Johnaka Young is a single mother of two girls, Giada, 14, and Giselle, 12. Young worked for Dublin Cleaners as a customer service manager in 2019 before starting her own entrepreneurial journey. One night, she recalls waking up from a bizarre dream thinking about candles.
It was a bizarre dream because Young was not a candle person. In other words, it was quite an interesting dream for her. However, Young saw it as an opportunity to start a business around it.
She then initiated moves to turn her dreams into action by leveraging the internet to learn how to make candles. Young then created Atmosphere Candles, which is now one of the fastest-growing businesses in the Columbus area. Her firm has also launched a line of lip balms.
Mastering the craft of candle-making did not come easy for Young. It took her weeks of practice to perfect her craft and turn her side hustle into a mainstream business.
“It was a lot of testing, learning about wax and over 100 different fragrances, dozens of wicks and different containers,” she tells ColumnusCEO. “Blending fragrances is a little bit of science and a little bit of art.”
Eventually, she settled on vegetable-based waxes because they do not contain paraffin, therefore, burn much cleaner. In addition, her scents are created with essential oils, and the wicks are 100-percent cotton which creates a cleaner flame.
Like many entrepreneurs who start new ventures, Young was not spared disappointing sales. She first recorded very low sales but things gradually picked up as she started showing consistency and bringing out quality products.
She had her breakthrough when she set up a booth at the Westgate Farmers Market. “I ended up selling over $400 worth of candles in three hours,” she says. “From there, things skyrocketed.”
Since then, Young has not looked back. She continues to get big orders from multiple firms. One of them is Kittie’s Cakes, which has shops in German Village and Bexley. She created smoked vanilla with cinnamon bread pudding candles for Kittie, which became the favorite of many people.
She also received orders from Salon 12 and Fitness Loft of Columbus. She created two candles for the gym: a wet moss and fern blend, and a bergamot and cotton combination.