Having dedicated her life to God last year, recording artiste Kimberly Cuville, who goes by the moniker ‘The Matriarch’, has done a complete 360-degree spin. Not only has she traded in her dancehall lyrics for the Gospel of Christ, but the entertainer formerly known as ‘Destiny Sparta’ has also picked up an additional skill. Dusting off her entrepreneur hat, the artiste has gone into the candle making business with the launch of her company, Scented Beauty By Destiny.
In an interview with Flair, the entertainer-turned-businesswoman shared that she’s always had a knack for entrepreneurship. She said her business spirit was birthed from watching her mother operate her own clothing store as a teenager. “From I was going to high school come right up, I saw my mommy manage and operate a clothing store. She had a shop in the arcade, and I watched her work from a small store to bigger and better, so I have always been around and knew I had this business mind,” she said.
She even ran her own store at one point, and produced and sold Sparta merchandise as an entertainer. “I actually started my own store at one point and was selling handbags and accessories. As an artiste, I started Sparta Gears. I was doing T-shirts and hats. I created the designs and had someone execute them. I loved the idea of creating stuff and watching people support your creations,” she said.
Cuville said she knew she wanted to one day operate her own business again, but was too busy with her musical career to get projects off the ground. In fact, this scented candle business idea was born some two years ago. The entertainer revealed that scents are her secret obsession. “I love scents; I love fragrances. Perfumes, colognes, deodorants, candles are my thing. I have had this idea for about two and a half years now. I had bought all the stuff in 2019 but just never got around to doing it. Late last year was when I told myself it was time,” she shared.
Her first marketplace was the church. “I made some tin ones, a few in the status jars with the lids, and I sold them at church. They did really well, and I realised there really was a market for it, and so I decided to start mass-producing,” Cuville told Flair.
Candle making is a tedious process, one with much trial and error, but the candle maker uses a specific technique. “There is a technique to making candles that, if not followed, won’t allow them to burn the right way. You have to know what size wick works for what container; you have to know your waxes and how they burn. It really is a science,” she explained.
She is grateful that she has caught on quickly and is looking forward to distinguishing her products. “Wicking really gave me a hard time, because I had to test a lot of containers with different wicks to see what worked with what. That was the hardest part for me. There was a lot of troubleshooting, but luckily I am a fast learner, and it only took me a few months to sort through the technicalities. In no time, I was making my candles,” she said.
Well aware of market competition, Cuville said she was determined to make her mark. Tapping into her artistic side, the entertainer said that after a telephone meeting with business mogul Gary Matalon, she developed a concept that has proved to be a winning formula. Rather than the ordinary candle containers, Cuville crafts her candles in the image of tasty pastries and delightful cocktail concoctions. With names such as Happy Hour, Café Delight, Smart Cookie and Strawberry Sunrise, the candles are scented, gastronomical wax delights. And according to Cuville, her creative touch has made her products a hit among customers.
“I have some that look like margaritas, Pina Coladas, you name it. I have some new ones added where I use gel wax, so it literally looks like a drink with the ice cubes in there. Some look like desserts, so I have cupcake candles, some that look like ice cream, frosting and all. I have doughnut candles, cookie candles with whipped topping, just some really nice stuff,” she said.
Cuville has hit the road with Scented Beauty by Destiny to drum up sales and says the response has been phenomenal. “I go on the road with them because I can’t just depend on DM (direct message) orders, and when I touch the road with my products, people always love them. They are always excited, and they love that they don’t look like your typical candle. I knew there was a market for it, but I did not know it was this much. People love creativity, and they are supporting the business. Creativity is definitely what is setting my products apart,” she shared.
With her business flourishing, the entertainer says she is looking into getting her products in physical outlets across the island. “I have my candles at Bonafide Gentlemen’s Salon at Blue Diamond Shopping Centre in Ironshore, where people can just walk in and get them, but expansion is the intention. Just like you have Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works products all over, that is what I am aiming for. Eventually, I want to get into body products, body butters, lotions, etc, and so I have big dreams for Scented Beauty by Destiny,” she said.