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37 Oaks' Small Business Spotlight Meet Lakia Pearson

Shining a light on the amazing small business owners that power the communities we live, work, and play in.

37 Oaks has the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing small business owners around the country. They started off with a passion or a hobby, then we guide them towards growth. Let's take a moment to shine a light on the rock stars!

Lakia Pearson of 1133 Candles

| 1. Tell Us About Your Business

We are an online Christian Candle Company and gift shop for women and men of faith. Our specialty is handmade soy candles and scented wax melts made with non-toxic ingredients to help you rest after a busy day, enjoy Bible reading, and refresh your home without triggering allergies. Each candle is made with love in the USA, labeled with an encouraging scripture, and prayed over before being shipped to your doorstep.

| 2. What Makes Your Business Unique?

It's our mission to shine the light of Jesus Christ, help people with fragrance sensitivities to make their home smell good naturally, and give back a portion of our proceeds to local non-profits and ministries within the US. We are a family business and my husband and I as well as our children are involved in serving our customers.

| 3. What Inspired You to Start Your Business?

My family and I enjoyed having store-bought candles in our home. But after lighting them, we noticed that they kept triggering my husband's allergies. He would sneeze and get headaches, it was terrible. So, we got rid of all the candles and just left it at that. One early morning, I was in prayer and God gave me the idea to make our own candles. This was never something that came across my mind and I had no idea where to start. We bought a candlemaking kit, the kids and I tested some fragrances and the finished product wasn't very good but it was fun. So, I kept researching and testing until we had a good batch to share with family on Thanksgiving Day. They loved them and wanted to buy our available stock and from there we opened an online store, did farmers markets, and grew from there since November 2018.

| 4. Describe The Challenges Faced In Taking Your Business From A Hobby Into the Early Growth Stage.

There were challenges in learning the business side of things. From keeping track of expenses and sales for tax purposes, learning how to market effectively on social media, especially during the pandemic as well as balancing family life and work because there are no set hours for entrepreneurs. It's a beautiful journey but can be overwhelming and hard at times. But our faith, putting the right systems in place to stay organized, and setting boundaries has been very helpful. Those first few years of the building were very busy getting brand exposure and building customer relationships.

We learned early on that we can't say yes to every event we're invited to. Even today there are still opportunities that we've turned down especially on Sundays or in order to be present for our children's games and etc. It all works out for the best and every year the business continues to grow steadily despite challenges so we're truly grateful.

| 5. How Did 37 Oaks Help You Overcome These Challenges?

The 37 Oaks University courses and monthly 1:1 coaching were a real blessing. The classes covered topics that we need to learn more about as we plan and prepare for opening a brick-and-mortar. Every detail matters from your location to visible signage, how your store is set up from the moment the customer enters until checkout, and the whole process. It was also helpful to be able to express what's been working well and gain strategies or insight to fix issues during the coaching calls. Terrand has so much knowledge and experience that we could learn from to grow our retail and wholesale business. We're thankful to the City of Bellflower for sponsoring the Retail Readiness program and for this great experience to expand 1133 Candles.

| 6. What Is Your Greatest Win So Far As A Small Business Owner?

It feels good to have all 5-star reviews on our website and Google. To receive feedback from customers about their great experience with our products, packaging, and service is a win for us. We always want to go above and beyond to make you feel special, valued, and appreciated when you do business with us. I'll never forget the emails we received especially during the pandemic about how customers chose our Christian Candles to send to friends who were depressed and needed encouragement. That still makes me tear up today because it's all about impacting lives for God's glory and that is what keeps us going.

| 7. What Advice Would You Give An Early-Stage Entrepreneur Working To Grow Their Business?

I was just thinking about this the other day. For early-stage entrepreneurs, I would advise you to apply for start-up grants because it takes funds to start and grow a business. Supplies are expensive especially if you have a handmade business so grants could really help you get started. Also, develop a good team around you to help you with business tasks that aren't your strengths. Lastly, always remember why you started, stay encouraged during the good days and bad, and make time for rest so you don't burn out.

| 8. What's Next For Your Business?

Right now we are preparing for Fall and Winter, also known as candle season. We have new and exciting scents that we plan to release to make your home feel warm and cozy. We're also considering adding a subscription box option for customers to sign up and try new seasonal scents beforehand as well. So, be sure to sign up for our weekly emails to be notified of exciting updates.

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Who's Next?

If you or a small business owner you know would like to be featured in our Small Business Spotlight, apply at



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