Nothing is more inviting than the warm, soft glow of a deliciously scented candle filling the ambiance of your home. 1989, Muse, Joy, Beau, Blush… these may be the names of the candles you’re burning in your home right now. In a world full of pioneers such as Yankee Candle and Diptyque comes a new trailblazer, LIT Brooklyn, disrupting the candle market, on its way to become a huge household name you should know.
I had the chance to talk to Denequa Williams, founder of LIT Brooklyn, about the birth of the brand, social responsibility and future endeavors for her highly sought-after, Black-owned candle company.
1 – How did LIT Brooklyn come about?
LIT Brooklyn was an idea I came up with because of my love for candles and travel.
2 – Before success, there were humble beginnings. What were some of the challenges or pitfalls you faced when building the brand?
Challenges are faced every day, but the ones I learned early on were to set boundaries with people and to be very clear and direct when it comes to expectations.
3 – One of the greatest risks for entrepreneurs is the financial risk. How do you control/combat that?
I think just entering this realm with the idea of it being all in or nothing. I didn’t leave any room for failure to even be a possibility. It all begins with believing that you’ll succeed and the other part is doing the work. And let’s be very clear, the work will look different to everyone, especially in business.
4 – In today’s day, it’s all about being socially responsible and giving back. How does your company help out in the community?
I love collaborating with other small businesses and finding a nonprofit to give back to. My time is another example of being socially responsible, whenever opportunities are presented to me to speak to the youth, I’m all in. Representation is very important to me.
5 – Tell me about your good days and bad days at work.
Every day is a good day for me. I roll with the punches and embrace everything as that’s the way that it’s supposed to be. I don’t believe in bad days. Hard days maybe, but never bad.
6 – What sets LIT Brooklyn apart from all the other candle companies out there like Diptyque, Chesapeake Bay, Yankee Candle, etc?
With LIT Brooklyn, I am hands-on with every aspect of the business. My clients have access to me, which in turn I think makes them love the brand more. There is nothing that doesn’t go past me. Every candle since it’s inception has been poured by me. That’s special, to me at least.
7 – From working with Budweiser and being featured in publications like Essence and Blavity, what are some of your biggest accomplishments thus far?
Honestly, making my parents proud. That’s a major accomplishment to me. I owe it to them for the woman that I am today. With them being immigrants, I got a chance to see what hard work and sacrifice looks like up close. So to be able to take what I learned from them, and make something of myself, that’s priceless.
8 – The days of brick and mortar are dying and digital is now. How do you create such a strong digital presence within the e-commerce sector?
I stay true to myself and because my brand is an extension of me, that’s what you can expect to translate, even down to the verbiage used on social media, it represents me.
9 – What is your favorite collab you’ve had and are there anymore brewing for the future?
I love them all. They are each special to me in some way or the other. I am so grateful for all my collaborators trusting me to create. There are definitely some things brewing for the future.
10 – Your brand is growing at a phenomenal rate! What can consumers expect from LIT Brooklyn in 2018 and years to come?
Thank you. I wish I knew what they can expect. I hope to continue to grow and meet new faces, and be a part of more homes.