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SMALL BUSINESS

Asia White

LITTLE CANDLE CO.

“For me, being able to make the people in my life proud of what I am doing.  That motivates me the most.”


GJ:  Tell me about yourself.

AW: I am Asia White.  I am twenty-three years old and I am currently a master’s student at Valdosta State University.  That is also where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in English.  I graduate in May 2021.  I am so excited.  I am from Ellenwood, Georgia.  I have been living there my entire life.  I don’t know if there is anywhere else that I would want to live.  I am member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  I really enjoy reading and writing.  I also have several plants, twenty-one to be exact.  I love collecting them.  I have a dog whose name is Dutch.

GJ: Asia, I was made aware of your business through an acquaintance of mine. I was quite impressed with what you do and are doing.   How did all this start for you?

AW: I started back in March of 2020 when we all got shut down for quarantine due to COVID-19.  I was not able to go out and buy candles.  I love candles and I collect them. I did not trust getting candles online.  I like the ability to go to the store and smell the candles.  I ordered a candle making kit from Amazon. I was determined to make my own candles, and I did.  I fell in love with the process and the ability to produce something that I was proud of.  I didn’t start this with the intention of creating a business, but that it what it turned into.  I became good at making candles.   I started with a fall candle.  I was nervous selling my first candle as I was not sure if it would do well.  It did so well that I sold out of it.

GJ: What steps did you take to start your business?  How long was the process?


AW: When I first started making the candles and I started getting better at it, I went through a variety of types of wax.  Every time I made a new candle, using a new wax, using a new fragrance, I would let my best friend test the candle for me.  One day I made the most amazing candle ever and my best friend suggested that I sell it because it was so wonderful.  I started with promoting them on Instagram. My mom and my sister have been a big support system.  I realize that it is not a very concrete business strategy, but it is working now for the size of my business.

GJ:  Why the name, The Little Candle Co.?


AW: I am not the most creative. Naming the company was not my most creative moment. I put down a lot of names.  I tried to see if my initials would work.  Because it was just a little candle company. I asked my mom and sister their thoughts and they were not sure, but over time, the name stuck with me.

GJ: What motivates you as a young woman, specifically a young African American woman to do what you do?

AW: For me, being able to make the people in my life proud of what I am doing.  That motivates me the most.  I have incredibly supportive people around me, my mom, my dad, my grandmother, my sister, even friends.  I am not someone who seeks attention, but when someone notices how hard I am working.  I am always pushing myself. And just seeing other young Black people doing great things in the world.  I have other Black friends in my life who are doing great things in small business.  It is amazing to see them. These are people that I grew up with and we never would have imagined that we would be running our own business.  Finding my passion and going after it is also what motivates me.

GJ: How would you describe your brand?


AW: What I want to do with the business is develop it into a luxury candle company that sells at an affordable price but gives you amazing quality candles.  That is what I envision.

GJ: What sets your brand apart from any other candle company in the market?

AW: It’s a two-way street; providing customers with a quality product.  My candles are one hundred percent soy wax.  I use clean fragrances, which means that I do not have any additives or harmful, toxic ingredients.  That is what sets me apart.  My candles are clean. Every customer is treated like a friend or a part of the family.  I am going to make sure that the experience that you have with The Little Candle Company is a great experience. A mixture of a great product and showing a great experience is what sets me apart from other brands.

GJ: I love your tag line on your IG page, “live weird, die rare”.  What does this mean to you?

AW: That was a quote that I heard back when I was in middle school. I always felt like an outsider.  I was never in the in-crowd.  I always felt like I was on the outskirts of everything, looking at everybody else.  As I got older and grew into myself, my identity, my adulthood, my womanhood, it stuck with me.  I am not a weird person, but I am a rare person. There is no other Asia White.   I am not cocky or conceited, but I don’t believe that there is a double anybody out there. That is what is means to me.  I don’t live my life normal.

GJ: Asia, where do you see yourself in the future?

AW: Short-term, I graduate in May 2021.  In about a year or so, my plan is to take the proper steps to obtain my Ph.D. in English. I have battled with whether I want to teach English. I am currently teaching English right now as part of my master’s program.  I love it.  I am thinking that being a professor is something that I want to do.  Long-term for my business is getting more customers and becoming a success. Leaving a legacy for my family.  I want it to transcend from generation to generation.

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