Made in New England: Meet Scott McCraney of Seeking Om
Goal-setting is a part of most of our lives, but for Massachusetts couple Scott and Kai McCraney, it was literally what helped launch their dream business. While working at lululemon, they were encouraged to set goals based on different timelines. Their lofty, five-year goal of starting their own wellness business ended up coming to fruition in just two years with the launch of Seeking Om, a holistic wellness company specializing in mala and reiki-charged, crystal-infused chakra candles, sprays and roll-ons. And just recently they opened their yoga studio, just steps from Revere Beach. “Whatever your goal setting methods are, it’s really powerful to actually express it and see it come through,” Scott says. We got to chat with him about sustainable sourcing, understanding your customer’s needs and the importance of fostering an environment of love.
R.K.: What made you start your brand? How did you first get the idea?
S.M.: My husband Kai and I have been together for almost nine years, and it’s been our goal to have a business and be entrepreneurs. We both worked at lululemon for a couple of years, set our goals and got more into yoga. We realized how much we wanted to help people through the knowledge we acquired.
It kind of organically started to happen from there. We started with making the jewelry, and as long as I can remember, I’ve had an aromatherapy and candle obsession so that led us to making natural, clean-burning candles that are crystal-infused and reiki-charged. We then started making other products like sprays and rollers!
R.K.? How do you source your materials and ingredients?
S.M.: Kai sources all the crystals, and we try to find vendors that are sourcing crystals in the area they are most predominantly harvested—from all over the world. We also look into sustainability of our materials to make sure they are natural and clean for environment.
I quickly realized not all candles are created equal. That’s when I discovered clean, natural burning candles and soy wax, but there would still be synthetic fragrances used in many products. I researched different types of soy wax that were sustainable and clean-burning, and then found natural cotton wicks made without lead, zinc or dies. Our candles are made with just natural, therapeutic essential oils!
We’re passionate about producing clean products people are going to use in their home and against their bodies. From start to finish, we scrutinize the product to keep it clean and produced in a quality manner.
R.K.: What did you have to learn the hard way? Any particular challenges along the way?
S.M.: Early on, we had no idea how many products to bring to an event. Sometimes you come and you’re hauling all of this stuff to an event and you realize it’s way overboard! We’ve learned to scale for specific events, but it’s still not a perfect science. We’re also always on the go with pop-ups and festivals so there are incidents like tip-overs, breakage and losing a whole cart of products! Most recently, having the yoga studio, we’re learning who our community is and who the person is sitting in your class.
R.K.: Has there been a benefit to starting your business in the New England area that you don’t think you’d get elsewhere?
S.M.: Yes, and by going to out-of-state events like the W.E.L.L. Summit, we get to speak to people from all over the country. We realize New England is very rich in our yoga community. There’s a good amount of yoga here, and it’s especially big here on the North Shore of Massachusetts. We have plenty of amazing yoga teaches who come here to teach from all over the world!
R.K.: What would you love to see in the New England wellness scene that you don’t now?
S.M.: There’s a good amount of festivals and things of that nature here, which we love being a part of. I’m excited to see where things go in the area when it comes to availability and accessibility to healthy food options! Our community is already doing some great things with healthy initiatives and products, and we’re excited to see what we can contribute to that growth as a holistic wellness company! We want to bring resources to people so they can educate themselves more.
R.K.: What other local food and wellness brands are you a fan of?
S.M.: We had FitVine Wine, which is a lower sugar option for wine, in for our studio’s grand-opening, and we often partner with High Brew Coffee as well! I’m a huge kombucha person, and love me some really great kombucha.
Our chiropractor Dr. Jill Halligan is wonderful. She and her husband Chris helped me through a severe back injury years ago, and I still go for regular treatment. Their 360 vision of health and wellness with a holistic and athletic approach has really helped shape my lifestyle as well as many others.
R.K.: Who has been the greatest influence or role model in starting your business?
S.M.: Definitely my yoga teacher, Willa Worsfold! She did my yoga teacher training, and has been so amazing to us every step of the way while sharing amazing insight into business. She’s kind of like a big warm hug all the time! My other teachers Larisa Forman and Anthony Tomasi have been a huge impact on me as well.
We’re also a big fan of Chelsea Korus and Gabby Bernstein. By reading Gabby’s books and hearing her speak, she’s served as a huge inspiration for Kai and myself and we both have different things that have resonated with us through her!
R.K.: What’s your favorite quote or business mantra?
S.M.: As business owners, Kai and I have collectively worked in a variety of different environments. Putting yourself in the “yogi toes” of the customers is really important. We know what it’s like to be treated great or walk away feeling like it hasn’t been a great experience. To sum it up, “Treat your customers as if it’s you in their shoes.” How would you like to be treated as a customer? This branches out into everything from creating the products to creating the experience.
R.K.: What advice would you give someone looking to start their own local business?
S.M.: Take a chance, if you are in a position where you’re able to do it. Sometimes, it may feel like it’s not the right time. It’s walking that fine line between “I can do this” while thinking about surviving at the end of the day as well. I am all about taking chances and taking a leap because you do have to be a little bit fearless, but the pragmatic part of my brain says to make sure you have something to fall back on. Believe in yourself and if you have integrity, a hard work ethic, and passion at your core, people will see that. The law of attraction will be there!
R.K.: Here at The W.E.L.L. Summit we like to say “Your vibe attracts your tribe.” How would you describe your vibe?
S.M.: Our vibe as people spills into our company. That’s first and foremost treating everybody equally and fairly. Being a gay couple, we always want to make sure we’re cognizant of others, whatever their gender, sexuality or national origin is. Kai is Brazilian born and moving along in his process to becoming the American Dream!
There’s so many different levels to creating an environment where everyone feels accepted and love. We don’t represent hate and don’t want hate to be represented by our brand. Authenticity, creating a safe environment and creating a dialog is important to us. We believe in fostering an environment of love while encouraging people to be themselves.
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