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Article: The Evolution of the Harlem Candle Co.

The Evolution of the Harlem Candle Co.

This is laughable.  I am glad I have a sense of humor and can easily laugh at my self and my bad ideas.  When I began making in candles in the winter of 2012, I decided to call my candle line, "La Maison des Bougies de Teri"  translation - Teri's House of Candles en Francais.  Why did I give her a French name, because I assumed that if it's a fragrance and it's good, it should feel "French". 


"Maison des Bougies de Teri" = Teri's House of Candles

I printed my labels at home and gave 50+ candles as gifts for the holidays and none of my friends and family understood what was on my labels.  I tried to explain to them that it was French so that means it's good, elegant and sophisticated.  Boy was I silly.  I bought into it and thought it was cute but I realized I had failed at properly naming my company.  No big deal.  They all LOVED the smell of my candles fragranced with scents created by the head chemist at Royal Aroma.  In fact, the love was so strong that I began to get orders from my friends and family and they made me promise I would make them more before the continued the burn what I had already given them.

The next iteration of my candle company was Travelista Candles.  For those who don't know much about me, I am the founder of Travelista TV and the Travelista brand.  I've produced, hosted and directed over 100+ videos on culture, lifestyle and destinations around the world.  The Travelista candles were for all of my jet setting babes who travel, want to travel and who love the idea that smell can take them on a journey at home or on the road.  These candles were made for a very specific audience.


Making candles in my apartment

As much as I love my Travelista brand, my vision for what I wanted to do in the fragrance industry was bigger.  It wasn't exclusive of non-Travelistas.  My vision included a movement, love, and a celebration of creativity, joy and happiness, all of which were a part of my life at home in Harlem. 

The name came to me in my sister's kitchen in Austin.  I saw a product in her kitchen with Austin in the name, and I realized that I my candles should incorporate Harlem. That's where they were conceptualized, tested, curated and made with love.  Shortly after that, my dad created my logo, I went to print on labels and worked with my chemist on scents that captured the essence of new and old Harlem. I built my business online, started selling at the Sugar Hill Market in Harlem and the rest is currently underway.

Harlem Luxe Collection

I was once a little girl from the suburbs of Houston who loved fragrance so much that I made my own perfumes in the bathroom.  Fast forward 20+ years and here I am doing what I loved back then.  For my entrepreneurial friends, don't EVER give up on dreams especially if you don't know how you will accomplish them.  The road might not always be clear but if you believe in yourself, set your intentions and live a purpose filled life, get ready for miracles and angels to appear.