While there are plenty of candles on the market, if you’re looking for something a little different for your store shelves you can’t go past The Karma Collective.
Launched in Melbourne in late 2016 by Audrey Martin, she was inspired to leave her corporate job and create her business with purpose after she read a report about earth’s imminent sixth mass extinction according to scientists, with one million species predicted to become extinct in coming decades.
“I was working in corporate marketing when I decided to start The Karma Collective and I came up with the concept of creating a brand that gave back before I decided on the product,” she explains.
“Whilst I really enjoyed marketing, I often felt myself wanting to do more to give back to the community, so after coming up with a whole bunch of business ideas over the years, I decided that I would create a brand that would provide products that people would love and that would give back to help others.”
The candles are hand poured in Melbourne in small batches and each batch is completed over a three-day period.
“We start with preparing the jars and sticking the wicks on day one, pouring the candles on day two and retouching the candles for a smooth finish on day three. They are then left to cure for a couple of weeks before we clean and hand wrap them too.
“It’s important to us because we are able to provide a high level of attention to detail to each candle and we think it makes it a little more personal and special to purchase a product that was made by a person.
“I already made candles as a hobby and loved having candles around the house, so it was an easy decision for me to begin with candles. I spent about a year refining my candle making skills and testing a number of different elements before launching The Karma Collective’s first candle range.”
Martin partners with animal charities to ensure her handmade products and curated collections benefit animals at risk. The business has donated more than $50,000 to various causes so far.
“Our focus is to protect and improve the lives of animals in need. We are an ongoing supporter of World Animal Protection Australia as they are an exceptional charity which moves mountains in the animal welfare space each year. We also support grass root charities. Sun Bear Outreach is one of the charities that are close to our hearts because I have volunteered with them in Borneo, helping to look after orphaned sun bears.
“We usually choose charities that have been recommended to us or that we know personally and that require funding for specific projects. Others we have donated to include Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia and Furever Farm.”
The Karma Collective’s latest collection of candles is its Wildlife candle range, created in collaboration with local South Melbourne artist, Rebecca Garfield.
“We created the range to celebrate our love of wildlife and to tie in with our philosophy of giving back to animals in need. They are also a little bit of a different offering to our core range. Our core range has a very sleek minimal design that fits well in any space.
“This range is more of a display piece to be the main feature of a space. We hope to continue to expand the range over time to include more designs.”
Martin’s love of animals shines through in not just her Wildlife collection of candles, but The Karma Collective also offers handmade animal earrings and stunning art prints.
“At Karma Collective, we know that it’s little things that make a big impact,” Audrey says. “And that applies not just to a little show of love, which our gifts are perfect for, but the donation from every product that goes to our associated animal charities. Saving one species in our delicate ecosystem can save more and that’s why we’re so focused on the little things―they work together to have the biggest results. That’s what Karma Collective is all about.”