When Brittney Winbush’s southeast Atlanta home caught on fire during her sophomore year at the University of Georgia, she was left discouraged and in a state of depression.
“I struggled in college,” Winbush said in a self-written blog post for Naome Seifu. “Though I had friends and a social life, I still felt like an outsider.”
This displacement initiated Winbush’s battle with depression, causing her to schedule appointments twice a week with UGA’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and travel back home at the end of every school week.
After the fire, she turned to natural remedies like earth-scented candles and herbal teas to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually, on top of taking medications prescribed by her doctor. In doing so, Winbush indirectly discovered her calling.
In 2018, Winbush founded Alexandra Winbush, a small business dedicated to wellness and self-care.
Selling a variety of candles and tea, Alexandra Winbush is dedicated to providing “an overall captivating experience” to assist in getting customers through each day, according to her blog post.
The business took off in August 2019 when Issa Rae, a well-known Black actress, commented on the company Instagram about the candle she was gifted at a pop-up event.
Rae was a keynote speaker at POPSUGAR Play/Ground and Winbush asked her father to deliver Rae a package of products to try, Winbush said. Rae’s presumed publicist ended up taking the gift, making Winbush assume Rae would never receive it.
However, Winbush received a notification on her phone while in church one Sunday that said Rae commented on one of her most recent Instagram photos, expressing her love for the candle she received.
Essence, a beauty and fashion magazine targeting a Black female audience, even gave the company a shoutout on their website.
Candles currently up for grabs—“Window Seat,” “Sunday in Brooklyn” and “September Sixth”—are composed of a soy blend.
Winbush gains inspiration from personal experiences when it comes to naming candles. For instance, Winbush was inspired to create “3PM in Camden”—one of three special edition autumn candles—by spending time at her grandmother’s house often as a child, Winbush said in an interview with In the Know in February.
“A candle, I feel like it should be an experience,” Winbush said in the interview. “It’s not just about lighting a candle in your space [and] feeling good, it’s about experiencing something for yourself.”
As for the teas, Winbush works with a number of female farmers who harvest the ingredients which go into her custom teas. She designs the candle first and then puts together a tea blend which best matches the vibe.
Customers can purchase the bundle package, which includes a candle, a package of 25 tea bags and a playlist carefully curated to the customer’s request, or a candle or tea package separately. The bundle ranges from $32-$35 while individual candles sell for $25. Tea sells for $12 per package.
While a large portion of the merchandise is currently out of stock, Winbush plans on restocking very soon, according to the official website.