So when I had the opportunity to learn more about Rekieshia and her company J.J.L. Candle Co., I was thrilled. Rekieshia is a wife, mom, and full-time teacher in Florida. Named after her three children, she started her business by making candles in 2020 and has since expanded to body products. J.J.L. focuses on offering high-quality eco-friendly candles and body products that reflect the essence of Black culture.
I tried the Bamboo Earrings candle and loved it. The candle was so fragrant in the packaging that I knew then it was going to be good. After letting the candle melt into a full pool, the scent filled my living room and I was pleasantly pleased. I knew I’d be ordering more. Loving Rekieshia and J.J.L Candles. Check out our interview below.
I noticed I hadn’t come across any candle brands that catered or were centered around black culture. As an African American woman whose love for her culture is unparalleled, I wanted to create a candle brand that gave my customers a scentful experience taking them through a journey of memories tied to Black culture. Being a Black woman gives me the ability to apply my knowledge into creating products that reflect our culture.
2. How important is it to you to create a product that is for us and by us?
How many times have you gone to a store and wished you could find something that you could relate to as a black person? For me, it was all the time (especially having the name Rekieshia and not being able to find keychain souvenirs). Because I knew first hand how that felt, creating products that are FOR US was a major priority for me. I want my customers to see our candles and know that it was made with them in mind. When you light our Bamboo Earrings, I want to have LL’s Round the Way Girl playing in your head…or any other of our many candles.
3. Your candles are eco-friendly. What makes a candle eco-friendly and why is having an eco-friendly candle a better option to have in our homes?
An eco-friendly candle is one that is made with wax derived from natural ingredients (i.e. soy wax and coconut wax). It can also include oils that are phthalate free and cotton wicks. Soy wax, which we use, is made from soybeans. It’s biodegradable, non-toxic, and burns at a cooler temperature which results in a cleaner, longer lasting candle.
4. I see you have a few body products. Do you have plans to extend this product line? I want you to be the Black Bath and Body Works. lol
Lol! Yes, we do have a body product line (Body by J.J.L.). I am currently revamping our body cream formula for a creamier, soft texture. I’m also in the testing phase for our beard care line that will include beard wash, beard oil, and beard balm for our men. We currently have body scrubs and bath salts available on our website under “Body by J.J.L.. By the end of September, we should have a complete line with all of the above mentioned and possibly more!
5. As a wife, mother, full-time teacher, and entrepreneur how do you prioritize your self-care and what are your resources for keeping your mental and emotional health strong?
Wearing all of these hats can be tiresome. In order for me to stay mentally and emotionally healthy, self-care is a MUST! Now my self-care is not going to a spa or getting a massage. Instead, I watch Netflix on a Friday night or binge watch Chicago P.D. or New York Undercover (IYKYK). I also have my lazy Sundays where I do absolutely nothing. My husband and children have become accustomed and know the signs of when it’s “mommy’s time”…lol. Self-care is all about taking time for yourself to rejuvenate mentally and/or emotionally whenever you need to and it doesn’t matter what you do to relax.
6. What advice do you have for Black moms who have a full plate of responsibilities but have a desire to start a small business like yours?
Take small steps. Schedule time to work on your business ideas whether it’s 2-3 days for 2 hours each day (or more if that works for you). Talk with your spouse and children about what you want to do and let them help! Share your ideas with them and ask for their input. Let them feel involved in every step. Find someone who’s successful at what you’re trying to do and ask for advice (just make sure they are willing to give it). Research, research, research…..and research some more! My husband and children are heavily involved in my business and it has helped me stay on course.
To support and purchase J.J.L products go to www.jjlcandleco.com
I promise you will love it!