We had the good fortune of connecting with Samiya Boyd and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Samiya, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Growing up my dad always taught me to be independent and self-sufficient, although he ensured that all of my needs were met, I always had a desire for more. Once I moved on my own, I worked two-three jobs in college and later decided that I was too burned out and didn’t have time for anything and I did not want to feel that anymore. One day a group of friends and I were talking about side hustles and being supportive of those around us who’d already started businesses. I thought to myself, “Samiya, what’s stopping you from starting a business?” and I found myself at a loss because I knew anything that I put my mind too, I would be able to do. So, the week before Christmas I toyed with a few thoughts of things that I could do then it hit me like a ton of bricks….CANDLES! Everyone loves candles, so why not start a business making your own. Three days later, I was ready to start a business–granted, I had not a single clue of where to begin or how to even start, I was determined. My mindset was just start and you can perfect it later. And 14-months later, here Pretty Lit Candles, LLC is.

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.
Prior to starting Pretty Lit Candles, I was solely employed with Dismas Charities, Inc., a Residential Reentry Center for federal inmates. I have been with the company for three years and it has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences, I have ever had. It sounds kind of cliché, but being in a position to help someone transition from spending time behind bars to being a productive member of society brings an unprecedent amount of joy to my life. Once the pandemic hit, my caseload increased from 20-25 clients to over 55 clients in a matter of months. The level of stress was unreal and unimaginable. Though the pandemic was certainly a challenge for all of us, I personally feel that it was God challenging me and forcing me to step out of my comfort zone. I feel that through that experience, I am a warrior and I am stronger than I can even begin to imagine. As it related to my brand, Pretty Lit Candles, LLC is always striving for more–more business, more fragrances, more opportunities, and more challenges. I am very proud of where I am at this point in my life and I am even more proud to know that God has blessed me with the opportunity to continue being and building myself in my career and in my business. I want the world to know that anything is possible. Just go do it and worry about perfecting it later.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am currently living in Hattiesburg, MS, and if you know, you know…there is not much to do here. My best bud and I love to eat, drink, and relax. We would definitely have get some crawfish from Poppa’s Wharf in Petal (I’m pretty sure in another life, she and I were crawfish), then go to Walk-On’s for drinks, and go home for a nap. There is a new ax throwing place and I have been dying to check it out, so that would also have to be squeezed into the itinerary. Lastly, we both love a good mimosa, so Chesterfields, here we come!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, I have to give all honor and thanks to God. Over the last 14-months, there were plenty days I cried and wanted to give up because I did not know what to do or how to handle running a business, being in graduate school full time, and working 40+ hours a week but I am so thankful that He did not give up on me. I nor Pretty Lit Candles, LLC, would be here without Him. Secondly, I have to send a huge, huge, huge, thank you to my father, my mother, my brother, my best friend, my business partners (Kirisa Mahon and AJ), and all of my friends and family that continue to support me through this journey. There is no blueprint for entrepreneurship, it is all trial and error, however, without my support system I would not be in this position.

Website: prettylitcandles.com

Instagram: @PrettyLitCandlesLLC

Facebook: @Pretty Lit Candles, LLC

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