Remembering the Past to Imagine the Future: Defining Modern Love with Chelsea Mendivil Hill

Photos by Chelsea Mendivil Hill | By Abi Isa Lee | September 24, 2021

Moden Love Candle co.'s re-branded candle in a jar on a vintage-themed stage.
Photo by Chelsea Mendivil Hill

We're excited to share a new interview with an entrepreneur and a candle maker, Chelsea Mendivil Hill!

In this interview, Chelsea shares the fondest memories of her childhood, her family history of candle-making, the story of rediscovering her passion, and much much more.

Read on to learn more about Chelsea's journey as a candle maker and small business owner. You will find out how it all started, her ten years journey back to her true passion for making candles, and her daily routine to create a work-life balance.

Crafts-Women, Chelsea, at the vitage-themed roller rink.
Photo by Chelsea Mendivil Hill

Crafts-Women: Before we dive in, can you tell us about yourself in just three words?

Chelsea Mendivil Hill: Thoughtful, Passionate, Creative

CW: I love that! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up? What are the best memories you have from childhood?

CH: My name is Chelsea, and I am 100% Capricorn. I grew up in a suburban town called Milpitas just outside of San Jose California. It was a quiet and safe neighborhood and I have many fond memories of me and my sisters riding our scooters around or taking long walks to the local shops.

My family was big on Disney growing up; we owned every VHS and went to Disneyland whenever it was financially possible. I was big into sports and played softball and soccer while my Dad coached.

I was really involved in theater and singing at an early age and thought I wanted to be on Broadway when I grew up. My Mom and Grandma were my biggest cheerleaders and always nurtured my creative side whether it was sports, singing, or crafts.

Crafts-Women, Chelsea's jar candles in the woods.
Photo by Chelsea Mendivil Hill

CW: Candle-making is very dear to your heart. Can you tell us the story about your grandfather, his candle business, and how it might have influenced your path to entrepreneurship in the candle business?

CH: Ever since I was small we would have family trips to Redding CA where my grandparents lived. We always thought of him as “Papa” but in the small business world, he was pretty big! He owned and operated “Yaley Enterprises” which was a candle and soap supply company.

We would visit the warehouse and get to see all the molds, wax, and scents; I always remember that time as being super exciting and was curious to learn more. We would make candles and soap together on occasion but he often sent us a gift package to make things together as a family at home. He sold his products at Michaels craft stores and was one of the top suppliers in CA.

"For as long as I can remember I always had a love for perfumes and scents, I would smell all my Mom's perfume bottles and felt so cool when I had my own “Baby Soft” perfume."

When I was old enough to buy my own things, candles and perfume were always my gifts to myself. I have so many memories now that are tied to a specific scent, that nostalgia always brings me comfort.

"I think a lot of people can relate to the illuminating comfort of a candle. I believe it was a natural path for me to be involved in a creative field where I can take the leadership role and be driven by a passion for connecting past and present with scents."

Crafts-Women, Chelsea's tin candle on the bed.
Photo by Chelsea Mendivil Hill

CW: The candle is your biggest passion in life but there was a time when you paused yourself from making your own candles. This happens to many creatives for many different reasons.

Can you tell us your experience during that time and what all led you to make that decision? What was going through your head and how did you feel?

CH: This is a long journey so buckle up! 10 years ago I was nannying part-time and decided to make my hobby into a part-time gig. I started a super amateur Etsy store and began my candle shop business.

"I didn’t really know how to market or promote my business, just wanted to dip my toes and see what would happen."

I eventually fell into the college path and a couple of years later I got my degree in Medical Assisting (random I know).