A Story of Light and Fragrance

Krupa Kholkar’s journey with Lit n Glow Handmade Candles is glowing with brightness

Krupa Kholkar was born in Mumbai, but grew up in Vadodara, Gujarat. She comes from a business family, but her mother’s side of the family has always been involved in various creative fields like cinematography, commercial art, architecture and so on.

Krupa studied for a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and during her second year in college, she got interested in candle-making purely as a summer hobby. “I was so immersed in it, that I decided to learn the art and combine it with my business studies. First, I did a course in Mumbai to learn the very basics of candle-making. I returned to Baroda and made a short and simple business plan and approached my father for a business loan of a mere Rs. 5,000 which was a big sum back then. He loaned me the amount with a commitment to repay the same with interest, within a span of one year. Hence, the journey to learn this business and the pursuit of my passion essentially began in the year 2000,” she adds.

Initially, Krupa invested in some supplies like moulds, wax, colour, etc. and made some unscented pillar candles with basic shapes. She put up an exhibition with the same at a local gallery which was owned by her father’s friend. “Back then, candles had one and only one use to most people – to be lit when there were power cuts. So to convince people to buy them as a piece of art or home décor was the biggest challenge. I was doing my major in marketing and used all my knowledge to promote my first exhibition. My friends and family were my biggest support and encouragement and the first exhibit was a sell-out. I was able to repay the loan to dad after a couple of exhibitions. This gave me a lot of confidence and a boost to learn more in-depth about the trade and craft. All of this was in the year 2000-2001.”

Krupa got married in 2002 and moved to Goa. Her brand, Lit n Glow Handmade Candles was set up in Goa. She continued to learn about making more evolved candles by researching books and learning through the internet. She invested time and money in research and development to get the right formula to make the most amazing-smelling scented candles.

Speaking on her marketing strategies to promote her brand, Krupa says, “I did various exhibitions in Goa as well, to market and sell candles under the brand name Lit n Glow Handmade Candles, with a promising punchline – ‘Made with Love in Goa’. The internet has been my biggest tool to promote my brand. I started with a Facebook page and then moved to Instagram.”

Krupa makes luxury scented candles in soywax, blended wax, bee wax, paraffin and gel wax.
She also makes pillar candles, but her love for scented candles in different jars and glasses is evident from her vast collection. “The coffee candles and cocktail candles that I make even look edible. During the festive season I make hand-painted tea light holders for Diwali, pumpkin vanilla scented candles for Halloween, gingersnap cookie, and cinnamon candles for Christmas with a festive look and feel to them, making them perfect home décor and gifting options.”

Krupa makes customised hampers for various occasions like house-warming, birthdays, wedding favours, baby showers and for corporate gifting as well. Speaking on her vision for her brand Krupa adds, “My vision was to see my brand in stores across Goa… making it accessible for people to see them, smell them, and buy them easily. Last December, I tied up with a new upcoming lifestyle store in Utorda, ‘The Pomegranate Project.’ This gave my brand a wing in South Goa. The location of the store is apt as it is close to many luxury and boutique resorts making it perfect place for tourists to pick up gifts from Goa. Today, Lit n Glow is available at more than five stores across the state. We are stocked at Syne in Fontainhas, The Sage Co. at Patto, The Bougainvillea Lane in Panaji, Chafa store near the Panaji Church and Casa Macao in Nerul.” Lit n Glow sources ingredients from across the country. A lot of the fragrances used were and are still sourced from abroad, as India has limited choices.

“I see our brand presence in Goa and people recognise Lit n Glow Candles which is amazing! I would love to take this brand beyond Goa so that we can sell all over the country and beyond”

Apart from candles, Krupa also has other offerings like scented wax melts which can be used in electric or traditional diffusers instead of conventional ones which work with oil and water. She waxes poetic about her Hang-a-Scent products. “Our scented wax melt is a better option which emits fragrance in any space. Our Hang-a-Scent products are liked by all our customers. These are all natural 100% organic wardrobe fragrances. You just hang them in your closet or place them in drawers. Every time you open your closet or drawer you get an amazing whiff of your favourite fragrance.

Especially in Goa, where it rains for five months and humidity and dampness is high, our Hang-a-Scent products keeps clothes and wardrobes smelling fresh. Each tablet lasts for about 3-4 months and later can be broken and used in diffusers.” At first, Krupa would make these candles at home but with the business growing she moved to a bigger space in Ribandar. She has a workshop in their ancestral house and a small display for clients to see and choose the candles.

Krupa has had her fair share of roadblocks and difficulties right from finding the right source for raw materials as nothing is easily available in Goa, to marketing and selling her products. “But today, I see our brand presence in Goa and people recognise Lit n Glow Candles, this is amazing!”

Speaking on her future plans, Krupa says, “I would love to take this brand beyond Goa and we are launching our website and e-commerce platform, so that we can sell all over the country and beyond”.

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