When Covid shutdown department stores, this woman invested in inventory and changed her business strategy. Now business is booming


Robert Exley Jr.


You probably spent a lot of time at home in 2020.

When Teri Johnson, founder of the Harlem Candle Company, realized how serious the Covid shutdown was going to be, she ordered as much inventory as she could.

The Harlem resident founded the company in 2014 and personally designs each candle to honor and capture the essence of neighborhood icons like Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Duke Ellington.

Johnson banked on people wanting to be transported elsewhere while being trapped at home, and a good fragrance could do just that, said Johnson.

But she also knew that the major retailers, like Bloomingdales, that carried her company’s candles could be closed for some time.

“We started spending money on digital advertising, which we hadn’t done before,” said Johnson. It was a success. Sales hit record highs in 2020. Check out this video to learn more about Harlem Candle Company and the woman who brought it to life. 


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