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Daily Inspiration: Meet Julia Amponsah-Gilder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Amponsah-Gilder.

Hi Julia, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Have you ever purchased a candle that smelled amazing in the package, but as soon as you get home to burn it, the scent disappeared? This was the beginning of the story! The year was 2006 when my husband and I originally decided to make our own candles. Social media wasn’t “popular” back then, so “word of mouth” was our sales platform. As we started having more children and life got busy, the business was set aside until January 2019 when I rekindled my candle-making passion by creating “Couture Candlez by Jewelz.” The inspiration this time included my love for bling and culture. You will notice that most of my candle names come from a combination of precious jewels and beautiful countries.

During the pandemic, I decided to join a lot of candle groups to expand my knowledge of new products. This was during the time that Ahmad Arbery was murdered, Breonna Taylor was murdered, and George Floyd, Jr. was murdered. Many of the black candle makers in these groups wanted to discuss these topics and create candles in memory of these murder victims. However, we were shut down in these groups and told that these groups were not the platform for “politics” … so that’s when I decided to create my own candle group where we could talk about the issues and be creative with our products. So I created the Black Candle Maker’s Club (BCMC) in August of 2020.

During that time I met one of my members, Nicole Mosby, and she agreed to be an administrator for the group. Together our goal is to promote diversity and inclusion in the candle-making industry by providing knowledge and resources to a small but growing demographic. Regardless of our group name, we welcome allies of all ethnicities who support our mission and want to learn the art of candlemaking. We highlight members’ innovative products, promote their small business, provide them with feedback, host Q & A segments with heavy candle industry experts, and uplifting them through their journey of candle making. When I started the BCMC Facebook group in August of 2020, we had just under 100 members, and now we have close to 10,500 members!

I decided that I wanted to do something more for the BCMC members – something that would take them to the next level so this past February of 2022, I created and launched the BCMC University which is an e-learning platform laser-focused on providing frequent, and meaningful, workshops in a variety of areas, including but not limited to: candle making tutorials, entrepreneurship, marketing, social media, business insurance, and forming business entities, among others. Our university students have access to an exclusive content-based video library, live interactive courses with expert candle industry content coaches, course completion certificates to highlight success, a student Q & A support lounge, various chandler templates & resources, discounted BCMC merchandise, consultations/office hours with coaches for one-on-one support, and a candle-making mentorship program for members to partner up with other candlemakers. This is just the beginning of what we have to offer! The unrivaled support and benefits that the BCMC University offers our members are simply unparalleled in our industry.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I think there are always obstacles that get in the way in life but it’s how you manage the obstacles that make you stronger. One of the biggest challenges before creating the BCMC University was last year in 2021. Nicole got married & pregnant in 2020. She wasn’t able to assist as much with the group because she had a high risk pregnancy. Then in 2021, I got COVID-19 and was hospitalized on and off for 3 months. I nearly lost my life. I was afraid that the group dynamics would change since we both were not as visible as in 2020, but thanks to our group moderators, they were able to hold it down for us. God pulled us out and caused us to be greater than before.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a Director in the largest school district in Texas. I have worked in education for over 20 years, and I am currently in school to obtain my doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. I am a mother of four beautiful children and have been married for 20 years now. I am most proud of the knowledge gained in my professional background that I use with my university. I am a go-getter who loves to try things, especially when someone says something can’t be done. I am destined to prove them wrong. I am also proud of having the chance to complete my candle curriculum & candle safety training under the former president of the National Candle Association, Kathy LaVanier, in December of 2020.

People sometimes ask me why I created a candle group to share my knowledge with – isn’t that helping the competition? My answer will always be that my passion is to uplift others who have the same passion as I do! There are over 7 billion people in the world and over 300 million people in the US alone – there is plenty of room for EVERYONE to win! That’s what makes me who I am – I don’t only want to make phenomenal candle products, I want to provide the knowledge behind being in the candle business industry!

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
If you have a passion or desire, do your research to see how you can develop from it. If you’re interested in being a candle maker or if you are a candle maker, join the BCMC University at You can also find us on Facebook by searching for the Black Candle Maker’s Club. My candles can be purchased by visiting


  • BCMC University Membership $29.99 per month

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Image Credits

Nicole Mosby

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