Candles have been used as a source of light and to illuminate celebrations for thousands of years. They are a multi-billion dollar industry, an industry expected to reach $5 billion by 2026, according to MarketWatch.
Homemade candles have become an essential home decor item. In past years, the commercial use of candles has seen a sharp increase, with spa and massage places using scented candles for soothing effects, and restaurants creating aromatic environments for customers.
Here in Botswana, Mandisa Letsididi, is also pursuing this lucrative market. She is the owner and creator of Candles&Candles Botswana. Candles&Candles is a creative small business located in Gaborone, Botswana. The company was founded in the year 2020.
Letsididi says they create beautifully hand poured scented and unscented container candles as well as hand crafted sculptural candles that are inspired by their love of art and aromatherapy. Their candles are designed to bring warmth and beauty to your home as each candle is individually hand poured to order using a natural soy wax blend.
They offer an array of aromatherapy products like scented container candles and are able to personalize their candle containers to clients specifications, which in return gives their products a personal effect.
According to Letsididi they recently introduced a range of sculptured candles, scented and unscented. She says they currently have the largest range of sculptured candles in Botswana with each candle individually hand poured into their unique molds as with the container candles.
Diffusers and wax melts are also part of their product bouquet. She adds that a combination of these two products in any home will leave your home smelling divine.
Letsididi says candle making is a very meticulous craft as a lot of precision and love goes into it. To make their candles and to ensure that their finished product is at par with international standards, they source their wax, fragrance and molds internationally.
To give us a glimpse of their work routine she tells this publication that a life in the day of a candle maker involves measuring of wax, melting, wicking of containers and molds, wax temperature checks, measuring of fragrance, mixing, more temperature checks and finally the individual hand pouring into containers and molds. “Each candle is poured with a lot of love and care then cured for a minimum of 2 weeks to ensure that our clients get to enjoy a pungent candle with a good scent,” she adds.
The owner of Candles&Candles says their products are for the average Motswana who loves a beautifully scented home, office or any personal space. Their sculptured candles are also made for décor purposes to add ambience to any space of your choice.
This company is mindful of the environment, and they have made it a point to make their products environmentally friendly. They have made a deliberate effort to only use natural soy wax to make their candles. The candles can therefore be used as often as possible without concern of toxic fumes to clients and their families.
This wax is derived from soybeans and, therefore, is made from vegetables (opposed to regular oil- or paraffin-based candles). The soy wax segment is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.5% from 2019 to 2025, according to Grand View Research. Not only are soy candles made from a renewable resource, they also burn cleanly and for longer. That way, customers get more value for their money when it comes to getting a longer-lasting candle.
Letsididi highlights that the response and feedback from clients who have purchased their products has been overwhelming. “The response has been great and Batswana have been receptive of our range of products. They particularly love the smooth finish of our candles and the amazing fragrance of the candles, diffusers and wax melts,” she notes.
She says every single purchase is a big deal for a small business, and that they are truly grateful for the support.
The Candles&Candles founder says there are challenges emanating from the fact that they are competing with already established brands carried by different retailers, however they are confident that #PushaBW will continue to help them break barriers and penetrate the market.
Mandisa believes the government has certainly started to open up doors of opportunities for small businesses in Botswana to rise. She says the honors are now on them as small businesses to rise up and take their rightful space in the market.
To make an order you can contact them on +267 71862131 or follow their instagram page: candles_botswana.