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An interview with College Forward alum and small business owner Funmi Agboola

The students enrolled in College Forward’s (now College Possible Texas) never cease to amaze us with their talent and ingenuity. This definitely rings true for student alum turned small business owner Funmi Agboola. Funmi is the proud owner of CandleLux, a line of mood candles. Born and raised in Nigeria, Funmi and her family moved to Texas when she was 11. When it was time to choose colleges, she decided to remain close to her hometown Round Rock, Texas, and attend The University of Texas at San Antonio as a Marketing major.

In this Q&A with Funmi, we dive into the ins and outs of small business ownership and her goals for CandleLux.


Q: Tell us about your business, CandleLux.

CandleLux is a line of premium mood candles. Each candle is inspired by a mood or a feeling. I created CandleLux because I want people to feel good about themselves and that’s why I called our first collection, “The Confidence Collection.” People can learn more about CandleLux on our instagram @candleluxcompany.


Q: What inspired you to start a small business?

I started a business because I love to create. I think creating a business takes creativity and inspiration. I knew I wanted things to change in my life so I prayed and I was inspired. I also wanted to create a lane for women like me, something they can relate with and enjoy.

Q: Can you share some unexpected challenges you face as a business founder?

I had to change my hosting platform when I first started out. Three weeks after I launched my site started having problems. It was a very stressful time. But I learned a lot of things from the experience. I will say, being on Etsy was stressful for me and I do not recommend it to other handmade business owners.


Q: What advise would you give young entrepreneurs? 

If I was to give any advice to young entrepreneurs, I would say don’t tell a lot of people about your business until your product is ready. Sometimes you just have to keep things to yourself and people who are even closest to you can discourage you with their opinions. Build your idea, work on your product, and keep it as private as possible. To sum things up I want to add this quote by Charlie Brower “A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.”


Q: What’s next for CandleLux?

I really want to grow my business as much as possible and build a solid customer base. I want CandleLux to become a solid source of income for me. I also really want to help other women like me be able to achieve their dreams, whatever they may be even if its not business-related.

Q: What entrepreneurs do you most admire? Do you pull any business strategies from them?

I would say my all-time favorite entrepreneurs are Beyonce and Rihanna. I appreciate the creative and innovative approach they have in the business world. And that is the impact I want to have as well.


Q: How has your experience earning a degree in business affected how you manage your business?

I think the things I’ve picked up as a business major, as far as professionalism and things of that nature, have helped me a lot. I think also interacting with peers has been a huge help. I also did some research on my own and I naturally gravitate to marketing. Because of this, a lot of things came to me naturally. But what has helped me the most is being open-minded and willing to learn.

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