NORFOLK, Va. - For more than a decade, Brandon Brinkley worked in New York City, outfitting celebrities, participating in Fashion Week and working on Broadway and in film.
"I was working my last Fashion Week; that's when COVID hit," said Brinkley.
He spent half his time in New York and half in Norfolk prior to March of last year.
"With the industry shut down, all the TV work, all the film work - my day-to-day job was gone," he said.
So, he came back to Norfolk. Always creative, he decided, like so many others, to pivot his passions.
"I had been making candles on and off for about two years," said Brinkley.
He turned his love for scents, crafting and spreading love and light into a full-time job. Norfolk Candle was born.
The names of candles are fun, the messages stamped on them even more illuminating.
"When you smell a candle, where does it take you, and what are your intentions behind the candle?" he said.
The hand-poured soy, toxin-free glimmers in a jar took off at farmers markets and pop-up shops.
"I have made thousands of candles now in about six months' time," he said.
Now with the sale of each jar, he's giving back to several charities in the area.
"People need hope right now," he said. "Candles bring the light and the warmth to their lives."