BY TIAAN BOOYENS
A local sister duo turned a candle-making hobby into a business. Marisol Candles is a student-owned candle business that aims to celebrate and represent their diverse customers through their products. They have amassed over five thousand followers on their Instagram account in just four months.
Stellenbosch University students, Erin and Mitchel Walls, started selling hand-made, vegan, scented candles in January 2021 and have since sold over 6000 candles. They started without any previous business experience, but Erin Walls, BAHons (Journalism), claims the reason for their success is their great synergy.
“Where each of us lacks, the other makes up for it. Mitchel is amazing at producing the candles and finance, whereas I love doing the marketing and I love customer service,” said Erin Walls.
The small business partners make the candles themselves with the use of various moulds. Their rapidly expanding catalogue includes figures such as their “Bubble Cube”, “Cherub”, “David” and the most recent addition called “Soulmates”. They have even created a larger version of their popular “Lovely Lady” candle standing at 20 centimetres tall.
Marisol Candles has a motto of “Celebration and Representation” which is reflected in the addition of their “Lovely Curvy Lady” series to their list of products.
“A lot of our customers have said that it is lovely to have something that they can see themselves in,” said Walls. “We always emphasise that a candle can serve different purposes for different people. Some people just want it because it’s pretty, some people want it because they can feel empowered.”
“We started this thinking it wouldn’t even become the magnitude of what it is today,” said Walls. “We started it for fun for our own bedrooms, for our friends and it just blew up.”
They have set themselves apart from competitors by sticking to their brand identity by emphasising organic customer service relationships and through collaborations with other local businesses.
As students, the co-owners of Marisol Candles are taking it day by day and seeing where it leads. They have got a few exciting projects in the works, but for now they are focused on delivering quality service and products.