Kejina Robinson was on the hunt for new candles for her home, but couldn’t find what she was looking for. So, she created her own.
Robinson founded BLK ROSE Candle in 2021, but the concept was created a year prior in July 2020 when she discovered her go-to candle company no longer aligned with her values. She was looking for a Canadian or local luxury candle company that was Black woman-owned.
“I didn’t find one, and so my partner just encouraged me to start my own candle company,” says Robinson. “So, I did, but I wanted it to be about more than candles. I really felt that, with everything that was happening in the world, I really wanted to use the brand that I created to educate people about BIPOC communities.”
BLK ROSE Candle launched with three candles: Angela, Nina and Toni. The collection is inspired by Black women who have paved the way in their careers. Robinson is currently working on a fourth candle to add to the mix. Robinson named the collection BLK is Beautiful, as it’s a sentiment that’s close to her heart.
“When I was a child, my mom would always say this to me, and growing up, that’s not what anybody is telling you” says Robinson. “It’s not something that I ever really, truly believed until well into my 30s. And so I just thought it was really important that I use that statement to really just have that conversation, and remind people that black is beautiful.”
Robinson and her partner hand make every part of each candle from the labels and fragrance blends to pouring the candles, labelling and packing. Robinson does all of the work outside of her day job as the director of fund development for the Terra Centre.
Her knowledge about fundraising is an asset she uses in her business. BLK ROSE Candle donates 15 per cent of its proceeds every quarter to BIPOC-led initiatives, which Robinson thoroughly researches to see how donations are used and who sits on the boards. The first donation went to the Nia Centre for the Arts, a Toronto-based Black arts centre.
“The first donation that we made was before we actually had any proceeds,” says Robinson. “I thought it was really important that I make a donation to show that this is not just something that I’m saying to sell candles, and so we’ve just wrapped our first quarter and we’re just making the decision right now on where to donate next.”
BLK ROSE Candles are available at The Artworks, Yu Fashion or online at blkrosecandle.com
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