Now, that might be a familiar story. The pandemic has begun. The person has started a new hobby.
Taylor Bruzzi acknowledges how well she fits into the mold made since 2020.
“Like everyone else,” she said, “I started right when the pandemic happened.”
Something was brewing ahead, however. Eight years as a special education teacher had taken their toll. Online learning has further damaged Bruzzi’s mental health.
“It was to the point that I could barely get out of bed,” she said.
Bruzzi thought trying something new would help. So she turned to crafts. She tried pottery and candle making and making clay earrings. It was a glimmer of good.
Another bright spot happened in July 2020. An elopement at Lake Isabelle in Colorado. When she and her husband returned to Rhode Island, Bruzzi gave her notice. She left the only career she knew to pursue her artistic hobby. In February 2021, the couple had moved to Thornton, north of Denver.
She continued her job. Bruzzi added small crystals to the top of her soy candles, as she had seen others do.
Then she added something new, but familiar to her. As much as Bruzzi describes himself as a “candle demon,” just try to count his feelings about flowers.
It’s more than her three flower tattoos or all the clothes she owns adorned with floral designs.
“Flowers represent so much who I am as a person,” Bruzzi said. “I don’t want to be in a room without flowers. Period.”
And she’s often not, at least in her house full of at least 150 plants, some sort of “urban jungle,” she says.
Bruzzi also didn’t want his candles without flowers. So she attached colorful dried flower petals to it.
It took a lot of experimentation to find a process that held the flowers in place without catching their own flames.
When Bruzzi understood it, she had a thought. It echoes what many of his customers are now saying about candles: “I had never seen anything like it.”
They look like “little gardens inside candles,” Bruzzi said.
After moving to Colorado, her business called Pothead Planters (which she will be changing over the next few months) has flourished.
Its candles and earrings are spread over six floors, including two Eclectic Co. locations in Colorado Springs. On Etsy, sales number in the hundreds.
This is where you’ll find a description of candles made with soy wax, organic hemp wicks and all-natural oil fragrances: “They contain sun-charged stones for good energy and local greens like gratitude to nature. For best results, burn in a small room or enclosed space. Candles can be used for meditation, yoga, bathing rituals or self-care practices.
There is a purpose beyond the “funky and fun” look.
“Lighting a candle is an act of self-care,” Bruzzi said. “They give you a moment.”
It’s like having flowers around.
“They just make you feel special,” she said. “I think that’s why we give them to people when they’re sad or when we want them to know they’re loved.”
Bruzzi’s creations are a super combination of personal care.
About two years after starting this hobby, it turned into a full-time job. Along the way, this has also been Bruzzi’s form of self-care.
“You should wake up happy every morning,” she said. “The way I wake up now, I’m excited.”