Bria Smith, owner of the Black woman-owned brand Her Candle Bar, provides an outlet for creativity and self-care for those looking to improve their everyday lives.

“We could pour back into the community where we live every single day,” Smith told WCNC Charlotte.

Smith, a New York native, referred to the Carolinas as her home after living there for years. However, she returned to her hometown during the pandemic after her uncle’s death. That stressful moment in her life was when she created the Her Candle Bar brand.

“I needed to start something that kind of just tickled me differently and helped me to relax, and so we started making candles,” Smith said. “This really kind of helped me not think about everything that was going on and really just pour into something that relaxed me and create my own self-care.”

Smith opened her shop in downtown Concord, North Carolina, at the end of November. WCNC reported that the area is considered one of the best cities in the state to start a business.

Smith also cited Retail Lab as a tool she used to help launch her business. The program provides small-business owners with the tools they need to succeed.

“The program serves early-stage and pre-launch retail business owners in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties by providing an application-based, six-week immersive Boot Camp that focuses on these main topics: Business Basics, Strategy, Branding and Marketing, E-commerce, Point-of-Sale and Inventory, and Real Estate/Licensing,” according to the website.

Smith said economic investment throughout the city is something she has witnessed since becoming a business owner. Now, Smith offers various candles and other self-care items for everyone to enjoy. She also provides classes for those looking to make their own products.

“This was transitioning from an in-home business,” Smith said. “It went from something fun you just did for yourself and your self-care to like, OK, we want to wrap a model around this. And we want to offer this to other folks.”