Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanice Walls.
Hi Shanice, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
In 2016, I started a non-profit organization on Instagram called IAmAlive. It represented those who were born with or had emergency surgery for a tracheotomy. Like myself, I had to get emergency surgery due to my vocals becoming paralyzed for a while, and I wanted to share my story, letting others know what it was like and encouraging others who also have a trachea. Others shared their story, their children with trachea story, their loved ones who passed away with it, and more. After a while, I had to put it on hold because at the time, I didn’t have the funds to really make it a big organization, and I didn’t know-how. Once I stopped, life happened.
In 2019, I started going back to my Instagram, thinking of what I could do. As I wrote ideas down, I went to go light a candle (I loveeeee candles). The candle didn’t smell and really didn’t last too long. That’s when I came up with the idea to learn how to create candles as a hobby so that I can have long-lasting strong-scented candles in my home. I called it “IAmCandles.” The name came from my organization; not only were we alive to tell our story and still smile, but we are the light of life. Once I made my first 12, I posted them on Facebook, and someone wanted to buy them. I sold them for $5 each because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make it into a small business or just a hobby, and I didn’t know if how to price them. That person ordered the entire box and I was so nervous and excited! She loved them and stated, “my mom and I love them, they smell so good and the smells last just as long as the candle itself”. With that, I started feeling confident in making it a small business as IAmCandles. Everyone loves them and I was so happy! In 2020, I started creating a website and also doing the shipping. Not only that but I changed the name to “IAm.TheBrand”. That name represents myself, my loyal customers, my support team, my trachea family, and what I bring to the table and my talents. Not only do I make handmade candles; I create wax melts, herbal jars, essential oils, logos, flyers, cover art, graphic designs, animation covers, and so much more. IAm.TheBrand. “I am alive. I am candles, I am art, I am a black-owned business, I am the brand”. We are the brand.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
In the beginning, it seems very smooth because I was only doing pickup and sometimes delivery in the local area. I would post my list of scented candles and promote on Facebook only at the time. I did a few vending events, which I always sold out and also did a few holidays. But despite all that, I was having some financial issues and wasn’t able to take care of everything and had to keep putting my business on hold. I also had so many people wanting candles, but I did not know how to do shipping, nor did I have the funds to expand.
During 2020 in October, I wanted to start my business back up but even better. I started making a website and started shipping which was hard to get the hang of things, but with the support and help from my boyfriend, I was able to manage. Shipping can be a hassle alone. I didn’t know-how and was shipping from my home with just the USPS boxes and shipping labels where you put the addresses. Sometimes they would ship fine other times. They would tell the customer they would have to pay for shipping which I lost out on a lot of candles and a few customers. But doing research, I learned more and began to take all packages to the post office to be shipped correctly until I got a printer to print the tracking label and more. Sometimes the business gets slow and no orders come in, but other times business is very busy, and I love it that way when it’s busy.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in handcrafting candles and wax melts. I try to make them a little different and unique. I do make some candles simple with one solid color. However, most of my candles are made two-toned, designed, and with a few gems, flowers, herbs, etc. I also use different styles of jars and different sizes. I use scents that smell amazing and put in a great amount to equal to the amount of wax, so it can balance everything out and create long-lasting candles and scents with a very strong scent throw. I love to have the scent travels throughout the home. Especially with my wax melts, I put them either in a container or make them as wax tart bars, and they smell so amazing! The scent itself travels and the style and design is beautiful.
If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
You have to have great customer service skills and be very professional as well as well-educated when it comes to your business. Customers will ask certain questions, and you should have a quick answer to it with the confidence of knowing the education and products of your business. Be about what you speak on to your customers and when you promote. Ex. A customer asks how long is shipping and your response is, “It’s next day shipping. Depending on your location, it takes about 2 to 3 days to be delivered to you. I always make sure that it is fast shipping and great experience for you”. Stick to what you say because if that shipping takes longer than three days and you also don’t update or communicate with that customer, you will not only lose a customer, but you’ll also receive a bad review.
- The regular size candles with are in a 6oz jar are only $8.00
- The mini size candle jars are $6.99
- My famous wax tarts are only $4.00 and you receive 2 in a pack
- I also have sample kits which comes with 2 mini candles, 2 wax tarts, 2 herbal jars, 2 essential oils, and a wick trimmer for $29.99
- I have long big candle jars that are very elegant for $30.00
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.thebrandthatiam.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/__iamthebrand/