Jackie Aina continues to expand her entrepreneurial efforts and show the world her power as a Black woman in business. The latest example of that came with the unveiling of a new addition to her growing self-care line Thursday Night in West Hollywood, California.

The content creator and FORVR Mood co-founder partnered with Crown Royal to create an exclusive blackberry-scented candle called “Berry On Top.” The delicious scent is tied to its name, releasing notes of blackberry, whisky accord and vanilla. The candle pairs with Crown Royal’s new blackberry-flavored whisky, which is currently in stores. 

To kick off the summer, Aina and Crown Royal transformed the venue into a lemonade stand—but with a twist. The Crown Royal Blackberry stand offered an assortment of signature handcrafted cocktails infused with the new whisky. Aina had shelves of “Berry On Top” candles placed across the walls as attendees captured the celebratory moment on their phones or at the photo booth.

A Growing Self-Care Empire

Aina’s latest collaboration makes “Berry On Top” the 13th candle in her brand’s collection since its launch four years ago. Despite beauty being what the influencer is known for, she stepped into the world of self-care with FORVR Mood.

FORVR Mood launched in 2020 during an unprecedented year of a worldwide health crisis, racial tensions and grief. In a recent interview with 21Ninety, Aina admitted that it was unintentional for her to release a self-care brand at the time. Amid social unrest, FORVR Mood provided a lane for people to prioritize their well-being.

“Because things were kind of paused in the beauty space, ‘I was like, I’ll just try this,'” she said. “We did, and it took off in a way we were not expecting, so we had to completely restructure. We said, ‘Okay, this is not a passion project.’ This is a lot bigger than that.”

However, the influencer revealed that starting a fragrance brand had been a brewing idea since 2017. While others are drawn to the delicious scents of fragrances, the beauty influencer shared that it’s much deeper than that.

“For me, the language and the storytelling behind why I wanted to do this right only made sense to talk about it under the guise of self-care,” she said.

FORVR Mood has since expanded from candles to perfumes. In April, Aina announced her latest collection of four fragrances: “You Remind Me,” “NDA,” “I Am Her” and “Hard To Get.” The perfume bottles each have their signature fruity blend with the packaging resembling diamonds. Since expanding FORVR Mood, Aina has embraced the feedback she has received from supporters – good and bad.

Black Women and Much Needed Funding

As a content creator who previously reviewed products, she understands the value of establishing a solid community in the beauty industry. Now as a business owner, she said she appreciates the grace from her supporters.

“My community is still kicking strong,” she said. “When we have a misstep, or maybe we missed the mark on a launch, there are still going to be people that are going to be like ‘Hey, we still love you. But here’s how you could do this differently…Here’s what I would love to see from the brand going forward.’ And so that’s what I’m hopeful for.” 

Aina’s self-care brand makes her a part of the fastest-growing percentage of Black women entrepreneurs in the United States. Finance company J.P. Morgan reported that Black women business owners increased 50% from 2014 to 2019. However, being a Black female entrepreneur comes with its own challenges.

Aina mentioned facing setbacks in securing funding, support and retail partnerships. Her roadblocks are familiar experiences for other Black women entrepreneurs. According to the National Urban League, Black women business owners who apply for funding are rejected at three times the rate of their white counterparts.

The Fearless Fund is a venture capital firm that provides funding for businesses led by women of color. As part of its foundation, the Fearless Strivers grant contest gives $20,000 grants to Black female business owners. Last week, the grant program found itself in a lawsuit where a conservative group claimed the program is discriminatory because only Black women were eligible to receive the grant.

Resources like The Fearless Fund or Black Girl Ventures are essential for Black female entrepreneurs who struggle to secure funding for their businesses. Aina’s firsthand experience with these challenges led her to partner with the Black Girl Ventures Foundation. Crow Royal’s continued partnership with the foundation includes additional financial support to Black female businesses with a donation of $50,000 to Black Girls Ventures.