Lit Black Business: Inside Brooke’s Candle
Lit Black Business: Inside Brooke’s Candle
By Briana Elmore
At Twenty Somethin and Black, we love a good Black Business. Setting the right atmosphere is extremely important when you are working to set the tone for your living space. A big part of your comfortability comes from the aesthetics of the space but also the scent. You can become more motivated, energized, relaxed or alert with the incorporation of aromatherapy. The proper scent can assist you in turning your whole day around.
We caught up with Brooke’s Candle based in Detroit, MI to learn more about their start and the importance of finding your signature scent. Brooke’s Candles was launched in November 2018 by entrepreneur Dadrien Gates. Since she started her candle business, she has experienced tremendous support and growth for her company. Her passion for aromatherapy combined with direction from God has catapulted her business into the local success that it is today just 7 months after its start. Brooke’s Candle is a testament to the notion that when you are obedient to what God has called you to do, He will guide you, make provisions, and promote you in all that you set your hands to do.
What was your motivation to start your own candle business?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I have had tons of businesses. I recently had a barbeque sauce business that I decided to stop doing to start the candle business. I’ve done nails. I’ve always been a Jane of all trades. Business has always been something that I have always been involved in. As far as candles, I have always been obsessed with candles but I was always scared to make that leap to pursue it as a business. I am a Christian, so I prayed for my Bishop to say one specific word to me and I promised myself that if He said this one word to me that was my sign from God to start my candle business. I wanted to make sure this business was something God Called me to do and not something I was doing based on my flesh. I was very specific with my prayer and God gave me the confirmation I needed to start my candle business.
Where did you come up with the name Brooke’s Candle?
Brooke is my daughter’s name. All the businesses that I have had are all named after things that have meaning to me. They all work together to tell a story about me and who I am. I thought long and hard about it and the name Brooke’s Candle came to me. That name stuck and I have been running with that name ever since. I also want to leave something for her legacy as she gets older if she wants to pursue entrepreneurship.
What is the process of creating new scents?
I try to make scents that I know you can’t get in stores. I like scents that make people say “Oh, I never thought of that combination before.” I don’t want to just stick to the regular watermelon, cucumber, or peach scents. I like to do something different. I pick the scents that I like and I just create them. Then I have other people test them out to see if it works. It’s funny because one of my best selling candles, Sweet Dreams, I did not try that candle for myself before selling it. I made and someone asked to buy it and it became a hit. I have a lot of fruity scents coming up for the summer. They will be a lot lighter and fresh scents for the summer.
How do you come up with the trendy names?
I have always been good with businesses. My friends that have businesses have always come to me for ideas for names with products, services or businesses. I am not sure what it is but I always come up with good names. Maybe it's a gift from God. When I experience my candles, I name them based off of the way that I feel within the first few seconds of smelling them. That reaction helps me be relatable to my people. I wanted the names to make people feel comfortable and at home. I want my products to tell our story.
What are the benefits of using quality ingredients?
I like to use essential oils. They are better because the scents last longer and they are not toxic to the environment. A lot of candles that you get from the stores give people headaches or make them nauseous because they release toxins into the environment when they are lit. Some candles can irritate asthma symptoms as well. I wanted to make products that are good for the customer.
Are your candles made to order or are they pre-made and ready to go?
I started off doing made to order, but once I made my website people kept ordering them. Now I just make them. They are still basically made to order because as soon as I make them, people order them right away.
What scents do you recommend for different vibes?
My candle “Mood” has a little eucalyptus, peppermint and white tea. I like to use Mood when I’m sick because it really clears up your breathing because of the peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils. “Sweet Dreams” has lavender and vanilla, which work together to reduces stress, improves concentration, and helps with insomnia. “Lit” is my favorite candle, it has red ginger and lemon. The ginger helps you clear your mind and recalibrate. I light that one when I need to calm down.
Do certain scents work better in specific rooms?
I usually light one candle and have it travel through the house. I never really knew people liked to have different scents for different rooms before I started my business. If I had to choose, I would do “Mood” for a bedroom, I would do “Lit” in my living room, and “Laundry Day” in the bathroom. I don’t typically like candles in the kitchen, but there may be some new scents that work for your kitchen with my summer line.
What has been your biggest inspiration for your business?
I would have to say, getting that confirmation from God was my biggest inspiration. At first I didn’t know if I wanted to do the business or if I was supposed to do it because I have had multiple businesses before. Whenever I get frustrated or feel defeated, I go to my place of worship where I was at that Sunday and God called me to do this. It may seem like just a candle business to some but He spoke to me and told me this is what YOU’RE supposed to do.
Do you have any entrepreneur role models?
Yes! They are based in Detroit. Mia Raye of Glamaholic Lifestyle and Jasmine with the Brooklyn Body Butter. Mia is the owner of Glamaholic Lifestyles. She sells hair, t-shirts, fanny packs, totes and things like that. Jasmine has the body butter with her signature scents and I love them. I don’t buy lotion anymore, I buy her body butter. They are really dope women. I watch their growth and hustle and it is really an inspiration to me.
What do you want your impact to be in the Black Community?
I really want to be an inspiration. Mia Raye and Jasmine have been an inspiration to me and I really want to do that for someone else through my business. I really feel like now is the time for our community as Black people is so marketable and we are getting into entrepreneurship. It is amazing to see so many people that I know or am close to really doing it and starting their own businesses. I want to show that it can be done to someone who is wondering if they should start their own business.
What is the best advice that you would give to any up and coming entrepreneurs?
Make sure you enjoy doing your business because you’re not going to be fulfilled or feel like you are in your purpose if you don’t enjoy doing it. If you are just after a dollar, don’t even do it because it may not have longevity. I have had businesses in the past that I did not enjoy doing which ultimately resulted in me not wanting to continue the business. Not because they were not successful, but because I no longer enjoyed what I was doing. Another thing I would say is to have patience with your business. I am learning to have patience to see it through as it grows.
Where can we find you and Brooke’s Candle?
You can find me on Instagram with my personal page @dadrienk as well as my business page @__brookes. On Facebook you can find me at Brooke’s Candle. My website is www.brookescandle.com.