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Shanna Lao

Meaningful Candles

Mystic Pines Candle Co. is a small conscious business in Connecticut that not only makes quality candles but leads in the way they make an impact. 

Since their launch in 2015, founders (Christina & Christopher Cox) have worked tirelessly to ensure that their mission of “spreading light and kindness… one candle at a time” is not just words but followed by an action. 

Conscious businesses exist for reasons beyond just making a profit. Social impact companies make a positive difference in the world.  At the end of each month, 30% of all candle purchases go back to their community. 

Mystic Pines founders, along with their customers, have donated to many charities throughout New England. As a community, they have brought awareness to causes such as Paws New England, SNORT Rescue, the MLK Community Center in Rhode Island, and much more.

Candles

At Mystic Pines Candles, all candles are 100% soy wax, cotton-wicked (lead-free), and are Reiki blessed. With each candle having its own story behind it, they often create new designs to keep it special.

If you follow their social media accounts, you will see their compassion towards the world. Their incredible energy. And their transparency with donations. Not only do they share screenshots confirming their donations, but they also invite charity members to speak about the cause in their videos.


“Our passion doesn’t end with being mindful and infusing each creation with pure love and positive intentions along with high-quality products, as a living tribute to those we love and hold dear in our hearts, we donate 30% from every candle sold to animal and human charitable causes, always!” 
– Christina & Christopher Cox

While candles may be their specialty, they also sell a variety of products at their retail store. These include everything from essential oils to artisan jewelry. In addition, they offer workshops, candle readings, and other services, which you could read more about on their official website.

With their generosity and quality candles, it’s no surprise to see them grow. Since opening, they have expanded their online business into a physical store. They have also created Knotty Pines Co., which allows customers to make their own candle messages.

To visit their shop page on Mindful Market, click here.

P.S.

If you ever have time to visit their store in person, you should! Their store is inside a gorgeous building that was built in 1821. For those that are far, you can check out their store (virtually) through a guided tour by Christina. Just head on over on their Facebook page!

https://www.facebook.com/MysticPines

5 Habits of Highly Conscious People

Highly Conscious People

We always talk about Conscious Consumerism and Conscious Business, but why not discuss who is behind these movements? 

Health Conscious Consumers Trend

Highly. Conscious. People.

These individuals are self-aware, in-tune with the world, and adaptable from moment-to-moment. Highly conscious people are not operating on auto-pilot. They are intentional about everything they do. And I mean everything. When you choose a life of consciousness, you choose a life of intentional, wholehearted, self-awareness. This alone changes the relationship you have with the world, yourself, and those around you. Some of the most successful, inspirational, and confident individuals are highly conscious people.

So… How do they do it? How do they turn auto-pilot off and consciousness on? Here’s how:

Health Consciousness

1. Self-Awareness Is Their Foundation

Let’s start with what self-awareness is… Self-awareness is the ability to go inward. Reflect on your actions, thoughts, and emotions. Self-awareness allows you to tap into your most authentic energy in all aspects of your life. With self-awareness as a guide, highly intentional people are able to show up in the world with more confidence and less doubt, more compassion and less apathy, and more hope and less fear.

Energy Conscious Consumers


2. They Choose to Exist Within Intentionality

The art of being intentional stems from practicing self-awareness and applying it to day-to-day life. Here is the secret…Highly conscious people don’t just apply intentionality to the big moments in life. If anything, their relationship with intentionality is strongest when they tether it to the little moments. Sipping on a fresh cup of tea. Looking out the window in the middle of the day to take in the scenery. Breathing deeply before speaking. Intentional does not always mean it has to come from a place of earth-shaking will. Sometimes it just means remembering to slow down, breathe, and ask your body/mind what it needs often.

Conscious Business Magazine

3. Knowingness Is A Safe Haven

Knowingness is how highly Conscious Business people approach to challenge and self-doubt. It is within our own nature to question ourselves as humans, but when we find a safe haven in knowingness, we waste less time worrying and more time practicing worthiness. 

Social Consciousness in Business

4. When Others Win, They Win

Highly conscious people have a self-awareness that allows them to see the world through wholeness. When others succeed, they too feel successful. When others win, they win. Highly conscious people don’t see competition, they see opportunities and inspiration to grow.

Conscious Business Leadership

5. The Idea of “Negative vs. Positive” Does Not Exist in Their World

Many of us use the phrase “negative vibes or negative thoughts” to create differentiation between the positive, but highly conscious people see all of that as simply vibes and thoughts. They choose to exist in a world with less black and white, less negative vs. positive. Instead, they adapt their thinking and perspective to allow themselves to see all energy, opportunity, and challenge at face value. This allows them to remain conscious of all that they do, experience, and believe.

Conscious Business Program

You will know when you have come across a highly conscious person by their presence. It is powerful, humbling, and comforting. The truth is, we all are capable of becoming these people. It starts with adopting these 5 habits that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.

What We Need to Bring Into 2021, and What We Need to Leave Behind

Bring Into 2021

As we approach 2021, we want to acknowledge the things we have learned, the moments that have challenged us, and the lessons we hope to carry into the new year. Reflecting on the solitude and distance that has been a common theme this year there is a sense of burnout and fatigue. But I believe there are also moments where we have seen the resilience and strength of humanity unfold before us. Mother nature needs us more than ever, BIPOC needs us to step up and acknowledge our privilege, high-risk individuals need us to do our part and wear a mask… The list goes on… Since this year has been overwhelming enough, here is a list of things I think we need to carry into the new year and things we need to leave behind. 

What We Need to Bring Into 2021

The keyword here is “need”. We are boiling down to the essentials because that is what is necessary in order to change the course of our world and our own well-being. So what do we need to bring with us into 2021 to ensure a better future and a sense of evolved normalcy once again?

Reusable Necessities

There is too much proof. Too many options and too many excuses to keep going for single-use items. It’s time to carry more reusable essentials into our day-to-day lives for 2021. Enough of the plastic straws. Enough of the takeout napkins and utensils. We need to acknowledge that these little moments in our lives are creating a greater impact. This holiday season, consider investing in more reusable necessities. You can find plenty of options right here at Mindful Market.

Compassion

We need more compassion for our earth, for others, and for ourselves. This year has uprooted and exposed so many aspects of our world that have been hurting for a long time. Instead of clinging to defensiveness, we need to have more compassion. Be gentle with ourselves through hardships and acknowledge the hardships that others move through. 

Self-reflection

The more time we have had to remain home, the more time we have had to reflect on the meaning and purpose of life. Why are we here? What is my purpose? How am I taking part in improving the lives of others? Self-reflection is such a powerful tool and costs nothing. Bringing this exercise into 2021 will make all the difference within our steps forward.


Self Reflection Bring Into 2021

What We Need to Leave Behind

The hate, the fear, the disconnection. 2020 has been a testament to how much we have numbed ourselves to the world around us. It has held a mirror up to our society and asked over and over again, “Is this the world you truly want to live in?”.

Plastic

Stop. Using. Plastic. I am also a culprit and it is a challenge since so many companies are still reliant on plastic to package products. The more we can do to stop investing in plastic, the stronger the message we send to companies about what matters – Mother Nature.

Comparison

It has always been easy to get sucked into the comparison vortex thanks to social media. Productivity and accomplishment always seem to be the common theme, but if you simply moved through 2020 just focusing on survival, your mental health/well-being, or both. That is enough. You are enough. Let go of the idea that what you see on social media is a standard you have to live up to.

Burnout

We are ALL feeling this in one way or another. I am not saying you can simply drop burnout on command, but you can start addressing its place in your life and find resources to balance things out again. Therapy, yoga, nature bathing, meditation, and journaling are a few of my favorite go-to’s when I am feeling the burnout blues. 

What do you need to bring into 2021 and what do you need to leave behind? Just some food for thought.

Want To Advance An Unpopular Cause? Sell Popular Stuff.

Sell Popular Stuff

Around this time last year, Burger King’s new, meatless Impossible Whopper was a sandwich celebrity. 

Its debut was so successful that patty supplier Impossible Foods ran low on its fake beef. In St. Louis, Mo, the first city to experience the craze, Burger King foot traffic increased by 18.5% for April. And for 2019’s third business quarter, sales rose by 5% at Burger Kings that had been open for at least a year. This was the company’s strongest growth since 2015.

Counterintuitively, most of the customers behind this success weren’t vegetarians.

In fact, Burger King never marketed the Impossible Whopper towards vegetarians. Neither did Impossible Foods, which aims its fake meat at omnivores for a cause — the company hopes that by making ultra-realistic meat substitutes, it will make meat obsolete by 2035. 

“I love vegetarians and vegans as much as the next guy,” said Pat Brown, founder, and CEO of Impossible Foods, “but that is not the customer we care about.”

Impossible Foods’ plan just might work, because according to research firm The NPD Group, a whopping (pun intended) 90% of people who eat fake meat also eat the real kind. The firm states that these customers appreciate having options. Many of them, especially Millennials, use plant-based meat alternatives to indulge without betraying health goals. 


Why is it counterintuitive for meat-eaters to consume fake meat? After all, many people like to try new foods. It isn’t strange for non-Japanese people to like sushi. 

Perhaps it’s because, until recently, mock meats haven’t tasted like their real counterparts. And because they were marketed as meat substitutes, people were disappointed. To buy them was seen as settling for less, although perhaps for a good reason.

The Impossible Whopper is different. Thanks to iron-containing heme, which makes meat taste meaty, it tastes like a real beef hamburger (whether it tastes like a Whopper, however, depends on whom you ask). 

Living Ethically Requires Self-Discipline… Until You Make It Convenient

Unfortunately, going vegetarian (especially vegan) takes strength and courage… for now. 

Food is so much more than nutrition — it’s a part of culture, a link to the past, and a powerful form of social bonding. As a result, renouncing meat, dairy, and/or eggs don’t just lead to withdrawal cravings; it can cause culture shock and loneliness. It’s no surprise, then, that only about 5% of Americans are vegans or vegetarians, which hasn’t changed much within the past three decades. 

With little success, (ideological) vegetarians have long tried to convert meat-eaters. Most people aren’t persuaded by rational debate on emotional subjects like food ethics. And even when faced with horrific farm conditions and anthropogenic climate change, they assuage their guilt with denial, compartmentalization, and other mind tricks. The more uncomfortable it is to be ethical, the more likely people are to prioritize comfort.

That’s why the key to speedier progress in animal liberation, conservation, and the fight against climate change isn’t veganism; it’s displacing unethical products and services with more appealing alternatives.

This isn’t to say that going vegetarian or vegan is futile — far from it. By going vegan for a month, you could save 30 animals, prevent 620 pounds of CO2 emissions, and spare 913 square feet of forest. But most people won’t join you, and they’ll keep thwarting your causes until they change their behaviors for different reasons.

“Our products are going to get tastier, healthier, more affordable and better in every way, continuously into the far future, and the incumbent meat industry is just standing there, waiting for the tsunami.” — Pat Brown, CEO, and founder of Impossible Foods

horse-drawn buggies


It’s hard to believe that fake meat could ever replace the real kind on a mass scale, but similarly massive changes have happened before. Imagine if automobiles had been made to liberate horses. The intention wouldn’t have made a historical difference; in both that alternate universe and our real one, people wouldn’t have adopted cars out of compassion. Automobiles are simply better than horse-drawn buggies, and now they’re the default mode of travel.


Conscious Business Can Shift Paradigms

While A Conscious Consumer Can Change Lives, A Conscious Business Can Shift Paradigms

Though I’ve focused this article so far on vegetarianism, the bigger point I want to make applies to conscious consumerism in general. Though individuals can do great good with their purchases, they can’t convince everyone else to shop with their criteria. And sometimes, this isn’t even due to personal weaknesses; equally passionate people can have competing ideologies. 

That’s why no matter what the movement, conscious businesses have a massive advantage over conscious consumers – they can sell things to people who don’t care for their causes. 

This approach to the conscious consumer movement can make everyone happy. Nobody likes to be told what to do, and nobody wants their cause to be stagnant. When ethical goods and services appeal to most people, society improves without a struggle.

It’s Time For The Conscious Business.

Conscious Business

Specifically, Conscious E-Commerce ™.

Online retailers are seeing Black Friday-like sales due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business. According to new data from Adobe’s Digital Economy Index, U.S. e-commerce jumped 49% in April, compared to the baseline period in early March before shelter-in-place restrictions went into effect. Source- Techcrunch.com 5/12/20

There is a lot of uncertainty in the air. Uncertainty breeds opportunity.  I believe now is a great time for the conscious e-business

Conscious leaders believe that business

What is a conscious business?

Conscious leaders believe that business is about more than making a profit. Conscious entrepreneurs view business as good, ethical, noble, and heroic.  There is a universal truth that people aspire to mean & purpose. Conscious businesses care about all stakeholders in their ecosystem. Conscious leaders focus on “we” not “me”.  They put people first which results in high levels of engagement, motivation, and commitment.  Conscious businesses intentionally foster cultures with high levels of authenticity, integrity, and personal growth. 

Facts prove that a conscious company is a much more profitable company because associates enjoy working and are more productive.  Happy associates produce higher quality products & services, leading to happier customers and larger profits. So here are the facts:

  • Raj Sisodia, Co-Founder of Conscious Capitalism, looked at 28 companies he identified as the most conscious “firms of endearment”, as he termed them, based on characteristics such as their stated purpose, generosity of compensation, quality of customer service, investment in their communities, and impact on the environment.
  • 18 publicly traded companies out of the 28 outperformed the S&P 500 index by a factor of 10.5 over the years 1996-2011. 

source Harvard Business Review 

A conscious business ethos typically transcends into the company’s web presence.  You can feel the essence of trust, loyalty, fairness, and genuine caring within the web pages and social media channels of a conscious business. During this most interesting shift, we are all experiencing, this spirit will pay dividends.  Combine a conscious business with the recent online shopping boom along with an expanding conscious consumer movement and you have a recipe for business growth and more importantly – increased impact. 

The crisis will be the cure. Maintain focus on your purpose AND your customer’s problems. Stay present and positive.  You’ve got this.

What Is Your Conscious Consumer Alter Ego?

Encouraging Conscious Business

Conscious consumerism is on the rise and as we move toward greater acts of kindness within our shopping habits, we can find ourselves leaning toward certain products & services that speak to a seemingly budding alter ego. So what is YOUR Conscious Consumer Alter Ego? Let’s find out!

Are you the Earth Warrior? 

You are determined to decrease your carbon footprint, bringing equilibrium back to Mother Nature. When you shop you tend to gravitate toward sustainable goods and plant-based products in an effort to consciously put the world’s future first.

Are you the Holistic Hippie?

Your body is priority number one and in order to heal from within you focus on the quality of the things that you put into, on, and around it. From meditating to crystal work, you are not afraid to try the things that research and your own intuition have shown you bring balance and peace to your life.

Are you the Energy Muse?

Your energy is your communicator. You are grounded by the earth and influenced by the interactions you have with others daily. Some call you the empath of your social circle, and you pride yourself on cleansing your life with methods of energy work, balance, and transformation. A crystal here and there in your home or around your neck doesn’t hurt either…

Are you the Movement Maven?

Movement is and always will be your medicine. It can be a calm walk on the beach or a vinyasa flow on your mat. You are always searching for movement as a means to get out of your head and into your body.

Did you resonate with one or all of the Alter Egos above? I definitely did. Here Is a list of goodies from Mindful Market that we think will speak to your inner Warrior, Hippie, Muse, and Maven…

For The Earth Warrior

  1. Reusable Straw Pack – Shop Now
  2. Sandwich Bags (No Plastic Needed) – Shop Now
  3. Vegan Deodorant – Shop Now 

For The Holistic Hippie

  1. Herbalist Session – Shop Now
  2. Non-Artificial Loose Leaf Tea – Shop Now
  3. Healing Crystal Pendant – Shop Now

For The Energy Muse

  1. Reiki Session – Shop Now
  2. Mala Beads – Shop Now
  3. Meditation Candle – Shop Now

The Movement Maven

  1. Custom Yoga Mat – Shop Now
  2. Reusable Water Bottle – Shop Now
  3. Private Online Yoga Session – Shop Now


Pandemic Reading for the Conscious Consumer

Conscious Business eBook

Earth day is just around the corner and as we all remain at home to do our part for the sake of saving lives, we thought it best to share a reading list to help educate & inspire more Conscious Consumer decision-making when it comes to consumerism and business.

Before we reveal our list (I know, the anticipation is killing you), we want to shed some light on how you can make more conscious decisions surrounding how and where you buy books. According to TCKPublishing, “around 10 million of the trees that are killed to create books die in vain each year because the books end up getting destroyed instead of being read”. That is the same total amount of trees that would be destroyed if Yellowstone National Park was demolished close to 15,000 times. The statistics on the weight that the book publishing industry has on the environment are daunting, to say the least, but doing a little research and digging of your own can help you find used and virtual options that have far less of an environmental impact.

Eco Conscious Business

This time, we did the digging for you. Powell’s is a family-owned and operated bookstore located in Portland, Oregon. Right now, it operates as a third-generation family-owned business and just brought back 100 of its laid-off workers due to the increase in online orders (Katu.com). Although many online bookstores offer “used” book options, Powell’s also instills community value and comradery that does not go unnoticed. That’s why all of the books listed below can be purchased from Powell’s using the link that follows each book synopsis. See how easy that was to make a more conscious decision?!?

“Minimalism: Living a Meaningful Life” by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s most important things-which actually aren’t things at all. At age 30, best friends Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus walked away from their six-figure corporate careers, jettisoned most of their material possessions, and started focusing on what’s truly important. In their debut book, Joshua & Ryan, authors of the popular website THE MINIMALISTS, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9780615648224

“The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals” by Wayne Pacelle

From the leader of the nation’s most powerful animal-protection organization comes a frontline account of how conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States reveals how entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class scientists, philanthropists, and a new class of political leaders are driving the burgeoning, unstoppable growth of the “humane economy.” (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9780062389640

“Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World” by Gary Hirshberg

A true force for change, Gary Hirshberg has been at the forefront of movements working for environmental and social transformation for 30 years. From his early days as an educator and activist to his current position as President and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s largest organic yogurt company, Hirshberg’s positive outlook has inspired thousands of people to recognize their ability to make the world a better place. (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781401303440

“Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth L. Cline

Cheap fashion has fundamentally changed the way most Americans dress. Stores ranging from discounters like Target to traditional chains like JCPenny now offer the newest trends at unprecedentedly low prices. And we have little reason to keep wearing and repairing the clothes we already own when styles change so fast and it’s cheaper to just buy more.

Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more importantly, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being? (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781591846543

 “Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Values” by Fred Kofman

Consciousness is the main source of organizational greatness. Conscious business, explains Fred Kofman, means finding your passion and expressing your essential values through your work. A Conscious Consumer business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces sustainable, exceptional performance through the solidarity of its community and the dignity of each member. (courtesy of Powell’s Books)

Buy Now: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781591795179

Happy reading and stay safe!

Conscious Business Book

Two Stories from Two Generations: Are You With Us?

Two Generations Conscious Business Book

‘At 49 years old, most would call it a typical mid-life crisis; however mine was existential.

I remember sitting at my desk in my comfy corporate office when a wave of panic came over me. I realized I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. This was not the life I wanted.

 I knew I was supposed to be doing something else – something that had meaning – in a business that valued purpose over profit. But, What? Where? How? I didn’t know what it was or how I would get there. 

Swirling in my head were the lyrics from the Talking Heads song Letting the Days Go By: 

And you may ask yourself:
“Am I right? Am I wrong?”
And you may say to yourself:
“My God! What have I done?”

Not long after this moment of self-realization, my mother, a vibrant 80-year-old, died. 

She had a massive stroke after having surgery that she hoped would finally free her from years of chronic pain. To this day, I believe her acute pain was not just aging – it was from living in our modern-day toxic environment: GMOs, chemicals, plastic and acute stress. 

That event forced me to shine the light on how I was living my life. If I died tomorrow, what would be my legacy? Was I thriving or just surviving? I had always been a seeker and had, for several years at this time, been on a spiritual path; yet, I still felt “dense”- that low vibration weighing down my body and my spirit.  

I switched to a plant-based diet and turned to meditation and yoga to handle stress. I felt so much better, and I was eager to share what I was learning with others, so they, too, could thrive – not just survive. The problem was, few would listen. I realized what I was missing was a community-conscious community.

One day, my soul sister who had been traveling the same mindful wellness path I was, introduced me to Mindful Market and the founder, Jim Kupczyk. I didn’t know anything about conscious commerce at the time.  All I knew was this was the community I longed for: a place to find products that aligned with my values and support socially responsible, heart-centered businesses and individuals. 

At that point Mindful Market was more a vision than an actual marketplace; but, Jim’s pure heart, positive energy, and complete transparency made me a Believer. This was my place to serve. I was in

Little did I know that small leap of faith would bring me closer to the life I really wanted: to meet my soulmate, quit my 9-5, and move to the beach. 

At 55, I feel like my generation has been a large contributor to the social and environmental crises we are experiencing today. It’s not entirely our fault – we were just doing what we thought we were supposed to do – unaware of the consequences. Now, I’m looking at the faces of the next generation, asking: “How can we help?”

It’s never too late. Small conscious changes in our behaviors as consumers and Conscious Business owners can still make a big impact on the world. 

We can all do better, be better. Will you join me?’

Paige Baggett Riggins, Founder of The Beach Speaks

Paige Baggett Riggins

“Have you ever felt like you were losing your sense of purpose in life, while the world around you only got louder and more chaotic?  Well, that was me less than a year ago. As a millennial, I have grown up in a world of uncertainty, with messaging that only seems to provide reasons why we shouldn’t have hope. I felt forced to exist in a world that wasn’t heading in a positive direction and little understanding of how to change that. 

The day I met the founder of Mindful Market, I found that hope again.  Jim Kupczyk is a conscious entrepreneur from Buffalo, New York who had a dream to empower our world through consciousness. When I say consciousness, I don’t mean that we are all going to sit in a circle, sing “Kumbaya” and have all the answers, but the idea surrounding this word is about empowering, educating, and creating community around what we value, who we are, and who we support. Right now, it feels like this matters more than ever. 

After years of searching, navigating, and fighting for a space to feel heard, seen, and valued as a young professional I met Jim and knew that his story, his path, and this idea for a conscious marketplace would change the world. We are here to touch lives in small and big ways, starting now.

This is the beginning of our story. We hope you will share it with the world.”

Kristen Gmerek, Conscious Marketing and Communications Director at Mindful Market

Kristen Gmerek

On February 22nd, 2020 Mindful Market will launch a Crowdfunding Campaign and we need your help to reach our goals. We are asking our generations to step up and take action in this movement any way they can.

Let the Conscious Consumer Movement Begin

Shop your values

We need to overcome unconscious consumerism, which is chronic purchasing of new goods and services while not paying attention to your true needs, the quality, origin, or the environment.

  • It’s time to awaken and pay more attention to the companies we support.  
  • It’s time to be mindful that every buying decision made has the power to change the world  
  • It’s time to realize that our choices matter because our purchases enable businesses to function and prosper. 
  • It’s time we are fully aware that when we support a brand that does not follow ethical or sustainable business practices, we are fueling the company to endure the negative effects.  
  • It’s time to look beyond the label.  
  • It’s time to shop your values.  
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