podcasts that you listen to?

Karen: How I Built This with Guy Raz. Also, Mayim Bialik Breakdown.

Me: Thanks for the recommendations! I listened a while back to a great episode on Mayim's podcast with Michael Singer, the author of The Untethered Soul, and The Surrender Experiment. I will post the link for that, as well as the general links for both Guy and Mayim's podcasts. Thank you!

Mayim Bialik Breakdown:


How I Built This with Guy Raz:


Mayim Bialik with Michael Singer:








My Final Takeaway:

As mentioned in my last interview, the amount of time and life force energy it takes to forge a path unique to one's own vision, is in my option, one of the great adventures of life. Being true to yourself, your intuition, your vision, as well as being self aware, present, and curious, do meet with invaluable rewards, most of which are quite intangible!

I want to thank Karen so much for this interview! What an amazing example of someone who continues to stay true to her vision, mission, as well as living in the flow, sharing love, and spreading gratitude!

For more information on Karen and Soul Spark, please visit:


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  • VisionPassionFaith

The Joy of Resonance and the Art of Flow

This is my second interview in my series on "Entrepreneurship and Artists: Like Fine Wine."

As mentioned in my previous post/interview, I do believe that great artists and entrepreneurs get better with age. Kinda like fine wine.

The amount of wisdom accumulated along the entrepreneurial road is invaluable, as well as the intimate soul journey that most grow to deeply appreciate. Artists embrace the entire journey and can find the immense beauty in life.






One of my favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau, which I mentioned in a previous blog series a while back:

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment." ― Henry David Thoreau

This quote is the perfect beginning for my interview with Colleen Wilcox. Colleen is an amazing surf, tropical, nature, ocean inspired artist based out of Honolulu, Hawaii. She is amazingly talented, extremely humble, and is filled with grace, joy, and presence! Her life and art reflect the beauty of moments. It is a real pleasure for me to interview her and have her a part of this series. Hope you enjoy!







Me: Two of my favorite words are 'flow' and 'resonance.' In your art you create such amazing movement and energy, and your art exemplifies perfectly 'flow,' and no doubt resonates with many! As you create movement and energy in your art, how do you create movement and energy in your business and other aspects of your life?

Colleen: Ideally I want to be in the flow all the time, and that is what I am going for. There are different elements to get in the zone and flow. The place where I am better at this is in my art. When I am in my studio and painting with my headphones, I can be in the right mindset and allow flow to take place. In everyday life, interacting with people, this can be more challenging, so I do try and apply the tools I have to rebalance, reset, and refresh.

My Takeaway:

How one does anything, is how one does everything! I believe all entrepreneurs and artists aspire to live their lives in the 'art of flow,' and to live in the harmony and resonance of life. They acquire tools along the way and implement what works for them, into other areas of their life. The flow state is where it is at!

Me: For people like us, who are keenly aware of the amount of time, energy, and life force one expends during each day, we have to be quite intentional on how we spend and invest energy. How do you remain so focused on your vision as an artist and how do you choose and prioritize projects?

Colleen: I go with the feeling first. If it feels good and I am excited about it, and then if I like the people, it is usually a great project. I have learned over the years in making some mistakes, what to look for, and I now know 'red flags.'

My Takeaway:

The triple threat in entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors is, in my opinion, what Colleen shares. Go with the feeling first, then reflect on the level of excitement. If the people are a good fit too, then that is the winning combo!






Me: How do you personally deal with hardships and setbacks? I know you went through a period of soul searching a while ago. What did that look like and how were you able to move through it? I think many go through deep periods of soul searching, some for short periods of time, and some for longer periods of time. What did those years look like before you took the plunge into becoming a full time artist?

Colleen: During that time, I was really searching. People had been telling me since I was a kid that I was good at art. Looking for those things that you were always naturally inclined, is a great thing to do when considering a career. It was during that time, that I decided to go towards my strengths. I researched people who had their own business and sought out some examples, specifically, of those doing art on the island. I also read and watched a lot of videos. Fifteen years ago, the internet was not as robust and there was no social media.



Me: What advice would you give younger women specifically, who are just starting out in their careers and artistic/entrepreneurial endeavors, that are gifted in the arts and creativity? Those who love to paint, draw, photograph and have a real God given talent for these things? (as well as passion)




Colleen: Make sure they are passionate about what they are doing, as this will carry them through any setbacks. This is the glue that holds everything together. It is important to not give up. It is important to focus on one's strengths and gifts, and to not ever do it for superficial reasons.

My Takeaway:

Any type of 'success' leaves clues. We all learn as we go and can also learn from others who have been on a similar journey. It is indeed a process. Being able to focus on one's strengths, gifts, talents, and persevering through setbacks make for a rich and fulfilling journey.

Me: Let's talk a bit about one of my favorite topics, introverts! You and I are both a bit introverted, and as I mentioned in my previous interview/blog post, introverts in general, can be quite confusing to others How do you balance being an introvert and being 'out there' with associates, colleagues, and clients?

Colleen: I think there are blends of introverts/extroverts. I think those who can deeply connect in person and be social, do the best They are able to interact well with clients/customers. I balance the introvert/extrovert blend, with being sure that I have enough alone time and quiet time while staying away from groups/crowds when I need to recharge.

My Takeaway:

I agree with Colleen 150%. The introvert/extrovert scale can be seen as a blend or spectrum. Somewhere in the middle, is possibly the sweet spot, where most successful and grounded artists and entrepreneurs live. The 'alone time' and 'quiet time' seems to be most important for the recharging and grounding that they desire.

My Final Takeaway:

Entrepreneurs and artists are, at their core creators, and they live to create. The amount of time and life force energy it takes to forge a path unique to one's own vision, is in my option, one of the great adventures of life.

For more information on Colleen, and her amazing art, please visit:


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  • VisionPassionFaith

I believe that great artists and entrepreneurs get better with age. Kinda like fine wine.

The amount of wisdom accumulated along the entrepreneurial road is invaluable. One of my favorite quotes is by Ernest Hemingway. “In order to write about life first you must live it." This is truth. No one can truly speak about the entrepreneurial journey, unless one has lived it.

This is one of the many reasons that I wanted to do a series on amazing individuals who have the entrepreneurial, artistic, and creative spirit and spark; who have persevered through extreme and not so extreme challenges; and have risen to the occasions presented. Life is filled with unlimited and amazing possibilities, and entrepreneurs and artists embrace this, and live in the utmost of the possibilities of life.

This interview is with Valerie Perez, Founder of Wrap Up by VP, an amazing, unique, luxurious, and exclusive collection of robes, wraps, and towels. The fabrics are soft, comfortable, exquisite, and luscious; and once someone experiences and wears one of Valerie's designs, it is hard to wear anything else in the robe/wrap category and space.

Hope you enjoy this interview, it is filled with wisdom, grace, amazing heart, love, and laughter.




Me: We have known each other for many years, and are so blessed to have reconnected with each other. You and your company have so gracefully evolved.

As we chatted a bit before the interview, many people think entrepreneurship is some 'fairy tale,' easy life. I am not sure where people get this perception from, but any entrepreneur I know (and I know many) will say how challenging it is, and does indeed require a certain mindset, discipline, resiliency, ability to flow and pivot, as well as the ability to stay focused on a mission and vision.

I know you started Wrap Up in a tent in your friend's back yard, and it has grown beautifully into a top notch amazing brand. You know the 'art' of the hustle and hard work, and what it takes to build, maintain, and grow a brand. Any thoughts on this 'fairy tale' entrepreneurship that seems to flood our society and culture?

Valerie: It is hard work. Nothing is 'easy peasy.' Everything is here for what one wants to accomplish. It takes a strong power of belief. There is nothing else I wanted to do more, and I did not waver. With hard work, opportunities come. The right people at the right time just seem to show up. People do want to help, and the universe delivers the right people at the right time

My Takeaway:

I agree with Valerie 150%. The universe does deliver the right people at the right time when one's intentions are pure and good. I do think this is one of the core principles (of many) of life. With hard work and good intentions, the right people do show up at the right time, at whatever stage of your path you are on.







Me: How do you remain so focused on your vision? I have seen many entrepreneurs start out with a clear focus and vision, and somewhere along the way, they lose their focus, and try to become 'everything to everyone.' Somehow they lose the control of their own narrative, and this I do believe leads to a downfall of a business endeavor and can ultimately lead to the loss of passion which was why they started in the first place. You are in a 'luxury' type of space, and you have never wavered from this. You have also remained steadfast to your mission to create soft, comfortable, beautiful, fashionable robes and wraps that are of the utmost quality. Were there times when others were telling you to go more 'main stream'?

Valerie: When I started out I wanted to create something that had no sizes and no seasons. I used to go to the gym, and the towels would fall off my body, so I wanted to create a shower wrap for the beach or for the gym that looked like a dress.

Everything is in the small and little things. The details. I do not want my brand to be everywhere. I would not even know how to do a cheaper type line, and I am a perfectionist. It is really a love story between me and my company. I use the best inks, amazing fabrics, etc... I am in love with the people in my company. Maria is the first woman I hired to teach me to do sewing, and it is 18 years later!




Me: Let's talk a bit about inspiration, peace, and the soul. I know you went through a period where you felt like you were on 'autopilot' which felt 'suffocating' to you. When entrepreneurs and artists get to this point, they usually do a lot of soul searching, and ultimately pivot into a new transformative and exciting direction. How did you deal with challenging times, and do you have any advice for others going through something similar?

Valerie: Look, without faith there is nothing. Faith gets you by everyday of your life.

My Takeaway:

As Valerie says: "Without faith, there is nothing." There really is nothing else to be added to this.




Me: You are one of the most lovely, gracious, and appreciative women that I know in business. I think many women can indeed learn a thing or two (or three) from you. What advice would you give younger women specifically, who are just starting out in their careers?

Valerie: It is important to believe in yourself, and what you are doing. If you are on the right track, don't listen to anyone. What you put 200% into will be a success.

My Takeaway:

Never despise small beginnings, and never go off track based upon the opinions and/or judgments of others.




Me: Let's talk a bit about introverts. You and I are both a bit introverted. Introverts can be confusing to others. You just got back from the Live Love Spa Show in Las Vegas. Most, if not all people, think that individuals like us who go to trade shows are extroverts. How do you balance being an introvert and being 'out there' with associates, colleagues, and clients?



Valerie: This show was so amazing, it is even hard to put into words. There was such a beautiful energy. There was great energy in our booth and there was such a deep sense of connection with people there. I love connecting with others, and then on a business level. It is all about human connection.

My Takeaway:

Valerie speaks my language. Energy speaks way louder than words, especially for introverts. People feel when they are appreciated, valued, cared for, and truly listened to.



Me: Last question, do you have any favorite books?

Valerie: One of my favorite books - 'The Artist Way.' My husband and I did this together. There is something about committing and writing in the pages that can help one to understand more and see more things. It is something between you and you, and by writing, one can become more focused.

My Takeaway:

'The Artist Way,' by Julia Cameron, is one of my FAVS! For anyone looking for greater clarity, self knowledge, awareness, and direction, this is a gem!



My Final Takeaway:

A great tag line for Valerie would be "delivering love." Her company is a true "love story." All her designs and creations are infused with love; those around her love working with her; and the people who wear her collections love them! What can be better? A triple threat in the "love department" of entrepreneurship and business!

Many times, I say that the "brand" is the person, and not the matter. In this case, the brand is the person and the matter!




For more information on Valerie and Wrap Up by VP, please check out:


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