Durham-based Bright Black Candles sees surge after making Beyonce's list

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- When Tiffany Griffin and her husband launched Bright Black in 2019 as she was furloughed from her government job, it was a passion project with a mission.

"The mission of Bright Black is to tell stories of Black greatness through the artistic medium of scent," Griffin explained. "We launched with our first candle collection which is called Diaspora. It's a nod to five cities of Black greatness, including Durham."

The company was off to a good start selling in local stores including in Durham. It quickly built a strong following then experienced another uptick in June following national protests after the death of George Floyd as shoppers looked for ways to support Black-owned businesses.

"After that first week of June, we actually streamlined our offerings because we weren't able to meet demand," Griffin said.

Then, another surge in business as pop singer Beyonce listed a curated list of Black-owned businesses on her website including Bright Black.

The superstar singer from Houston dropped a single, "Black Parade" on what's known as Juneteenth in Texas; June 19 commemorates the date that news of slavery's abolishment reached the Lone Star State, nearly two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. On the same day, she also added the list on her site. Bright Black was included, starting a surge of sales and calls from high-profile names reaching out to collaborate.

"We have no idea how we got on the list," Griffin said. "We were happy, but we were so overwhelmed with demand."

Since then, other high-profile names have reached out to collaborate.

"Jordan Peele and HBO reached out to do a partnership with them on a show that they launched," Griffin said. "Michelle Obama, and her team reached out to do a partnership to support voting and getting out to vote in this very important election. And, so, it's been amazing partnerships. And, again, non-stop."

The candles have been back-ordered everywhere but Griffin said they will be back in stores at the end of September and online sales resume November 1.

Customers who register before November 1 on Bright Black's website will receive $5 off.

Griffin said that though business is booming, Bright Black's mission remains:

"The social mission is incredibly important."
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