Being an entrepreneur is rewarding, but it is not without challenges, especially during two pandemics. Some days are lovely, while others are anxious, worrisome, and frustrating. Natasha is an entrepreneur, and she’s also the owner and curator of Brooklyn Essence. I met her by chance years ago at one of BK Girls Nightout (BKGNO) Pop-up events.
Natasha was attentive, kind, and the customer service I received made me feel like I was enjoying a high-end experience. I felt appreciated. I believe it was her first pop-up shop, but I watched her greet every person that stopped by. After I placed my order, she added something extra to my bag. The way she was with every customer, whether they bought something or not, told me she would be very successful—she understood her customers were important.
I have been a customer ever since, and I have never received poor service or poorly made products.
Brooklyn Essence was created in Brooklyn and made its debut in August of 2016. The company was launched as a candle company and offered it’s customers two different products. A home essential candle and the other, a healing skin candle. The company has since expanded its product line to include:
- Natural oil diffusers
- Body soufflès
- Exfoliating body scrubs
- Body washes, etc.
Natasha was born and raised in Brooklyn. And still calls Brooklyn home. Before Brooklyn Essence, she created three beautiful children who are very involved in the operation of Brooklyn Essence. Natasha loves to travel because she enjoys experiencing different cultures and it inspires her. Spending time with her family, brunching with her lady friends, and taking alone time recharges Natasha and makes her better in her journey through entrepreneurship.
Q & A with Natasha from Brooklyn Essence
(BKLS) What were some of the pros and cons you experienced when you first launched Brooklyn Essence?
(B.E.) When I started Brooklyn Essence, I didn’t have the slightest idea that it would be as popular and successful as it is today. In the beginning, finding a balance between work, family, myself, and building a business was very challenging. It was stressful and took a lot of patience and mistakes to learn how to balance life. I faced even more significant challenges when I decided to become a full-time entrepreneur. My income changed—I no longer brought home a steady paycheck. Instead, I relied on my savings to get Brooklyn Essence up and running. I worked longer hours, with no guidance, and often second-guessed myself.
(BKLS) What do you love the most about being an entrepreneur?
(B.E.) Entrepreneurship can be exciting and often enjoyable. I’m able to do what I love and control my destiny. I was ready to make sacrifices and put in the work. To spend more time with my family, have time for myself, and our family business. I feel balanced. God has blessed me with gifted hands.
(BKLS) Did you always want to create a product line?
(B.E.) As a young girl, I always knew I would own my own business. I always thought I would be a florist or become a flower shop owner. I worked at a family-owned flower shop in Brooklyn for over ten years. There I gained a real passion for helping customers. And I understood their need to make their friends or family members happy through flowers. They trusted me with the happiness of their loved ones. Working in a small family-owned setting taught me values, empathy, and real customer service skills from a different perspective. It was a learning process.
I didn’t take up any courses on how to create bouquets or wedding arrangements. I learned my skills from a husband and wife team that loved and cared about our community. It was a satisfying feeling to know that a simple floral arrangement made someone’s day.
At that moment, I knew I wanted to help make people happy with what I loved to do. Create beautiful arrangements. I never once thought I would own and operate a candle and skincare boutique.
(BKLS) What did you do before Brooklyn Essence?
(B.E.) Before Brooklyn Essence, I worked as a paralegal in a Brooklyn law firm for over five years. I helped homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. That was a challenging and often stressful five years, but I slept well at nights, knowing that I helped someone keep their home.
(BKLS) What is your vision for Brooklyn Essence?
(B.E.) I would like to bring value, quality, and happiness to my customers.
(BKLS) What was your inspiration for Brooklyn Essence? And the name Brooklyn Essence?
(B.E.) The name Brooklyn Essence is a combination of where I am from (Brooklyn), and the Essence part comes from the years I spent being around beautiful fragranced flowers.
I needed a modified lifestyle. And my family was suffering from seasonal skin irritation. That pushed me to focus on creating products that are all-natural and safe for the skin. My inspiration comes from being innovative from earth, colors, fragrance, and traveling. Each candle you choose is made, especially for you. This experience has allowed me to assist others with their lifestyle concerns.
(BKLS) How has COVID-19 changed the way you conduct business at Brooklyn Essence?
(B.E.) Since COVID-19, we have had to adjust how we run our small business. We have temporarily closed our boutique doors and are unable to meet and greet our customers the way we did. COVID-19 has put a hold on socializing and pop-up shops, where we met new friends and catered to old and fabulous friends. However, online shopping has bumped up 100%. We are grateful that business continues and appreciates the support of all our customers through these uncertain times.
(BKLS) Can you leave us with a quote or wise words to comfort us during these insane times?
Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end
(BKLS) Anything else you’d like to share with us?
(B.E.) Simple things I’ve learned along the way
- Believe in your passion.
- Believe in your craft.
- Don’t tear each other down, instead lift and support one another.
- Building an Empire is not easy. Follow your spheres of influence, ask for help, and continue to enhance your gift. Stay true to your brand and watch the seeds you’ve planted flourish.