Many years ago, Marianni had a dream in which a golden liquid was pouring over her hands. She had no idea what it meant, yet now, every time the gold wax for her candle-making business melts, she is reminded of its prescience.
Ahana Candles has been around for about a year now, a stylish mother-and-daughter operation of beautiful beeswax candles in cream and gold, arranged artfully on wooden stands and boxes. Marianni is mostly the market face of the business, not to mention creator, while her daughter Valentina manages the website and generally assists.
It all started with beeswax wraps. Marianni had been making and selling them for a long time when she was presented with a 30kg block of gold wax. ‘It was too gorgeous to use on the wraps’, she tells me. ‘I thought I’d try making candles.’
The beeswax – devoid of toxins unlike the more commonly found paraffin wax – she sources from two local beekeepers. Apart from that glorious gold, a coastal quirk, there’s the cream coloured wax, which, she tells me, comes from inland bees out west. ‘The colours depend on where the bees forage’, Marianni says. The wicks are Australian cotton; nothing is added so there’s just the purity of a natural, and subtle, honey fragrance.
The word ‘Ahana’ is Sanskrit for ‘inner light’, Marianni tells me. They’re based at Burringbar, and each of the candles is named after a family member.
As for those wooden boxes and stands, they’re all made by Marianni as well – she has woodworking skills as well. I ask her which is the most popular candle and she tells me it’s the Anouk, geometrically etched, chunky and squat – ‘people love the design!’, she says – but they’re all gorgeous’. For now she’s content with the organic flow of the business, although it may be expanding in the future. ‘More and more people are wanting them in their shops’, she says.
Ahana Candles are at Mullumbimby Farmers Market on Fridays from 7–11am and at various retail outlets (check their website).