We had the good fortune of connecting with Ashley Brabham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ashley, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
MAKTUB Studio is a music culture lifestyle brand based in Inglewood, CA, which has been home to me since relocating to Los Angeles from the east coast in 2014. I chose to be a part of the Inglewood community because it’s one of the few thriving Black communities in Los Angeles. As a Black-owned business, it’s important for me to have my business in a community where I feel seen and supported, and where I can remain connected to my culture.
My culture has always been an inspirational factor in all my work. Especially considering current affairs, I want to make sure my culture feels seen, heard, and is supported. That’s partly why I’ve made the decision to use my brand and platform to support the Black Community in ways that I could, after the tragic killing of George Floyd. Since June 2020, I’ve decided to donate 100% of profits earned from the ‘Stay Woke’ candle to both Color of Change and Black Lives Matter organizations indefinitely. Though it’s a small part, I feel like it’s the best utilization of my platform to help my community and it encourages others to help as well.
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.
I consider candle producing an art because there is a lot that goes into candle-making, especially for MAKTUB Studio with each candle having a curated fragrance inspired by music.
My primary intention behind MAKTUB Studio Candles is to celebrate music + wellness. This is what sets us apart from other brands where the music, came after the candles. With MAKTUB Studio EVERYTHING starts with and is centered around the music!
The first step in my process is generating my music playlist to spark inspiration for the candle. The playlist has to embody the vibe I want people to experience when they listen. I also have to make sure the music flows together and typically follows one central theme. I feel like the best playlist vibes are genre-fluid, I don’t think anyone only listens to one genre of music these days. Then I select which songs from the playlist caries the most meaning to me and would make the best candle title. Then I curate the scent based on what fragrances will best ignite emotional responses as people burn their candles and listen to the music.
In addition to my custom blend of fragrance oils, the candles also use a vegan-friendly coconut and soy wax blend, and a crackling wood wick. All of these components together create a sensorial immersive experience and allow people to escape once they Spark A Vibe.
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.
One of my favorite spots in Inglewood has become, black-owned coffee house, Sip & Sonder. Though it isn’t fully open due to COVID-19 protocols, it’s such a dope space in the heart of Inglewood, for creatives to work, convene and grab a great cup of coffee or tea.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This shoutout goes to my mother, which is who I get my great taste in music from – LOL! My mother had me as a teenager, so growing up she was always listening to the latest music. I was fortunate enough to grow up during the height of the Hip-Hop/R&B era in the 90’s. I vividly remember every Tuesday, we would go to the record store to purchase the latest tapes or CDs that were releasing. We would often take the 1-hr drive from Connecticut to NY on the weekends, to get the latest mix CDs off the streets. So even as an adolescent, I started to form a love and appreciation for music. I took this with me through high school and college, when I decided to take an internship at Def Jam to live out my love for music. That introduction to music at a young age is also the reason why I was inspired to start MAKTUB Studio and center it around my love for music.
I own the rights to all images provided.