Kristina Mallamace, owner of Mi Amor Candles is living proof that it’s never too late to start chasing your passion. Her love for all things aromatic, coupled with her frequent indulgence, often splashing her cash on way too many expensive candles, caused her question whether she could make her own candles and how she could go about doing so.
Words: Catherine Falalis
“At the time, there wasn’t a whole lot of information to be found but I persevered and spent endless hours researching the pros and cons of all types of candles and finally decided on soy wax,” she says. “It was environmentally friendly, offered long burn times and had an amazing scent throw. I found a local business offering courses, so I booked in and had the time of my life expressing my creative side.”
“In 2011 I registered my business name in the hopes that one day my hobby would turn into my dream. In 2013 I was offered a redundancy after 24 years in the banking industry and suddenly my dream was within my grasp. I spent tireless hours, days, weeks and years perfecting and sourcing waxes, fragrances wicks and packaging with the vision to bring a truly exquisite and premium quality to the consumer.”
Kristina reveals that it is quite humbling to look back and remember that all of her candles were made on her kitchen stove in the early days. She explains that her dining table was forever being used as a pouring station, meaning that family meals had to be eaten around their island bench.
“Since then we have converted the study and formal lounge into my studio. This allows me so much room to get creative,” she says.
Recently learning that there are over 900 registered businesses in the candle making industry with only a very limited amount of suppliers, Kristina knew that she needed to expand her knowledge of her craftsmanship to bring a point of difference.
“A couple of years ago I completed a course on essential oils and combining notes to create fragrances unique to Mi Amor. I absolutely love formulating new fragrances but these days it’s getting a little harder to find the time.”
Kristina spends most days pouring wax and packaging up orders which includes bringing in new ranges to allow herself to keep evolving in the industry. She also plays a huge part in the design process and recently worked with a truly amazing graphic designer who was able to push her out of her comfort zone.
“I personally believe my new collection Anima – soul is a defining point in my personal and business growth,” she explains.
The inspiration behind the new range stems from its namesake – ANIMA.
- soul; life.
- The inner personality that is turned toward the unconscious of the individual (contrasted with persona).
- The feminine principle, especially as present in men (contrasted with animus)
“Creating, sharing and burning candles on a personal level comes from within me. I know it sounds corny but the best way I can describe it, is that I do what I love passionately and it comes from deep within me, so the Anima – soul collection is and extension of myself and comes from within my soul.”
“Knowing that someone will burn one of my creations and they connect with the fragrance to bring them memories or emotions is an extremely rewarding feeling,” she says.
“Working with Jen from She Fox Studios really helped bring life to the packaging by using Latin dancers and dance moves to the whole collection. Latin dance is full of soul, passion and love.”
Personally speaking, I am absolutely blown away by the attention to detail and intricacies of the packaging. Upon lifting the lid, you will find your beautiful candle on the inside adorned by a luxurious gold lid with the Mi Amor engraving. The exterior packaging reveals a flap which explains the name of the dance with a lovely quote, corresponding to the nominated candle name. The colours chosen are a timely, flirtatious reminder of Spring and Summer – a prefect collection for the upcoming seasons in which drinks, dancing and laughter are rife.
Kristina worked closely with a perfume house located in Sydney for this range, as she needed this collection to show the complexity of the different notes used and to tell a story, just as the Latin dancers do when performing.
The collection embodies four fragrance combinations, corresponding to a particular dance.
All fragrances within this collection transport you to another world. I am very impressed with the complexity of notes within the candles of this range. My personal favourites of the four are Mambo and Salsa, although my mum will argue that Rumba is her pick of the bunch (don’t think I’ll be getting that one back any time soon!) Whatever your taste in fragrance, this collection caters to all.
Anima collections can be found online at www.miamorcandles.com.au with RRP of $45 and up to 80 hour burn time. Mi Amor Candles have stockists around Australia. This information can be found on their website. They also pop up at other exhibitions and events which can also be viewed on their events page or on Instagram.
Want more information on their other ranges? Their ORRO collection has an industrial look in black sandstone vessels and they have just introduced 6 new fragrances – Green Tea & Citrus – Petals of Spring – Pear & Freesia – Vanilla Sandalwood Musk – Zesty Lemongrass & Leather & Oudh. They originally also had grey concrete vessels but these have since sold out.
WANT TO WIN YOUR VERY OWN ANIMA – SOUL COLLECTION FOR YOURSELF? ENTER OUR INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY.
- Follow @furnishinginternational and @miamorcandles
- Comment on one of our giveaway images in 50 words or less telling us what inspires the passion within your soul and makes you want to dance! Don’t forget to include the hashtag #candlesforthesoul within your response.
Winner announced 20th October 2017. Competition open to Australian residents only.