We had the good fortune of connecting with India Meikle and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi India, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I decided early on in high school that when I attended college, I would major in Business Administration and Fashion Merchandise. The dream was to be my own boss one day. Ever since I was a little girl my fashion sense always stood out from others. My style has always been super eclectic and I knew the way I dressed was truly one-of-a-kind. Naturally, my fashion sense has always been a direct reflection of my personality and I really prided myself on having a style that was hard to duplicate. I knew I truly had a gift that I needed to use. The private college I ended up attending unfortunately didn’t have any majors remotely close to fashion, so I decided that sticking to a business degree was the best decision for me. Fast forward a couple years later, I still had this burning desire to be my own boss. While fashion design still had my heart, I begin to pick up an interest in home fragrance. I started binge-watching this tv show called “Orange is the New Black” and little did I know, my dream of becoming my own boss would finally start to come into fruition. What started this dream of mine sounds a little odd when I tell people, but it really was the tv show that helped me to stop making excuses and playing with my potential. I was watching the episode when, Piper, who is the main character of the show was in her kitchen making handmade soaps. It was like a light bulb went off for me and I can vividly remember saying out loud “I want that for myself”. I was inspired to create something that was a direct reflection of who I am, so I immediately grabbed my journal and started jotting down different ideas. I truly believe my one-of-a-kind style aided in the creative process of starting my candle company. I knew I didn’t just want to just throw anything together. I really wanted this to be something I was proud of. After finding out I was pregnant with my first and only child, it was time to get the ball rolling but I was so scared of failing. The hardest part in anything we do truly is just starting. My love began to overflow with the idea of building a brand from the ground up that would one day be passed down to my daughter. I was nearing the end of my maternity leave and I knew had to make a decision on whether or not I wanted to return to a high stress job. I ultimately made the decision not to return to work and just focus on being at home with my baby girl. I am very thankful I had a family to lean on and support my decision. With being a full-time stay-at-home mama, there is no amount of preparation to understand just how hard it would really be. The walls were really starting to cave in on me and I knew I had to bring this dream of mine to life. A fire was lit under me after feeling myself slowly drifting into a stranger (sleepless nights with a newborn will do that to you – lol), thus birthing my second baby Naava’s Light Candle Co. My daughter’s name Naava means “beautiful” in Hebrew, so my company’s name actually translates to “beautiful light”. Genius, right? As a one-woman black-owned small business that started in a 2-bedroom apartment, I am so proud of how far I’ve come. The road has not always been easy but by the grace of God, here I am.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a one-woman, black-owned candle company that specializes in small-batch hand-poured soy blend candles. My love for creating highly fragranced candles is blended into every product I create—making each handcrafted pour one of a kind. With each candle poured, labeled and packaged by hand, I take pride in making sure my products are of exceptionally high quality while still offering that home feeling of being a small-batch company.

I am most known for my unique packaging, which also sets me apart from others. My packaging captures not only my essence but also gives each customer a one-of-a-kind experience. I am also known for my creativity and authentic style of curating candle names that capture the quintessence of each fragrance. I really believe each candle I make showcases who I am through my eclectic style. Aside from my traditional candles, my body candle collection “Eve” is a curated collection of different wax body types that show the beauty of the everyday woman. My body candles showcase realistic body forms that are created with every body type in mind.

I started this business on a dream and a prayer. No one taught me the ropes of the candle-making process. I literally started a business with only my compiled notes I spent years on research as a guide. There were many late nights and early mornings and at times, it was a little intimidating. If has definitely not been a smooth road and trust and believe I wanted to throw in the towel many times. The lessons I have learned along the way are no matter how many times you may feel like giving up, know that God didn’t give you a talent to just throw away. Whatever your talent may be in life, use it. Don’t let fear of failure keep you from showcasing what you were put on this earth to do.

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.
This is tricky question because I am such a homebody now. The majority of my life I would say I was extroverted. I loved going out on the town whether it was meeting friends to grab a bite to eat or bar hopping in the city. These days I am such a grab food and take it back the house type of girl. Thank God for best friends who are too. An ideal week for my best friend and I would consist of either grabbing take out from a good restaurant and going home to watch movies or having a picnic in the park. My best friend and I have been tied to the hip since pre-school, not to mention we were roommates in college. I think it’s safe to say we’ve had our fair share of late nights and early mornings. These days you can catch us chilling at the house and be just as content as can be.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my daughter Naava Parker. She is my funny, spunky, free spirited, loving, sassy beautiful two year old, the little human behind my brand and the inspiration for everything I do. This one is for you baby girl. I love you to the moon and back!

Website: www.naavaslightcandleco.com

Instagram: @naavaslightcandleco_

Image Credits
Personal photo: Alexis Moore

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