It has been about two-and-a-half years since Arushi Agrawal started her passion project of crafting candles that initially began with just gifting close friends and family. Recently this week, her firm, Seva Home, launched limited-edition candles in collaboration with artist and sculptor Suryakant Lokhande, in two variants — Maharaja and Maharani.
It comes in a teak-wood box designed like a vintage matchbox — a signature of Lokhande’s artistry, with the portrait of a Maharaja and Maharani.
Maharaja Candle, created with the scent of aqua, and infused with peppermint, petitgrain and seaweed essenstial oils, costs ₹22,000. Maharani Candle carries the scent of berries, a tangy sweetness of freshly picked red currents and the woody valour of oakwood and white musk. It costs ₹17,000.
With every purchase of this collection’s candle sold, Seva Home in association with Samta Foundation (a Maharashtra-based NGO that focuses on healthcare and education of the tribal community), will conduct eye cataract surgeries for villagers as part of their social commitment towards serving the underprivileged.
Talking about the collaboration, Lokhande says he chose an orientalism-inspired style to create these candle boxes, featuring intricate artwork of kings and queens on matchbox-shaped candles.
“Within this artwork, the kings and queens represent the journey of the soul, seeking inner richness and harmony. I would like to suggest that when we light these candles and take moments of quiet reflection, like through meditation, we can ignite an inner light of knowledge and wisdom. The simple act of lighting a candle and sitting calmly, without stress or struggle, can lead us to realise our own inner light.”
CEO and founder of Seva Home, Arushi Agrawal, says, “I have so many collections of art pieces by Suryakant Lokhande, so it was a dream project to work with him.”
“The response that I received from friends and family when I first tried my hands on candles before turning it into a business, was just phenomenal,” recalls Agrawal.
The range of candles varies from their size to price and Agrawal says there is something for everyone. “Our smallest candle starts from ₹600 and the super exclusive ones go up to ₹23,000. These are bespoke and very unique.”
Sourced within India
The candles we usually get in the local market are made from paraffin wax and that is not a very good option to breathe in, especially for asthmatic people like me and most of my family, says Agrawal, “We use soy wax that never gives any kind of irritation; the addition of essential oil feels therapeutic,” explains Agrawal.
The firm has focused on candle containers in metal and glass finish. From containers, wax, to fragrances, everything is sourced within India. “Lavender comes from Kashmir and most of the perfumes come from Jaipur,” adds Agrawal, who emphasises on using cotton wicks in all her candles. “Some of the wicks available in the market contain lead so we are very particular about cotton wicks that burn clean and don’t cause any uneasiness. In the future we would like to add wooden wicks.”
They also do candle kits that come with snuffers that are used to extinguish the flame of candles. The kit comes with a wick trimmer. “We have newly launched e-lighters, which are rechargeable USB lighters,” she says.
The idea of oversized candles and styling homes in a very modern and minimalistic way has gained popularity, says Agrawal. “Apart from candles, we also have reed diffusers, closet fresheners and soon we will be launching car fragrances, room sprays, pillow mists and more as there is a lot of scope in this field.”
Currently the candles are sold through their website www.sevahome.in, Seva Home’s social media handles and also on online e-commerce sites such as Amazon and Tata Cliq along with a few select stores in Mumbai.
“We are looking to start our own kiosk in a few malls in Mumbai and Kolkata,” says Agrawal.