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

Hi Aliah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think risk taking and faith go hand in hand. Oftentimes when you take a risk, you have to have at least a little faith that everything is going to work out just fine, even if it doesn’t work out how you planned. I took a risk when I quit my retail job in July 2021 at 21 years old to start a candle business when I’ve never run a business before! But, I have a lot of faith in myself. When I set my mind on something, I don’t stop until I can make it happen. I invested a lot of time and of course money into starting Glimmer & Gleam. I knew I wanted a sleek, luxe look with nice labels and I knew I wanted to make quality candles that people loved and by believing in my capabilities and taking a risk, I was able to accomplish just that. I can’t say it’s always been easy, and there’s still so much that I am learning and have yet to learn, but I will say that it has been worth it.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a Black woman, I’m often told to be strong, and to persevere, but I believe we deserve more than that. We deserve luxury and self care. Glimmer & Gleam is about indulging in self-are, taking time for yourself, and learning when to relax and unwind. When you buy a candle, you want one that will fill your space, making you feel cozy and leaving your space smelling yummy. I pride myself on my candles strong scent throw and I knew I wanted that to be a focal point because how many times have we bought a candle that smells good upon the first sniff, but when you light it the scent just about disappears? Not only that, but I make sure to use virgin coconut soy wax which offers a cleaner burn, longer burn time, and is better for our environment and for your health in comparison to the paraffin wax that a lot of big name candle brands use. I’ve gotten where I am today by lots of trial and error, and I’m still learning as I go, especially when it comes to things like social media management and production costs. But, thanks to all the support I’ve gotten from customers, I’m determined to continue to find solutions as my business grows and new challenges arise. I know that my candles are not only great quality, but aesthetically they look great as pieces of home decor! I am a full time college student, and I don’t even have a studio space to make my candles in (manifesting that that will come in time though!) and yet I somehow I make it work. I’ve managed to create a product that not only I love, but others love too, and I can’t wait for even more people to try them out.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend came to visit Long Beach there’s a couple places I’d have to take them. For the most amazing Thai food, we’re going to Panvimarn. From their moneybags (chicken, shrimp, and vegetables in a sort of dumpling that you dip into a sweet sauce) to their drunken noodles, fried rice, and curries, Panvimarn has it ALL. For Mexican food, we’re going to Los Compadres. The most amazing guacamole, margaritas, and enchiladas that I’ve tried. For fun and drinks, Tuesday nights I love going to Alex’s Bar for karaoke, and on Wednesday nights they have trivia nights and it’s always a good time there. We also have to go to the Long Beach Museum of Art.They host a lot of amazing artists and exhibits so if you’re into art and museums, definitely check here. Nearby there’s a restaurant called Plunge where we could go for lunch. It’s located on the second floor of a luxury apartment building, but inside you’ll enjoy views of the ocean while you dine and they have a delicious brunch menu. While we’re in that area, we can head down to Shoreline Village and grab funnel cakes at the Funnel House, and ride bikes alongside the beach using the bike bath and head towards Rosie’s Dog Beach to watch all the cute pups play. For shopping, I’d take them to Retro Row on fourth street. It’s filled with vintage shops, thrift stores, home decor and trinket stores, antique shops, roller skate shops and more fun restaurants. There’s also the Art Theatre that’s on that street, a restored 1920s movie theater where we can lose track of time and watch a good movie! One of the days we can go to Yoga on the Bluff, a free yoga class that happens everyday at 11am off of Ocean and Junipero, where you can relax and unwind with views of the water right in front of you. Last but not least you can’t go to Long Beach without visiting the Aquarium and seeing all the different species and creatures that live there!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes out to my friend J. Before I started making my own candles, I was what one might call a candle hoarder or stockpiler, but I’ll call it being a candle connoisseur. The problem was, a lot of candles you buy will smell good upon first sniff, but once you light it you can’t smell anything, the smell dissipates. We were on a road trip in Portland, Oregon and I had bought a candle to take back home and he just was like “Aliah, why don’t you make your own candles?” And a lightbulb went off! I had truly never thought of that before. As soon as we got back home I was researching candle making kits, watching Youtube videos and reading articles. I bought. a starter kit that made twelve candles, and once they were ready I passed them out to friends and family, and I decided if they turned out to be any good, I wanted to continue making them and start selling them. Well, they loved them, and soon they were asking me when I was going to make more. That’s how it all started, with that one simple question. It was like, “You know what, why not?” Once I put my mind to something I really do give it my all, and I knew that my candles were special and good quality, seeing that people already wanted more. So thank you J, for planting that seed in my head.

Website: glimmerandgleam.co

Instagram: glimmerandgleam_

Image Credits
Ashley Bohm

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