We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Shantell Jennings. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Shantell below.
Hi Shantell, thanks for joining us today. We’d love to go back in time and hear the story of how you came up with the name of your brand?
As a spoken word artist, I have acquired the stage name of Tell’em the Poet. I knew I wanted to intertwine my love of poetry with the art of candle making. So thus, with my poet-self presenting a new artistry, Tell’em presents Smell’em Candle Co., was born.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Shantell Jennings was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Although she noted that Atlanta was where she was raised, Shantell grew her love for art in her hometown’s historically Black community theater, Arena Players Incorporated. In her younger years, Shantell would spend her summers and holidays learning how to act, dance, sing, and write. Her passion for all types of art forms runs deep, but what captured Shantell’s heart the most was the art of writing. When talking about why she loves writing so much, Shantell said, “Being able to capture the unspoken words between individuals that experience the same
stories every day seems to be my biggest inspiration.”
Smell’em Candle Co. is based both online and, in the Dallas -Fort Worth area. Shantell tells us that “We are looking to make quite a big impact on self-care through aroma and atmosphere.” Committed to growing her clientele and building a strong online footprint, Smell’em Candle Co. is on track to open a
storefront in 2026.
How did you put together the initial capital you needed to start your business?
Shantell credits PeopleFund for providing her with the financial and educational assistance that was needed to create a solid foundation for her small business. It was an 8 -week program with a focus on the entrepreneurial businesses of Black, Indigenous & People of Color. Built to provide capital, support and substantiality, the program and its partners give great tools to build a strong foundation for a healthy business. With the help she has received, Shantell is
able to move forward with growing her candle shop and bringing her dreams to life
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
Shantell believes her ties to the community and growing reputation has manifested into one of hard work, creativity and positivity. She wants to see everyone win and encourages her team, her “Candle Babes” [customers] and her fellow entrepreneurs to strive for greatness in all things. A few words of advice that Shantell would like to give to other entrepreneurs of color is to “be unapologetically black or brown in all ventures of business.” She encourages business owners to view setbacks, especially ones that people of color face, as an opportunity to open a bigger and better door down the road.
- Website: smellemcandleco.com
- Instagram: @smell_emcandleco
- Facebook: Smell’em Candle Co.
- Linkedin: Shantell Jennings
- Yelp: Smell’em Candle Co.
- Other: TikTok: @smellemcandleco
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