This week, we've got our resident blogger Dami Fawehinmi interviewing Tribal Unicorn founder, Angelica Louise 'GeGe'. Created in East London, she started Tribal Unicorn as an outlet for 'after work stress' in her kitchen and quickly turned into a small business venture. GeGe merged her badass obsession with glitter and craft with her interest in mental health and the practice of well-being. She created Tribal Unicorn, a lifestyle brand representing sass, class and empowerment.
Tell us about your journey.
My journey with Tribal Unicorn Candles started about a year ago. I had a stressful day at work, one of those painful migraine moments and I went home completely deflated. I’ve always been creative and I wanted to figure out a way to pull myself out of my funk. After searching online for a new hobby, I settled on candle making.
I bought the supplies, watched countless YouTube videos and joined a few Facebook groups. I’d bring my candles into work to give them to my colleagues and people started wanting more, they began placing orders for my candles! I made sure my branding was something I was happy with (it’s changed a million times since) and started to sell my candles and gift them to family and friends. It was great - I had something that I could use as a creative outlet and make a little money from too.
After that, it just kept on growing and I was obsessed with making the best product I possibly could. I found out about vegan friendly wax and how to use mica powder. I learned about the correct wicks to use and how to make professional products. I researched environmentally friendly packaging and starting trading at craft shows to see how they did. I never imagined I’d still be making candles a year and a half later but Tribal Unicorn, this badass candle brand became a part of me. A side project I was extremely passionate and to top it all off, making candles brings me happiness every time. Now nothing beats making on a Sunday to a vibey 90’s hip hop track.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
It’s good to have dreams, don’t ever stop dreaming.
What do you believe will drive change in the Black community?
Individuals who want to see change will be the ones who make change. The entrepreneurs, the dreamers, the doers, the supporters, the givers, the teachers. They will and are driving change.
What is your biggest failure?
Allowing others to judge my self worth. A lot of us are in positions where we allow ourselves to be criticised and judged by people who don’t know who we are and don’t know the value of that fire inside you. Or worse, they do believe in you however their decisions will be made to serve their own purpose, not yours. It’s a great thing to learn how to take criticism but it’s just as important to know your worth. The days I remembered to say no, I’m worth more, are the days that I’ve marked as remarkable milestones in my career.
What is your biggest success?
I don’t feel like I’m anywhere close to successful. There’s always something to improve on. There’s so much more I want to achieve.
What three pieces of advice would you give young black professionals?
Don’t turn your nose down at free work. Ask yourself these questions, how will it benefit me, what can I learn, what relationships or connections can I make.
Remember how to be young. I read an amazing book called Ice Cream For Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams and it reminded me that the best version of myself was when I was a child. Carefree, bold, curious, courageous and I didn’t care what anyone thought. This is the version of me before doubt and fear crept in. Learn how to tap into your inner child every now and again.
Don’t rely on your friends to support you every step of the way. Here’s the truth, they’ll support you maybe the first or second time you ask and then they’ll begin to drop off. If that’s the case, you need to learn to be ok with they. This is something you decided to do, it wasn’t something they agreed to commit to. Find your tribe, find your support system.
How do you seek out opportunities relating to your field?
Networking, Facebook groups and social media!
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
I have a few projects on the horizon but I’m mainly looking at raising the awareness of my brands at the moment. Every year I set one target and I work towards that.
Would you like to add anything?
You are magic… better believe that!
Interview by Dami Fawehinmi