Psychology major sells handmade candles that are centered on body positivity.

Constantly moving around and having to redecorate each place she moved into, was influential in a Wits third-year BA student starting an online homeware business.

Kari Solhaug (26), owner of Hygge Home told Wits Vuvuzela that each place she moved to needed to have a decorative item that represented her and in the process, she fell in love with homeware, thus starting her own business. Currently she sells candles and is awaiting financial growth to start selling other homeware items such as coasters, small figurines and statues which she plans to manufacture herself.

She developed the skill of manufacturing candles through extensive research and watching tutorials on YouTube.

Solhaug created an Instagram page on March 2, and posted photos of the candles for potential customers to see. She promised those making enquiries that “All details will be available on the page when I launch the business and you will be able to place an order on the website, through direct message or by giving me a call.”

When she got to 187 followers on the Instagram page, she created a website and launched the business online on March 8. So far she has sold 45 candles and has noticed that her customers prefer placing their orders on the website, and not through direct messages.

Her candles, which are targeted at age group 20 to 45, are designed to depict a woman’s body. She chose this particular design in an attempt to encourage body positivity while also selling an aesthetically pleasing product. The candles are available in white, brown or black, and in coconut and lime or vanilla, coconut and musk, scents. She sells them for R215 per bundle of three candles or R79 for a single candle.

Solhaug, who intends to be a psychologist specialising in racial trauma and abnormal psychology, says balancing being a student and business owner has not been easy since she manufactures the candles, markets them through word of mouth and social media, and needs to ensure the delivery of orders through Aramex, a courier company.

“As difficult as it is, my fiancé is my support structure and helps a lot with taking orders and packaging. A friend of mine also assists me with overseeing everything regarding social media,” she adds.

Sindisiwe Ndaba, one of her customers, told Wits Vuvuzela that she bought the candles because they make such great gifts and are aesthetically pleasing decorations. “I lit one candle while I took a bath and I loved how calming and aromatic the candle was.” Another customer, Siyanda Kubeka, said she bought the candles because they aren’t just regular candles and she uses them to set a calming tone and mood for studying.

FEATURED IMAGE: Kari Solhaug holds a box of the candles she manufactures and sells. Photo: Provided


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