Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, where do you live now, what do you do for a living?
My name is Candace Kim, and I am the founder of Selah. Selah is a sustainable brand that masters carefully curated handmade furniture, home accessories and limited edition clothing from deadstock fabric. I was adopted and raised by my beautiful grandmother here in Southern California. I love animals, which began during a part of my childhood where I lived a simple yet lovely life on a farm surrounded by goats, pigs, chickens, and dogs. Fast forward to the present day, I have a pup named Titus who I rescued from a dog meat market and a rescued bunny named Stuart. And I would probably have a miniature pig, sheep and many more adopted creatures if my husband did not stop me!
Outside of running Selah, I value being an advocate for those who cannot stand for themselves. Being an animal lover and an adoptee, I am passionate about ending animal cruelty and helping orphans. A large part of the vision Selah was birthed out of a desire to create a company that is a vocal and financial supporter of organizations that champion these important issues.
Aside from late-night petition signing for these causes, I also love homemade Korean food and a good cup of Kona coffee!
What does your typical workday look like and what are the biggest challenges you face?
In order to create a healthy balance between work and life, creating a morning ritual helps. Maintaining balance is honestly a daily challenge, requiring focus and boundaries. I start each morning before sunrise by taking care of myself through meditation, prayer, and nurturing my soul so that I will have energy, clarity, and expectancy for the day. After taking care of family, pets, and errands, I begin working on Selah.
I manage my business from home, so it’s crucial for my space to be functional. I have an office, showroom, and a home all in one space. Being an entrepreneur, my workday involves putting on many different hats from designing and accounting to sewing and shipping. It also means different location, whether customers visiting to peruse my collection, or myself making personal visits to stores that carry my products. While for most people the sun setting indicates the end of the workday, for me it means the second part of my workday has just begun. Communicating with my makers overseas requires late-night calls and texts “pauses” to my dreams. Fortunately, I have an amazing employee named Joss who brings some calm to the whirlwind of tasks by helping with the marketing and communication aspects of Selah. While each new day brings new opportunities and challenges, I have been blessed to meet amazing people along the way. These experiences are priceless.
How do you stay motivated? What are some tips or tricks you’ve learned along the way?
No one told me that pursuing entrepreneurship could be so bipolar. There are days where I feel extremely discouraged and other days where I feel like I can conquer the world. What helps me with the emotional rollercoaster is knowing that both are necessary parts of the journey. I stay motivated by regularly feeding my whole being- physically, emotionally and spiritually, and constantly reminding myself of the WHY behind it all. Practically this looks like personal care with meditation, prayer, exercise, healthy eating. It looks like focusing on my vision, listening to podcasts and testimonies of other creative pioneers, and being in genuine friendships with other entrepreneurs. It also means practicing generosity, altruism, and love as if you already made it.
What advice do you have for someone thinking of launching a creative business?
Don’t let the demands and perceived expectations of the masses and social media rob you of your identity, nor allow comparison and envy to poison the fullness of what you are destined to create and release. Continuing in the passion of what you love to do requires regular contemplative pauses that will release thankfulness and will remind us of our “why.”
Where do you hope to be in 5 years, on a personal and professional level?
My hope is for my brand to continue to steadily grow and to positively influence those that encounter our products. More than the goal of success, my vision for Selah is to create financial resources for altruistic causes. I hope that Selah can create foundations for animal sanctuaries and for providing orphaned children opportunities for healing and wholeness. On a personal level, I hope to simply grow in kindness and love, and to be a good mom and wife:)
How would you describe your personal style?
When I started Selah, I had a vision of bringing to life the simple, raw, and natural lifestyle inspired by my cultural and environmental upbringing. In terms of my personal fashion, I have often marched to the beat of my own drum by trusting my eye even when it does not align with the current trend. This has been a blessing, allowing me to oftentimes be fashion-forward. I tend to stick to classic feminine silhouettes as they work best with my body frame. I am also a stickler for endeavoring to wear natural fibers such as linens, silks, bamboo, and hemp.
What role does denim play in your wardrobe? What do you look for in the perfect pair of jeans?
I believe denim is an essential wardrobe staple in any closet. Outside of quality and beautiful washes, I am looking for that pair of jeans that give me a nice perky butt! Many of us Asians are not blessed with nice behinds, so denim can be a huge confidence builder as the right butt-hugging jeans can really do wonders. My favorite style though currently is loose high waist girlfriend jeans as I can simply hide it all in there.
What’s your skincare or beauty routine like? What are your top 5 products?
My skincare protocol has evolved to incorporate more natural products that work well and don’t use animal testing. I start by using handmade bar soaps currently, I am using Fiddle Fish goat’s milk soap with lavender and poppy seeds. I then use Son & Park toner followed by Sunday Riley Good Genes lactic acid, Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil, Fresh Black Tea eye cream, and lastly, Laneige Sleeping Mask.
We’re obsessed with podcasts. Do you listen? What are some favorites?
I also love podcasts! When I need encouragement as a creative and entrepreneur, I listen to How I Built This and Foundr. When I need a spiritual boost, I listen to Erwin McManus.
Share with us your last online purchase + last article or book you read
Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors. She shares on the power of vulnerability, wholehearted living, cultivating creativity and letting go of comparison. I just finished The Gift of Imperfection, and currently reading Daring Greatly. These are absolute must-reads!
My last Amazon order included an Aobosi Slow Masticating Cold Pressed Juicer which is a great juicer for a great price. I also ordered beeswax reusable food wraps to take another step towards full sustainability by reducing plastic use.
Where can we find and follow your work?