We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Nina Gilchrist a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Nina, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My name is Nina(Exclushear Salon, Arlington Tx) and I have been a hairstylist for EVER but licensed for 12yrs. I worked in the finance industry for 11 hrs prior to doing hair professionally and I think that gave me time to mature as a young adult. The way I started doing hair professionally tho is crazy! So I was at work in a high rise building …Gray cubicles everywhere …looking out the window. It was a beautiful day out and I was trapped inside working in THEEE most dry job ever. So I prayed standing there, and asked God to get me out! I knew in my heart God had given me WAY to much personality for what I was doing. I had a son as a single mom and I needed to be stable but I wanted freedom. Well God heard my prayer and 6mos later we were all laid off with severance packages! (Might I add that I had no clue He would do it that way!) Fast fwd I was with my sister having lunch and we ran into a friend of hers from church. She loved my bob, and asked who had cut it. Well, I had done it and she couldn’t believe that or that anyone who could do that wasn’t doing hair professionally. She made promise to come talk to the recruiter at the Cosmetology school, and the rest is history! I came into hair seeing it as a career, having been through some negative salon experiences as a customer…that combined with a professional work history helped me to see the value in giving my clients a professional salon experience. I value my clients time…and I require the same. I specialize in healthy hair, color, natural look weaving, and short cuts. I am most proud of the relationships that I have built over the years with my clients. I have literally been present for many of my clients most important moments because they have to take their hair right!? Weddings, funerals, first dates, job interviews, you name it.. a good stylist is there!
Starting in the hair industry at 30yrs old blessed me in that I was more mature and serious about the business but the downside is that working in the salon is strenuous physically over time. A 43yr old back and a 30yr old back are not the same! Lol That being said I have stopped accepting new clients to allow me time to explore other business interests. I really had to start to think what could be my next chapter….what would I enjoy doing as much as hair and still give me that freedom? The pandemic gave me time to sort out that very difficult question. I started researching in Nov 2020, and after a ton of trial and error, April of this year I launched my candle business. Kingdom Supply Candle Co! I am so proud to be able to share the product of all that hard work with everyone.
What makes us luxury? We use coconut apricot wax, high quality fragrances, wooden wicks, and mica to create all of our candles. We hand pour in small batches which allows us to control the quality of each candle. Our candles have an excellent scent throw and they burn slower giving you more time to enjoy each candle.
Why a coconut apricot wax blend? Coconut apricot wax is a clean burn, biodegradable, and natural. It is also renewable, vegan, and non toxic. You will not find this wax in the larger candle lines. Most mass produced candles are made with paraffin wax. While the candles may smell amazing and even be more cost effective, they are derived from petroleum which is not environmentally friendly or sustainable.
Lastly, all of our scents are custom blended and complex. Its literally one of our favorite things to do! My other favorite thing to do is to create a small work of art in each vessel. I am an artist at heart so each one of my candles marble effect is different. No two candles look alike. As far as scents go
we have something for every palette, and we are just getting started! Our goal is to create a scent experience you haven’t had before!
I said ALLLLL of that to say pray FIRST, life is a journey, don’t be afraid to do new things. Don’t be afraid to start at square one, make mistakes, learn hard lessons, and keep pushing! Make adjustments as you go, be ok with seasons changing. Do all of it.. at the right time. And whatever you do….do it to the best of your ability, and all for the glory of God!
**We also donate 10% of all our sales to the homeless. It is our personal
goal to be the hands and feet of God in the earth helping as many as we can
along the way. Helping the homeless has always been a personal heart thing for me. As a little girl my mom would take bags of food to our local homeless shelter every week.
Kingdomsupplycandleco.com is the website! @kingdomsupplycandleco on instagram and @ninaraethestylist on instagram as well!
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
I moved from Richmond Va to Texas summer of 2019 with no clientele. I had literally left a full client roster behind and I had no idea how it would go. I just knew that I wanted to make this move and I believed it was right for me. I knew it would be hard but baby listen it was harder than that! No money was moving and I was scared to death. Car was repossessed eventually .. and I was driving Uber eats to get by! My husband had his job but we were used to two incomes and I was used to having my own! There was a lot that went on with me spiritually during that time. I cried daily! But God and I got on the same page about some things…and He didn’t let me drown. I had been working in a salon downtown, and while I was grateful to have a place to work it just wasn’t taking off. Again I prayed and told God I was tired … and relief came… the salon I am in now, the owner reached out to me. It turned out to be close to my home, and it has been a blessing to be there. My clientele was filling up again, and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
Consistency… and just doing my best at whatever I am doing. I try to remind myself to honor God as I work. I don’t always feel like working, or dealing with people… just like most of us. But I try to keep God first and that has been the most effective strategy.
- Website: Kingdomsupplycandleco@gmail.com
- Instagram: @Kingdomsupplycandleco