Ivory selling candles at event
Grant Recipient

June 19, 2024

May 2024 Amber Grant Awarded to Ivory Raine Candle Co.

Ivory Raine Candle Co.

Woman Entrepreneur:
Ivory Carthen

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We’re excited to announce the May $10,000 Amber Amber Grant recipient. Congratulations to Ivory Carthen, Owner of Ivory Raine Candle Co.. She is the sixth qualifier for the 2024 year-end Amber Grant ($25,000).

Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Jama Hernandez sat down with Ivory for an exclusive interview. You can listen to their conversation and view the transcript below.

Video Transcript

WomensNet: Hi everyone, my name is Jama with the WomensNet Advisory Board. We’re going to talk to Ivory today; she is our May, 2024 Amber Grant winner.

So Ivory, we are so excited. Congratulations on winning the grant. Maybe can you tell us a little bit about Ivory Raine Candle Company.

Ivory: Ivory Raine Candle Company is a faith-based candle company that was created to uplift and encourage those all over the world with biblical scriptures. So each candle comes with a unique scripture, just something to uplift you… all of our products are chemical free so you don’t have to worry about getting a headache or your allergies flaring up. So that is who we are.

WomensNet: Awesome. And so what or who inspired the development of your business?

Ivory: Just my faith in God and wanted to share the word with others and uplift and encourage others as well, just like I am being uplifted and encouraged.

The ‘what’ is wanting to create something chemical free. A lot of people are not aware that some candles come with a lot of toxins, a lot of chemicals. And people sometimes wonder, ‘why do I have a headache every time I burn this candle?’ And it’s because all of those toxins are in those candles.

So that’s what inspired me.

WomensNet: You’re absolutely right. Because some of the candles that we buy at even some of these big chain stores…they’re beautiful. We buy ’em for a reason. They smell amazing. But we’re not knowing that the chemicals inside them are really not good for us or even our children or our pets.

If the candle says it’s for wellness and relaxation, well it just caused a headache….

And so you are in a space where, like I mentioned, there are other candle companies, right? There’s the big chains and other people doing candles. What makes Ivory Raine Candle Company unique — what strategies have you used to help others know that it’s so unique?

Ivory: I have three effective strategies: I run Facebook ads, I been at markets and I utilize SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimization.

With Facebook, I run three ads. So the first ad is to make people aware of who I am, and the second one is me targeting those who have interacted with my content as well as my website. And then the third one is me targeting those who have added products to cart but have not made a purchase yet. So I am constantly always in people’s face every time they get on social media.

And the second one is vending at markets; it’s just more personable. I get to learn who my customers are, what they like, what they dislike, and it’s just putting myself out there as well as I can network with other businesses at the markets.

And then the third one for SEO, that’s just bringing organic traffic to my website through the search engine using keywords. So keywords like room spray or WoodWick candle… using those, always bring attention to my business. ‘Cause I always realize I get a lot of traffic by Google when I look at my orders. So those effective strategies have been great for me.

WomensNet: That’s pretty amazing that you were able to pinpoint three effective ways to help draw clients. And I love that you go to the vendor events too. I know that this is probably a lot of hard work…you can’t do that from home or from an office. But I’m sure that once people get your products in their hands and they start using ’em and they’re burning them and realizing that they’re amazing… they’ll become repeat customers.

And I love that you’re even tracking people that interact with your content, or place items in carts but haven’t made a purchase. So really you’re paying attention to all of the different processes… but that’s not easy to learn. And so what helped you to kind of understand all this?

Ivory: I actually took a class by another business owner… and she basically gave me the ropes on how to do it [Facebook/SEO] effectively.

WomensNet: And how amazing too that you leaned in on somebody else and said, ‘okay, I’m a skilled candle maker… I’m skilled at making really good scents and making a really beautiful product, but I need some help here.’ And you leaned into that and what a return on investment that’s been on you. That’s amazing.

And how can women in our WomenNet network show support for your business? Where can they find you? Where can they connect with you?

Ivory: Yes. My website is ivoryraine.com. My social media is IvoryRaineCandleCo. And you’ll be able to support me through those channels.

WomensNet: Wonderful. And it’s I-V-O-R-Y and then Raine is R-A-I-N-E. So wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about your business. Congratulations on your award. We can’t wait to see how this award is gonna propel your business forward, and I look forward to connecting back with you at the end of the year.

Ivory: Thank you so much.

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Nerd Wallet

“Every month, WomensNet awards three $10,000 Amber Grants to women-owned businesses. At the end of each year, monthly grant winners are eligible to receive one of three $25,000 annual grants.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant offers three $10,000 grants to women-owned businesses each month. Then, at the end of each year, WomensNet gives an additional $25,000 to three grant winners from that year.”

Essence Magazine

“This organization offers monthly grants of up to $10,000 to support female entrepreneurs starting businesses. Those who qualify for these grants are also in the running for a yearly $25,000 grant.”