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Meet Kari Jekai and Brooklynn of Brookai in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kari Jekai and Brooklynn.

Kari and Brooklynn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Brooklynn and I started making candles together as a hobby in 2017. We wanted to be more intentional about our daily self-care routines and making sure that we were spending quality time with one another. I never thought about starting a candle company until several family members and close friends began to consistently ask for candles. We officially launched Brookai in February 2019. We’re still learning a lot day by day.

Has it been a smooth road?
Everything has its ups and downs, but I also believe that everything happens for a reason. I had been contemplating officially starting Brookai throughout 2018, and finally set an official launch date for February 2019. While considering this launch date, I had to take into consideration the possible influences of my job as well. I’m a full-time government employee, and just as my launch date for February 2019 was approaching, we experienced one of the longest government shutdowns I’ve experienced thus far in my [almost] ten years as a government employee. So I was still going to work everyday, expected to fulfill my required work hours and not receiving a paycheck. I was now solely using my savings to support us – but I still decided to keep my launch date and start this company anyways. I was nervous, but it all worked it.

Fast forward to today, as we’re conducting this interview (remotely), Brookai is temporarily closed. I, along with my sisters, mom, dad, and aunt have all tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently quarantined/isolated. Thankfully, Brooklynn tested Negative and did not show any symptoms during the entire course of our quarantine period. (We’re almost done!) Given that we are a small business and conduct 100% of our business operations ourselves, we both decided to focus on our health. We have received lots of love and support from our faithful consumers and are looking forward to continuing operations soon.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Brookai story. Tell us more about the business.
Our mission is to provide quality products and meaningful content that promotes and prioritizes self-care and mental health. We strive to demonstrate, implement, and inspire consistent healthy, self-care practices in the Black community.

We hand pour each of our scented soy candles in small batches. We use natural soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks, and phthalate-free fragrance oils that are infused with essential oils. We’re most proud of our ability to have fun together while learning the in’s and out’s of running a small business and creating eco-friendly products that we can share with others.

As a mother and an Africana Studies grad, I make a conscious effort to incorporate my culture into everything that I do. I am sure to continually instill in Brooklynn the importance of loving who she is, where she comes from and exploring what makes her unique. In teaching her these things, I also want to show her that the work you put out is often an extension of yourself. We take pride in the ability to incorporate important cultural aspects into our uniquely curated products so that you can Create Your Vibe.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
This year alone has been a real wake up call that change is inevitable, and being able to creatively pivot is extremely important. Within the next 5-10 years, we see Brookai continuing into larger creative spaces that will allow us to share on our products on a much broader platform. We also plan to do more work with exploring mental health awareness in the Black communities and create a more positive shift about what healthy lifestyles in our community actually looks like. Most importantly, as Brooklynn continues to grow and matriculate, we expect to see our business do the same all while staying true to what we do and what we believe.

Pricing:

  • Travel Tins – $8
  • Full Size-$18
  • Double Wick-$27

Contact Info:

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