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The Ah! Candle Story

Breaking Generational Curses and defying Stereotypes - Growing up in Chicago, had and still has its ups and downs; as well as pros and cons. I prided myself on not being another statistic. I took upon myself to strive to live a life that contradicted the stereotypes that society place on the less fortunate. Those living in poverty, or coming from low income backgrounds, and most of all African American descent. For me, walking and living a certain life was important, no matter the level or amount of success. In order to show the future, the next generation that there is a different way, a better way than you are provided with, even under certain circumstances. There are living testaments out here, be another one!

A Thought connected to a Dream- starting a business was always a goal, figuring out what, was the biggest task. I had no idea candles would be it. In the latter half of my 2015-2016 season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Going over my expense report lead me tracking why I wasn’t hitting my savings goal for the year. It was due to my spending on candles. In that moment I thought, “I can just make my own candles to save money.” Instead that thought turned into a business sequence, which lead me to where I am today!

College Days 2003-2007

I was fortunate to receive a full ride to play division 1 basketball at the very prestigious University of Miami, Fl. My first two years I struggled with insomnia. Which lead to a conversation with my academic advisor, on how to help with my restless nights. Her suggestion was candles, which I declined the offer initially my freshman year. Fast forward a year later, I took her advice and the rest was history. Candles have been a necessity in my everyday life, ever

First candle I ever bought. Who knew it would lead to me one day creating my own candles.

Spring 2016

After college, once again I was able to live out a dream and continue to do what I love, becoming a professional basketball player for over 10+years. Over the years, I experimented with business ideas outside of basketball, and life after basketball. Nothing was working out. I was big on doing what I love, and what I am passionate about. The saying held true to me, “if you love what you do, you won’t work another day in your life!” That was one of my many mantra’s I was sticking too. Finally towards the end of my season in 2016. I stumbled upon the idea of candles being the primary business I was dreaming about.

It all started with a thought, and writing it down on a piece of paper in my notebook.


Going into my 10th season as a professional basketball player. I signed to play in Canada. That season was all about discipline. Now that I knew what the business plan was, it was time to execute. The first step was having more discipline saving money to fund the business.

First candle I ever made.


I took my basketball talents from Canada to China for my 11th season, and the plan was to make sure not to allow the distance to lose focus from the other task at hand. During my holiday break, I went back home to Chicago, and with the motivation of a friend I started to make my first candles, with a very inexpensive set that was gifted to me. After having a conversation with another friend, I went back to China with the whole concept of branding on my mind, and what I wanted my candle business/company to actually be.

This is how the sketch of the logo started after the “Breaking Bad” intro. Second pic was the finish product of the official logo design

Summer 2019

Because of my dream to also become a author and write a book, I knew that I wanted each and every candle to tell a story. What I didn’t know, the next two years would be the centerpiece behind the story of the creation of the brand. During the playoffs in Mongolia, I received a phone call from my mother that it was possible she had breast cancer. I headed back home immediately after our season ended, just in time to for her appointment confirming it was cancer. I had turned down a offer to go back to China and play for the summer, in order to attend and help my mom. I had to put something on hold that I loved, to attend to someone I loved, not knowing it was help create a new love. It removed me from basketball, also it placed me where I needed to be in order to take care of business. I spent all the free time I had working on candles.

Late nights figuring out scents, to go with some of the concepts and themes I had in mind.


Basketball was on hold, however I made so much progress over the process. I was passing out as many free samples of the work I was doing, in order to receive as much feedback as I can to perfect the craft. As my mom health was getting better I was starting to gear back up and prepare for basketball. Prior to heading back to China, I agreed to do a local show that highlighted past and present athletes, celebs and entertainers from the Chicago area, if they allowed me to advertise and market my candle business. I received a lot of positive feedback, as well as offers to buy candles. I had no intention of selling yet, after consistent positive feedback and results. The ability to sell, came sooner than I intended. I was a bit startled, because I had no idea, how leaving to play ball would affect business. I also had no idea there was a crisis brewing in the place I was heading to play. Each time my departure was postponed, as bad as I wanted to get back to playing, it gave me more time to work on the business.

From colorful samples, to very plain simple samples. Bottom started off and samples, and ended up being good enough for me to start selling. Was the first candles I actually sold.


When that happened I had no idea that I would be able to still make as much progress with the candles as I did. With all the candle lovers of the world being home, burning candles became more frequent.

It was such a bittersweet journey. As another saying goes, “you can’t have the good without the bad.” Focusing on t the positive and looking on the bright side of things, none of this would probably be, had it not happened. At least not in the same capacity. As much as i didn’t like the down times that was created by such unfortunate events, I am fortunate for the path it carved and opportunities presented along the way!

In the kitchen cooking up

2020 A year to remember

I think everyone including myself, was looking forward to 2020 being the visionary year. It was looking very likely, as I was able to sell candles to help fund the vision I really had for the brand. NBA All- Star weekend was being held in my hometown. I had a lot of momentum building, and with a blink of an eye the whole world shutdown on March 11!

How the second generation of candles I start selling look like.


The all-new signature collections launched.

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