It was during Eid two years ago that Sheikha Amna Abdulaziz Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi hit on a business idea that would eventually become her brand. Unable to find the appropriate gifts for friends and family — one that was handcrafted and traditional yet contemporary and one that spelt luxury — she knew she’d have to create something herself.
Then, when she received a candle-making set from her father as a gift, the idea took shape, and Lava Candles, the Emirati luxury artisanal brand was born.
Lava Candles has since released eight collections and 35 lines of candles in all shapes, colours and sizes. Priced from Dh230 and all the way up to Dh2,400, it is now stocked in top stores across the UAE.
The daughter of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the Chairman of the Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD), Sheikha Amna spoke to Gulf News tabloid! about her inspirations, challenges and where she’d like to take Lava Candles.
What was the inspiration behind Lava Candles?
I was also heavily inspired by the idea of national pride and wanted “my country” to be a large part of anything I did. The sunny shores of UAE, the desert, the authenticity of the past and the power of the promising present.
Over time, I slowly found out that the candles I was working on impressed people and caught their attention, therefore I started developing the idea of an Emirati candle brand that embodies the inspiring beauty and power of my country in an artisan way that can reach a mass amount of people across the world.
The idea kept getting bigger and bigger with time and with each candle I created, therefore I decided to create pieces that contained royal scents, to in turn make the candle a piece of art within itself, which represents the vision and passion I want to deliver to everyone through my work.
I have always been inspired by things that are hand-crafted and by all different types of fragrances. I found candles to be the piece of art that can be shaped and created as I imagine; a unique elegant design that represents my thoughts and vision as well carrying a scent that is made of carefully chosen ingredients from nature.
What kind of research did you do and who did you consult before you decided you were ready to start the brand?
I have found that when you are interested and inspired by something, you will almost instantly start reading and searching for all the details on that subject, from the smallest to the most important things.
To develop my artisanal creations, I have been involved in a lot of candle making courses and fragrance mixing courses in order to fully understand how I can create the best piece of art that will represent the design and fragrance I want to deliver.
In order for the Lava brand to be created I consulted different experts in candle making domain and business developers in the region to understand exactly how we can start the business and take it to where I want.
Q: Did you have any other experience in running a business before? Was it scary?
A: Lava is my first and only running business currently. Running the business was not scary for me as I am blessed with a supportive family that gave me strength and always and encouraged me to go after my vision and passion. To learn from each experience and be stronger and wiser. Everything is a beautiful learning experience at the end of the day!
How has the reception been so far? What would you consider your best feedback?
Since the day I got the gift that opened all the doors for me, from creating candles to the idea of the brand, I have always had a very positive feedback from my family, friends and everyone who sees the candles.
Of course at the beginning that gave me motivation and strength to pursue and further deepen my idea and passion.
After a while, when the brand and the candles were developed and went to the market, I had a great response from the audience and the reason for that is because most of the people were very proud to see elegant candles that were handcrafted in the heart of UAE, using natural shells found on Ajman shores and royal scents inspired by the whole country.
Where would you like to take Lava?
I do see Lava as an international brand in the future, that represents the UAE through the eye of a loving and passionate artisan. I also see Lava shops in several different countries, as well collaborating with worldwide international brands, designers and creating bespoke candles for international clients.