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

Hi Jihan, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I come from a Jamaican family, being the first generation born in New York, United States. That shapes who I am entirely, because I had a first hand view of what it looked like for my parents to migrate here at a young age and make a pretty decent life for themselves. I also grew up in a neighborhood where many of my friends’ parents were also immigrants. Everyone worked and everyone worked HARD. I have this image of taking the bus home from work and seeing elders looking tired and beat up from the harsh New York weather. I immediately decided this would not be the fate for me or my family.

There was also always a sense of community and the feeling of someone looking out for you, even if it wasn’t your parents. Having a view of how hard they worked for other people definitely steered me into a heavy interest in entrepreneurship. Although getting a higher-education was not up for debate, I am also appreciative they gave me the insight and experience of what kind of person and skills I needed in my arsenal in order to survive in this world.

New Yorkers hustle, point blank period. That sense of getting up and getting it translates into everything that I do. The hustle isn’t only for yourself, it’s for your community and that’s what I hope to exude through the brand.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I want the world to know that you can rest without guilt. That you deserve luxury and to experience the finest that the world has to offer, without feeling bad about it. Unfortunately many products that offer these sentiments, aren’t the healthiest for your or the environment. I want people to know that you can have both.

I am most excited of the other lanes of aromatherapy the brand will dive into. As someone who has been typically introverted, having my own business has pushed me to be more comfortable with talking about myself and the brand. Sometimes you feel like you are inundating people with talking about your brand, but if you don’t who else will?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Here in Los Angeles, we are definitely doing a black food tour. We are stopping at spots all over mid-city and inglewood.

Jamaican food from Countrystyle Jamaican Restaurant
Pastries and vegan spaghetti from My 2 Cents
Brunch at the Serving Spoon
Vegan Burgers from Vurger Guyz
Latte’s from Undergrind
Drinks at The District by GS

Lastly we are gonna get our health superfoods from Nappily Naturals and walk around Leimert Park to burn calories.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shoutout goes to the black women in my life who offer their support on a regular basis. Entrepreneurship is hard, there are a lot of solo moments where you talk to yourself for hours, hoping that your ideas make sense.

I can’t tell you how much of am outpour of both financial and moral support I have received from black women. Sometimes, the unexpected big up from someone, might be the push I needed for the day. Those words of affirmation from women that really see you and see the effort you put into your art is EVERYTHING.

ZEEN candles were created to inspire healthy, self-care moments. Hearing about the experiences these candles are able to support and contribute to, is the full circle moment. Hearing those stories from other black women is the icing on the cake.

Website: www.zeencandleco.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/zeencandleco

Twitter: www.twitter.com/zeencandleco

Facebook: www.facebook.com/zeencandleco

Other: Please use code WELCOME for 20% off of your 1st order!

Image Credits
Photos by: Ashani Allick

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