Son-ja Haile is originally from New Orleans and made her way to Jersey City in 2016 and ‘accidentally’ stepped into the candle-making business and has fallen in love with it. She has created a business meant to bring healing through the moments lived with the light of her candles. Keep reading to learn more about her business, Satya + Sage.
(Photo credit: @satyasage)
HG: What inspired you to get into the business of candle-making? What were your first experiences with it?
SH: I enjoy different interpretations of things and I especially love handmade things from candles to ceramics. I initially wanted to open a boutique. One Christmas, I made a candle as a gift and I was pretty much sold on the idea from there.
HG: Tell us about Satya + Sage.
SH: Satya + Sage was founded in 2018. The meaning behind the name is symbolic of when I was going through a lot of self-discovery. While taking yoga teacher training, I learned about the yoga Yamas and Niyamas. Satya is one of the yamas, and it means truth or truthfulness. Sage is an ancient practice used by Native Americans to ward off negativity. So, Satya is Truth, and Sage gets rid of negativity to bring in the good vibes. Truth + Good Vibes.
In a world where ‘doing’ is more valued than ‘being,’ we aspire to bring a sense of well-being to our customers by sharing the joy of rest and ritual and supporting sacred moments and spaces in a busy and overwhelming world. We hope to bring healing through the moments lived with the light of our candles. We believe that our motto “truth and good vibes” is embedded in each candle we create, using sustainable and recyclable packaging and materials.
HG: How do you come up with the scents + formulas?
SH: Each scent from our core collection is heavily inspired by different moments I’ve experienced, whether it was a dream or came up during meditation. I then work with an award-winning perfumer to create and fine-tune each scent which includes lots of test burning before they hit shelves. Our formulas undergo rigorous standards to exclude many materials that are known by scientific research to be harmful or toxic.
(Photo credit: @satyasage)
HG: What are your most popular products?
SH: Our Healer and Blessed candles are the most popular.
HG: How many new candle scents do you make a year?
SH: We reformulated our core collection last year and introduced our 7th scent “Sacred”. We’re excited to start introducing our special limited-edition candles.
HG: What would you say makes your business special?
SH: Satya + Sage is different because we care about how our products influence our customers, our environment, and believe self-care should be accessible.
HG: Anything else you want to share about your business?
SH: We care about the effect we have on our planet and started an initiative called Sage the Planet. Our goal is to continually seek ways to be sustainable and share those opportunities with our customers. When a customer purchases Satya + Sage, we offer the chance to plant a tree. Our packaging (box, jars, thank you cards, tissue, labels) is 100% recyclable and/or reusable and made from FSC certified material. We have also started a beta phase to allow our customers the opportunity to reuse their candle jars through our candle refill program.
HG: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
SH: My biggest inspiration is my grandmother. She was a wedding florist and took joy in creating beautiful things for people. I’m also just inspired by life especially the moments I get to slow down.
HG: What are your goals for this year?
SH: My main goal is to focus on fine-tuning my day-to-day systems, so I’ve been reading a lot about building habits.
(Photo credit: @satyasage)
HG: What does a typical day look like for you?
SH: Late nights and early mornings. Each day is different, but I have a few non-negotiables. One of them is working out preferably in the morning. This makes a huge impact on my day. The other non-negotiable is spending quality time with my family.
HG: What has been the highlight in your life so far?
SH: We expanded into retailers this year, so getting to see my vision on the shelves of places like The Detox Market, Whole Foods, 13lune, Madewell.com, and Target.com has been the biggest highlight. When a retail buyer or customer is drawn to your product and appreciates the vision it makes it all worth it. We have so many more things planned for next year.
HG: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
SH: Be authentic to your vision and it’s a marathon, not a race.
HG: What are some of your favorite local businesses?
HG: What is your favorite restaurant in Hoboken or Jersey City?
HG: What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken or Jersey City?
SH: Love Locked.
HG: What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?
SH: We love to be outside near trees and grass so we love to hike or picnics where we can.
HG: Tell us about another business in the area you admire.
SH: Pholk Beauty.
HG: What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken or Jersey City?
SH: The Waterfront area.
HG: What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?
SH: The most convenient for me is in my living room using the Mirror workout system.
HG: Where do you go out with friends in the area?
SH: Anyplace that has delicious food.
HG: What is something you think needs to come to Hoboken or Jersey City?
SH: An Ethiopian restaurant.