Hummingbird Candle Co. opened its doors in downtown Asheville in October 2020. We were curious to learn more about this new Asheville biz, so we sat down with the founder, Tianna Dean, to get all juicy the details.
What brought you to Asheville?
Opening our second location in the beautiful downtown of Asheville, NC feels like coming home.
I was born in Brevard and spent all of my summers with my Dad’s family in Asheville well before Asheville was ‘cool.’ I am so proud of the labor of love that these communities have put into these cities, and seeing them transform over the past 30 years. Like it says in the bible: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
I am thrilled to bring Hummingbird Candle Co. (my labor of love) to the city that raised me and inspired me to spread God’s grace and love through my candle company.
How did you come up with the concept for Hummingbird?
I laugh every time someone asks me this because it’s such a complex answer and loooong story. But I’ll give you guys the short version.
Picture it Sicily 1924…just kidding. I was a Labor and Delivery RN, knee-deep into Grad School to become a Certified Nurse Midwife…and very content to catch babies and empower women for the rest of my life. In 2017, my husband and best friend finished his 21-year career as a US Army Ranger and he decided to turn his hobby of woodworking into a full-blown business. We quickly realized that if the business was going to work we needed to do it together.
After a lot of thought and back and forth I decided to take a step back from my Nursing Career in 2018 to help my husband’s custom furniture business, Cornerstone Design Co. Being the strong, black, feminist [that I am], I quickly realized [my] own entrepreneurial passion and desire to build a brand that would bridge my passion of advocating for and supporting women with [my] love of luxury home goods in a sustainable and earth-friendly way.
After overcoming my doubts – and the doubts of others – I followed my curiosity and dug deep into the craft of candle making. I desired to make a high-quality product that was safe and unique, and to provide an experience that brought people together through this transformative sensory experience. Hummingbird Candle Co. launched in January of 2019 and with the love and support of our community. She is still flying high!
What have you noticed about the Asheville community that’s different compared to your other location in Fayetteville?
One of the things I love so much about Asheville–outside of the great weather, that it’s a foodie and beer heaven, and of course, all the wonderful things the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer–is that Asheville is such a VIBE. I ADORE the people here. We felt so incredibly supported and welcome by the locals. Ashevillians (even local government officials) are some of the most woke people in the world. My activist heart was on cloud nine from my very first conversation.
I also love that you can be 100% yourself in Asheville. Take one stroll downtown and you will see every kind of person, dressed how they want, living their very best lives. Asheville is and its community is a living breathing work of art.
We saw on your website you’re using this business to support others. What are some organizations you’re supporting and how can we find them?
One of our core values is Activism. We love to give back to organizations locally and globally that support women and those who identify as women.
GirlTrek is the largest public health nonprofit for African-American women and girls in the United States. With nearly 100,000 neighborhood walkers, GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspire healthy living, families, and communities. As women organize walking teams, they mobilize community members to support monthly advocacy efforts and lead a civil rights-inspired health movement.
Asheville for Justice is a collective of activists, inspired to organize around promoting local equitable solutions to racial injustice in response to the state-sponsored, violent destruction of a community-funded medical station. It’s one of our favorite organizations to donate to because they connect donors with real-life people with immediate needs. If you don’t follow them on Instagram, you should!
What is your favorite scent currently?
That’s a really hard question especially since we have over 65 scents to choose from. I would have to say my current favorite is Hygge in our Resilience Line Collection. It ooooozes coziness, but my all-time fave and go-to is 000 Cuffed in our Signature Line. It’s a sexy, androgynous blend of tobacco, oud, cacao, and vanilla.
The year is 2025. What does your vision of Hummingbird Candle Co. look like?
I hope by 2025 every single woman that works alongside me at Hummingbird is financially making more than their husbands or wives, that they have continued work-life balance and are living their best lives, that we have helped millions of people fall in love with earth-friendly coconut wax candles, and that we are supporting even more individuals and organizations that are doing the hard work of activism for the equality of woman.