In today’s day and age, we see Black empowerment expressed through various forms. You hear Kendrick Lamar rapping about the royalty in our DNA, see welders molding afro picks and Nefertiti’s in hoops and studs, and get some much-needed affirmation just by typing in a simple hashtag. (Hint, hint: #BlackLivesMatter#BlackGirlsRock.) But now, thanks to Mia Artson, Founder of Isabis LLC, our Blackness is celebrated through high-quality candles. (It’s LIT!)
Made from environment-friendly soy, and hand-poured with love, Mia stamps each candle with a powerful message to uplift US, enrich US and commend US for being the the SHIT!
Keep scrolling to get the deets on this melanin queen, her deliciously-scented-inspirationally-scripted candles, and everything in-between.
CM: These days, it seems as if everyone is making candles, but I’ve never seen any quite like yours. What’s the story behind your brand? And what inspired you to script such powerful messages on each of your candles?
Mia: I grew up in a household where my parents made sure I knew my brown skin was beautiful. I had brown dolls, books with brown characters, and participated in events that represented brown people in a positive light. I want the same for my customers. I want them to understand your brown is beautiful. Our culture is beautiful!
We live in society now where sometimes our culture and skin color is looked down on. I started this candle line to remind people that our culture is LIT. Everyone loves candles, so every time you light your candle, you are reminded of how amazing our culture is.
When did you start pursuing candle-making?
My business launched July 19, 2017 but I started playing around with the idea of starting my own candle line in January 2016. It was a hard process at first and a lot of trial and error. Making candles isn’t as easy as people may think, and I am always learning new ways to improve my smell or cut my time in half.
I really like the fact that you incorporate such compelling and encouraging quotes on all your candles. How do you choose your messages?
As crazy as it may sound, my messages just randomly come to me. I get inspiration from every aspect of my daily life. I could be walking down the street in [Washington] D.C. during my lunch, or scrolling through social media and something would catch my eye, and then a quote will just come to me. I always run my quotes by my wife because she is so honest and I need that. So there have been plenty of quotes that never made the cut.
Do you custom-make quotes for customers?
I do, and I LOVE it when customers request custom quotes. It shows me how creative my customers are! Seeing the individuality of my customers makes me excited and it drives me to think of what quote I can come up with next. Our people are creative and no one can tell me anything different!
Do you make all of your candles yourself?
I pretty much do everything. My wife helps me with shipping and labeling, but everything else is just me. I sleep, eat, and breathe candles. My mind is always thinking of the next quote or design, or even what I can do to make my brand more memorable than the next.
About how long does it take you to make a batch—packaging and everything included?
It depends on the order. It can take anywhere from 2-8 hours to make a batch, label, and package. It really depends on the size of the order. My Saturday and Sunday mornings are pretty much busy with making candles, but the smell that hits you when you walk into the room the next day is like no other!
The name “Isabis” is really interesting. How did you come up with the name for your company?
I randomly heard the word Isabis one day and it stood out to me. I was contemplating a business name that embodied what I wanted my business to stand for. Isabis means “something beautiful” [African origins], my target audience is women of color, and I believe women of color are beautiful. I felt Isabis LLC was a great fit for my business!
I noticed that your candles are made from soy. Give use the rundown on what makes soy candles more unique or more desirable than traditional wax candles.
The major difference between soy and paraffin wax begins with it origins. Paraffin wax is a byproduct of crude oil refinement while extracting and hydrogenating the oils of green. Renewable soybean crops make soy wax. In other words, soy wax is natural since it is made from soybeans, while paraffin wax is made from petroleum oil.
As a result, soy wax candles do not increase the CO2 [carbon dioxide] level in the atmosphere like paraffin candles do. I knew that when I started this candle line I wanted to make something that was not only safe for my customers’ homes, but also for the environment. So soy wax was my best option. Also, soy candles last longer. You can enjoy my candles generally 30-50% longer than a paraffin candle and it was important to me for my customers to have long-lasting candles.
What’s your favorite scent from the line? Your favorite quote?
I actually have two favorite scents: Coco Mango and Egyptian Amber. Each one of them has a very different smell. And as far as my favorite quote… the jury is still out on that one. My mind runs a mile a minute, so I could like a quote right now, but an hour from now, I will have another favorite quote.
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