Tiffany, Dariel, and little Elena are the family behind Bright Black, a Black-owned candle company that uses scent as a medium and candles as a platform for sharing positive narratives about Blackness.
Starting out, Tiffany and Dariel knew they wanted to do more than “just” sell candles. They wanted to bring about change and help create a world where their daughter had access to positive representations of people who look like her.
We caught up with Tiffany to find out more:
What inspired you to start a candle business?
We started Bright Black because we feel that scent is a powerful way to tell stories and build connections. Across centuries, candles have been embraced as a gateway to connection, joy, spiritual growth, and understanding.
We also believe the craftsmanship of each candle we create infuses the world with more positivity and light. In short, candles speak deeply to our souls, something a meaningful dialogue around Blackness absolutely needs.
How do you decide on the themes for each candle?
We have two core collections: DIASPORA, which tells stories of Black greatness, history, culture, and place, and GENRES, a collection that tells stories about the role Black music has played in fostering and sustaining our collective liberation.
Over the past three years, we’ve also partnered with initiatives, organizations, and individuals like Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote and the NBA to tell unique stories through limited edition and custom scents.
Do you have advice or tips for beginner or aspiring candle makers?
Take the time to test, test, test, and research, research, research. Folks will tell you to “just get out there,” but our advice would be to launch when you feel really proud of your product and do not rush to release anything you cannot fully stand behind.
We tested our formulas for almost a year before formally launching, and we really believe that it’s paid off in the form of a really high quality, uniquely scented set of products.
What are your future goals?
In the short term, we’re looking to staff up, build an organizational culture that’s healthy and productive, and continue offering dope scent products that make a positive impact on everyone who smells them.
Longer term, we’re looking forward to telling even more stories of Black greatness through scent, supporting and partnering with other Black-owned businesses, and ultimately being a living example of how business and the private sector can be leveraged for good and social change.
What advice do you have for other couples that run a business together?
Honor your differences! Dariel and I are really different, assess problems differently, think up different solutions, and approach our work differently. This is an asset! It leads to creativity and more thorough troubleshooting, etc. Our differences are strengths. If you’re aligned on values and unique on approach, you can infuse your business with some really cool and innovative strategies and solutions.