In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Teri Johnson, founder and owner of The Harlem Candle Co., a luxury home fragrance brand specializing in scented candles inspired by the richness of Harlem. Listen in as Johnson discusses The Harlem Candle Co.’s products (0:50), how there is a story behind each scent, and her inspiration for launching the brand in 2014 after years of working as a travel and lifestyle expert (3:17). She shares how she overcame the many obstacles she faced while bootstrapping the business (7:09), the changes she’s seen in her customer base in the past year (11:52), and why being an American-made, direct-to-consumer online business was essential (15:58).
Johnson explains the research and creative process behind each new fragrance (17:57), and how her Harlem Cocktail Glass Collection is an attractive luxury item for sustainably minded consumers. She discusses The Harlem Candle Co.’s recent participation in Facebook and Instagram’s #BuyBlack Shop Collections during Black History Month (22:53), and why it’s important for these social platforms to spotlight Black-owned small businesses. Lastly, Johnson shares her goals for 2021 and beyond at The Harlem Candle Co. (25:04).
Teri Johnson is an entrepreneur and adventurer who brings her experience to life through storytelling and luxury products. A life-long traveler, Teri has visited nearly 70 countries, learning about the rich cultures of the world while working as a travel and lifestyle expert for various television and digital platforms. During her travels, Teri experienced an array of different scents and developed a passion and obsession for beautiful and evocative fragrances that have the power to transport you to a different time and place.
This sparked an idea to create a luxury home fragrance company inspired by her neighborhood of Harlem, specifically during the Harlem Renaissance period. She founded The Harlem Candle Co. in 2014, and now has 13 exquisite fragrances in the collection. Teri’s work with some of the world’s most innovative perfumers has helped her grow the brand’s popularity on an international level and has led to the brand’s launch in over 30 stores across the country. Find The Harlem Candle Co. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Date: March 9, 2021
Credits: Teri Johnson
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Lisa Erickson, senior director of customer relationship management and loyalty at Sleep Number, the mattress company that's been transforming the sleep industry since 1987. Listen in as Erickson discusses how the company's loyalty program drives its repeat and referral business, why exclusive health content drove the loyalty program during the COVID-19 pandemic, and what the sleep brand has planned for 2021 around health and wellness.13:41
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Melissa Campanelli interviews Melissa Priest, founder and CEO of Alexandretta Transportation Consulting, the only female-owned transportation consulting firm in the U.S. Listen in as Priest discusses how she navigated leaving her previous career at FedEx to start her own consulting firm, as well as her experience launching the first female-owned consultancy in a heavily male-dominated field.23:26
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Co-Founder Jennifer DiPasquale interviews Francis Sango and Catherine Liss, co-founders of Rezort Collection, a new women’s clothing brand that focuses on women feeling and looking their best by creating comfortable yet elegant and stylish clothes. Listen in as Sango and Liss discuss their career backgrounds in the fashion industry, how the pandemic inspired them to launch Rezort Collection, and how the apparel brand is bridging the gap between comfort and fashion.27:40
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Sabina Khan, founder of Planet Nature, a U.K.-based sustainable online lifestyle retailer offering solely fair trade products made from locally sourced natural materials. Listen in as Khan discusses Planet Nature's brand ethos and business model, how the company only operates clean eco-manufacturing, and the sustainable materials used for the products sold on its site.19:32
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Abby Morgan, co-founder and chief marketing officer of CUUP, a direct-to-consumer bra company focused on providing women with the essential bra. Listen in as Morgan discusses the inspiration behind launching the company, what makes CUUP bras different from competitors' products, and how the brand's BodyTalk™ platform is building a community of women supporting women.17:20
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle President and Co-Founder Jennifer DiPasquale interviews Allie Egan, founder and CEO of Veracity, a new brand and platform for skincare and wellness that helps to take the mystery out of skincare. Listen in as Egan discusses her career background, what inspired her to launch Veracity, and how the company creates a personal skincare experience based on real data about hormones and other bio-factors.28:18
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Marie Thomas, vice president of applications and integration technology, direct-to-consumer solutions at TOMS, and Vanessa Cartwright, chief client success officer at Astound Commerce. Listen in as Thomas and Cartwright discuss their respective career journeys and roles, the impact of mentorship and a strong network on their careers, and how they're each paying it forward by mentoring other younger women.27:25
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews Diana Coffield Baisa, founder of MyShield Masks, an Indiana-based face mask company with a fundraising program helping other small businesses. Listen in as Baisa discusses how she managed to quickly grow the company to producing over 8,000 face masks a day, why her favorite employees have been successful mothers, and much more.27:43
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Director Kristina Stidham interviews LaToya Williams-Belfort, executive director of the 15 Percent Pledge, a nonprofit advocacy group created with the goal of advocating for and supporting Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs. Williams-Belfort shares how retailers can start making changes that advance Black prosperity as well as why she believes equity is simply good business.23:22
In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Digital Content Manager Kristina Stidham interviews Meagen Johnson, vice president of marketing at Jane, a boutique marketplace. Johnson discusses the success Jane experienced from leaning into affiliate and influencer programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, how mentorship has played a role in her professional career, why she loves mentoring younger professionals to foster their future-forward career development, and more.21:31