Meet Nelson Mapande. When Lockdown hit in March, he was unemployed and his savings were rapidly running out. He reached out for help and a Good Samaritan, in the form of Antonella Stromberg, whom he had only met in recent months, responded. Antonella had tried her hand at making candles in the past; and thought that Nelson should also give it a try.
Her Noordhoek community donated old candles and they melted these to create wax for the new candles. Nelson caught on quickly and soon became very professional at the trade!
And so “Candle Collective” was born, now operating from Noordhoek.
Nisbert Ndlovu joined in December 2020. A former landscaper from Zimbabwe, he is now making candles to make ends meet for himself, his wife and his young son Joshua. He is studying engineering and has dreams of building his own house one day.
Nelson has since since moved to Johannesburg and is continuing with making and selling candles there.
So the Cape Town Candle Collective team now consists of (above – from left): Nisbert (hard-working, disciplined, meticulous candle-Maker), Antonella (founder, entrepreneur, philanthropist, business manager learning-and-growing-as-she-goes), and Emma (who works her creative magic with packaging, labelling, styling & photography). Candle Collective is spreading its reach beyond the mountain and into the north with the help of Debbie (who is re-selling in Milnerton/Table View/Blouberg/Century City area of Cape Town). You can now also find Candle Collective products for sale in various places: YuppieChef, Huisie, The Collective – Hout Bay.
Focus on the Mompreneur: Antonella Stromberg
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Antonella is no stranger to putting her creativity to work to run a business. However up until now she has worked mostly in a Corporate environment, so she is finding the life of an entrepreneur an enjoyable one, as she gets to work for herself in a small environment doing something that she enjoys. She says she is learning a lot about business management as she goes!
The challenge as a “Mompreneur” is to remain present with her children, while working in the home environment. She hopes to share the skills that she is learning about running a business with her daughters (photographed here). She says: “running this business is a fantastic opportunity for me to grow and for my girls to learn that it is possible as a woman to have your own company”. At the start of the Candle Collective journey, she appreciates that her intention was more philanthropic than commercial. “The aim was always to uplift and upskill people who I see had potential but society wasn’t offering them anything else. I have found good people and I enjoy discussions and hearing about their lives and seeing them motivated. It’s not free of problems and challenges, but no job ever is!”
It is so wonderful to see that Candle Collective is not only a platform where members of the team are indeed being encouraged, supported, uplifted and upskilled, but also that it is on its way to growing into a profitable business!
These hand-crafted candles and wax melts are available to purchase on our online shop. Keep updated on the exciting journey of Candle Collective by following them on social media (links below).
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Whatsapp: 0649529656