Monday, July 30, 2012

Spotlight on Mommy -- Christine Ibarra of The Glitz Shop


This week's Spotlight on Mom really made my daughter's 2nd birthday last week, as she provided a custom made candle for her birthday cake.  You'll have to wait until Friday when I review the candle and Christine's business further.  But, here is just a glimpse of some of Christine's unique and wonderful candles:

Aren't these amazing?  Christine does a great job in making the cake stand out, and providing parents with a wonderful keepsake.  I can't wait to order another candle for her for Arabella's 1st birthday in November, and then for the girls going forward.  I want to be able to start a memory box with their custom made candles, and add photos of their special days with them.

So, if you are looking for a special way to celebrate your child's birthday, why not consider having Christine, a fellow mom, create a custom made candle for your child's cake?  Don't forget to head back here on Friday, when I will share Savannah's special candle, which really made her Toy Story cake special.  In the meantime, please enjoy my interview with Christine Ibarra, of The Glitz Shop. 

Name: Christine Ibarra
Company Name/Product/Service: The Glitz Shop - creating custom-made celebration candles.

Company Location: Oakland, California

Company Website: 
Facebook URL:

Age of Company: 1 year

Favorite Inspirational Quote: If it wasn't done to the best of your ability, it wasn't worth doing. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.

I'm a full-time student, mother, and small-business owner.  I have one child, my daughter, Andyn, who just turned 2.  Creating custom candles is my hobby, I love knowing I've created something one-of-a-kind for a child who is obviously loved very much and being part of their big day.  In my free time, I get to play my other role: wife.  :)

Briefly explain your business. How did it come about?
The Glitz Shop is all about customization, glitter, and glitz!  I take a small piece from the special day, whether it be a cake design, party theme, invitation, a napkin or cup design, or just a color scheme, and transform it into a candle.

The Glitz Shop started last June (2011) when I was planning my own daughter's first birthday. Like any other crazed Mama, the party had to be perfect, right down to the amount of confetti to be used!  I searched and searched for something special, something better, something other than your typical grocery store birthday candle, but found nothing!  So, with the power of craftiness on my side, I decided to create one myself.  After the party, all my friends and family kept telling me that I should make and sell other candles, and guess what, they were right!  And so, The Glitz Shop was born.

What is a typical work day like? 
Orders tend to be sporadic, I've gone over a week without an order, then all of a sudden get slammed with three in a day, so it all just depends.  My typical day starts at 5am, get everyone ready and out the door, school til 11am, hour commute home to work on homework and orders.  The candles are made in stages, each stage needs adequate time to dry or set before moving on to the next, only then to be set so as to be able to apply any rhinestones or embellishment; the candles can be pretty time consuming.   

What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

Finding the time for everything!  There just is never enough time in the day to get everything finished without something or someone getting neglected, and it's usually me, I don't really remember what sleep is anymore, haha!

What did you do in your past work life?
Before deciding to go back to school and invest so much time into The Glitz Shop, I was a hairstylist and model.

What have been some of your major successes?
My major successes with TGS (The Glitz Shop) would have to be my first out of country order, my first $1000, and the thank-you letters and pictures of my candles in action!  I never get tired of seeing the candle and cake come together.

What have been some of your major challenges?
Finding the right paints, colors, quality embellishments, and packaging was definitely the hardest part!  Colors look different in person than online, so I try to really work with the customer as closely as possible until I have the finished product.  Shipping and packaging I still tweak!  Different candles require special packaging sometimes to protect its embellishments, but I'm sure I'll find the perfect set-up before long.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
My husband has always pushed me to be better, he supported me through cosmetology school even while serving in Iraq, he pushed me to model, which landed me some really cool jobs and even a commercial, and has even offered to help paint some candles (even though I'd die before I let that happen, lol, I'm a perfectionist to a fault sometimes).  I just know at the end of the day, whether I succeeded or not, his arms will be there to catch me.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?

The secret?  Family comes first, and when business absolutely HAS to come first, work as a team.  If I just have to get a rush order done, my husband will take care of dinner and bath time, and I'm lucky in that.

What is next for your business?
I haven't quite decided where TGS is headed next.  I've had partnership talks with cake shops; and have even thought about creating on a grander scale, as far as having getting pre-made candles into cake stores and bakeries, but I'm not willing to trade quality for quantity by any means.  So we'll see where life takes us.  For now I'm happy with how things are, I like being able to really think through what I'm going to create for my customers.

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Seriously ask yourself, "What do I have to lose?"  Time?  Maybe.  Sleep?  Definitely!  But if you are able to make money off of something you're truly passionate about, regardless of how much time or sleep you lose, or even how much money you make, it's a win/win!


  1. The number 2 candle is sooo cute!!

  2. My son's first birthday is not until May, but these are great!!