• Rebecca Laidlaw

Christina MacGillivray- Candle Maker

I love the story behind why a business started. What inspired a person to take a leap into building a business? What makes them wake up in the morning, put their feet on the ground and take small steps to create their dream.

My why is my Son, Innes. Innes was diagnosed at age 1 with a rare chromosome syndrome 48 XXYY. In my head, the memory of that day is so clear. The Doctor was telling us about the diagnosis, and I was watching Innes sitting on the floor thinking not my baby, why us? The Doctor advised it was a rare syndrome and his life would be affected in many ways. Our lives changed forever with those words, we entered a world of living with a disability and we had no idea back then the road we would travel. Along this road, Innes has also received a diagnosis for Autism, Tourette’s, and ADHD. My full-time job became being his carer. Having a career seemed impossible, there are very few provisions for the disabled. After-school clubs, summer camps, or car-sharing for school pickups are not as easy with a disabled child. Innes is nearly 12 now but requires a high level of support. He is at an age where he would typically be going to the park and meeting his friends, going for sleepovers, and exploring life without an adult by his side all the time. I see his peers doing these things and it hurts, I feel jealousy and sadness that he will never have these simple things. I have had tears in my eyes at the park watching the children that he went to nursery with playing unsupervised, bonding, and becoming young men.

Our children spread their wings, they become independent and build lives of their own. Maybe University or College, traveling the world, building families of their own. Innes will spread his wings but in a different way, he will always need a level of support. I spend many nights worrying about who will support Innes when I am gone? It scares me when he leaves the education system, where will he go all day? What will his purpose be? I will have a grown man, who still needs a huge level of support. There is little support for the disabled in our area, especially adults, I will still be providing the caring role that families move on from when their children grow.

The Wee Star Candle Company was born on the vision that I wished to create a future for myself and Innes. Innes is my motivation. He has taught me compassion, patience, and resilience. He taught me the world is created for non-disabled people because that is how we created it. Disabled people are a somewhat neglected minority, but the only group that any one of us could join at any time through no fault of our own.

My vision for The Wee Star Candle Company is to build a future for Innes, whilst working from home and being his carer. One day I hope he can be part of The Wee Star Candle Company, in my larger vision I hope that others like Innes can find employment and purpose within The Wee Star. A place where there will be no judgment, just compassion, understanding, and love.

The Wee Star Candle Company has also given me a purpose, I spent so many years coordinating education plans, going to appointments, fighting for the best for Innes that was my role and it still is but it is refreshing that I am also now a small business owner with a future. The road has not been easy, the grief that comes with knowing your child has a disability is something that stays with you for a long time. I know that I am a much better person because of Innes. I am much less judgemental and the petty things in life that many people worry about do not bother me at all. I have reached a stage in my life that I am happy, content and at peace and I think that has a lot to do with the road I have traveled so far on my journey with Innes.

I have huge respect for families who are affected with a disability, you are all stars and I know how isolating and alone you can feel but do not give up on your dreams, just keep putting one foot in front of the other, some days will be tough, but some days will be filled with magic. Being a Mum to Innes has made me look at the world through different lenses, we may need to pivot but anything is possible with love, understanding, and compassion.

Careers Speed Date:

1. What was your first job?

My first job was working as a waitress in the local tearoom on Seil Island. I loved working there and always had a laugh with the girls I worked with. I worked Saturday and Sundays and school holidays.

2. What are you reading right now>

I am reading a book by Lucinda Reilly. I do read business books, but I often listen to them on audio when walking the dog. I really like to relax my brain when I go to bed at night and read some fictional books, it's actually my favourite time of the day. I put my phone away and always read paper books to help my brain switch off.

3. What advice would you give to your younger self?

When you do not seek or need approval, you are as your most powerful.

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