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Conversations with Monique Gordon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Gordon.

Monique, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Imagine Meraki [may-rah-kee] is a company that not only stands for empowerment, determination, self-care, and love but it is also how it got started. When I got furloughed from my job because of the global pandemic, I knew that I had to take it as an opportunity to look at the positive side of what could’ve been a sad situation. I always wanted to start my own business but just didn’t know how or what that looked like. A few years back, as I was strolling through Pinterest, I stumbled upon the word “Meraki”. It is a “Modern Greek word that is used to describe when someone puts soul, creativity, and love into their work; when they are truly devoted and passionate about something they believe in”. I instantly was drawn to it.

During this time of being furloughed, I had so many things happen. I had the overwhelming feeling of being in a global pandemic, my mom battling Stage 4 Uterine Cancer for the 2nd time, the feelings of not wanting to let my family down, adjusting to a “new normal”, and so much more. I knew that I needed to practice my self-care to make sure that I stayed grounded. When my mom was diagnosed three years ago with cancer, one of the many conversations that we had was about practicing self-care. She is a strong woman who has a big heart and often times tends to put others before herself. We would remind each other to “make sure to fill your own cup first so that you can have others come to drink from it”. At times, this is much easier said than done.

My self-care is when I get to exercise my creativity. One day I decided to start making candles, it was something that I never tried before but I quickly realized I had a knack for it. With the support from my family and friends, I started selling them. I needed a name that would describe my new small business and Meraki came back up. I decided to go with “Imagine Meraki” because I want people not only to imagine my Meraki in the products but also what theirs could be.

In a short amount of time, Imagine Meraki continues to grow into something that I am so proud of. It is a constant reminder that with hardwork and determination anything is possible.

Imagine Meraki has rebranded, expanding its products to candles, hand sanitizers, car scents and more.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
While starting Imagine Meraki has not been a smooth road it has been a rewarding one. I have struggled with the “new business normal” thoughts of self-doubt and trying to find the balance of everything. However, despite the struggles, opening a black woman-owned small business has pushed me to not give up and learn to grow from every obstacle.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Imagine Meraki specializes in hand-poured candles from sox blend wax, natural hand sanitizers, and car scents. I am most proud of the way my company has and continues to grow. I believe that not only do my hand-poured, long-lasting candles, with wooden wicks that crackle when you light them set me apart from other candle companies, but also the personalized packaging that includes the purchased products as well as trial scents and handwritten thank you notes. I strive for my customers to feel as though when they open their package, they are experiencing all that Imagine Meraki has to offer.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I like that OC has so much to offer. Great food, beaches, shopping, and places to explore for everyone.

I wish that it was a little more diverse.


  • 11oz Candles: $25
  • 6oz Tin candles: $15
  • 2oz Hand Sanitizer: $9.99
  • Car Scent: $12
  • Matches: $5.50

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

ElenaG Photography (personal photo)

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