After moving from Jamaica to Toronto at a young age, Joan developed an avid thirst for creativity combined with rich idealism. Her kickoff to a promising career started by dressing windows of high-end fashion stores located in the downtown core, further honing her eye for flair. In her free time, Joan began building her portfolio as a fashion innovator and went on to work with many prominent influencers within the fashion and media industry, as a lead costume designer for television and cinema for over a decade.
Now living in Berlin, Joan’s expertise in home decor, unique sense of style, and entrepreneurship has led her to create her very own line of candles. Read more about what has inspired her to take on the aromatic accessory into her own hands.
What inspired you to create JC Candles?
My husband was the inspiration that started JC Candles. He loves candles and uses them frequently when he wants to relax while reading, listening to classical music, or having coffee on the weekend. When I realized that he wasn’t burning the candle that I gave him, I asked him why and he told me that he didn’t enjoy the scent.
This began my mad obsession with learning what was in that specific candle and how I can make my own. This research fueled my creative passion, I traveled to France and England to learn as much as I could about fragrances and the art of making candles and this obsession gave birth to JC Candles.
What is the biggest roadblock you’ve faced professionally?
Not knowing how to start a product business, as well as finding the right people and resources I needed to get started. I am a very creative person, that’s what I do best. It was all the other stuff that I didn’t know and that left me feeling challenged. I knew that I had a tough road ahead of me, but I was up for the challenge.
How did you overcome it?
I met a mutual friend that visited Berlin from my hometown of Toronto, Canada. She’s a businesswoman who became a friend and mentor. She connected me with a designer who grew up and studied design in Germany – and is now living in Toronto. My brand, website and marketing were created by these amazing collaborators.
I’m still growing my circle of influences and they continue to support me on my journey. In fact, I attend a weekly momentum conference call with other business owners where we each share our goals, achievements and find ways that we can be of support to each other. Sometimes being an entrepreneur can feel isolating, so having a network of like-minded people is very helpful.
I gained the courage I needed to just be unapologetic about being me.
Who inspires you the most?
I am inspired by the fearless boss women that are in my life who have jumped off the cliff and built their wings on the way down. This inspires me so much as it keeps me moving forward. It’s amazing to have people in your life that not only inspire you but are also your biggest cheerleader. It feels amazing to help others and see them achieve their goals.
What would you change about Berlin?
Coming from a Canadian background, I am used to people being much more friendly and courteous. We tend to have a please and thank-you mentality which I don’t run across often here. If I could change this somehow, I would.
What events or projects are you excited about in the next year?
I’m very excited about launching my YouTube Channel – “Joan Clayton Living” where I will be sharing different lifestyle content on Living your Best, Showing Your Best and Being your Best. Look out for my first video in the new year!
I’m also expanding my product line. I have already begun working on new and exciting products as well as collaborating with other brands. Last but not least, I’m travelling again soon to feed my creativity and share it with the world.
Looking for a holiday gift or want to follow along with what Joan’s up to next? Keep up with her and her brand here: