Courtesy Sweet Serenity

The Sweet Serenity Candles and Florals pop-up cart became a permanent fixture at The Village at Totem Lake in Kirkland in June. Like the sign says, “Give a Little Happiness,” Sweet Serenity does just that with inspirational gifts; exquisite custom-made floral arrangements; and all-natural, hand-poured, essential oil-scented soy candles. Owner Jennifer Huffman has an inspiring story behind what the company represents and means to her family.

Huffmans’ daughter, Serenity, was diagnosed while in the womb with a rare genetic condition called hydrocephalus, where fluid builds up within the brain. This causes pressure and, in some cases, brain damage. Doctors, however, found that there was no genetic link.

Typically, parents of babies born with hydrocephalus without a genetic link would not be aware of any problems until about two to three months after the birth. Since Huffman was considered high risk due to some of her own health conditions prior to the pregnancy, she was being monitored monthly. During her last sonogram, at eight months along, doctors discovered the baby’s condition, and the timing proved critical in saving Serenity’s life.

After Huffman gave birth a month early, doctors immediately did a CT scan on the baby and discovered an area of the brain where fluid was present and required emergency brain surgery. They were able to successfully drain the fluid, and, according to Huffman, “She miraculously came through a surgery where so many things could have gone wrong. After additional surgery, many prayers, and numerous appointments, Serenity made a full recovery.”

“She’s been such a miracle and light to our lives,” said Huffman, who has always had a love of candles. “We decided to create a candle and name it after her, Sweet Serenity. Just like a candle illuminates a dark room, her life has done that to ours.”

Serenity soon will turn 16, and remains healthy, along with her two brothers, Caleb, 19, and Judah, 21.

The business has really been a family affair. “One of my sons has done all of the designs and graphics, while Serenity has been a part of the journey of picking out and creating the right scents for each season,” said Jennifer, adding, “My husband is extremely involved and encouraged me for a long time to start the candle business, and now, the florals. They are each a big part of it.”

Huffman, who has owned other businesses, knew that her next project was going to be something that she loves. “It’s like getting up and going to work isn’t work at all. I love candles, and flowers, and I love people. Getting to do what I love and connect with people has been amazing.” she said.

The Sweet Serenity cart “flower bar” concept allows customers to choose what they love from locally sourced flowers and supplies. “We gather those handpicked flowers and put them together into a beautiful bouquet, which is custom-wrapped,” said Huffman, who hand-pours the candles herself, right from her at-home workspace. They can be customized with different scents, and different containers, as well as wrapped up in a eye-catching gift package.

Besides an online store, and now the permanent retail space at The Village at Totem Lake, there are several pop-up carts that can be booked for special events, like baby showers or weddings. They create beautiful photo opportunities, party favors, and bouquets for guests.

You can help give a little happiness, too, by going to the website and nominating someone who is an everyday hero to receive a free bouquet of flowers. sweetserenity.store