We had the good fortune of connecting with Diondra Douse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diondra, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
So Fleurty (pronounced So Flirty) Candle Collection was birthed in the abyss of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. I am currently an educator and there wasn’t a clear plan in place for educators in the fall of the pandemic. As a divorced single mother of two children, I couldn’t depend on wavering decisions. I had to protect myself and my children too. I decided to take a short-term leave of abscence and explore other income options that would not put me in the face of COVID-19. Personally, I indulge in self-care. If you do not take care of youself, who will? I was that person that poured so much into others that I became empty. A couple of years ago, I made a shift and fell in love with myself first. As a way of sharing my inspiration, I decided to share my light with luxury soy candles.
So Fleurty candles are pure soy candles made with non-toxic ingredients. The organic mixture is safe to burn around family, friends and pets! Candles are sensual and calming and allow one to release all negative vibes that plague their inner spirit. I personally use candles to reconnect spiritually and relieve all stress and anxiety. I did not want to be selfish and keep my love for candles hidden within my soul. I started by sprinkling a bit of my New Orleans culture with the fleur-de-lis logo design. I also wanted to illuminate others to remember not to lose their light which is a powerful force in the midst of darkness.
Today, So Fleurty Collection includes candles, room mists, fashion eyewear, and other novelties. I remain positive and humble throughout my business ventures. Deep down inside, I believe there is a prosperous future for So Fleurty Collection.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am more than a teacher, I am an educator of over eighteen years. In college, I did not major in education. I majored in healthcare adminstration, graduated and never worked a day in my field. My calling was teaching and I do not regret one day of following my heart. Of course, the role of teaching is not easy and it is a significantly underpaid career. However, the best parts of teaching is that you are educating future leaders and despite some challenges you have a fresh start every day! My philosophy of teaching is that ALL KIDS CAN LEARN. My favorite moments are when the light bulb comes on and my babies (students) get it. I have always taught at-risk students and that is where my heart is. Our youth today deal with so much and are extremely overwhelmed. I strive to provide consistency and stability. No matter what, they can count on Ms. Douse being there. I avoid teaching with an ego, yet I teach with love and respect. I learn from my students and they learn from me.
I want the world to know that I am full of light. I am utilizing my brand to share light with everyone I encounter.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my goodness! We would first partake in Atlanta’s Food Walk to discover southern food and experience southern flavor. Next, I am a plant mama at heart, therefore we have to stroll through the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Without a doubt, we have to get our workout on while drinking the night away with Pedal Pub Atlanta. We also have to get in touch with our southern sophisticated side by having brunch at Breakfast At Barney’s. We will definitely get some shopping in at Phipps Plaza, Lennox and Perimeter Malls. Lastly, we will end the week with Mediterannean tapas and hookah at Pasha Restaurant and Bar.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Tosha Lacy, owner of Flick & Flaunt Candle Company, is my candle business mentor. Funny part is, we have never met in person. Over a year ago, I discovered Tosha on Instagram and reached out to her for advice on running a candle business. She replied right away and we have been connected ever since. Tosha embraces my vision and creativity while continuing to guide me along the way of running a small business. I am looking forward to the day we can finally meet in person.
Linkedin: Diondra Douse, MA
Trarell Torrence @torrencestudios