We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Pullen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andrea, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
For many years, I thought about starting my own business. I had no clue on how to do it or what to do. I just knew that I wanted to be my own boss. My desire since I was a little girl was to help people and bring joy to their lives. I use to write poetry and short stories and perform them in front of my family. As I grew older, I used to make cards, pictures, and things that made people happy. I think I was about 12 or 13 when I decided that I wanted to have my own business one day. It started off as a lemonade stand in front of my grandmother’s driveway, to doing hair in my grandmother’s kitchen, to tutoring children under my own name, and the list goes on. I always tried to have something that was my own. May 2020, is when I got serious about starting my own business. I researched daily, I asked questions and found mentors to help guide me. I was scared, nervous, anxious, and every day I had butterflies. I knew I was taking a big, huge step out on faith and out of my comfort zone. I am a person who does things behind the scenes. I do not like to be forefront because I get sweaty palms and I always stumble on what I am going to say, even if I practice for hours. It is something about seeing a lot of people look back at you waiting to hear what it is that you have to say. I was imagining how it would be to start a business. I used to think what if they do not like my product or my product flops before my business expands or grows. The thought process for me was scary, but now I think I am getting the hang of it. My confidence has grown tremendously, and I remind myself of my purpose every day so I do not get sucked into negative thinking. My purpose is to bring joy to people and to provide quality products that will have them come back and share with others. 

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My name is Andrea, and I am the CEO of Victoria’s Collections. For many years I had the desire to start my own business, but I never knew exactly what type of business I wanted. Every since I was a little girl I had dreams of owning my own business, and being my own boss. I remember standing at the end of my grandmother’s driveway trying to sell lemonade. That was a funny memory because I was only 11 years old and my cousin and I made $3. I dabbled in a lot of things growing up. I tutored Math for several years, I did family members hair out of my grandmother’s kitchen, and I cleaned houses to make extra money. Starting Victoria’s Collections was inspired by my late great-grandmother. She was an entrepreneur, and she always taught me to chose a career path that makes me excited to get up every morning. I kept those words deeply tucked away in my heart until they resurfaced in May of 2020 when I decided to step out on faith and start my own business. I make all-natural soy scented candles. They are handcrafted and hand-poured. I enjoy making candles. It is relaxing and I find joy in creating them. I started making candles because I love candles and I thought it would be nice to create something that many people enjoy. It was not easy at first. I had to do a lot of lab work to make sure that my candles had a good fragrance and that the smell would linger. I had issues finding the right size wick for some of the candle jars I was using. I also had to make sure I did not use too much fragrance oil. There is a science to making candles. Once I got the hang of it, the excitement came like the speed of lighting. I remember leaving the house, and coming home and the house still smelled of the candle that I made. My mother said wow! That is a nice fragrance. So, I made her one and many after that one. This journey is a process and I am enjoying every minute of it. I started actually selling candles in November of this year. and now I have 42 customers. My goal is to grow and inspire others to step out on faith and follow their dreams and passion. My passion was not making candles, my passion is bringing joy to people’s lives and homes. Candles is a small area of what I do. I also create care baskets. So many people have to deal with the changes of life and do not have time to make time for themselves. I creat a care basket so they can do just that. Sometimes we have to stop and smell the roses or coffee as the old saying goes. We need to regroup, think, meditate, or just be. My care baskets are filled with self-care items, and it brings joy to people. I love to see people smile and just be grateful that someone took the time to think of them. There is enough hate in the world, showing love should be the new norm. I take pride in that.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, since it is Christmas time I will base my setting off of that. If my BFF came to town we would first go to Lake Lanier to go see the Christmas Lights and wander around the shops and grab coffee. I would suggest that we go Christmas shopping a Lenox Mall and Mall of GA and finish with a dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. Hopefully, the Nutcracker is in town at the FOX because we would definitely catch a show and dine at Negril Jamaican spot down the street. Knowing my BFF, she likes to go to the spa and have a true girls moment. My favorite spa is Jeju Sauna we would definitely spend an entire day there. By the end of the week would we have to visit Atlantic Station and then go to dinner at The Oceanaire Seafood Room that evening.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I started Victoria’s Collections in honor of my great-grandmother, Annie. She was a seamstress for several years. Everything she created was perfect. She would create clothes, towels, suits, and they would look like they came out of Macy or Nordstrom. Her work ethic was impeccable, but that is not the only thing that was great about her. She was a strong woman of faith and she conducted her business with so much love and care for others. I would watch as her customers would come to pick up their purchases, and Gran ( is what we called her) and her customers would laugh and smile. Gran had an innate ability to affect people with her love and for 70 plus years she was able to keep her business growing because of her positive attitude. Gran used to tell me, ‘never chase or beg people to support you or be apart of your life, God will send the right people’. I believe that any successful business should have a team of people who have the right attitude of grace, confidence, sternness, and love. I dedicate my business to my parents, my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I would not be where I am if it were not for this team of people standing behind me throughout my life. I am grateful to have such a huge support system and mentorship. This journey has been exciting, and I owe it all to the people who support me and the Creator himself.

Website: www.victoriascollection.shop
Instagram: www.instagram.com/victoriascollections_
Facebook: www.facebook.com/victoriascollectionsllc

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