To Top

Meet Shawntelle Bivens of Black Box Candle Co. in Inland Empire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shawntelle Bivens.

Shawntelle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In July 2018, I found myself being pulled in a lot of directions. I was eventually diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). My doctor explained that I simply needed to relax and I had no clue what that even meant. Thus, I begin my self-care journey! Almost immediately, I began to think of ways to “relax”. I would come home from long days and the first thing I would do is light a candle. Candles quickly became a symbol for my active involvement in my own self-care. For me, it was the action of setting everything else aside to take time for myself.

Soon thereafter, I found I was spending way too much money on candles, haha. Pretty much every trip to target, Big Lots, you name it, I bought candles that I didn’t necessarily need, I just like the way they looked and the way they made me feel. Thinking back on it now, I really started making candles to save money haha but this has definitely grown into something much deeper for me.

As I began to make candles, I started thinking about what truly made me happy and three things came to mind. Culture, self-care and community. It really came down to my intersectional identities and how each influences me to be better than the day before.

When I create new products, I naturally pull from my experience as a Black woman, my journey with mental health and the real needs within my various communities. My goal is to create a space for all to celebrate who they are, who they can be, and who they will be with just a little (or a lot) of culture, self-care and community,

Has it been a smooth road?
Some of the biggest challenges for me have been balancing the time. I guess I didn’t realize in the moment how much time would be needed to start a new business (silly, I know lol). Just recently, I had to have a serious talk with myself. I work full time, run a business full time, and still need to find time for my social/family life as well.

I decided to create a schedule and build my self-care into that. There are times where I listen to my body in the moment to know when to slow down, but overall, I really enjoy creating time for self-care in my day to day schedule and it has certainly helped to keep the joy in each area of my life.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Black Box Candle Co. creates handmade soy candles, wax melts and soaps to encourage self-care in a fun and uplifting way. Each candle is carefully designed to evoke positive feelings and resonate with each customer.

At Black Box Candle Co., we are most known for our labels! Each label is a representation and celebration of culture, self-care and community.

We are most proud of our connection to our customers. It feels good to not only be seen but valued. This works both ways and we are committed to ensuring that this connection grows within our community over time.

All of our labels are one of a kind and designed by our owner. The unique style of each label sets us apart from other candle companies as each design aligns with our values. At Black Box, we also give back directly to the communities we are apart of. We are intentional with crafting candles that raise awareness on impactful topics and a portion of proceeds are given to the communities that specific candle represents.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I believe there is opportunity all around us. If you believe in your product, there are people out there who will believe in it too. Los Angeles has been such a blessing for allowing me the space to connect with customers from all over. I would recommend starting a business in Los Angeles area because the people here genuinely want to support small businesses. My journey is still in the beginning stages but so far, its been all love and that is the most beautiful part of it for me.


  • 9 oz candles range from $12.00 -$12.50
  • 16 oz candles range from $16.50-$18.00

Contact Info:

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in