An artist's passion for luxury soy wax candles
If you haven't got a luxury soy wax candle by Kasbah Design in your home or office, you need to. The smell is absolutely devine and we love that each candle is completely natural. In our 'Getting to Know' blog series, where we learn more about the talented people behind our products, we put a few questions to the designer and owner of Kasbah Design.
When did you create Kasbah Design, and what inspired you to do so? The Kasbah Design brand was created in 2016, but the idea of having my own product range started a long time before that. I have always been a creative person and being a stay-at-home mum to three energetic kids was my full-time job for a while. During that time, I knew that re-entering the corporate world was definitely not for me and I wanted to do something a bit more creative with my life. In between school drop-offs and pick-ups, I completed an art diploma and I was able to further my interest in art and creativity. I started painting and then began selling my art, prints, cards and clay jewellery dishes at local markets.
My passion for making handcrafted products took a new turn at the beginning of 2016 when I became interested in candle making. I wanted to design my own unique candle fragrances that did not seem to be available elsewhere and give them away as gifts to friends and family. I soon became hooked on the whole process and things just took off from there. My candle products are now the main focus of my business.
Where does your interest in candle-making come from?
I’ve always been a huge candle lover but it was after reading an article on the dangers of burning traditional paraffin wax candles in your home that I started to investigate the natural soy wax alternative and that’s when I had a bit of a ‘eureka’ moment and thought I’d make some myself!
It’s important to me that the ingredients used in Kasbah's luxury soy wax candles are all completely natural and I take pride in the fact that every candle is carefully produced by hand in small batches in my home workshop and not mass produced.
Where do you get your scent inspiration from?
Once I had decided to turn my candle making hobby into a business venture, the next step was to decide on what fragrances I wanted to use. My friends and family would probably tell you that if there’s a party happening, you’ll find me behind the blender whipping up some sort of cocktail and so coming up with ideas for candle fragrances was not too hard - it had to be cocktails! I have since added a few more traditional scents as well as not everyone is as great a fan of cocktails as me!
What has been the highlight of your business journey so far?
The feedback I get from customers when they smell the candles is just amazing. There is nothing quite like it. It’s like they’re commenting on how cute your baby is! I love talking to people about the process and I think that is what makes being an artisan producer so special as people get to meet the actual person who is making the product. There has been a noticeable return recently towards purchasing products from small makers and creatives who are able to showcase their own products and I’ve found that a lot more people care about where products are made now, what they are made of and who makes them. I guess we have the media to thank for that and making big brands be a bit more transparent about where their products are made.
What has been the biggest learning curve?
I am still learning this one but I’ve realised that trying to do everything yourself is not the most productive use of your time. I’ve done it all from website design, accounting, packaging design, photography (the list goes on) and have spent hours doing things myself that would have taken an expert no time at all. In the long run it’s best to just leave some jobs to others and spend more time focusing on what your business is all about.
Describe a typical day in the Kasbah Design HQ?
A typical day always starts with coffee, breakfast and then driving my daughter to school. When I get home I try and exercise or take our dog for a walk, clear emails and get any orders ready that need to go out that day. Every day after that is different depending on what’s on the top of the ‘urgent list’. Some days I will spend the whole day making candles, other days updating the website, doing accounts, taking product photos, making deliveries, testing candles, making jewellery dishes, coming up with new product ideas. I have a home based workshop but I try and make sure the day time is dedicated to the business so I can spend evenings with my family - although this is pretty hard when you work two steps away!
What are your goals/aspirations for Kasbah Design?
My biggest goal for next year is to get a few more stockists on board selling my candle range. Twenty-eighteen will also see the addition of some more products to the Kasbah Design range including re-introducing my art prints.
Can you tell us any candle care and/or styling tips?
The two most important tips I can give you to extend the life of your candles are:
1. Trim the wick before each burn so the flame doesn’t become too large and cause the candle to smoke.
2. Let the candle burn long enough so the wax pool reaches the edge of the jar especially the first time you burn it. This will ensure that the candle burns evenly each time and doesn’t form a tunnel down the middle of the candle wasting wax.
3. To get the best scent throw out of your candle, you want the wax pool to be as large as it can be as this is where the scent comes from. The larger the diameter of a candle jar, the bigger the wax pool and therefore the greater the scent throw so different size candles suit different size rooms.
What is your favourite candle and why?
I’m not going to lie, I love them all! All 10 fragrances are so different that they can suit any particular mood I’m in, but if I had to choose just one, it would have to be where it all began - the Moscow Mule. This was the first scent I came up with as it’s my favourite all time cocktail and I wanted to try and replicate that in a candle scent.
Little Koha is all about giving and gratitude – who are you most grateful for and why?
My ever patient hubby, Rick. Honestly, he has had to put up with more hare-brained ideas than most and I am forever grateful to him for his continual support. He never complains, even when he comes home from work to find every room in our house taken over by products and market preparation when I’m getting ready for a big market!