Carmen Starks is the CEO of Starks Candle Co. (a k a self-care candles), which offers hand-poured candles that are bursting with personality. Starks Candle Co. even has a monthly subscription service. Learn about Carmen Starks…
Hometown: Chicago, IL
First job: For as long as I can remember, I have always been an entrepreneur. At the age of 12, I mastered hair braiding and started taking clients. After I graduated from junior high, I went straight to cosmetology school and received my hair license. I have done a host of other things but entrepreneurship has always been my passion.
Favorite ways to spend time in Arizona: I love the Arizona sun. It just makes me feel happy and positive. I love the mountains and spending my free time outdoors hiking. My absolute favorite way to spend free time is with my family. I love when my dad comes to town for a visit; it brings me joy to show him all the wonderful things in Arizona.
Person who impacted your life the most and why: My mom. She has accomplished so much in her life and instilled a strong foundation in me at a very young age. She taught me to be independent and follow my heart. I am grateful for her ability to talk me through trying times, her constant support and patience.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes and why: Relocating was a big accomplishment in my eyes. It was not easy. I was six months pregnant when my husband, son and I took what we could in one suitcase and booked a one-way flight to Arizona. I have never in my life been so far away from my family. It was scary, but I was determined to provide a better life for my children. It was a really good decision, and I don’t have any regrets.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: My biggest obstacle is helping my son navigate through life with a birth injury to his right arm. Seeing him happy and thriving every day has been so wonderful and unbelievably rewarding. I am confident that I have instilled my resilient spirit and positive outlook on life within him and that he will be able to persevere through anything he puts his mind to.
Someone who inspires you and why: My husband. His positive outlook on life and the way he focuses on solutions instead of dwelling on problems. He is my constant reminder to live in the moment and enjoy life. He has an abundance of patience and he is extremely selfless, always putting his family first.
Favorite quote: “If you get tired, rest…don’t quit.”
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Entrepreneurship is hard work, but it can be done so stay the course and get started. Don’t wait for things to be perfect. Learn as you grow, document your milestones and be different, stay original.
What makes someone fabulous: Being fabulous to me means to add value to someone else’s life and to leave a positive impact on others when one leaves a room.