We had the good fortune of connecting with Toni Shaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Toni, what’s your startup story? How did you start your business?
I started making candles four years ago primarily because I was frustrated that my favorite candle store moved. I had made a few trips to purchase candles, but the traffic and the lack of parking became too much. I thought to myself that I could make my own candles. And I put action to words and took a candle making class at West LA College. I made a lot of mediocre smelling candles, but I didn’t give up. I found someone who had been making candles for over 30 years, and he tutored me. After refining my formula, and getting a green light from my friends who I had corraled into becoming my testers, I secured a spot at my local farmer’s market and never looked back.
What should our readers know about your business?
House of Mosaic Candles is a Black, female-owned and operated business located in South Los Angeles. Our motto is, “you will know our candles are burning!” Our candles are made with the finest ingredients including a vegan blend of coconut-soy wax, 100% cotton wicks, phthalate-free, premium fragrance oils, and re-usable metal tins or glass jars. Our success today is due to making sure our guests have the best experience with our products. Our biggest challenge is getting more exposure for our candles. To that end, we participate in multiple events and pop-ups throughout the year. We maintain an online presence through our website, www.houseofmosaic.com, and we are on social media. We are not satisfied until our guests are satisfied and we will go the extra mile to ensure they return again and again.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would start in my neighborhood, Leimert Park. We’d grab some coffee at Hot and Cool Cafe, lunch at Grilled Fraiche and maybe check out an exhibit at Art + Practice or the California African American Museum. As an artisan, I like going to pop-ups and farmer’s markets so we’d visit as many of these as possible. The Melrose Trading Post on Sundays is a favorite. A trip to the beach is a must, so Venice or the Santa Monica Pier would be on the itinerary. We’d have to grab dinner from some of my favorite places including Post & Beam in Baldwin Hills, Kaya Sushi in Marina Del Rey, or maybe a catfish poboy from Darrows New Orleans grill in Carson.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shoutout my family who have stepped up to help and support me, including Geoff, Miles, Peri, and my sister, Leslie. I’d also like to shoutout my friends and fellow artisans and creators Debbie, Roni @poetronigirl, Nena @nenas_organics, Seita @milkandmelts, Mea @greenfamilyjewels, Harriet of My Purse and I, Jacqui @jacquicsmith, and Niecy@niecystreasurechest. Last, but not least, I’d like to shoutout all of the wonderful guests who have purchased House of Mosaic Candles.