Entrepreneur Teri Johnson is honoring the history of The Harlem Renaissance.
In 2000, Johnson moved to Harlem to immerse herself in the culture and learn more about the tastemakers and stories that she had learned about while in Paris, France, for a college internship, Inc. reports.
Johnson decided to reflect her interest in the Harlem Renaissance by merging it with her hobby of candle making in 2014.
“Everything just fell into place,” Johnson said to Inc.
She added, “I was encouraged by friends and family who had received my candles. I was making the candles in Harlem and I loved the Harlem Renaissance. My goal became to put Harlem on the map with a beautiful, luxurious fragrance.”
Johnson is accomplishing what she has set out to do through Harlem Candle Co., which highlights visionaries including Duke Ellington (“Ellington” Luxury Candle), James Baldwin (22K Gold James Baldwin “Love” Luxury Candle), and Langston Hughes (“Langston” Nightclub Map Candle).
Customers can expect to find a card in the packaging of the candle that will detail its inspiration in addition to fragrance notes.
“When I started this company, I knew it was going to work because Harlem’s energy, history, brilliance, and talent resonates with the world,” Johnson explained to the outlet.
Johnson is seeing great success from her company since receiving a $50,000 boost from her parents to support the company’s inventory in the early stages of the company.
“I told my parents that I wasn’t getting married and that they should give that money for my business,” explained Johnson. “I ended using the $50,000 they had saved for the wedding to buy inventory.”
The backing has surely paid off. Now, Harlem Candle Co. is ringing in $2 million annually, and can be found in 134 stores, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s.