Growing in North Philadelphia , my thoughts of getting out the hood had to be something drastic like becoming an actress or a GLOW wrestler. The examples of success where I lived was either a school teacher or a nurse. The only black business owners I knew of was my grandfather who had a neighborhood corner store and the corner store on my block called Henry’s and the one around the corner Miss Eva’s which was always our last resort because it was dark and dingy. There was also a black owned mini market a few blocks away. But these all had the same thing in common, they were the people that lived in the neighborhood and catered to the people in the neighborhood which offered me no inspiration to get out of the “hood”. Fast forward to now, being an entrepreneur and doing something I love and turning it into a business from $22 and 2 lemons. Never imagined that my hustle would become my dream job and would reach homes across the US and Canada.
In 2017 being asked to make a candle basket for Mrs. Michelle Obama and Ms. Shonda Rhymes, a few weeks later a request was made by the Black Women’s leadership Council for a candle basket for for President and former 1st lady and Presidential nominee Mrs. Hillary Clinton. I was elated that my gifts were good enough for Presidents. At this point my business was still a hobby and even though this was a major accomplishment I knew once they left my possession I would never see or hear from any of them and at that time I don’t even recall if I had attached business cards. So, they didn’t know they were made by me
I worked a job that I hated, it started off good but got worse as each day passed. The job payed well enough to keep my bills payed while I still hustled candles on the side. It was no surprise to anyone when I was let go from the job that sucked the life out of me. Though I was devastated because that was my main source of income I was also relieved because I was free of the stress filled job that basically payed me to be miserable. The very next day I began sending out my resume’ , as well as contacted my Temp agency to find me something right away just make sure the bills were payed.
Later that morning while having a conversation where I thought I was encouraging someone, ended up being the call that changed my life. Her words were “Why are you looking for someone to hire you when you can hire yourself.” Even though there was more substance to the conversation, those words stuck. I came down to my lab (my kitchen) and just started making candle after candle, I began to post photos on social media and immediately began to receive sales on my website. I immediately began to take the steps of making it a legit business and expanding from my home and small vending events to a permanent location in the mall….. THEN… within a 2 week time frame I was asked to make candles for not just 1, but 2 Grammy award winning artists. Making candles for Lauryn Hill was surreal, not because of candles but because I was also there when she received them, and I witnessed for myself, her appreciation and delight from receiving such a thoughtful gift.
That is the moment I thought to myself, I have an amazing gift that brings joy to people’s lives. My products stands out because they are individually handcrafted to match the recipient’s personality, tastes and personal liking. I am looking forward to my products expanding to thousands of homes and everyone having the luxury of experiencing what I make with love. In a few short weeks my products will be available in 2 locations in Philadelphia…. and I am so EXCITED!