Born and raised in North London, UK, I grew up heavily influenced by Reggae, Dancehall, Soca and Jungle music from my Jamaican Heritage family. When travelling to Jamaica and other countries I would bring back a fridge magnet and also a unique candle. When I lost my Granddad at a young age of 19 and was also working in a toxic environment, that is when I started to suffer from severe depression. I gained comfort in my cat, excessive eating, relentless retail therapy, distractions from binge TV watching and constant sleeping all time.
I did not know how to do deal with it, coping mechanisms and different activities to improve my mindset. The doctor immediately suggested anti-depressants instead of counselling or therapy, if it weren’t for my mother refusing the prescription at a young age and demanding for physical help, I don't know where I would be today.
From what I can remember, I don't have a good recollection of my sessions or gaining anything from it. When you are referred through the NHS you have restrictions, you can't choose your therapist/counsellor, you only have a set amount of sessions, the doctor will put you back on the 6 month waiting list to be transferred to someone else and that's where Melanin Minds comes in.
WHAT IS MELANIN MINDS?
Melanin Minds will become a Social Enterprise and raise awareness for Mental Health within the BAME community.
WHY DID YOU START MAKING CANDLES?
When I first had the idea of Melanin Minds, it was to bring those that are suffering and feel lonely events. These events would have a marketplace for Black owned businesses to sell their products. I didn't have a big audience or social media following and I also wasn't in the right mindset to start a business. I wanted to secure a permanent job to fund my own business, to prevent loans or grants.
I started this year on high with positive vibes, but I lost my cat of 14 years, then amongst other things throughout the year I was made redundant... again! My friend brought it to my attention that I love candles because I have so many!! At the time I brought a small candle kit to keep me occupied and he suggested to start making candles to support my business because I add them to my self-care routine, to take care of myself and set the mood. He inspired me to add my creative, unique, and eccentric mind into the candles because I always think outside of the box and are miles ahead of people. So, your contribution will help me to afford a mentor and start my business.
HOW WILL MY CONTRIBUTION HELP?
I would like to create a wellness app and website to create access to affordable private sessions for unemployed, self-employed, part or full time. Therapist, Counsellors and Life coaches will be outsourced, this can be for your child, partner, or for yourself. If you do not feel comfortable with one to one session, group therapy will be available. You will need to complete a set of questions to direct you to the correct professional support, this will provide a list of recommendations to choose from and contact.
Also, once you have completed the questions to find out the type of depression you have:
- Major Depression
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Post-partum Depression and many more...
Activities, suggestions, and advice will be available to do either at home, virtually or live events. This will also be accessible for family and friends to be able to support the person in need, so they can understand and encourage. You can also attend Meditation, Yoga and Mindfulness session either live or virtual.
There will also be trained support to communicate on both what's app or an online chat, this will be available 24/7 and even on Christmas day when suicide rates are at the highest peak time.
I would like to start a weekly Podcast speaking about real life with real people and highlighting mental health and making it normal especially when it comes to Caribbean families talking about it.
It seems that the older generations within some Caribbean families can be reluctant to accepting and acknowledging signs of depression, even when they have their own traumas too. In an era with less therapy resources available and the belief that everything can be healed by only Jesus. With holding onto pass burdens, being set in their ways, they become emotionally angry which leads to passing it down to their offspring, let's break that cycle.
The Say It With Yo Chest Podcast will highlight depression and toxic topics, while bringing you laughter and lightening the mood because mental health is only temporary, you can heal and the light is at the end of tunnel. We need to normalise going to therapy the same way we normalize going to gym.
WHAT ABOUT THE MELANIN MIND PRODUCTS?
Your contribution will also help to continue and bring my new ideas to life. The unique Caribbean collection launched in October and the limited-edition Christmas Caribbean cake candle collection set are currently selling on several marketplace websites.
All of Melanin Minds first signature collection are created by paying homage to Black Culture. Hummingbird, Crop Over and Zouk Ti Punch all resonate with life in the Caribbean culture.
All of my hand poured candles are made from 100% soy wax and are also toxic free and eco-friendly with scents that have a special emphasis on self-care.
The large 30cl Caribbean candles collection has a burn time of approx. 5 hours burn time and it's pronounced Ca-rib-be-an!
I have many more self-care products that would like to release in 2021, such as sage sets, reed diffusers, oils on the go, sample/travel candles and many more! A percentage of proceeds from all products sold will go towards the organisation.
Melanin Minds will be given away many reward choices to choose from as a thank you for your donation starting from £1 including a virtual zoom Christmas party!
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR MELANIN MINDS?
By this time next year, I would like to action my plans or have them in place to launch, here is a summary below:
- More candles collections including the Self Love & Heal collection
- Other products including sage sets, reed diffusers, oils on the go, sample/travel candles
- Wellness app and website selling the luxury candles, listen to the podcast and seek professional help
- Live & Virtual bespoke events
DID YOU KNOW THAT...
If you are a Black Business owner, the system is set up against you. In 2018 only 31% black-owned businesses received their full funding, compared to 49% of white-owned business. In the same time frame 38% black-owned business received ZERO funding, compared to just 20% of white-owned businesses. Despite on average having better income, assets, and credit scores then their white counterparts. Black people were asked to provide more proof of eligibility for finance than white people. Even when black and white households have similar financial resources, it has been found that black homeowners are not able to use their home equity for start-up capital as white homeowners.
I would like to take this time to say thank you in advance for reading my Crowdfund and for donating. Also, I appreciate if you have purchased a candle, shared my business and given feedback! Your donation will help me to complete research and gain the correct resources.
Stay safe, stay bless. Happy a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Love Melanin Minds x