Cahaya Candles launched to trade at Life Instyle Melbourne recently, showcasing a collection of beautiful soy candles that combine Asian and Australian influences.
Founder Sheena Teo says she was influenced by her adopted hometown of Melbourne and her Malaysian heritage when creating the range.
“Cahaya means ‘light’ in the Malay language and is inspired by the fragrant scent tapestry of the Asian archipelago interwoven with modern Australian influences,” she says.
“Our debut range features scents inspired by exotic flavours and dreamscapes with original box artwork featuring illustrations based on vintage Peranakan Chinese porcelain motifs and traditional Batik fabric patterns.”
This includes the Malaya candle, which blends sweet basil leaves with zesty lime and mandarin peel, and the Shanghai, which is a combination of rosewood, bergamot, ylang ylang and jasmine.
All Cahaya’s candles are hand poured in Carlton, Melbourne with production elements sourced from local businesses. Producing her candles in Australia using natural ingredients was a driving factor for Teo when she started the business in 2016.
“At the time, I couldn’t find artisanal, clean burning soy candles that looked as good as some of the bigger, mass-produced brands out there so Cahaya was created to fill that space,” she says.
“As a long-time supporter of artisanal products and small businesses, becoming a maker was a natural fit and soy candles are a passion [of mine] due to their clean burning properties and ability to add warmth, light and tranquillity to every space.”
Teo says she thinks Cahaya Candles would suit stores that place an emphasis on quality, Australian-designed goods that also have some artistic flair.
“As an adopted Melbournian, Cahaya Candles is an artistic homage to my colourful Malaysian heritage intertwined with modern Australian sensibilities,” she says.
“I believe Cahaya Candles appeal not just to the masses due to the beautiful packaging, but also to the discerning consumer who cares about health and wellbeing and likes to know that their products are handmade by someone and not something.”
By Ruth Cooper