Sydney Price - Virginia Interview by Claire Plath Nomination by Ainsley Abbitt Photography by Lindsay Shaffer Issue 38 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Sydney Price hand makes and sells her candles where 50% of the proceeds go to NSVRC.
Photography by Sydney Price
What inspired you to start your own non-profit organization hand-making and selling candles, and what is the cause for? I naturally enjoy staying busy with school, athletics, work, and social life. My high school soccer season just began in early March and was immediately shut-down due to the pandemic. I subsequently found myself with an increased amount of free time from losing my soccer season, no longer working my part-time job, nor attending school. With the at-home orders in place at the time, I was desperate to find a distraction to fill the void. I started viewing videos on youtube and came across candle making! I began with a basic candle making kit and fell in love with the process. After a few candle orders for friends and family, the attention of the products exploded. I took custom orders, which allowed them to choose from a small variety of colors and scents of their choice. Before I settled on making the business profession a part of my future goal, I always wanted to be a detective in the special victims unit. I decided to combine my passion for both and promote my business as a non-profit organization to raise money for a cause I felt needed more attention. To date, I have donated over $2000 in proceeds to the National Sexual Assault Resource Center (NSVRC). This organization conducts research and provides education and tools to encourage survivors to find healing from their trauma.
Tell me a little bit about how you have managed your organization and how you have helped make a difference by spreading awareness to the proceeds. When I first started, I offered twenty fragrances and eight colors to allow close family and friends to choose between. When word spread about my custom candles, I realized I needed to prepare a better variety of supplies. I expanded to fifty scents and twelve colors, which made the business grow tremendously. I designed a business platform on Facebook and Instagram, and in the first week, I had over thirty orders. I keep track of my orders by making an "order board" with sticky notes in my workspace. I deliver 12 candle orders throughout the week, six deliveries on Mondays and another six on Wednesdays, spend Saturday and Sunday working through orders, and make trips to the post office on Fridays if required. I'm so thankful for this business and how loyal and trusting my customers are. Because of the organization I'm supporting, survivors share their stories with me and have looked into the NSVRC for more help. My followers share my post, which draws in more awareness of this crime. Between Facebook and Instagram alone, the NSVRC has reached over 800 dollars strictly in donations.
Photography by Lindsay Shaffer
What are some of the pros and cons of originating your own business? This experience has taught me so much. The most significant gain is giving back to my community. I have met several incredible people in the past five months and have had amazing opportunities to advertise my candles in local businesses. One of my favorite parts of this journey is getting orders that require me to mix scents and provide them with a smell they can't find in stores. As much as I would love to say this journey has been "flawless," I'd be lying. The candle making process to achieve one order takes about four hours. This time frame allows the production and packaging of the order. The packaging alone takes an hour and more prolonged if its a shipment. Trusting the shipment process can be stressful because of how fragile the package is.
As a military child, how are you also involved in your parent's service branches, and what has that experience been like for you? My dad retired as a senior chief in the navy three years ago. He was very in and out because of all his deployments over his years serving. I cherished being able to attend the family cookouts and functions hosted by his crew members. While he was away, I started applying my time to the Virginia Air National Guard Youth Programs. I began attending conferences for the program, camps, and worked as an assistant for the program's administrator. We packed food bags for troops overseas, participated at the yellow ribbon ceremonies, and created events for military families to bring comfort from missing their loved ones serving abroad. I was elected Youth leader of the year a few years after, and it opened my eyes to how rewarding it is to help people.
Photography by Kristy Price
How are you also involved in other passions of yours, including soccer? How has soccer impacted your plans you have for your future? I have been dedicated to soccer since I was five years old. I joined a club team for Yorktown, Va, during my middle school years. I moved on to play varsity soccer for Menchville Highschool during my freshman year and have treasured every second of it. The sport has taught me patience, discipline, and how rewarding hard work is.
In what ways have you become a sensational inspiration for others to help spread awareness on important topics going on in the world that need to be addressed? By taking the time to research the NSVRC, I used it in my business platform to gain awareness on the subject. When you claim that your consumer's money is going towards an organization, they generally want to see where their money is going, which gives them the ability to read and inform themselves of the crime. I aspire to get as many eyes on the charity as possible, trusting that we teach the future generations how dehumanizing sexual assault is and do our best as a community to put a stop to it. Survivors and their families have contacted me explaining how appreciative they were of discovering this charity and have used it to find healing.
Sydney will be featured in issue 38 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!