We had the good fortune of connecting with Tina Renee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tina, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
The most important decision that I made, that contributed to my success was, letting go of who I thought I was supposed to be and embracing who I truly was.
Along my journey, I found that I had become several different people, none of which were true to my authentic self.
For so long, I was afraid that if I allowed people to see the bubbly, charismatic, and naturally fun-spirited black girl that I genuinely was, I would not be received – So, I settled for a dimmed second-rate version of myself.
I would look at successful people on social media and try to mimic their road to accomplishment, not realizing that I would never get to where I was trying to go following someone else’s path.
After (literally) years of trying to be this person and that person, I made a conscious decision to be true to who I was as my core. Trying to imitate other people’s creativity became extremely exhausting, and to be honest, it was pathetic, and I was over it.
It took a lot of courage to step out as my one-hundred percent authentic self, especially after pretending for so long, but as Anais Nin quoted, “The risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”.
Fast-forward to now, deciding to embrace my true self has birthed a happy and successful businesswoman, being loved by many for being exactly who God put me here to be!
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.
As a fulltime Candle Designer, the method in which I chose to market my candles is one of the main factors that set me apart from other candle brands. I operate a mobile pop-up shop retail space that brings a unique candle shopping experience to each of my customers.
I am most proud of our Whiffs on Wheels mobile boutique. We have transformed a moving trailer into a cozy garden-themed candle boutique where we not only sell homemade candles, but we create memorable experiences.
Deciding to leave a ten-year career in Corporate America to fulfill a lifelong dream of fulltime entrepreneurship was a hard decision, but it was one of best I have made yet!
My journey was definitely not easy, but it was necessary. Hard work and dedication were two of the main ingredients to my overall formula of success.
I have learned so many lessons along the way, but my most meaningful has been, if you play small, you will stay small. I made a vow to myself to never dim who I was to make others in the room feel comfortable ever again.
I want the world to know that I was just a regular-smegular girl that just decided to go for it. All the odds were stacked against me, but one day I decided to give birth to a fire that I would not allow anyone to ever put out – Again.
I want everyone to know that Whiffs on Wheels is my gift to the world, a gift that I have poured my everything to.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend were visiting Los Angeles, we would start our fun with a delicious lunch date at Ackee Bamboo, an amazing Jamaican food spot in Leimert Park! Of course, we would chill in Leimert Park for all the amazing music and vendors. We would spend sometime over at the California African American Museum, filling our soul with art and culture. We would spend a sunny afternoon out at Venice Beach and take a nice bike ride down the boulevard. 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?
Shoutout to my God for not giving up on my dream of becoming a entrepreneur, He’s the MVP of my life!
Photos taken by M.C. Lee