Candles are usually sought for when there is a power
failure. And after the power returns they are promptly put away and forgotten.
In Janaki Mukand`s case, the word
"candle" has come to mean something much more. She has used candles as a statement for her artistic urges. Armed with a degree in M.
Phil in fine arts from Stella Maris College, Chennai, Janaki stumbled into the field of candle making two years ago after seeing an
episode on recycling waste on the "Good Home Show" on television. Since then she has never looked back.
only to look at the amazing array of candles of various sizes and shapes at Janaki`s Earth Craft to realise that creativity has many
forms. Cream, amber, light green, the candles come in various colours and exquisite designs. Their shapes vary from the small
rectangular candles to the large cylindrical ones, which could measure nearly one foot in length. Used plastic bottles, water pipes,
used containers of spindles from tailoring shops, all become moulds for her candles.
Encouraged by the good
response, Janaki has ventured into the creation of terracotta holders, diffusers and essential oils. The response to these items has
also been promising. Diffusers are used as effective mosquito repellants!!
What is amazing is that all these
products are hand-made which means that a lot of care and labour has gone into the making of each and every item. Assisting her in
the manufacturing process are 4 to 5 women all trained by her.
Instilling a candle culture in people has been
one of the major hurdles Janaki has had to face. "People are unaware about the beauty that a candle can add to one`s home", says
Janaki. However the awareness is increasing and she feels most rewarded when her customers keep returning for more.
Sometimes the workload could get stressful but according to Janaki, a certain amount of stress has a positive impact.
"When the pressure gets too much I just stop and take a break", says Janaki. Reading and listening to music are some of her leisure
As for her advice to budding entrepreneurs this is what she had to say "BELIEVE IN YOUR GUT
FEELINGS AND ALWAYS KEEP AN OPEN MIND".
Besides Earth Craft, Janaki is passionately involved in teaching craft
to children. She conducts summer camps and has organised several workshops. This budding entrepreneur has also a humane side to her
and has been instrumental in finding shelters for several abandoned animals.