Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashli Haynes.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
21 Sundays is a monthly pop-up shop featuring businesses owned by Black women. New vendors are showcased every month, giving the LA community a chance to learn more about exceptional products and support local entrepreneurs as they continue to establish their businesses.
The concept of 21 Sundays was inspired by the challenges I personally experienced in my entrepreneurial journey to establish my intentional candle business, Star Magic by Ashli. Black women are currently the most educated demographic in the US and the fastest-growing group to start their own businesses. Yet despite these facts, the success rate of businesses owned by Black women is much lower than any other demographic. We aren’t competing on a level playing field. Black women are the most likely to face rejection when seeking business loans and the least likely to receive capital from investors. When they are lucky enough to find investors, the investment received is minuscule in comparison to their non-Black counterparts. The necessary support to create a successful business is rarely extended to Black women entrepreneurs, which is often reflected in revenue. 21 Sundays is a movement for change. We create awareness, generate support, and expand community for dynamic brands that are too often overlooked due to racial and gender bias.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It’s been far from a smooth road! Our first 21 Sundays was February 23rd, 2020. It was a huge success. We attracted a large crowd. The vibes were high. Quite a few vendors sold out of their products. We had a DJ, free wine, and the room overflowed with love. I could feel the community. It was beautiful. Yet, just as we started to gear up for our next event in March, Covid-19 happened, and everything came to a halt.
Starting a business as a Black woman in America is hard. Based on statistics alone, building a successful business is nearly impossible. It’s ingrained in our culture to exploit Black women to the fullest extent and then ignore them. So as a Black woman entrepreneur, the first response from the general public is to either ignore you, steal from you, or try to get you to provide your goods and labor for free. I came up with a strategy to combat this bullshit, and then the Universe was like, “PSYCH! B*tch, be humble. Sit down.”
Of course, due to the rules implemented for COVID – quarantine, no gatherings- there was no 21 Sundays in March. In April, I decided to hold a virtual event for healing in times of crisis, under the umbrella of 21 Sundays. In some aspects, that event was a success- we shared a number of healing techniques with a group of women in a time where we collectively were experiencing trauma. Yet, just when we didn’t think it could get any worse, the Black people of this country were thrust into yet another pandemic- racism.
Don’t get me wrong, racism has always been a thing- it’s never gone away. But what we’re currently experiencing- the onslaught of murder, brutality, genocide on a daily basis, the videos, social media- we’ve reached a tipping point. The reality of being Black in America is you can’t avoid being traumatized and re-traumatized every moment of every day. Add that on top of the global pandemic of Covid-19 on top of economic crisis on top of the “regular” stressors to be expected of living as a Black woman under the patriarchy, it sometimes feels nearly impossible to keep going. Every day is a fight to just survive. The obstacles are endless.
Please tell us about 21 Sundays.
21 Sundays is a monthly series of pop-up shop events featuring businesses owned by Black women. I was inspired to start 21 Sundays by the challenges I personally experienced in starting my intentional candle business, Star Magic by Ashli.
21 Sundays aims to combat challenges specific to Black women entrepreneurs and bring about positive change by building community, expanding networks, and creating awareness of dynamic brands that are too often overlooked due to gender and racial bias.
Star Magic by Ashli intentional candles are the perfect manifestation aid to call in your heart’s desires. My candles are infused with intention, intentional oil (made with organic food-grade herbs and essential oils, batched on a full moon and rested for one moon cycle), herbs, and cleansed and charged crystals. The energy of the oil, herbs, and crystals collaborate to manifest whatever it is you’re calling in. Only the center melts as the candles burn. Therefore, they are self -contained as the outer layer maintains its integrity and requires no container. Each candle purchased comes with a complimentary tarot reading. Currently available are:
‘I am Abundance’ (with citrine and five finger grass) to remove obstacles from the path of your desires and call in abundance, https://www.etsy.com/listing/708456001/i-am-abundance-an-intentional-candle-to?ref=shop_home_feat_1&frs=1
‘I am Clean’ (with black tourmaline and black pepper & sage) to remove low vibrations/negative energy and call in protection, https://www.etsy.com/listing/729736756/i-am-clean-an-intentional-candle-to-call?ref=shop_home_feat_3&frs=1
‘I am Love’ (with rose quartz and red roses) to call in all forms of love, including love of self as well as romantic.
These candles are soy wax, handmade to order, and are available in full & half sizes.
My brand is high vibe and ascension-focused, inspiring the self-empowered manifestor who is ready to honor the Divinity within by claiming their Divine birthright to abundance, love, and healing.
I’m most proud of the healing aspect of my work both with Star Magic by Ashli and 21 Sundays. I truly believe I’m bringing about positive change, which in times like these, is revolutionary.
We’re now hosting 21 Sundays virtually until it’s safe to have live events. Our first virtual pop-up shop will be over Zoom on July 12th, from 11am-2pm PST. More info will be available on our website, www.21Sundays.fun
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from childhood is my dog, Smoki. She was a Mini Schnauzer and my best friend from ages 4 to about 10. I would sing to her and talk to her like she was a person. She knew all of my secrets and all of my troubles.
- Website: www.21Sundays.fun
- Email: 21Sundays.LosAngeles@gmail.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/21Sundays
- Facebook: facebook.com/21Sundays_la
- Other: etsy.com/shop/StarMagicByAshli
Ezra Spurrier, Christopher Gower