Zakia Gates, creator and founder of Zakia's Zen Garden must be the first of her kind - a Reiki candle designer. She designs candles for her clients and then reiki's them for peace, love, abundance, or whatever emotion or energy that the client requests. Now that's an ingenious idea ready to explode. Not only is she a trend setter, entrepreneur, mother, and healer, but she is also my sister. Awwwwww..........squish...... squish.........
Enjoy our conversation.
NK: Could you tell our readers a bit about your candle business? And what inspired you to start a business making candles?
ZG: Well I have always adored the scent of candles whether they were paraffin candles or natural candles since I was little. I think that a candle is the most elegant piece of artwork that the Universe created. I was inspired to start a business making candles when I came across a candle making class in 2004. The class consisted of using gel candle wax and how to use all kinds of cool artifacts in the gel candles. However, after doing some extensive research about candles I came across the dangers of burning these gel candles and how much damage they can cause to our environment. So a few years later, I came across another candle making class, only in this case it was a class making soy candles instead of the harmful gel or paraffin candles. After I took the class and created both of my soy candles I knew then I could carry this a long way. So I decided to start my own soy candle business straight from my home in October 2008.
NK: How did you first discover Reiki? What has Reiki done for your life?
ZG: I first discovered Reiki when I visited you in Los Angeles, California in 2003 when you set up an appointment for me with your friend Jodi, who was a certified Reiki practitioner. Jodi took the time to explain Reiki to me and how it is used on the body. When Jodi conducted that session for me it made me feel so relaxed and it helped me to look at the world and myself in a whole different aspect and perspective. It did not occur to me that someone could actually teach you to be a Reiki practitioner until I came across my community newspaper which advertised a class in order to be a certified Reiki practitioner. I was so excited that I immediately signed up for the class. I took six intense sessions of the class and received all of my attunements on during the 5th and 6th sessions. From there, I also received my certificate as a Level One Reiki practitioner in 2005. Reiki has changed my life and the life of my daughter for the best. It has allowed me to feel more positive about all things in life as well as prompt me feel more confident about myself.
NK: You also dabble in raw foods? What prompted you to dabble in raw foods? Your daughter Ayanna is also loving raw foods? Do you find that strange how she has embraced it. Its nice to see kids who love eating kale because she loves kale salads?
ZG:I began to dabble a bit in raw foods in April of 2009 when I attended a Raw Food Potluck at a friend’s house. The raw food life style along with the attunements from my Reiki certification gives me and my daughter so much more energy in our bodies and in our spirits. I am able to think clearly and speak more effectively. It is great. As far as my daughter is concerned, she also enjoys the raw life style. As her mother, I did not find it strange that she embraced it so quickly because our children only mock what we do. We are their mirrors. They only do what we do.
NK: What is the vision for your company, for your business, for your life?
ZG: I have a clear vision of expanding my business and opening a spa here in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Beverly Hills, CA. That is my ultimate vision.
NK: What is the process for making candles? Why do you prefer to use soy as opposed to parrafin candles? What's the difference?
ZG: I prefer soy candles over paraffin candles because of the many benefits that soy has to offer. First, soy candles have an even burn. I don’t know when was the last time you burned a paraffin candle in its container, but the paraffin candles burn unevenly. Also, paraffin candles give off an awful soot and chemical in the air which is harmful and hazardous to one’s health. Therefore, when you burn this candle, there are always clumps and lumps of wax that surrounds your container. Remember when I mentioned that a candle is the most elegant form of craftsmanship from the Universe, well using the paraffin wax for a candle just takes all of that elegance away.
NK: What are your challenges right now for making candles and for running a business?
ZG: Some of the challenges right now for me are trying to keep up with all of the orders that I get from my clients, but I love it. Another challenge that I have is trying to find ways to get people to take a soy candle making class. That can be hard, but I know that I will find a way. I love to teach and train people.
NK: Can you break down the science of Reiki for our readers? What exactly is it? How does it work?
ZG: Reiki is a Japanese form of energy work which requires a skillful trained certified Reiki practitioner to help heal the weakening ailments of the body which can be triggered by any past emotional or traumatic experiences. Keep in mind that my clients are informed to consult with their PCP before and after a full body Reiki treatment because I am not a doctor. First, I ask the client about what things they want to change, or why do they want a Reiki treatment. Therefore, basically, I sit in a very still meditative state and I say a prayer to the Universe to help guide me through the Reiki treatment. I then use my hands to go over the whole body. During a Reiki treatment, I normally don’t touch the body. However, there are some times when I have to get a deeper reading of the body’s chakras. I also use Reiki in my holistic products.
Some of the things on my plate right now are trying to market my business, how to turn my investment of the business into millions.
NK: What are your favorite foods?
ZG: My favorite foods fruits, raw kale salad, slices of cucumbers, (I eat them like cookies), oatmeal, raw bbq mushrooms, veggie cakes, and anything that your book has to offer. (ha ha)
NK: Do you do anything else that is creative? If so, what?
ZG: Some of the other creative things that I do are writing, spiritual counseling (on my website), playing the drums and I dabble a bit on the keyboards with my daughter. I wrote a very powerful article on by blog about Orgasmic Spirituality.
NK: Anything else you want to share with our readers, please do so.
ZG: Yes, there is one thing that I would love to share with your readers. If you are thinking about starting your own business and you are worried about the money for the investment, don’t think about the money at this time. Just be like the Nike commercials and “Just Do It.” The Universe will give you all of the financial resources and opportunities that you will need to start the business. Just listen and look for the signs. Peace and blessings.
For more information about Zakia and her company you can visit her websites or send her an email: