We had the good fortune of connecting with Byron Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Byron, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I created OAKLA Scents as an homage to two places that have shaped my life experiences, the Oakland Bay Area and Los Angeles. My goal is to curate a candle and lifestyle brand that blends the best of both iconic cities. Oakland culture takes pride in authenticity and OAKLA is proud to offer all natural, high quality ingredients like creamy coconut wax, pure essential oils, and crackling wooden wicks. Los Angeles is known for being at the foreground of creating trend setting vibes. OAKLA not only strives to give you a great looking product, but also create a vibe that’s undeniably essential! Simply put OAKLA is authentic scents and essential vibes.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business was born during a scary time in my life. I began 2020 with a thriving career in entertainment sales within the hospitality world…and then COVID-19 hit. I was laid off from my job and I definitely struggled with dealing with an uncertain future. It was a dark and lonely period for me and my faith was absolutely tested. Fortunately, I didn’t stay in a hopeless state. I was faced with a challenge to shift my perspective, be grateful for the things I still have and channel my unsolicited free time to invest in building a new future for myself. OAKLA Scents is the result of the time I invested in myself to create a brand of unique, stylish candles that both men and women can enjoy. From fresh ‘n clean, to herbal & botanical, to warm & woodsy; OAKLA has something for everyone.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow, so many great places, it’s hard to choose! Well, one of my scents is called Runyon Retreat so I definitely have to recommend a hike through Runyon Canyon. Such a cathartic hike and awesome views of Los Angeles. After that, hop on a flight (to Oakland of course) and hit Jack London Square in the evening. There are many great restaurants along the bay there and the views of the San Francisco skyline across the water are stunning!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Grandma Janie and Grandpa MT (Paw Paw) deserve the hugest shoutout for everything I’m able to accomplish. My grandma taught me the importance of perseverance and tenacity, while Paw Paw always instilled confidence in me and made me believe I could reach any goal I set.