By Johanna Ferreira
Sentrell Marsh was working on her thesis while earning her Masters in Interior Architecture, when she realized it was time to slow down. A hormonal syndrome diagnosis that was triggered by the overwhelming amount of stress she was experiencing, was her body’s way of signaling that she was in desperate need of rest. It was through the process of slowing down and nurturing her soul, that Sensual Candle Co was born.
“I ended up in a bathtub exhausted, stressed, worried, and unhappy because I wasn’t taking care of myself. This moment was the tipping point,” Marsh tells thirteen lune.
“The ritual of a bath, candles, and a playlist became a staple in my self-care routine. It was this ritual that also sparked the flame that became Sensual Candle Co. I fell in love with candles’ soft glow, dancing flames, and their ability to bring you to the present and put you in a meditative state for relaxation. This ritual also shed light on the importance of connecting back to self and how our senses can aid us in this connection.”
Marsh’s mission was simple. Candles have the ability of tapping into our senses, allowing us to be present and engage in a meditative state towards relaxation. The delicious aromas that come from the Shai, Low-key or Femme scents, in particular, don’t just transport you to a state of calm and serenity but they were also intentionally created to encourage self-love, peace, and sensuality. The brand’s philosophy “candles for a little piece of peace” all began with a simple bath ritual intended to instantly rinse away one’s anxiety with self-soothing.
Get to Know – Sentrell Marsh
Where are you from originally? Where do you live now?
I am from Miami, Florida and I currently reside in Miami, Florida. Miami is a very diverse place culturally. We have people from the Caribbean, South America, Europe etc. I think my style and beauty inspiration are from diverse sources. Also, it was always too hot to do a lot of makeup in Miami. A lot of the women in my family had really simple makeup and beauty routines. I’ve adopted this myself. My routine is really simple. SPF always, eyebrows, concealer, and lip gloss.
Do you have a beauty philosophy? What is it?
Skin first and lots of water. I think water is key to glowing skin. I believe glowing and hydrated skin is the perfect canvas for makeup application.
What were some of your first memories of beauty growing up? What are some early beauty influences?
My first memories of beauty growing up are definitely watching my mom. Whether it was her giving herself a mani and pedi or standing in the bathroom and watching her apply her makeup. She always and still wears a black eyeliner. She has also always been really big on moisturizing her body. Every morning her ritual included a shower and moisturizing herself fully with either cocoa butter or shea butter. Then she applied a splash of her favorite perfume. She also had every hairstyle you can possibly think of. Short (think Toni Braxton), long locs, natural, and relaxed. She inspired me to not be afraid to make drastic changes to my hair.
What does self-care look like in your life?
I’ve had to learn to make self-care a priority. I tend to work non-stop which eventually leads to burnout. I now take intentional time to do nothing. It has made a big difference. Daily I try to be the first person up in the morning. This allows me to have a quiet time for meditating, journaling or simply to drink hot tea. I also have a 5-step skincare routine I HAVE to do every morning. At 10pm every night, I turn my phone on Do Not Disturb. I’ve actively worked to put my phone away but I’m going to be honest, I usually end up scrolling IG. I also have a bath ritual that I do often. It was during this ritual that I had the idea to start Sensual Candle Co. I run a bath, light a candle, and turn on a playlist. I turn off the lights and relax in the bath for about an hour. It’s amazing. I try to put my phone away as well.
What inspires you most about the beauty landscape and the industry today?
Inclusivity and variety. I am inspired by all the brands that are niche or focused on a specific beauty need. If you have acne, there’s skincare and makeup brands for you. If you are vegan, there are brands for you. If you have issues with hyperpigmentation — there’s skincare for that. It’s amazing to see.
What has been the biggest challenge in starting your business?
Mindset. When starting a business there’s a mindset shift that has to happen to push through the day-today. You hear a lot of no’s. Sometimes things go really wrong but you have to keep going. I found joining business Facebook groups and reaching out to other business owners helps a lot. That way you have people who can relate to your experiences and offer insight.
What has been the biggest win thus far?
Our collaboration with OLEHENRIKSEN. We worked with them to develop a custom candle for this fall campaign. It was such a fun project and so many people discovered our brand from the collaboration. It also gave us the confidence to pursue larger opportunities. It confirmed our brand was connecting and people understood our mission.
What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry when it comes to diversity and inclusivity?
We’d like to see a concentrated effort to make up for the lack of diversity in the past by allocating additional funds and opportunities to those that have historically been excluded from funds and opportunities. The acceptance and inclusion of all people no matter race, gender, identity or economic class.