Boho Candles, an initiative from Khaled Hamza, is a labour of love. Love of shapes, love of design and yes, love of candles.
Hamza, a marketing and advertising professional, has been involved in candle making for the past 10 years. It started small, “I used empty cans, buckets, and whatever else I could find to make a candle. I experimented with shapes, colours, the right consistency of wax and wicks. The only wicks available at the time were cotton, which meant they would bend over after extinguishing the candle. So, part of my sales pitch was to show shop owners how to use a knife to get the wick out of the wax in the morning!” Hamza says. “We used gypsum moulds that would not allow for a lot of fine detail and would break after using them twice.”
A few years passed and after a stint in Dubai, where Hamza made a few candles at home for the fun of it, work brought Hamza back to Cairo and rekindled his love for making candles. “Outside of my job I needed a creative outlet and I wanted to use surprising shapes and colours. I decided on a few designs and worked closely with a sculptor to produce silicon moulds that allowed me to create different and detailed candles. I tried a variety of colours and not long after that the brightly coloured Buddha candles came out,” shares Hamza.
Boho candles stand out because of their shapes and their colours. Fuchsia, lime green, orange and red feature next to the more common white; and the shapes range from the classical to the outrageous. All designs have a surprising aspect, be it the colourful inserts in the classic bowl shape, the candle stands that are actually candles themselves, or the brightly coloured skulls made out of small circular shapes.
He feels that the Egyptian public is not sure what to make of Boho candles, even if the reactions are overall positive. “People are not sure what to do with the candles we make,” according to Hamza. “The price and the designs stop people from lighting them; they tend to use them as decoration. We make our designs based on candles used for their purpose however; the round balls that make up the skull for instance produce a different glow in each detail that you will only see once the candle is actually lit.”
Hamza is finalizing a new line due out next month that is inspired by Ramadan, and is looking contemplating adding scented candles to the collection.