Founder, Lit! Brooklyn
Denequa Williams always had an entrepreneurial spirit. As a kid, she recalls selling hot dogs and water balloons with her sister and launching a greeting card company with her cousin.
"I just didn't know that being an entrepreneur was the name for it, but I felt like I always had it in me," she said.
After working in the high-end retail sector, the Brooklyn native strived to do something on her own. She decided to turn her love and obsession for candles into a business. Williams is the maker and owner of Lit Brooklyn, a lux candle company that produces hand-poured, cotton-wicked soy candles.
She learned as she went along, always motivated to produce a top-notch product.
"In doing my research I realized that the candles that I loved were full of toxins and I wanted to put out a product that was full of quality ingredients," she said. "When it comes to Black women, we are at the top of the list when it comes to health disparities. And there are a lot of unknown factors. Toxins that go into the air from burning candles was one of them."
After just four years in business, Williams has expanded nationwide and produces hundreds of candles each week -- pouring, labeling and shipping most of them from her home studio.
“I didn't get as much support as I wanted to in the beginning, which was a little difficult,” Williams told BET. “But I think my spear-headedness, just something about me just always wanted to prove people wrong in a sense. So I stuck with it.”
Attributing each stage of her success to a Black woman, Williams hopes to give that same energy back by inspiring members of her community through pop-up shops and panel discussions.
Moving forward, she hopes to make an international impact.