This is a business owner who has reached out to Slow Money NC.
Name: Tiffany M. Griffin
Business Name: Bright Black
Mailing Address: 3710 SHANNON ROAD, #51264
DURHAM, NC 27717
How did you hear about Slow Money NC?: Through a colleague.
Tell us your story. Who are you? What is your business idea? Tell us your plan. Feel free to get into the details.: I am a psychologist, former policymaker, and creator at heart. I’m passionate about justice and forging connection.
Bright Black is a Durham-based company that uses scent as an artistic medium and candles as a platform to share positive narratives about Blackness.
Why Bright Black?
We chose the name Bright Black to pair the word Black–which often has a negative connotation–with Bright meaning beauty, brilliance, and intelligence.
Across centuries, candles have been embraced as a gateway to connection, joy, spiritual growth and understanding. Candles speak deeply to our souls, something a meaningful dialogue around Blackness absolutely needs.
How We Will Achieve Our Mission:
By pairing a beautifully and responsibly created product with the concept of Blackness.
By using scent to share messages and cultivate dialogue.
By leveraging our collections for community (in person and online) dialogue.
By using our candles to share history, details, and current events that unfortunately are not mainstream. Knowledge is power. Perspective sharing builds connection.
By infusing each and every candle with love. We believe in energy. What we share will go back around. More love shared means more love for all!
About Our Candles:
Our candles contain carefully crafted, deep and intense, custom scents; all-natural, vegan and phthalate-free coconut and soy waxes; lead-free wooden wicks; and a stunning modern design. All of our candles are hand-crafted and made with love.
Please briefly describe your commitment to sustainable food systems in North Carolina.: Our Vision:
A world where the complexity, beauty, and brilliance of Blackness is widely known, recognized, embraced, and celebrated.
To make and share high-quality candles that honor the Black Diaspora.
To run our business consciously, using a model that upholds the values of inter-being, cooperative economics, respect, and creativity.
What will your sales be? What do you anticipate your profits/your margins will look like? How will you make the money to pay this loan back?: Demand is currently through the roof, we just don’t have the capacity to manage it and without capacity we can’t take advantage of it.
Our primary channels are eCommerce through our website, wholesale, and strategic partnerships (like the recent one with Michelle Obama).
Have you borrowed money before? How much did you borrow? From where? How long was the term? Is there a balance still due on that loan?: Never. Our business is completely bootstrapped.
Personally, the only loans I’ve ever had were–student loans (completely paid back), a 0% interest car loan (which will be fully paid off next month!), and our current 15 year mortgage loan. I’ve also taken a loan from a friend when I was leaving academia and transitioning into federal policymaking.
Do you have people who would vouch for your credit worthiness? Who are they?: My credit score speaks volumes. Also, the friend I borrowed from (see above) would vouch for me.
Tell us about your business background. Have you been in business before?: I ran a small business in 2004 called Como Water. The mission of Como Water was to help people live a veg-centric lifestyle.
How much money do you need to borrow to make your project work? How long do you think you would need to pay that back?: [Please contact Carol or Tiffany about this.] The funds would help us hire to get us through the holidays and help us procure equipment that would ease the time burden of production.
Are there other lenders involved in your project or business?: Not yet.
What is your timeline for this project? Would you like it to start in a month? 6 months? A year?: We’re in the thick of it!
Is there anything else we forgot to ask you?: Bright Black was launched last year and over the past year, we’ve experienced tremendous growth, particularly over this past summer. The need to scale has been incredibly rapid, and that rapidity has, in part, led to the current state we’re in as a business.
Learn about their re-opening plans.