We had the good fortune of connecting with Ja’Salyn Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ja’Salyn, what matters most to you?
To be completely honest, most people don’t think of creativity as a “value”, but it is really and truly at the core of everything I do. My creativity is not only the fun aspect of my business, but it’s what helps me navigate through and solve problems. It gives me the motivation and confidence in the products I create, because it opens my mind to new possibilities. I’m in an industry where there are thousands on thousands of people who manufacture the same type of product! If not for creativity being at the heart of my thought process, my products could easily be lost in the sauce, haha. I differentiate my candles through my catchy naming conventions, the creative blending of scents to match the seasons and the moods we feel throughout them and my creative communication skills to flex across the different modes of social media outlets. Creativity has always been the name of my game.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am so proud of my commitment to providing not only an amazing product, but an amazing experience for my customers. I have a background in public relations and if it’s one thing I took away from those experiences, it was that you have to know your audience and always communicate at their levels. My customers can get a candle from anywhere! However, my customer service, I believe, is unmatched. I try to involve them in my process, and make them understand that they are an important part of any success I obtain. It comes easy to me, because I’ve been known to be somewhat of a people pleaser and I hate to see someone having a hard time! The challenge, of course, is to make sure I don’t misrepresent my brand to appease the crowd. So I’ve established a balance of just how much I let the customers in my process, but still putting MY heart into my work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ha! Well, I am a bit of a homebody, but there are a few gems I do like. Keep in mind, I’m a kid at heart. First things first, we are hitting the museum district and museum hopping for the whole day! The Buffalo Soldiers Museum and the Houston Museum of African American Culture are two of my favorites for learning about the history and culture of my people, but then we are ending the day with some fun and hitting the Houston Zoo and the Museum of Natural Science for the nerd in me! (That’s if they aren’t worn out by then.) For hanging and dining, Orleans Seafood or BB’s Tex-Orleans is a must! Between the drink special and the food that remind this South Louisiana native of home, I wouldn’t have it any other way. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I definitely have to shoutout my mother! Since I was a little girl, that woman has always pushed and supported my desires to create things. Whether I wanted to learn to play the violin, be a ballerina or become the world’s next best selling author, she’s ALWAYS told me that if anyone can do it, I CAN. So, I did. And I always will, because her voice will forever play louder than the doubts.