Two Treasure Valley women are using their own experiences with mental illness to help others going through the same thing, and they're shedding light on the mental health stigma as they do.
Allison Pope and Lauren Rodie are what they call, anxious warriors, the namesake of one of their five healing candles that make up the Luna Light Project. It's a mission to raise awareness of mental health.
"I personally have struggled with anxiety and depression for a long time and I didn't know what it was until about two years ago when I got diagnosed. I met Lauren and she has saved my life. Having somebody next to you that can understand what you're going through in those moments, literally can save your life," Pope said.
The two best friends turned to candles as a calming hobby.
"When we started we were just going to make them for ourselves. We made one and it was beautiful and we loved it. We realized if we loved it and it helped us, what if it could help somebody else?" Pope said.
So, in January 2018 Pope and Rodie started their business.
The brightly colored soy wax candles are scented with essential oils. Each one targets anxiety, depression, insomnia, low energy, or headaches and pain.
"This is a really therapeutic process for us too. Not just burning the candles, but making them really helps us a lot," Rodie said while stirring the hot wax on the stove.
"We taught ourselves and it took a lot of research. It's all natural hemp wick. Our burn time on these candles is actually 35 to 40 hours," Pope added.
The candles are topped with flowers and quartz crystals from Garden City's Rock Bottom Granite.
"I think people can feel we put in our love and energy into these candles," Rodie said.
The women are shining a light on mental health, hoping their love can help others. 10% of every sale is donated to the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline.
"The mission is to spread awareness of mental illness and not hide from it, not be afraid to talk about it and let other people know that they're not alone. It's okay we all have our darkness but we shine so bright," Rodie said.
Luna Light Project candles are available for order online from their website. Also, be on the lookout for them at upcoming Treasure Valley Festivals. For more information find Luna Light Project on Facebook or Instagram.