We had the good fortune of connecting with Florena Oliver and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Florena, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My favorite quote is from Nelson Mandela, “Everything seems impossible until it is done”. This quote guides me in everything I do. Every time I am faced with a difficult challenge, I remember this phrase and the man who spoke it. Someone who spent several years in jail suppressed by a country that he later was elected to its presidency. His determination and tenacity gives encourage to work and find a solution to what I am facing.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have been woking with small business owners for over fifteen years. Providing guidance and instruction as they started their business journey. One of the questions I have always asked them is, “What problem do you solve?” Well that is how we started in the candle business. The problem, I was honored to host a bridal shower for my niece with over 45 invited guest. This was March 2020. This was at the very beginning of the world wide pandemic. The number of actual guest went from 45 to five and others attending virtually. The thank you gift for each of the bridal shower guests was a teacup. Days after the event,I sat in my living room looking at rows and rows of teacups. I asked myself, What am I going to do with all the teacups? Not sure how the thought to make candles was actually generated. Over the years I have completed many DIY projects but candle making was not one of them. I began a journey to learn as much as I could about candle making. What type of wax, the correct wick, pouring temperature and how to cure the candle.
I then decided to name the fragrances of the candles after women who have influenced my life. The first candle was named, Alexis on the beach. Alexis is the niece whose bridal shower I was hosting. Since she was the impetus of the business, I felt she deserved that honor. Next came Juanita on the Shore, named for my mother, who each weekend took all of her children to the beach. Growing up in Florida, I thought that is what all families did. As I grew older, I realized that we went to the beach every weekend so that my family could go fishing and have another way to feed this family of eight. I now have over fifteen fragrances each with their own story.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
One of the things I love about the metro Atlanta is the cultural experiences you can received just by traveling the area. You can go from urban city living on the Beltline to lovely southern ambience in Lawrenceville. Depending on the time of year, metro Atlanta also offers festivals, art shows and many outdoor activities in the many parks that dot the area. Because of the many fabulous restaurants in the city, I love to show people the city by sharing the many cuisine the city has to offer. The pandemic has had an impact on the restaurant life in metro area but I pray those who survived will soon be able to thrive and those who had to close will be able to come back.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout my business partner and daughter Bria Price. Our current journey as business partners, has caused her to pull upon talents she wasn’t sure she had. We started Candles by OPG during the pandemic. Something that started as a way to get rid of the 40 teacups left over from a bridal shower had now turned in to over 400 candles being sold across the Untied States. Bria has had to first of all work side by side with her mother, take my creativity and market it in these times of businesses needing to have a major social media presence to be successful. Social Media is an area where I am truly lacking. Bria and I have been able to give strength to each others weaknesses. Without her love, encouragement and support, Candles by OPG would not exist.
Ancestral Prayer candle- limited edition and hand painted by artist Scott Washington