100 Creatives

Samantha Thompson of Standard Wax on Creating Her Dream Job

Every other year, New Times puts the spotlight on Phoenix's creative forces — painters, dancers, designers, and actors. Leading up to the release of Best of Phoenix, we're taking a closer look at 100 more. Welcome to the 2016 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today is 82. Samatha Thompson.

In addition to being one of Samantha Thompson's favorite books, The Alchemist has been a touchstone for milestones in her adult life. She and her husband borrowed from the Paulo Coelho novel to write their vows.

"Life is a journey, and you have to be willing to leave your comfort zone in order to truly experience it," she says of what the book has taught her.

It's a lesson she's put into practice, and it led to the 29-year-old's greatest accomplishment thus far. 

"Quitting my day job and dedicating myself to Standard Wax," the 29-year-old co-founder of the candle company says. "It wasn’t a hard decision at all, but it was a scary one. I couldn’t imagine my life any other way now."

Thompson says she had never been truly happy at any previous job. "I quickly realized that I’d never be happy unless I was doing something that was mine, something that had my name on it instead of someone else’s."

Now, she spends her days managing production on the company's coveted candles, which fill ceramic vessels crafted by her business partner, Andrew King, and come in such scents as sage-pomegranate and forest floor.

For Thompson, it's a perfect blend of art and business. "I help direct the vision for our brand while simultaneously managing massive spreadsheets, coordinating our production schedules, and making sure payroll gets done," she says. "It’s my dream job."

I came to Phoenix with… an umbilical cord attached to my body. Born and raised here!

I make art because I’d rather create for a living than do anything else.

I'm most productive when my phone is on “do not disturb” and there’s no one else around. I’m easily distracted!

My inspiration wall is full of white space. Clutter gives me anxiety!

I've learned most from the incredible network of creatives that Phoenix has to offer. I love living in a city where advice, answers to questions, and fun people are always around and willing to help. I think it’s something really special about Phoenix.

Good work should always be authentic. Don’t make something just because someone else likes it. Do it because you love it, and people will see that passion in everything you touch.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more people who don’t want to leave. I hate seeing incredible, talented people move away. I’m so proud of this city and the creative scene that’s emerged in my lifetime. I hope the next generation can see it grow exponentially, which means we need those talented people to stay put!

The 2016 Creatives so far:

100. Nicole Olson
99. Andrew Pielage
98. Jessica Rowe
97. Danny Neumann
96. Beth Cato
95. Jessie Balli
94. Ron May
93. Leonor Aispuro
92. Sarah Waite
91. Christina "Xappa" Franco
90. Christian Adame
89. Tara Sharpe
88. Patricia Sannit
87. Brian Klein
86. Dennita Sewell
85. Garth Johnson
84. Charissa Lucille
83. Ryan Downey
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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski