We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Pina and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, how do you think about risk?
I believe running your own business or exploring any new venture, you have to come face-to-face with doubts and fears and decide what is worth the risk. The times I’ve been confronted with new opportunities, I’ve had to factor in and weigh the potential benefits and the possibility of failure, and how those failures would help me grow. Despite the chaos of 2020, I decided to take the leap and leave behind a secure office job to pursue The Fussy Goose full-time. Some days are harder than others, but I wouldn’t take back any choices I’ve made, because every risk I’ve taken has made me a stronger and more resilient person. My experiences alone have made this entire journey worth every bump along the way, and finding my place in this community to meet new and wonderful people could never be replaced. If I could give advice to future business owners or anyone looking to make the leap, you got this, you’re more than capable, and even your worst case scenario can be handled if it comes down to it. With research, hard work, planning, support and taking some risks, you can find what brings you fulfillment and joy, even during difficult times.
What should our readers know about your business?
Before I started The Fussy Goose in 2016, I was managing a small team of designers for a giftware company. I was feeling creatively unfulfilled and burnt out from my previous jobs, and realized I wanted to pursue something I was passionate about. Candles were always something I found myself splurging on and enjoyed having at home, though I found many candles smelled too sweet or synthetic. So, to solve a problem for many other candle lovers like myself, I decided to create natural smelling candles inspired by memories and nature, and having a background in packaging design just seemed like a no brainer. I’ve learned through this process that although I run the Fussy Goose inside and out, it takes a village of people who support me to keep my business thriving. I’ve also learned to look at the big picture by defining what success means to me, to find lessons in my mistakes, and always celebrate the small wins!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
What a great question! I moved to an entirely new state in 2020, but I would take them to a few hiking and outdoor spots in Virginia to start. We’d have to take a short trip to the Shenandoah Mountains for a hike with my dog, Goose, and visit the spectacle that is Great Falls. Then eventually we’d have to take a stroll on King Street in Old Town and stop at my favorite spot, The Pita House, for some delicious Lebanese / Middle Eastern food. I’ve been looking forward to exploring DC since moving, something about the energy of DC draws me there and it’s like pressing a reset button whenever I visit.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am without the support and love from family, my dear friends, and community. The way people have shown up for me over the years, I can only describe the feeling as pure gratitude. You know what support and love is when your partner holds you after a very trying day, and tells you “You can do this, I know you’re going to make it one way or another”. So a huge thanks to them, they’re the real MVPs!