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Meet Britt McGaughan of Keystone Inspired in Wash Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Britt McGaughan.

Britt, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up on the water in Tampa, Florida. My childhood was spent outdoors running through the grass barefoot and spending the weekends at my grandparents’ house on Lake Keystone. I slept on an air mattress and woke up at sunrise to go fishing with my poppy. Life was easy. As I got older, I realized that I wanted to experience a few different lifestyles and decided that I would try life on an island, in a large city and eventually in the mountains.

After living in Key West for four years, I moved to Washington, DC where I began a career in marketing and advertising. I fell in love with DC’s creative community and photography. I began solo traveling for a couple of years and realized the places that made me the happiest were the ones where I was in nature. After nearly a decade in DC, I decided to quit my job and move to Denver, Colorado. I didn’t know anyone or have anything lined up, but it checked off the third box of living near the mountains.

I began attempting to make candles before I moved, but it was always for fun. When I moved to Denver, it was winter and my Floridian side was missing the comforting scents of the outdoors. I decided that I would now focus on creating candle scents that reminded me of being in nature. After a couple of months, I created ten scents that I fell in love with. Next, I would focus on finding 100% recycled materials, creating labels from one of my best friends, Ciara Sandborg’s illustrations, and building a sustainable, eco-friendly candle business. Today, we use 100% recycled glass, seeded paper toppers that grow into wildflowers, American-grown soy wax, non-toxic oils and 100% recycled packaging (even our tape is bio-degradable). Currently, we sell mostly at markets and are looking to grow in more retail shops.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been an exciting adventure! I don’t think many people can call their journey smooth, but the bumps are honestly sometimes the best part. The life I was living years ago is definitely not the life I am living now. Outside of quitting my job and leaving my friends to start a new adventure, life in Denver has been quite a ride.

Trying to turn a hobby into a business is not easy, but I believe 100% in my product and can’t wait to grow it. Being a solo-entrepreneur is ridiculously scary, there’s no one to bounce ideas off of, I question everything I do and spend a lot of time worrying about finances, but the Denver makers community is incredibly inclusive and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Keystone Inspired – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My company specializes in eco-friendly candles mindfully crafted in Colorado. All candles are created in 100% recycled glass using pure soy wax, non-toxic fragrance oils inspired by the outdoors and topped with seeded paper toppers to grow wildflowers. I struggled in the beginning to find materials that are all recycled, but now I am confident in my product and can’t wait to share it with more communities.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Denver is a great city. Moving from DC was quite a change and I do miss true city life, but being close to so many different environments is amazing. My favorite part of the city is the creative/maker community. I’ve met many amazing people at markets and local retailers and have been inspired by a lot of Colorado artists.

My least favorite part about the city is the amount of traffic trying to leave or enter Denver on the weekends because we all want to go play in the mountains.

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