Sean Blishen is the founder of Kilig Candle Co., makers of soy wax candles that not only smell amazing (trust us, we're big fans) but also give back. Through Kilig, Sean combines her Filipino heritage with her love of self-care. With the sale of each non-toxic candle, Kilig donates a meal to a child in need in the Philippines. We caught up with Sean to learn how she sets boundaries to protect her self-care time and make sure she's getting quality sleep every night.
What was your inspiration for starting Kilig Candle Co.?
I think that my main inspiration for Kilig was to create candles (something that I was already obsessed with) that were eco-friendly, non-toxic and safe for people to use in their homes. After making the candles and deciding to sell them, I realized that I wanted to incorporate my Filipino heritage into the brand and celebrate bits of my culture along with memories and things that I’m passionate about in everyday life.
How would you describe Kilig in one sentence?
Eco-friendly candles for every self-care routine.
What about Kilig is energizing you the most right now?
I would have to say that our current expansion is what’s really got me going right now! We’re currently in the process of moving into our brand new warehouse and can’t wait to get things started in our new space.
When it comes to productivity, would you consider yourself a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a morning person! I usually wake up around 6 AM and like to get my day started early so that I can be as productive as possible. I find if I wake up later I’m not as motivated to get work done so as soon as I hear my alarm, I’m up and out of bed.
As a busy founder, what are some of the things you do to prevent burnout?
My main way to prevent burnout would be setting boundaries. Sometimes it’s hard but I do my best to make sure that I’m done working by 8 PM and take an hour to unwind and rest before going to bed. I like to make sure that I’m not answering emails or phone calls that have to do with work while I’m in bed because it’s my place of rest. I also do my best to spend one day a week with my partner doing something fun. I find this helps really take stress off of me and helps me focus on something other than work!
What are your go-to ways to rest and recharge?
During the first couple of years with my business I didn’t really allow myself any of this so I’ve recently found some ways that really help me reset. I love a hot bath and a good book. It’s just nice to allow yourself that time and space to take your mind somewhere that isn’t the office.
What does self-care mean to you?
I think that self-care can really be anything that brings you relaxation, joy, and happiness. For me that’s a hot bath, a face mask before bed, going bouldering, and even just spending time with my friends and family. All of those things just really nurture my soul.
What does your typical wind down routine look like?
Around 8 PM I like to start my wind down by taking a shower or a hot bath. I usually do my skincare routine and brush my teeth. After that I always put on a comfy pair of pj’s, light up a candle (must have!) and either pull out a book that I’m reading or will throw something on TV that I’m currently watching and hop into bed. Sticking to my wind down routine can be hard sometimes because my phone will go off with an email or my brain is still in work-mode but that’s when setting my boundaries comes into play and I know I need to give myself this time to unwind.
How does your routine help you?
I find keeping my routine keeps me accountable in knowing that it’s time to shut things off and focus on myself and my body so that I’m ready for a productive day ahead.
Do you have any bedtime rituals to help you ease into sleep?
I find having our Muni Muni candle lit on my bedside table is really helpful. It’s a blend of lavender and eucalyptus that I find extremely calming and spa-like. I also love drinking a cup of Aveda tea before bed—it tastes so good and the warmth of it really relaxes me.
What’s one thing you can’t fall asleep without?
My dog, Pepe! If he’s not with me, I can’t sleep. He usually sleeps right beside me with his head on the pillow and if he’s not there then I’m up.
What’s one item in your bedroom that you can’t live without?
My Costco blanket. I know it’s so funny, but this blanket is the softest thing I have ever felt! I even use it in the summer when things are hot and just keep it beside me because it’s so soft to touch.
What do you do on nights when you’re struggling to fall asleep? Do you have any tricks that you swear by?
My go-to is turning on a sleep podcast. I usually turn on Sleep With Me or Just Sleep and it always does the trick!
What kind of sleeper are you? (Side, stomach, back, combination)
Definitely a stomach sleeper!