With the holiday season coming up next month, it is time to think about possible gifts for loved ones and friends. Candles seem to fit the bill, especially as the weather chills up a little bit and days become cloudier. There are many available scents nowadays, which guarantee that your home smells as sweet as any winter holiday.
We contacted Lina Benhalim, the brains behind Lina’s Candles. She admits that her beginning in the world of candles was not very encouraging, just like anyone interested in candle-making. “It all started with a wick, some wax, ending with a big blob of nothing! Trial and error led to more experimentation and interest, interest thrived into a quest of knowledge in candle-making in Switzerland, leading into a career of endless inspirations. I have always had a passion for art: carving, painting and sculpting.”
Although the Lina’s Candles team is not huge, they are meticulous and ensure final products are high in quality. “We argue, we disagree, and differ in thought process resulting in a unified agreement on designs and themes,” Benhalim said, attributing her success to an environment characterised by partnerships rather than deference.
Benhalim is dedicated to making use of local ingredients. “Our main materials are paraffin wax, wicks, and wax hardener. We like to create our own moulds rather than purchasing ready-made ones, as this gives us more freedom in designs, shapes, and sizes. We try our best to keep all our materials Egyptian-made, and when we can’t find something, we always try to work our way around that by combining different ingredients to achieve what we are looking for,” she explained.
Benhalim added that she does not really have a design process, but draws inspiration from her own experiences in life. “The definition of inspiration to me is a mirror image or replica of one’s personality; what inspires me might not inspire you. What I feel and touch may be entirely different to another. Therefore, I think my inspiration is what my emotions want to see rather than my eyes,” she explained.
Lina’s Candles depends on Facebook for customer interaction. “We also supply shops in Cairo and Alexandria like Rococo in Mohandessin, Boutique Basha in Heliopolis, N.N Stores in Alexandria, and all branches of Kala Stores throughout Egypt,” Benhalim said.
Benhalim makes sure that her products reflect customers’ interests. “My products have a great infusion of cultures, moods and thoughts. Since they are a mix between a scent and a piece of art, the choice of each client is usually uniquely personalised to suit their specifications,” she concluded.