For the latest episode of our interview series, we sat with Harshvardhanaa Gadhvi, the founder of Breathe Candles. Her personal vision for the brand is to help people feel less stressed. Founded during the pandemic, these very personalized candles are fast becoming a favourite of many.
Can you share us about how you got into candle making?
During the pandemic, I realized that whenever I was stressed or needed a break, I would always found myself go back to my candle kit. And I saw how those aromas and the entire process was therapeutic. That’s when I thought if this is what it’s doing to me, I’m sure it can help more people to ease their stress. How about I make these products accessible to more people? How about more and more people light up candles whenever they feel they need a break or when they want to be mindful.
There is a need to spread more awareness about mindfulness because we need to start focusing on the present. I think that is what has been my motto, help people calm themselves down. Inhale, exhale. They just breathe that calmness in. That is where the idea and vision for Breathe Candles originated.
What makes Breathe Candles special?
First of all, the ingredients we use are completely toxin-free and safe. We also make sure that the after products are the safest too. This is something that I do not compromise with at all.
And the second thing that makes Breathe really special is that it’s a one-woman business. Everything you see or read from us to sourcing the raw material, making the candle, marketing, packaging and shipping is done by just one person, which is me. And I think that sets us apart because there’s not a lot of candle brands in India who do that. And my only aim is to be that kind of a brand is because I want to ensure that everything is up to the mark, exactly what the customer would need. So, whatever you find over here is like completely being handcrafted and sent to you by just one person.
What is the best part of being a candle maker?
I think the best part about being a candle maker is when I get reviews like, “Yeah, your candle really helps me to calm down” or “Your candle smells amazing. It helped me emotionally”, “Your candle helps me focus on myself”, “It’s helping me to be productive”. All those reviews bring positivity. Because it tells me that what I am doing is helping someone. Whatever my products are, they are reaching out to people in a very good way. And yeah, it’s an amazing feeling! Especially to see that someone is actually focusing on themselves because of my product.
What’s the role of candles in wellness?
Candles play a major role in wellness because they always set up the right mood, which is required. For example, when you’re working, you would want to have that kind of a productive mood that is helping you get your work done. Or when you’re going to sleep, you would want to have that calm state of mind, which is going to benefit a beautiful night of sleep. So candles can bring all of those different moods in with the aroma. So it matters a lot in terms of wellness.
And for any person who wants to set the mood right, It is very important to choose your fragrance as well because candles can facilitate the state of mind, which you require for working, going to bed, having dinner or reading a book. Whatever you are doing candles can help you set the state of mind.
Another beautiful fact is how fragrances always evoke memories. We always associate certain smells to certain moments in life. So that’s like a cute little nostalgic part of lighting up a candle. So, yeah, I think that is how candles play a major role in wellness. By helping to create the mood, shifting your state of mind and helping to take you to a place of wellbeing instantly.
Your early inspirations or hardships that you may want to share?
I think one of the primary challenges for any kind of brand in India would be to make the products become an everyday item than a moment based item. For example, you would light up a candle if it’s a birthday or anniversary or any special occasion. But how about when you’re spending time with yourself? Do you light up a candle then, like when you’re reading a book or maybe having dinner or just doing your work? Do you light a candle then? Because, trust me, all those scents, aromas that can really motivate you. They can set up your mood. And that is why different fragrances do different jobs in terms of how they affect your mood. So we need to start seeing candles more as an everyday item. So, light up that candle that has been in your closet for god knows how long.
What are the different types of candle available in Breathe?
We have five different types of candles that we sell. The first two are from the Rose Range, which were our initial designs. And they have been our best sellers since then. They have carved roses on them. And you have a lot of color options to choose from.
The next three are from the latest collection, first one is the coffee-infused candle, which has a very fresh aroma because it is the filter coffee-infused fragrance for all coffee lovers. The next is a pressed flower candle. In this one, we press rose petals Into the candle and is very aesthetic to look at. And the fragrance also is very calming. It also has vanilla in it. This candle is the best for aromatherapy or meditation.
The last one is the quoted jar candle, which has a lot of different types of quotes which suit everybody’s mood so the person can choose from a variety of “quotes” that we offer. And based on that, we put up the required “quote” and that’s how we shape the candle. It also has a very raw scent because of soy wax.
We also customize a lot of candles based on the requirement of clients. In past, we have customized beehive candles, beer ganders, cupcake, candles. Then we have done concrete candles, ocean-themed candles which smell like the ocean So yeah, we do customizes well based on whatever the client requires and we just like to be creative with whatever we do. So in case, there’s any requirement, we understand if that is actually possible and if it is, then that we create.
Any noticeable change in Breathe Candles after the pandemic?
We started the brand during the pandemic. Hence there was no major change that we saw in terms of pre and post COVID for the brand. But during the pandemic people started giving themselves the required triggers. And they are focusing more on themselves, their personal development, their mental health, their emotional well-being. So that was like a positive aspect, which certainly helped the industry as well. Because now people started investing in things that make our home a home. And I think that’s where all these wellness products got the limelight.
Your view on India’s mentality towards wellness, essential oils and using aroma for wellness?
Traditionally in India, essential oils and candles have been moment-based products. You would only light up a candle when there are visitors, or if it’s a birthday or a special occasion. But you did not light up a candle for yourself, like “just for you”. That being said, this mindset shift is slowly coming up now in India. Where people are lighting up candles for themselves. And they are starting to see how aroma can help improve their environment.
People are also starting to use meditate with a candle as it helps them to be calmer. As this awareness about emotions and state mind grows, the importance of essential oils, aromas and candles are also being felt. So that is like a great shift. And I hope we progressively more towards that. Because we all deserve to be in a calm state of mind.
Check out Breathe Candles at: breathecandles.store
You can learn more about candles here