BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — NaturalAnnie Essentials is all about creating experiences for customers between the good scents and good vibes.
NaturalAnnie Essentials is a Black woman-owned and family-operated lifestyle soy candle company based out of Bridgeport. Annya White-Brown is the owner; she said she's made it a point to make sure customers feel those good vibes when they walk into the candle studio.
"Customer service is very important to us," proclaimed White-Brown. "We make sure that when you come here, you feel like family, you are a part of the NaturalAnnie Essentials family, and we don't take that lightly."
As a Black business owner, she said her goal is also to make an impact, especially for her daughters and younger brown and Black kids in the community.
"It wasn't very popular seeing Black women-owned businesses when I was growing up. So, it's something for them to look up to and aspire and let them know it can be done."
White-Brown explained that NaturalAnnie Essentials offer affordable, high-quality luxury candles. She said the candles are strong; however, it doesn't cause headaches.
"One of the things people shy away from candles is the overpowering scent that can cause headaches. And we're happy to say you do not get that effect from our candles. You do get a clean slow-burning candle, and it lasts for a very long time, and the fragrances are rich and unique."
On top of good smells are the creative names of the candles. White-Brown said some candle names could bring you a laugh, and others may spark inspiration and motivation.
NaturalAnnie Essentials has a candle called "Be the Change," created in 2020 following the protest surrounding George Floyd, police brutality, and Black Lives Matter. White-Brown said that although the candle's inception is powerful, it's more to it than just the name.
"Every sale that we make from our Be The Change candle, we are donating a percentage to the Black Lives Matter movement."
White-Brown said in June 2020 they raised more than $6,000 for the movement.
While making a change in 2020 was vital, she said it was also a year to get creative with advertising. Between the pandemic and being a small business, White-Brown turned to TikTok to help get the word out about her shop.
"We're on there every day showing the behind-the-scenes of the store, our process of pouring candles, and people love that."
She said it was a way to not only highlight her business but to get up close and personal with her audience and take them along on her journey as a Black business owner in Bridgeport.
Now, with more than 100K likes and 12K followers, she said the social media app has helped the business boom. Just recently, it helped spike something new—The Candle Bar.
"We offer not only soy candles, but we've opened up our studio now so persons can come in and enjoy an afternoon and sip and pour with us at our candle bar."
It's a one-of-a-kind candle-making experience.
"It's something different; it's something where you can grab a friend or a partner and say—'hey, let's just go to the candle bar and chill for the afternoon.'"
Click here for more information about the Candle Bar: Candle Making Experience.