5Q: Damaris Lewis, Gorudo Candles
I met Damaris online, to my surprise she is an avid LAUREN NAPIER BEAUTY shopper! Corresponding through email and on Instagram, we finally connected once more at a swanky Manhattan party where we became fast friends. Damaris is as smart as she is beautiful. A model, dancer and now founder of the brilliant collection of beautifully fragranced Gorudo Candles.
1. Looking back on your first job, what skill did you use that you still use today?
Thankfully for me, I'm still doing my first job. Modeling. I started at the age of 15 and fell so deeply in love with it that I haven't stopped. I'd say the skill that I learned back then that I am still using today is to always be open to learning about new cultures. I traveled to Paris for the 1st time two months after I signed my contract and being thrown into a different world other than NYC or St. Kitts (where my family is from) has been completely life changing. Being open to other cultures has kept me very happy and always excited about my next adventure.
2. Was there a defining moment that made you start your business?
When it comes to Gorudo, the defining moment that helped me start my business was realizing last year that I could be creating the thing I loved the most instead of purchasing it. Obviously easier said than done, but I am still able to fall deeper in love with the art of candle making everyday because I was already in love with it before I started.
3. What was he first step you took to launch your brand?
The first step I took to launching my brand was coming up with a name. I know I know, it's technically not the most important thing you should be diving into before you start, but it worked for me. Gorudo is a word that signifies "Gold" in Japanese. Since I make luxury candles with natural ingredients I wanted a name that truly exuded our most natural luxury- gold. Every time you illuminate your space or your mind with my candles please remember that everything that is good is gold. And by that, I mean of the earth, pure, and wondrous.
4. What is the greatest lesson learned in your first year in business?
The greatest lesson I have learned in my first year of business is truly not to stress over those who do not like the product. In modeling that's easier said than done since your next job generally comes if someone likes you in their product. I had, and am still working hard to make sure that I can mentally separate the two.
5. What is your best piece of advice for your fellow Female Founder?
My best piece of advice for my fellow female founder would be to stop pigeon holding yourself in a box because you are a female. Your blood flows through the arteries of this earth. Without you (and God) there is no man. You know the statistics of men to woman in business, but don't dwell on them and use them as your excuse as to why you may not be getting to where you want to go as quickly. Take advice, but follow your gut. ALWAYS lead with love. If you love what you do then neither me, or a man, or anyone on this planet should kill your joy or motivation. I'm not saying it won't happen- you're human (or is it huwoman?). But never forget those words whenever you may need them and always remember if they call you bossy then tell 'em thanks because you're a BOSS.
Follow Gorudo Candles here! "Illuminate Your Mind"