Annya grew up in Jamaica and moved to the United States when she was around 18 years old. Annya is inspired by her Jamaican culture when deciding what to create and how her brand looks. Her candle line is very vibrant and very tropical.
Annya started NaturalAnnie when her daughter was born in 2014 with spina bifida and hydrocephalus and had to have a number of surgeries. Annya found that her daughter's skin was breaking out from all her medications, but the treatments they were perscribed didn’t heal her skin. Annya started to mix shea butter with the herbs and oils that her grandmother used on her as a child. From there, she began making all items for the household and gave them to friends and family which launched her business. NaturalAnnie's Essentials now focuses on candles, all made from her home studio in small batches.
I love following Annya's story on Instagram and watching her business take off these last few months! She is humble and honest and talks a lot about the hard work, patience and persistence it took. There are lots of photos and videos showing her whole family and all her friends helping to pour and pack candles. She definitely has that boss mom mindset that she'll do whatever it takes, including waking up at 4am to make sure that everything gets done. I especially love that Annya sets aside time every month for other entrepreneurs to "pick-her-brain" and that she creates a special candle of the month where 20 percent of profits are donated to charity! The candle for this month is Be The Change (we have it in the spiced honey scent) with donations going to Black Lives Matter. What a beautiful way to inspire others and give back!
Photos in this blog by: Allie Dearie Photography
Annya's advice: "Just go for it, whatever it is. Even if you have no idea how to do something, there will be someone else that can help you. Ask questions, just try something one time. Don’t let it keep nagging you and keep pushing you to the side. You just have to start and you learn along the way. I didn’t know anything about running a business — but as you go through the experience, you learn first hand and grow from there. Position yourself around the right people and you’ll be just fine. You may lose the first time, but you will be ahead the next time you try because you learned something."
Inspiration and Inspiration for this post by Annya's interview on The Brick & Mortar Blog and NaturalAnnie's on Instagram.