La Vela Manila

METRO MANILA / LIFESTYLE / Home and Decor / Candles

Founder: Kyla Taal

1. What got you started with this brand? What was your inspiration? What is the idea/concept behind it?

I’m a big fan of candles. And I have always had a love for nice-smelling places. When I was a kid, my mom brought me to a candle workshop once, and I found myself enjoying it so much that we eventually started making candles at home too, using sandcastle molds.

During the first few months of the pandemic, I found myself feeling so stagnant and directionless, so I had this idea of selling scented candles. I’m really glad I jumped into this. La Vela Manila, being a one-woman team, is something I’m really proud of.

2. What is your personal favorite product from your brand?

My top two favorite scents are the Tala (vanilla & lily) and the Bathala (wood sage & sea salt). The Lakambini (rose & lavender) comes third, and it’s actually our best-selling scent. La Vela’s different scents cater to different preferences, and I honestly love them all.

3. What do you want people to experience with your brand/product(s)?

First, I want my customers to feel happy. Candles are probably not the most essential products out there, and you’ll often hear people telling you, “only buy things that are essential,” but I think what they’re missing here is that keeping your sanity intact is just as important and essential–and La Vela’s scented candles are here to help you with just that. Second, I want them to experience great aromatherapy. When I first started the business, I had varying feedback from customers saying how the scent throw is minimal; I made sure to fix this, and I can say now that my candles will surely be able to give you that amazing aromatherapy experience, from the comfort of your home. Lastly, I want my customers to feel relaxed and relieved after a long day’s work. Putting on some good music and lighting any one of La Vela’s scented candles will surely elevate your nightly ritual.

4. What tips and advice can you give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out or are planning to start their own brand?

If you’re planning on starting your own brand, make sure to carefully check and thoroughly research about everything you need for the business. Go all in with your business. Pour in your hard work and effort. Don’t give up when things get difficult. Don’t think about your competitors; remember, your only competition is yourself. Don’t feel down when your social media likes and followers are not as many as you would like; remember, you’re only just starting out. It’s also important to know how to connect to your target market and find out their needs, wants, and preferences.

5. What’s next for your brand?

I’ve got so many ideas, which I can’t wait to turn into reality. I won’t be giving away much, but there’s definitely something big to look forward to these coming months.

6. What other additional information and details would you like to share?

Part of our advocacy as a brand is sustainability. We’ve always been conscious about our environment, so we launched “The Eco Project,” which has a goal of repurposing old ceramics like mugs and bowls into candle holders. We also allow refills for all of our candles, for a cheaper price. Majority of our materials are locally sourced and we minimize the use of plastics. We even use canvas drawstring bags instead of plastic bubble wraps for non-express deliveries.

Our candle scent names are inspired by Philippine Mythology; we thoughtfully match the scents to the characters that seem to suit them the most. As an example, our coffee-scented candle, we named after Hana who is the goddess of the morning. Philippine Mythology is something I’m really interested in, and I’d like for more Filipinos to discover more about it as well. Naming our candle scents based on characters out of Philippine Mythology is our way of paying homage to our Filipino roots.

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