Please introduce yourself and your business to our community.
My name is Maiya Eldridge and I am the proud creator of Mudii Candles. Mudii stands for misunderstood individual and was a name I created for myself when I was only 12. I was born in NY, spent my youth in GA, and my teenage years in NC, and now I am exploring my adulthood in CA. With a ubiquitous influence of the places I’ve lived, I also found myself very lost in my understanding of self and went through life always feeling a bit misunderstood. What my journey had taught me was that I was not being misunderstood by others, but I misunderstood myself, and more than that I didn’t fully respect myself. Mudii represents my self-love story and candles represent hope, persistence and comfort. Mudii’s purpose is to bring together like-minded individuals who are actively on this journey of self-awareness and self-love.
At what point in your life did you realize your passion?
I’ve always had a passion for candles. I love the look, the feeling they give me, the crackle (for wooden wicks), and I burn them until there is absolutely nothing left. They bring me so much comfort and after losing my eldest brother in 2018, I found myself burning them more than ever.
What did you learn about yourself in 2020?
The number one thing I gained in 2020 was confidence. I wore almost no makeup and did my first big chop! I learned to love the face, hair, body, heart, and mind God gave me. Before 2020 I dressed for my insecurities, and now I’ve learned to love them.
What do you attribute to your success in life and business?
Successful is not a word I use to describe myself at this point in life, but there are many things I know I will be able to attribute to my future successes. I am grateful to be able to pursue an education that has increased my confidence. I am blessed to have friends and family around me that are entrepreneurs and motivate me to push forward.
It is important for us to nurture a community of black women that share, learn, and thrive together. Please share a story of failure that taught you a valuable lesson.
I made the mistake of assuming my inventory was stock and allowed items to sell on my site. I then realized that I was out of wicks. I had other wicks, but they didn’t always provide a consistent burn. I had a decision to make, do I use the other wicks or prolong the shipping. I chose to use the wicks on hand and the customer was later informed of the problem. Not only was I embarrassed (even though I knew the potential), but I learned a valuable lesson to regularly check inventory, and to also choose quality over speed.
Please let us know the woman you were 5 years ago and who you’re becoming?
Well 5 years ago I was only 19 years, so I wouldn’t say I was a woman at all. I was a child, who was lost, insecure, and didn’t have proper boundaries set for herself. Now I am becoming a confident, black woman that can communicate her feelings inwardly, outwardly, and spiritually.
What women in your life have been a source of inspiration?
My biggest inspiration has always been my mother. As a single mother, she moved from NY to GA on her own and worked her way up the corporate ladder. She has not only supported me but managed to help so many family members and close friends in need around us. She spent her life doing what she had to do and now she has left corporate America behind to do what she wants to do. She is the owner of Grown Greeks and I could not be more proud of all she has accomplished! She is the definition of strength.
Celebrate your wins! Brag, sis. What are you most proud of?
I am proud of being a college graduate on her way to completing her master’s in Marketing Analytics. I am even more proud to have built and own my own business that will continue to grow over the years.
Quoting Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Please share your self-care routine.
I have many! In the mornings I answer a series of questions that help me understand my mental state before starting a new day. For example, I determine whether or not feelings from yesterday are still on my mind today, as to not bring residual feelings into a new day. In terms of my activities, I love to have ME time! I take a hot shower, wash my hair, do a face mask, use the massager and just unwind. Another new thing, because I drive a lot, I listen to audiobooks and it’s extremely relaxing!
You are part of our melanin muse tribe. How can we help you on your journey?
Getting to be a part of melanin muse alone is an amazing opportunity and any exposure is a blessing! I only ask that those of us given this opportunity take the time to connect and help each other!