Erikka Gray

Name & role within the business:

Erikka Gray, Owner

Name of business:

District 78 LLC


Retail and Candle Manufacturing Industry

Brief description of the goods/services you provide:

Scented candles, wax melts, fragrance sprays, and private label candle manufacturing

Location & markets you serve:

Nationwide, retail and wholesale markets

Any notable achievements you are proud of (both personal & business):

Selected by Art Waves to create a custom scent for the Power of HER campaign.  One of 4 owners of PAUSE – an alternative holistic space that opened February 2021.  Selected as one of 6 Fellows to represent Cincinnati for Black Girls Venture 2021 community impact cohort.  Proud to support Girls Health Period, a non profit dedicated to reducing absenteeism among girls due to their menstrual cycle.

Is this your full-time job currently? If not, describe your current job and any tips/tricks on how you balance both:

Yes, this is my full-time job. I left my job with Synchrony Financial in 2019.

What drives your passion for this business?

I love to explore and push the boundaries of scent.  The human connection between scent memory/storytelling is fascinating to me.  Scent connects us to so many fond memories and really can set the mood for self-care and relaxation.  I also enjoy working with brands to create their own scent identity.

Favorite small/local business you frequent:

Black Coffee, Sugar 513, Cream and Sugar Coffee House, Conscious Kitchen, PAUSE

What are you most hoping to take away from this program?

Get a better understanding of distribution, and what it means to have products on their shelves.  Understanding food and beverage trends and marketing trends.  I would like to get more information on how to properly sell custom scents that I create.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I’m passionate and eager to learn from the best.  My passion for candles is much deeper than the end products.  My goal is to learn how to use scent to provide new experiences and help improve the mood of clients and companies.

The Kroger Family of Companies