We had the good fortune of connecting with Tricia Bruce and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tricia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Initially, candle making was not intended to become a business for me. Rashida Jefferson-Washington (my boss at the time) asked if I knew how to make candles. I did research, made the necessary purchases to start practicing my new craft. After gathering the needed materials I started testing with different containers and scents. In roughly, six months I asked others to sample the products for feedback. One of the main topics discussed was having a cleaner burning candle. Therefore, my thought process was on ensuring my candles were quality, clean burning, long lasting candles with unique and reusable containers.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Sure, Tree Luxury Candles and Gifts LLC. is affectionately named after me. The business officially began in December 2015. What sets my candles apart from others is: each candle is hand poured, which means a lot of dedication is put into each individual candle and other products created. By request private labels and custom labels are available, also.
What I am most proud of and very excited about is introducing my late mother, Nellie Washington-Moss’s favorite scent to others. It brings me great joy telling my customers about Nellie’s Mulberries.
Being in business has not been easy. Several months after officially opening Tree Luxury Candles I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). There have been moments that I’ve considered closing down, but the support system within my family and my jewels always encourage me to keep going. One or more of them will call or text with an inspiring message that alters my decision, unbeknownst to them. Through prayer, perseverance, love and support from family and my jewels, I have been able overcome the challenges faced with business. Being in business is a up and down journey. Without the formula mentioned above my business would not be where it is today.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far is, it takes a team to run a successful company. Example: when movie credits are presented, there’s a large number of people listed, not just one individual. Credit is given to everyone that played a part in creating the movie. We are not meant to do everything alone. It’s great to work with a team who work well in their areas of strength and are able to aid in helping the vision come to life.
A few more lessons I’ve learned in business is; don’t try to duplicate what someone else has done or is doing, be creative with your business (it should represent you well). Don’t be afraid of change. I had to alter my website inventory, due to my health. My customers do have more options during expos and pop up events. Change is inevitable, sometimes we have to take the simplest route in order to achieve something great. Things do not have to be complex in order for success to be achieved.
I want the world to know me as woman of the Most High who used her business to bring awareness to others about MS, Diabetes and Breast Cancer. Tree Luxury Candles is a proud sponsor of Operation Slay Cancer Inc. and the signature scent for the organization is Pretty In Pink (Bella En Rose). My desire is to make larger donations to the Shepherd Center of Atlanta MS Clinic and find a diabetic organization to donate to in honor of my mom.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
An itinerary for one week would consist of us visiting Southern Vegan Soul Cafe or The Island Pot for a delicious lunch. Glam by XOCham is our stop for beauty needs. Shopping with Marthorn’s Home Good Liquidations is definitely on the list. We will also place an order with Bleu Jays Gourmet for some delicious desserts. If we are looking for a formal or dressy attire we will stop by Sanglo’s Fashions.
On Wednesday we will be sure to do shopping with small business vendors for fresh vegetables and other food at the Market on Mulberry (Located at Tatnall Square park). For walking, or bike riding we will go to the beautiful Amerson River Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I would like give a huge shoutout and thanks to my husband, Warren. He has encouraged, supported, worked beside me at events and he introduces my products to others. Warren inspires me daily to the best version of myself. Secondly, I am thankful for my late mother, Nellie Washington-Moss. Mom inspired me to put God first no matter what and to always remain prayerful about everything. For my daughter Jeanishma and my son Michael, I am thankful for their inspiration, love and support. They both encourage me to keep growing in every aspect of life. My sister Kim is a huge supporter also, she not only help out at events, she purchase from me and send new customers.
I would like to say thank you to my jewels: Auntie Gloria Crockett, Auntie Lizzie Washington, Pamela Jackson. Stephanie Major, Rashida Jefferson-Washington, Clarice Thomas, Brenda Brown, Cathy Tharpe-Jones, Charlene Chapman, Evelyn Booker, and Angela Hightower. Each of these women have played a major role in my life. Whether through prayer, mentorship, collaborations, support and or daily inspiration. I’m thankful and blessed for my amazing support team.
Product photo credits: Tricia Bruce Other photo credit: Warren L. Bruce