When Florida A&M theater performance major Kyonna Floyd first stepped on campus, she thought her only challenge would be maintaining her GPA. She got a rude awakening when she found herself fighting anxiety and depression during her sophomore year. Her dream of an easy transition into adulthood had turned into a horrific nightmare.
With these feelings taking a toll on her, she turned to God for a solution. He answered her prayers with Zylah’s Aromatherapy, her relatively new business venture.
On a random Yankee Candle shopping spree, the Miami native found what would ultimately save her life and academic career. She eventually established a routine to ease her mind and lift her out of the darkness she found herself sinking in.
She enjoyed the feelings that candles gave her so much that she started her own business.
“I would light my favorite candle, read a book, paint something beautiful. I unlocked the key to my form of self care. So I thought why not do the research and share that,” she said.
Floyd uses organic soy wax along with a blend of essential oils to create her candles. She researches the purpose behind every candle she creates and aims to make every ingredient heal whatever pain her customers feel.
“Aromatherapy is truly the ministry I’m trying to fulfill. After I figure out what healing I want to promote, I order the essential oils needed. I make sure I pray before even starting the actual process to ensure my process is pure and intentional. The process of making an actual candle is actually very therapeutic,” she said.
Her final step involves choosing a color for each candle, which she says is the most difficult.
“The hardest part for me in this entire process is picking a dye. I truly believe colors have a huge impact on your mood and I want to make sure that I choose colors that support each candle’s purpose,” she said.
As it may be known, being a college student is difficult. Balancing school, work, extracurricular activities and your personal life while trying to stay sane is a feat that not many can say they have accomplished. Add running a business to the mix and it would be the end for many students.
Like any student does, Floyd struggles with balancing being a college student and having a business.
“I think the hardest part for me is consistency. Being a theater major is such a beautiful experience. We get so invested in our art that we tend to be in rehearsal for long periods of time,” she said. “On top of classes and personal obligations, it can be tricky.”
However, she handles it with ease, thanks to the people around her, and most importantly, the powers from above.
“Thankfully, I’m surrounded by people that want nothing but the best for me. If I’m being completely honest, God is what helps me balance everything. He strategically placed individuals in my life that I need,” Floyd said.
Floyd has touched the hearts of many, including her mother, Shanteria Griglen. She is proud of her daughter’s transformation into a businesswoman.
“To watch Kyonna push past her fears, insecurities and anxiety is both heartbreaking and heartwarming being that she has turned her challenges into triumphs. She is a walking testimony of God’s grace and favor,” Griglen said.
One of Floyd’s best friends, Cassandra Jean, has been present every step of her journey. She is inspired by Floyd’s resilience and fight to overcome her personal battles.
“Since I’ve met Ky she’s been struggling with depression and anxiety. Lately she’s been in a better space and I’m super proud of her. Her business is going to go far not only because most people love candles, but because of the meaning behind it,” Jean said.
Her other best friend, Treyon Sargent is also impressed with Floyd’s mission to heal others.
“I think it’s inspiring and a good form of safe practical healing for lost souls,” Sargent said.
Business owners and entrepreneurs normally strive to aim their products to a certain demographic in order to get the most sales. Floyd has no desire to target just one specific crowd. She believes her candles are here to help all.
“I want my product to reach whoever God wants it to reach. This is a ministry to me. I truly want to heal people with my product in any way I can. This is honestly God’s work, I’m nothing but a vessel,” Floyd said.
Though most entrepreneurs are in business mainly seeking monetary gain, Floyd says she gets simple joy from being able to help others obtain the feeling she does every time she lights a candle.
“I want a percentage of the profit to go to organizations that promote healing. The simple thought of someone possibly going through what I’ve been through breaks my heart,” Floyd said. “If a simple lavender candle can help you get your mind right, I want to share that. My form of support.”
As she continues to share the power of candles, Floyd sees a bright, pure future for her business. She’s going to continue to spark a change and is forever grateful to the candle that guided her out of the darkness and into the light.