By Jamie Shafer
Kate Walsh’s Peripeti Home candles make impressions wherever they go. Crafted from all-natural products, these fragrant, handmade candles even made it all the way to the media gift bags at the 2013 Emmy Awards and to the Celebrity Gift Lounge at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in France.
“It’s not something I set out to do,” said Kate with a lighthearted laugh. “It was just something I started doing. It was relaxing for me, and I would listen to worship music as I made them.” Eventually she wondered about it becoming a full-time endeavor, and the business was born.
Lighting the Way
The name for Peripeti Home originated from a Beth Moore Bible study Kate did several years ago. The study referred to the conversation when Mordecai implored Queen Esther to use her influence to save the Jewish people.
Kate shared on her blog, “Part of his case to Esther is something along the lines of ‘God will save us, if not through you then through some other means, but it is quite possible that you have been placed in this situation for just such a time as this.’ Of course this speaks to the fact that we all have a purpose and can be used for things much bigger than ourselves. Esther, understandably, is a bit apprehensive about Mordecai’s idea, but this very thought and idea causes her to soften for a moment to say that if Mordecai will get the Jewish people in the city to pray and fast for three days, she and her servants will do the same; and she would approach the King after they fast.
“This moment is a moment of peripety (the correct spelling is actually with a ‘y’). It was a moment where a small, seemingly insignificant event brought about huge change. This secret conversation between [cousins] and the decision to fast and pray led to great influence and change. . . . What seems more insignificant than a candle burning in the corner of a room? But it is sitting there, gently filling the room with its soft, peaceful scent and a small flickering of hope!”
Stories of Hope
Kate said that the fragrances have sparked many rich interactions. “It instantly opens up intimate conversation, what people are drawn to, what memories come up. It’s a great way to connect with people.”
She remembered, “There was a woman who smelled one of the candles and began crying and sharing her story. It was one of those moments when God was working in both of us. It was kind of a discouraging show I was at that day. It can be easy to doubt and think, Is this worth it? Then, I have a conversation like that one.
“Another day, we were caught in a storm at an outdoor show. I had to pull down the front flaps of the tent, and people were coming in so they didn’t get wet. There was one woman who stayed for a long time after the others left, and we talked and shared. God used the storm to speak to both of us. She was feeling discouraged. I hope it was a conversation that encouraged her. People could have been upset about the weather ruining the show. I just thought, Thank you Lord. I know you’re doing something bigger here than just sales.”
Kate admitted that having her own business isn’t always easy, even though the work is joyful. “When I initially started, I had a comfortable job. I thought, Do I really walk away from this? In the beginning, you feel called to it. And you’re excited. You feel God’s peace and presence, and you think, This is going to be amazing! And it is, but then it gets hard.
“God’s voice tells me there are going to be hills and valleys. He says to hold onto his promises. It’s not easy. I write a lot of notes to myself saying, ‘Remember this . . . .’ Being able to remember milestones and what God has done is so important to get you to the next milestone. I feel confident that this is what God has for me. I’m willing to go through the valleys because I know they will lead to the hills.”
Learn more about Kate and her products.
Jamie Shafer is a communications strategist for Fishhook Communications in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her husband, Eric, have two children.