Creative extraordinaire Danielle Green is founder and CEO of Passport 7, a line of luxury handmade eco-friendly candles and home accessories. Founded in 2011, Danielle turned a hobby of traveling and creating into a unique empire. We sat down with Danielle to talk about her growing business and her love for all things décor and traveling.
Tell me the inspiration behind Passport 7:
Passport 7 originally started as a hobby in 2011. I’d been interning at the federal government and just relocated from Philadelphia to Baltimore and was feeling a little bored. I’ve always been into home decor and combined that with my love of travel and Passport 7 was born. I started off with making jewelry and candles. I wanted to make something for those less fortunate; for the person who couldn’t travel and figured creating a candle that was inspired from an another location in the world would inspire them to one day travel there.
You’ve mentioned the places you’ve traveled have inspired you. Which trip was your favorite?
My favorite trip would have to be when I went to Egypt. My grandparents had promised me a trip to anywhere in the world after graduation if my grades were good. I held my end of the bargain and they sent me. It literally changed my life. I met so many different people and had an amazing experience.
You carry a wide variety of candles. What are your favorites?
My favorites right now would be New York Fifth Avenue, from our latest collection: New York Classic. The Fifth Avenue candle has a luxurious, very feminine feel and smell. I also love Big Ben from our Seven Wonders signature collection. Big Ben has a masculine and bold scent.
Home decor is something that you’re also very passionate about. What are three ways someone could breathe life into a room?
- Add color. Painting and adding textures to walls or even accessorizing with picture frames can make a big difference in a room.
- Add a personalized/customized touch. Represent yourself. Something that’s a clear representation of you. Whether it’s your favorite color you use to decorate or something else, something should speak to you.
- Centerpiece. A centerpiece doesn’t necessarily mean like an actual centerpiece on a coffee table. It could be a favorite book or fresh flowers, my personal favorite. Pick a center focus for a space.
What would you say is your favorite piece in your home?
I have a picture that my great aunt made me. It’s of an African-American woman and her outfit was made to look like the material used in a lot of African clothes (Ankara fabric). My great aunt had gotten material to create the picture from things like thrown away sofas and forgotten about items at flea markets and she made this beautiful piece of art. When she passed away it was the only thing I had of her and it hangs in my bedroom. It’s my favorite piece of art.
Any upcoming projects in the works?
The Wanderlust Project is a culture enrichment program for underprivileged young adults that focuses on financial literacy, passport information etc. We want to expose them to different parts of the world. We also want to start a program for preschool age enrichment program. We want to be able to eventually fund this program with monies from Passport 7.
What would you tell someone who’s trying to turn a hobby into a business?
I would tell them to have a clear understanding of what your direction you want to go in and be committed to your vision. Many people won’t understand your journey and that’s OK because you do.