Vendor Spotlight: OESTE
Naomi Castillo (owner)
What are some of the biggest challenges you've experienced in your business?
The supply shortages/shipping delays brought on by the pandemic have no doubt been some of the biggest challenges we've experienced since launching. It was frustrating to have finally perfected our scent formulations and established relationships with customers and wholesale accounts eager for our goods only to have to pause production while we searched high and low for new vendors and reformulated to adjust for what was available. Ask me about the time I drove from LA all the way to Eugene, Oregon in one day to secure the jars we use for our candles! Eek! So grateful for everyone's patience and understanding during those months, I know we weren't alone in facing those types of challenges.
What's something you're very proud of in your business?
Something I'm very proud that Oeste has accomplished in our short existence is the emotional connection our customers have to our aromatic candles. Folks at our pop ups pick up each candle sample and take a whiff and love to tell us their favorites and why. An older gentleman once smelled our Luna and had tears in his eyes because he said it took him back to being a child watching his father get ready for work every morning and the wonderful smells from the father's woodsy aftershave mixing with the emptying bathwater's scent of the lavender soap his family used that he hadn't smelled in decades. I'm really proud that something I created can move people in such a way.
images via OESTE and Doan Ly
What snack or food makes you think about your childhood?
Pan dulce and cafe con leche always make me think of my mom and tías (aunties). The Brits have their famous tea time, but Salvadorans have "Cafecito" around 3pm or 4pm everyday and I have fond memories of coming home from school sometimes to find my mom and tías sitting around the table for their beloved coffee (and gossip) ritual. Now as grown ups my sister and I find ourselves doing the same thing :)