– by Rachel H. Freeman
Sustainable Products with Powerful Messages
“I am a magnet for all great things. Everything I touch prospers and succeeds.”
This is the affirmation printed on the label of Tampa native Christina Arenas’ favorite smelling intention candle from her shop, Blue Sage Eco Boutique. The candle, made with natural soy wax, pure Palo Santo essential oil, and a touch of magic is called “Manifest.”
Intention candles are used to focus attention on creating a sacred space. Lighting Blue Sage’s intention candles can help transform a space into the perfect environment for meditating, reflecting, and manifesting goals.
Blue Sage Eco Boutique in Tampa carries a variety of environmentally conscious products that promote personal growth, peace, and prosperity. Everything in the shop is produced by a maker using completely green ingredients. From intention candles and crystals, to smudge wands and bath products, to lunar calendars and journals – you won’t find anything that’s mass produced in Blue Sage.
“Above anything else, that is my intention – to have a space that has clean products,” said Arenas.
The Story Behind the Store
If Arenas had to describe her business in one word, it would be “sacred.”
“My business and the products I sell create sacred moments for people,” she said.
Blue Sage launched in 2013, but Arenas had always wanted to open a retail store. Her long-standing practices of being intentional and achieving sustainability followed her through her education and into her current business. Arenas has degrees in Business Management and Global Sustainability + Water Resource Management, which play into her desire to live and promote an eco-conscious lifestyle. When Arenas was in graduate school traveling for her job at a natural beauty company, she had an important realization.
“I realized that there is a huge gap between the average consumer and the Earth-conscious consumer,” said Arenas. “I want to connect the average consumer with natural, organic, non-toxic, and sustainable products.”
Often, people see products advertised as green and they assume the products are too expensive or ineffective, Arenas said. She believes that this consumer behavior will ultimately hurt our environment and our personal health.
“We have been blind consumers,” said Arenas.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
All of Blue Sage’s packaging is reused and recycled. Arenas saves biodegradable packing popcorn and boxes from other products to reuse for Blue Sage shipments. She avoids buying new bubble wrap at all costs.
Arenas strives to share her knowledge of creating sustainable business models, reducing environmental impact, and setting intention-based goals in order to further Earth-friendly, sustainable connections across communities.
Blue Sage even offers a recycling program for those who come back with their empty candle jars. Recycling jars will get you a small discount on future purchases at the shop.
The Owner’s Top Picks: Blue Sage and Beyond
Arenas’ favorite crystal is selenite, a crystal commonly used for its cleansing properties. You can use selenite to cleanse your physical self or your space, according to Arenas.
The Chakra Collection is Arenas’ favorite product in her store. The collection features candle and crystal sets that correspond to different chakras. Arenas enjoys teaching people about the different chakras and their meanings, as well as how to use the kit to achieve balance. Using crystals, aromatherapy, meditation, affirmations, and various exercises can help people find that balance, according to Arenas.
Arenas is active in the local market scene. She loves all of the events by Markets for Makers, Moonlight Market at Hooch and Hive, and the bi-monthly Indie Noir Market.
She recommends the C House in Seminole Heights and Jet City Espresso in Hyde Park. For a good drink, Arenas’ pick is the Mexican restaurant, Mekenita.
Why Shop Small
Arenas is a proponent of the small business scene and finds it extremely important to shop from local stores, rather than at large corporations.
“If everyone in the community supports chains, you’re not bringing any of that money back into the community,” said Arenas. “Big businesses don’t support the local community.”
There is joy to be found in knowing how products are sourced and what goes into them, according to Arenas. Feeling confident that products are made with sustainable ingredients and love is very important to her because she views home as a very sacred space. Everything you bring into the home carries energy with it, Arenas said. She strives to only bring clean, good energy into her home.
“We live in a fast paced world and technology has changed so much about how we interact with each other. It makes it hard,” said Arenas. “I think we are missing out on connecting and socializing with one another. Shopping small builds those connections. When you buy from a corporation, there is no connection made.”
For Aspiring Small Business Owners
If Arenas could give only one piece of advice to aspiring small business owners, it would be to stay flexible.
“Often we have ideas in our head and we fully commit to that idea,” said Arenas. “Stay true to your vision, but be flexible and patient with the process.”
Live a More Sustainable Life
It can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to living a more eco-conscious lifestyle. Arenas recommends starting small and making one simple change. It could be declining a straw in your drink or cutting your shower time down a few minutes.
“These are small but hard steps to living sustainability,” said Arenas.
Another great way to implement more Earth-friendly practices into your life is buying glass containers instead of plastic ones at the supermarket. While it may be a little bit more expensive, the jar is reusable and better for the planet.
“If you start making these small changes, corporations will notice the shift in buying habits and they will produce less plastic,” said Arenas.
An Inspirational Business Woman with an Earth-friendly Vision
It’s not every day that you see shops offering completely sustainable, green, and eco-conscious product selections. Arenas’ passion for Earth-friendly practices is inspiring and her store is certainly one-of-a-kind. She is making waves in the local small business community by supporting sustainable practices and creating products that encourage people to be more intentional in their lives.
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