Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Spreading festive warmth

Ratna Khurana makes candles alongwith her sister. I met Ratna at her house, where she was busy sorting out candles and packing them in gift boxes.
Following is the article I wrote on her.


Immersed in work, Ratna Khurana busily gift-wraps the handcrafted assorted candles so that they reach her clients just in time for Diwali. Adept at candle making, Ratna has been exploring this art for more than a decade now, but it’s been just a year that she’s set
up shop.
Talking about her enterprise Candle N Beyond, which she started along with her sister Yogita Lal, Ratna says, “It’s just been one year since we got into the business. But, we have been making candles for 12 years now. I did a basic candle-making course, in
which I learnt how to heat and colour the wax.”
But what kept the duo going was their energy to explore and their passion to create exotic candles. Quips Ratna, “I was always inclined towards the art of candle making because candles are universally associated with festivities, serenity and worship. They
create a special warmth and ambience! And, of course they are affordable!”
What you appreciate most when you see their candles is the flawless finish.
It requires a lot of practice and passion to create each candle. But more importantly, what makes a beautifully-finished candle is the quality of the mould, wax and wick. And of course, we also have a few trade secrets for the mix and techniques of our candles,”
says Ratna with a smile.
Both the sisters are working hard to make their venture successful. But more precisely, Yogita is working as the creative head. “Yogita comes up with the design and then we execute the design, the mould and finally the candles. Designing, moulding and execution takes a lot of time.”
Candle N Beyond’s first products were fl oating candles, which Ratna says, take about 30 minutes to make. The big terracotta pots take up to 10 days. The prices also vary accordingly. Small floaters are available at Rs 10, while terracotta pots are sold for
Rs 2,500.
For festivals like Diwali, we have to prepare much in advance. It takes almost
eight months to get the special and unique candles ready,” adds Ratna.
This year, they are planning to introduce tealight candle holders, which are very much in vogue.
Candles are mostly associated with festivals like Diwali and Christmas, but they are getting increasingly popular.
We are seeing a big change in the demand. Candles are now being considered perfect gifts for weddings, anniversaries, housewarmings and birthdays. Also, a major chunk of our orders comes from clients who specialise in home décor, spas and hotels,”
says Ratna.
Another reason for its growth is that candles can be customised as per the client’s budget.
We get a lot of unique requests like ‘Ganesha’, which is not a candle but aromatic wax. It’s my favourite,” she says while flashing an infectious smile.
To brighten your home and order some festive candles this Diwali, call Ratna on 9665590909.

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