What is LIT Brooklyn?
LIT is a luxury soy candle company hand poured in Brooklyn. It is a passion project. It is a labor of love. It is my ode to Brooklyn, my love letter to the borough that raised me.
What is Brooklyn to you?
It’s literally embedded in who I am. It made me tough. It made me strong. The neighborhoods of Brooklyn are a source of inspiration, no matter what field you’re in. I’m happy that I can represent the borough proudly.
How did you learn about candle making?
Google. The internet is one of the many gifts we’ve been given in the 21st century and I used it to my advantage. I always loved candles, but never knew the process of making them. So, I researched then underwent a period of trial and error. I’m a very tough cookie to please. It took a few months for me to land on scents I was absolutely in love with, which is required for me to release to consumers.
What’s your process for creating scents?
Each candle scent is drawn from somewhere, something or some point in time. For instance, Home, my favorite scent, reminds me of what I think every home should smell like. On the other hand, I had a recent collaboration with Debra Cartwright. She’s known for illustrating black women in all of their magic. I sat on our scent for months. I went away on vacation to Jamaica and while sitting on the beach sipping out of a coconut, I thought it would be amazing to capture the exact moment. Hence, the name of the candle is Irie.
In what ways do you differentiate LIT from other brands on the market?
It’s fulfilling for me to know that each candle I pour in my house is going to someone else’s home or office. For customers, I think people are more apt to support someone that is hands on with the project. I think that small gesture is very impactful. I also hand write notes so that every package a customer receives feels personalized. A lot of small business owners forget to keep the customer top of mind, but I consider that in every aspect of my business. It’s vital to keeping my business thriving. Customer experience matters to me so much that I recently switched shipping boxes.
What are some pieces of advice you wish you could’ve had before embarking on your entrepreneurship journey?
Be patient. I think in the social media age things appear to happen quickly. People don’t realize that what may seem quick to us might actually be years of planning. Just know that when it’s your time, it’s your time. The universe conspires to work in your favor when you do the work.
Aspiring entrepreneurs should also know that you’re going to lose people along the way. But also that you’re going to gain more amazing people. God doesn’t take anything away from you without supplying something bigger and better.
What have been your proudest moments with LIT thus far?
I consistently feel pride from my mom witnessing my hard work pay off. We all do things for someone, and for me, it’s her seeing that her efforts in raising me were not wasted. My parents came to this country as immigrants without anything. I was born here and have had the opportunity to go to college among other things they never had the chance to. Thus, I’ve always felt like I have no excuse. In addition that, I’d have to say being featured in print in Essence last year as well as being invited to Roc Nation offices. I’m a huge Jay-Z fan.
What is on the horizon for LIT?
I don’t know. I live my life based on how I feel as opposed to planning too much in the future. So if I wake up tomorrow and feel I want to drop ten new scents, that’s what I’ll do, but I’m about living for and enjoying the now. I do hope for LIT to become a household name. But as far as specifics, I see LIT going wherever the universe wants it to land. At the end of the day, we aren’t in control of any of this.
How do you stay motivated as you pursue your goals?
I stay motivated by keeping positive people around me who are chasing their dreams as vigorously as I am. I wholeheartedly believe in the saying that your network is your net worth. To have a group of people that believe in you, want the best for you and pray for you are essential for your business. You aren’t going to be at 100% all the time and there will be down periods, but you want to know that you have people you can depend on for whatever you need. My boyfriend is super supportive. While it’s the way a relationship should be, many don’t have partners that want so badly for you to be the best version of yourself, even if that means in their eyes that you are better than them.