From Passion to Business- Margaret Moumou
To all those with a passion – “Don’t die with your song still unsung.”
Cosmocreole loves talking to Seychellois women who are side hustling turning their passion into a business. Margaret is currently enjoying single happy life with her two children, granddaughter and son in law. She works in the Office of the President as the Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Policy Affairs. Aside from her 8 to 4 office job, Margaret, a well-being advocate and Reiki teacher, loves making candles amongst her many passions. That burning desire to show her creativity and passion led her to create Island Candles —”helping you light your way” as the tagline.
How it all started
Candle making has always been a dream; I shelved it for over 20 years after my first attempt to get into this creative art failed. However, in 2019, I had this constant urge to make candles. It was almost like a voice egging me, telling me, “make candles, make candles”. Finally, I succumbed to the urgings and had a chat with a friend of mine about my wish to learn candle making. He readily taught me what he knew about the art. Following my first lesson in the art of candle making, I used the various resources on the internet to hone my knowledge and skills. I also followed an online course in candle making.
Island Candles— Islands are usually considered exotic, adventurous and close to Spirit. I wanted through candle making to explore the vibrancy of colours, tantalising fragrances and exotic candle designs. I wanted my candles to be a source of practical light for my clients but also through them, I wanted to spread more light and love in my clients’ lives. Just like the sacredness of islands, I perceived candle making and me to have a sacred union.
The Passion and the Collections
When I started dabbling in candle making, it was to satisfy a passion, a calling. So I would make candles and share them with my friends and family. But then people wanted to offer money for the candles. So the idea of registering a small business was born.
I strive to have something for everyone in my collections. I have an array of candles that can be used for decorative purposes or daily use.
For those working on their spiritual growth, I have a range of spiritually based candles such as Reiki principles, chakra candles, candles for specific manifestation, ascended masters, archangels, angels and saints and prayer candles.
I also make candles for different occasions such as birthdays, Holy Communion, confirmation, baptism, valentine, wedding, teachers’ day, mothers’ day, Women’s day and festive season.
There is a collection that I call the Sweet collection. These are candles inspired by desserts such as cupcakes, cakes, sundaes, soft drinks, milkshakes.
The Bar is a collection of alcohol scented candles such as beer, pina colada, espresso martini, wine.
I also make a variety of candles in cups. These are usually fragranced based on varieties of teas such as citronella, orange, rose, vanilla and coffee, of course.
There is a tropical collection geared towards tourists. These candles are made in coconut shells for fragrances such as patchouli, frangipane, citronella. In addition, I have a unique ocean view candle in glass jars made from gel wax and shows shells and sand from the local beaches of Seychelles.
Finally, I have a Daily Use Collection, which comprises various fragranced candles that may be used daily in the home or office. I also produce wax melts for use in burners.
To do my share to protect the environment, I like to encourage my clients to bring their empty candle containers for refills instead of just throwing them in the bin.
The Creative Process
Since I am currently in full-time employment, I undertake my candle making activities in the evenings and weekends. I have a small workshop at my home where I spend glorious hours in candle making. I like to plan ahead what I’m going to make. Then I make sure that I have all the materials I will need in the process. I am very methodical in my approach. This means I go through the process step by step. I try not to multitask when I’m making candles because the timing, the temperature, all these need to be carefully monitored.
As I go about my day, I like to jot down ideas about candles that I could make. I also make use of the internet to generate further ideas. These help keep my candles current and appealing.
There is a beautiful feeling of accomplishment once I finish a product. I see them as my babies, my angels. I whisper to them, “go, bring joy and light to the hearts of the clients who choose you”.
I am a firm believer in work-life balance, and I do ensure that I make time for myself and my family. However, when I have many orders, it is, I must admit challenging to set time aside. I’m sometimes in the workshop until early morning. I like to keep my word to my clients, so I ensure that I deliver on time. I enjoy long walks in nature and along the beach during my downtime. These walks almost always end with a dip in the ocean. This is my time to be in touch with nature to refresh and revive.
Sourcing the Materials
I use three main types of wax for candle making. Paraffin wax, I use for pillar candles, parasoy and soy wax for container candles. Unfortunately, accessing candle-making materials can be challenging as most good suppliers do not ship to Seychelles. Shipping in itself is also very costly, which raises the price of products. I am currently importing from the UK, Mauritius, India and China, but I’m looking forward to narrowing it down to one or two suppliers. This is important to establish and maintain a brand.
Passion is Positive Energy
I deeply believe that the energy is now ripe for people to develop their creative potential. There is very supportive energy around for creativity. To all those with a passion – Don’t die with your song still unsung. If you need to start by croaking, by all means, croak, but take a risk and follow your heart. Fear will always be there; use it to propel you forward, to force you to do better. Don’t let fear overwhelm you. Most of all, fight laziness and procrastination; these are the two advocates of failure.
The past year and a half have been about exploring the field of candle making, learning, growing. It was very much incubation time. Now I am ready to lift Island candles to the next level. There is a need to properly brand the products, finalise packaging and expand the marketing strategy. So these are in the plan for this year 2022.
You can purchase Margaret’s creation at the Hyper Market and Zepible in Seychelles. You can also contact her through her social media page here