When Ivy Vaughn held her August 3 ribbon-cutting ceremony for Sleepy Jean’s Candle Co., she wasn’t just celebrating the opening of her new candle business. She also paid tribute to her mother, Barbara Jean, who passed away in 2020.
As explained in this TimesNews article, Barbara Jean loved The Monkeys’ 1968 recording of “Daydream Believer” and the song’s catchy refrain (“Cheer up sleepy Jean/Oh what can it mean/to a daydream believer and a homecoming queen”).
Said Vaughn about her new shop: “This is a way to honor my mom. I miss her a lot. I really do.”
Sleepy Jean’s Candle Co., located in Kingsport, Tennessee, makes handcrafted luxury candles, wax melts and more. To get the word out about her business, Vaughn hosts special events. In conjunction with her ribbon-cutting ceremony, for example, she held “Candles and Cocktails,” where participants received instruction and materials to make their own Sleepy Jean’s candle as they enjoyed music, snacks and libations.
In addition to common obstacles faced by most entrepreneurs, the 40-year-old business owner has an especially difficult challenge: overcoming Agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder that involves a fear of public places, crowds or other situations that could cause panic attacks.
“I didn’t leave the street we lived on for four years,” she told TimesNews. “My husband didn’t leave that street for six years. We’ve overcome a whole, whole lot. I started making candles then for income.”
Vaughn hopes her story will help others who feel stuck.
“I fought, a long, hard battle (actually still fighting it) to get to this point,” she wrote in an email to Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs. “I’ve not always had support or even understanding along the way… but those that have been there and helped me like my mom, husband, and close friends make me realize that I’m not alone and that there is always hope.”