Collaborator Feature: Suraiya Nanji of Homecoming Candles

Collaborator Feature: Suraiya Nanji of Homecoming Candles

Cassy Vantriet
4 minute read

The commitment to creating unique ways to experience the natural benefits of herbs and the feeling I get when co-creating new products and experiences was where the collaboration with Homecoming Candles ignited from. I crossed paths with Suraiya Nanji, founder and candle maker during the early years of WOASH at local markets, I was easily convinced to stock up on my scented candles from her emerging company. 

Her unique scents, attention to detail and overall approach to the full candle experience was what drew me in. When I approached her about infusing tea into a candle instead of her natural approach using essential oils she was excited for the challenge as this was something neither of us had ever done or experienced. As we began our research if this was even possible, Martha Stuart's article assured us it was possible but in no way going to be an easy feat. 

We took a deep dive into the experience I was trying to create with every Me Time Beeswax Candle lighting and the intention behind each natural element from cotton wicks, 100% sustainable beeswax, organic tea and the hand thrown reusable tumbler that encompassed it all. Keep reading to hear how Suraiya finds candle making meditative, the trial and errors of each unique batch and how she had to get out of the way to bring our vision to life. 

Interview with Suraiya Nanji of Homecoming Candles

Was there a pivotal moment that made you explore this creative path of candle making?

I had recently moved back to Vancouver from LA and was offered a new job with a fairly well-known corporate fashion brand. The catch was they essentially expected me to take on two positions in order to be paid what I felt my experience warranted. I had always wanted to start my own business and at that moment it became so clear that if I were going to put that much time and energy into work, I should at least be working for myself. The bonus is I love what I do. Of course, the story doesn’t end there! I ended up working five part-time jobs to give myself the freedom to focus on Homecoming, but fortunately, it paid off and it’s now what I do full time. 

How did you harness your skill?

Candle-making involves a lot of trial and error, so there was a lengthy phase of reading articles and message boards online. That said, I’ve been around candles my whole life; my Mom used to make and sell her own beeswax candles, so my love for wicks and wax was ingrained in me really early on. 

What do you enjoy most about your candle-making?

The actual process of candle-making can be really meditative, which is always a nice process to come back to, but what I really enjoy about Homecoming is getting to conceptualize new products and collaborate with people in the community.

How do you create space for new ideas and creativity to flow?

I’m fortunate to work in a world that I genuinely love, so I’m always digesting design trends, learning about new products, and exploring what’s out there. When in doubt, I open up our collection of candle scents and see if there’s something new that might inspire a product, idea, or collection. We have a few new scents in the works that started that way, but I can’t share too much about them quite yet!

"My job was to stand out of the way and let the natural beauty of each component shine."

What inspired the unique design of our Me Time beeswax candle?

I loved the handmade ceramic and the concept of incorporating tea in the candle. My job was to stand out of the way and let the natural beauty of each component shine. 

Homecoming Candle
Photo by Cristina Gareau

What does your process look like to bring one of the beeswax candles to life?

Because beeswax is a natural ingredient it can be temperamental. The same pouring technique or melting temperature that works for one batch might not work for another. This really means you need to take cues from the wax itself. 

Post creating, how do you recharge and enjoy a little me-time?

Spending time outdoors with my dog Nico, exploring the city (and shopping local!), and of course, drinking tea!

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Aromatherapy | Relaxing | Air purifying | Hypoallergenic | Non Toxic | Safe for pets A therapeutic infusion of our Me Time Tea blend and pure beeswax to invite the reflection of sunset and the rebirth of a new season into your space.… read more

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