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Meet Chantal Winston of BLKessence

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chantal Winston.

Hi Chantal, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I love when I’m asked about how I started my business because, honestly, I never saw myself as an entrepreneur until recently. I’m currently in pursuit of my bachelor’s degree in History and African-American Studies at UC Berkeley and was confident that I would go into teaching as my full-time career. During the beginning of the shelter-in-place order, I found myself exploring new hobbies like gardening and I knew I wanted to start something new, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. One of my closest friends and I were sitting in my living room one day and she suggested that I try to make candles since I had them all over my apartment. As soon as I experimented with candlemaking, I fell in love, and that’s how BLKessence was born!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Starting a small business during a pandemic has been a blessing in disguise, but it has definitely had its share of challenges. As a full-time student at UC Berkeley and running a candle business, juggling multiple responsibilities has required some serious time management skills. I think we can all agree that this pandemic has challenged our mental health in various ways, which reminds us that we need prioritize our self-care. There have been times where I’ve personally struggled with prioritizing my own self-care routine during this shelter-in-place, but candlemaking has turned into a form of self-care for me and it’s a plus that my products positively impact how others take care of themselves.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Here at BLKessence, we prioritize self-care and feed our souls with vegan, toxin-free, clean-burning candles. I started BLKessence not only because of my candle-obsession but also after realizing how many harmful toxins big-named candle brands contain. Our candles are hand-poured (by me) in Berkeley, CA with vegan coconut soy wax, phthalate-free fragrance oils, and clean-burning wooden wicks. We strongly believe that everyone deserves to bring clean, safe products into their homes, especially communities of color, who are often left out of vegan and organic conversations. BLKessence was created with wellness as our priority because everyone deserves to wind down with a clean-burning scented candle!


  • Mini Candle Set $25-40
  • Single Candles $25-30
  • Mood Mists $24
  • Wax Melts $12

Contact Info:

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