A love for candles

Julie Yim and Marcus Khoo are enjoying the scent of success with their range of soy candles

27 Nov 2020 / 10:29 H.

WHEN Julie Yim attended a wedding in Australia, she never thought it would be a turning point in her life. She received a tea light candle made from soy bean as a part of the wedding gift, and instantly fell in love with it.

The tiny gift triggered her creative mind to embark on a business venture.

Yim, 31, an editor at a luxury lifestyle publication, along with her fiance, Marcus Khoo, 32, decided to start an online business, Lilin+Co to pursue an unconventional path of making soy candles from soy wax. “We only use 100% premium soy wax for all our candles,” said Yim (right).

Launched in 2015, Lilin+Co was the first brand to create hand-poured soy candles in Malaysia. “It was a business opportunity, as we spotted a gap in the Malaysian market,” said Yim.

Their candles are made with natural ingredients with a blend of essential and fragrance oils for scent.

“We love how the scent is always attached to a memory or feeling,” added Yim.

Where did you get the inspiration to make candles with soy bean?

“Back in 2016, we wanted to fill in a gap in the local market by introducing quality candles that are eco-friendly without the hefty price tag.

“We specifically wanted to work with soy wax because of its eco-friendly benefits such as slower burning time, biodegradable, non-toxic, and less likely to trigger allergies.

“[Yim] had attended a cousin’s wedding in Melbourne and received a tealight soy candle as a wedding favour.

“Intrigued by the superior scent and eco-friendly nature of the candle, we set out to research more into soy candles and the creation process.”

Why did you choose soy bean, instead of other materials?

“We discovered soy wax as an eco-friendly alternative to other candles which are typically made from paraffin, a byproduct of petroleum.

“Paraffin-based candles are known to be harmful and toxic as compared to soy wax, which is a natural, renewable source.

“The benefits of soy candles include burning slower and more evenly which gives you more value for your candle, they are non-toxic and produce less smoke, less likely to trigger allergies, therefore, making it safe for your family and pets at home. It is also biodegradable and is easy to clean up.”

What sets your candles apart from others?

“We pride ourselves as a local Malaysian brand that uses imported quality raw materials to provide high-quality candles at an accessible price point. We champion meticulous craftsmanship, sustainable practices and quality materials in the making of our candles which are all hand-poured in small batches. We are also the first in Malaysia to introduce wood wick candles, known for its gentle crackling sound reminiscent of a fireplace when lighted up.”

What other plant material do you use to create candles?

“We also use a blend of essential and fragrance oils to create the scent in our candles.”

Any bad or negative effects?

“We set out to create an eco-friendly product that will resonate with the more conscious consumer today.”

What is your future plan?

“We will be expanding our product range soon to include more fragrance products other than candles. We will also be moving into a new studio early next year with a new experiential concept for our loyal customers.”

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