Sejal Parag was spotlighted as a female business owner.
Amazon recently featured a former Ormond Beach resident and her candle-making business on its homepage in honor of International Women's Day on March 8.
Sejal Parag created KarmaLit three and a half years ago out of San Francisco after eight years of planning events for an education non-profit. At that job, she was constantly surrounded by teachers making a difference with their students, and she said she wanted to experience that as well. Parag said she started KarmaLit out of her love of giving back, but at the same time, she wanted something that would set her life on fire.
“I’m not exactly sure why [Amazon] chose us, but they must’ve seen something that we don’t necessarily see in ourselves," Parag said.
A percentage of each soy candle sold goes toward Donorschoose.org, an online charity that helps public school teachers get the materials they need for the classroom via direct donations. Parag is currently based out of Denver, and KarmaLit has helped with 30 school projects and over 1,500 students, according to Donorschoose.org.
Seeing her daughter featured on Amazon was a very proud moment for Parag's mother, Ila Patel. She said her daughter definitely knows what she is doing and that seeing her online was very emotional for her.
“I’m happy for her and just wish her great success in her continued candle making,” Patel said
Parag grew up in Ormond Beach, attending Tomoka Elementary, Ormond Beach Middle and finally Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange. She'll never forget what it felt like to get an email saying she made a sale when she first started out, so for Amazon to approach her, Parag said it was a very cool experience.
“You would’ve never thought a girl from Ormond Beach, Fla. [could] make it on a big platform like Amazon,” Parag said.