Tuscaloosa County business owner burning candle at both ends to prepare for World Games

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, Ala, - A Tuscaloosa business owner got the news of a lifetime! Yolanda Knox was one business owner selected to be a vendor at the upcoming World Games.

We are 31 days away from the start of the World Games and Knox couldn’t be more pleased. The reason is Knox assumed she never had a chance. A letter dispelled that notion.

In a non-descript building in Alberta, Knox is the lighting the way with a dream, a personal wish that’s a month away from coming true.

“Honestly, I am still in shock. Again, I didn’t think I’d get chosen,” said Knox.

Knox’s two year old company, ArayaSunshine, will only be one of two vendors from Tuscaloosa County for the World Games.

“Mainly they were looking for small businesses and I know they were trying to keep most of the businesses from the south,” she said.

Confirmation came in early April with a letter, screaming congratulations from the World Games committee.

“First of all, let me say I am cry baby and trying not to cry now. It means everything to me,” she said.

ArayaSunshine is about as small a business as you can get. No store front for now, started in her home and Knox primarily depends on her right hand friend to help.

There’s an art to making candles, a little bit of science involved and a whole lotta love behind the effort.

“Candle-making really kind of fell in my lap and it was something I was interested in any way and did some research,” she said.

Knox is convinced exposure to the World Games will more than take ArayaSunshine to a new level..

“I really do expect a 50% increase,” Knox said.

And for Knox the fragrance of success is starting to smell like 31 days and counting.

“Never dreamed I would be in this position,” she said.

Although Knox doesn’t have a store front now, she will in the very near future in Moundville. The other business from Tuscaloosa County chosen by the World Games Committee is the Poppin Sisters Gourmet Popcorn.


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Bryan Henry

Bryan Henry

Bryan Henry joined the WBRC FOX6 News family in November 2021 and brings with him 35 years’ worth of television news experience as a reporter. He started his career at KNOE TV (Gray Television) in 1986 and worked in four other television markets in the southeast before settling in at WSFA Channel 12 in Montgomery, Alabama in the fall of 1995.