We often hear about fashion designers and interior designers, but Manal Al Qurachy is a candle designer whose brand Candle Mania features an array of stunningly crafted candles that will bring a touch of light and Arabesque beauty to any home...
We’ve all heard a lot about fashion designers, accessory designers, or interior designers; but have you ever heard of a candle designer? From Islamic designs or Coptic patterns to innovative sophistication, Manal al Qurachy, the women behind Candle Mania, crafts imbricate shapes in the candles you find across Cairo’s famous malls. In a chat with CairoScene, the famous Egyptian candle designer speaks about her new collection, her career initiatives, and why candles are important to our homes.
What’s the best part of being a candle designer?
Candles symbolise calmness, tranquility and beauty. They can also be adapted to numerous innovative designs, carrying a lot of beautiful meanings. In addition to that, creating them helps in the rehabilitation of other craft industries such as Arab Islamic arts, chipboard, Arabesque style timber and other fine arts, which seem to be slowly disappearing from the Arab world.
How did you start this career?
It all started when I was asked to design candles in specific shapes, sizes and dimensions which weren’t available in the country at this time. Then I decided to make a candle mould myself, and the evolution of creativity in these designs and the introduction of innovations came out of them.
How do candles affect home design?
Candles give an aesthetic touch to the corners of the house. Also, the new Islamic engravings, Arabesque art and Arabic manuscripts can actually help encourage more meditation, and the quiet candlelight sessions help people relax and completely get rid of negative energy while they're in the comfort of their homes.
How do you mix goldsmith copper and gold in your candle designs?
No one can design these pieces without resorting to literal workshops, which am trying to revive again, and it always happens when a client requests a design featuring Arabesque carvings, or ancient Islamic art, or even rare Arabic manuscripts, all this intricate work is fully hand-crafted and carried out by a group of highly-skilled craftsmen who I work with.
Have you ever thought of marketing your products abroad?
I've been approached by businesses in several countries who have expressed an interest in marketing my products, including in Belgium and Canada. I was also honoured that someone in France, the capital of beauty, wanted to sell my pieces, but first and foremost, I still aspire and dream to create innovative candle designs and have them featured in homes in every Arab country.
Do you have any famous customers?
I can say that the son of the former president, Gamal Mubarak is one of my most famous customers of all time but I am not trying to bring celebrities to my list of clientele; I am trying to attract all people who appreciate beauty and adore it, and I'm always trying to make products across different price ranges so that my pieces can be affordable to more than just the very wealthy segment of society.
What's new for this season?
I have some new candle designs with traditional old Arab, Islamic, Coptic, and Arabesque engravings.
You can check out their Facebook page here.