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How Sukie Jefferson's passion for scent and entrepreneurial spirit transformed her into a trailblazing CEO

July 2023

Alumna Sukie Jefferson

In a world filled with hustle and bustle, there's something undeniably captivating about the flicker of a candle's flame. Sukie Jefferson, C’2009, a remarkable entrepreneur and Spelman College alumna, has harnessed this captivating power to create her own empire with Sukie's Candle Co. From her humble beginnings to the forefront of the luxury candle industry, Jefferson's journey is a testament to the limitless possibilities that come with hard work, resilience and a touch of fragrant creativity.

Jefferson is fascinated by scents. After graduating from Spelman, she embarked on a journey of self-discovery and exploration. She delved into the world of perfumery, immersing herself in the art of scent composition and learning about the power of aromatherapy. Her relentless pursuit of knowledge allowed her to develop a unique understanding of how scents could influence mood and well-being.

Fuelled by her desire to share this olfactory magic with the world, Jefferson took a leap of faith and founded Sukie's Candle Co. which, according to the website, “Provides exotically scented premium soy wax candles, made fresh-to-order and individually hand-poured. Infused with essential oils, our vegan soy candles offer an environmentally clean burn with no toxins, additives, dyes or pollutants ever added.”

Armed with the skills she gained at Spelman as a double majored in sociology and anthropology  with a minor in public health from Morehouse College, she meticulously crafted candles that not only smelled divine but also created a captivating ambiance. Each candle became a vessel for storytelling, as Jefferson meticulously curated scents that evoked memories, stirred emotions, and transformed spaces into sanctuaries of tranquility.

Sukie Jefferson

To the Seattle Washington native, every fragrance has a story to tell and an emotion to convey. What sets Sukie's Candle Co. apart is Jefferson's unwavering commitment to quality and sustainability. She sources the finest ingredients, including soy wax and lead-free cotton wicks, ensuring her candles burn cleanly and evenly. The company's eco-conscious ethos extends beyond the product itself, with Jefferson actively seeking ways to minimize the brand's environmental impact. From recycled packaging to exploring renewable energy sources for production, she's dedicated to creating a more sustainable future for the candle industry.

Jefferson's entrepreneurial journey has not been without its challenges. Like any trailblazer, she faced skepticism and doubts from industry insiders who saw her as an outsider in the luxury candle space. However, her unwavering determination and steadfast belief in her vision propelled her forward. She channeled her Spelman education, drawing inspiration from the trailblazing women who came before her, and used their strength to overcome every obstacle in her path.

Today, Sukie's Candle Co. stands as a beacon of success, adorning countless homes and spaces with its elegantly crafted fragrances. From its humble beginnings, the brand has garnered a dedicated following, attracting customers who crave more than just a scented candle. Jefferson’s creations have become an essential element of self-care rituals, fostering moments of serenity and reflection in an increasingly chaotic world.

Jefferson’s company was featured in the 2023 Women in Music Billboard Awards show gift bags curated by American Express; and also joined Wayfair in an exciting initiative, Celebrate Black Makers, led by our Spelman alumna Sharde Marchewski, who is the company’s Head of Supplier Diversity. 

Beyond her achievements as a CEO, Jefferson remains deeply committed to empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs, especially women of color. She actively mentors aspiring business owners, sharing her experiences and lessons learned along the way. Jefferson's philanthropic efforts extend to supporting educational initiatives, particularly those aimed at increasing access to science and entrepreneurship for underrepresented communities.

Sukie Jefferson's remarkable journey from Spelman to leading Sukie's Candle Co. serves as an inspiration to dreamers and doers alike. Her unwavering passion, coupled with her commitment to quality, sustainability, and community, has cemented her place as a trailblazer in the luxury candle industry.

Large Blue Quote LeftSpelman remains to be one of my proudest personal and academic accomplishments. Spelman both continues to encourage my wildest entrepreneurial dreams to unfold while also comforting me when life's path becomes arduous. I'm forever grateful to be a proud member of this unshakeable global sisterhood. Together as sisters we each root for one another to win in a way I've experienced in no other environment, “ said Jefferson.

“As we all often say, Spelman continues to be the best decision and gift I could have given to myself.”

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