By Tara Goldstein

Local candle business ABT Collective decided to kick start a new venture with a candle pouring class geared toward fellow Laurel residents. 

“I try to do anything that’s people first,” owner Shaijra Brown, 39,  explained, “and I wanted to give the community something fun to do.”

The first class was held on March 9 in the Laurel Armory building.  Brown kicked off the class with some music and introductions. All of the materials for the 10-person class were laid out  along with snacks and refreshments.

Shaijra Brown, center, goes over the process of candle pouring during her first class in March.
Photo Credit: Tara Goldstein

Throughout the session, Brown provided explicit instructions and explained safety procedures while discussing  the candle-making process. She talked about the type of wax used to make the candles, and she made sure to keep everyone up to speed. 

Most of the guests found out about the event on Facebook, but Brown also went the extra mile by going door to door and leaving posters to make sure residents knew about the class. 

Jeanie Anastasi decided to sign up to have something fun to do. She and Julia Ruli, who signed up because of her love for candles, said they had a great time.

“After having a tough week of life, this experience made things so much better,” Laurel resident Sherri Dotson said after attending the class. 

Brown started making candles as a hobby after suffering a miscarriage in 2020. The process was therapeutic for her, she said, and in 2021, she turned it into a successful business. 

“I used candle making as my therapy because my world had stopped,” she said. 

Shaijra Brown poses with her candles at her first candle pouring event in March.
Photo Credit: Tara Goldstein

The first candle she made, which she named Baby Angel, was scented with baby powder. Brown has since expanded her brand and sells a variety of scents including fruity loops, wine cork, Irish cream coffee and strawberry pound cake. All of her products are made of soy wax, which she explained is better for one’s lungs and the environment. 

Brown created new scents that were exclusive for the class including cherry blossom, bamboo & coconut and sandalwood vanilla & lemon. Her products, including her premade candle tins, were available for sale at the class for a discount.

Brown is offering additional classes on May 11, June 15, July 13 and Aug. 10. For more information, go to