Where does the idea of creating these unique candle designs come from? Last year I became unemployed, it was almost the end of the year and we where in the middle of the pandemic. I needed something to distract my mind into. I took some months studying and meditating. And like some I used candle lights and aromatherapy to calm down. Talking with one of my best friends who dedicates to art, she asked me why I wasn’t eager to entrepreneur something? I took a lot of years producing, and I was feeling discouraged. I needed a break, but I couldn’t think of any other thing I could do. I started with things I liked, I thought I needed “light” in my life and wanted to share it with everyone else, and occurred to me that I wanted to do something with candles.
At the beginning I thought I wanted to do aromatic candles, and I researched for inspiration, I bought molds, did some tests. But then I realized that outside the market there was a lot of it, and I had to keep looking for an unique sale proposition and differentiator from things that already existed.
Light in Swedish , my third language is called “ljus” it’s used to referred to candle lights, and that’s how the idea of molding candles emerged. I wanted something fun, something that once you had it in your place would make you smile and turn your self to see it.
How much time does it take to create a design? It depends on the design, the process can take about up to 35 minutos. The wax is flexible while it keeps hot, and it can keep changing forms that’s why we have to keep working until it’s completely cold. At the beginning I broke many candles, or didn’t like the way they were finished, and kept them, I think I have perfection my technique. They barely break, It has being a try and error process. I have also learned to compromise my self to imperfection, I have learned to accept it. I am super perfectionist, and It has costed in my work. I tell myself that it’s ok, that they don’t need to be perfect because is the part of the beauty of the material and the organic forms I execute , and the ones who want them will understand, at the end it’s an artisanal work, each candle is hand molded.
I know I’m not discovering the black thread, some years back I was an assistant to an Irani artist for a while, Every time I gave an idea he will tell me “it has been done, and also that too.” and it pulled back my esteem. Until one day he noticed and told me that the only thing that no one could copy was my “style” and since then I try to do just that. To portray my special seal into every project I do and Flamas is not an exception. I work with colors that inspire me, I make them with lots of love and patience. I listen to music I like, or podcasts, I sing and dance. I often find myself smiling when I am creating them.
There are days that I don’t feel inspiration, and I stop the production. There are days I rather not go outside and stay home making candles. I hope that reflects on my forms, that when people see a similar product they can say: That is not a Flamas. To me, more than creating a candle I like to think that I make little sculptures of wax, that people can light them up or not. But the purpose is also to illuminate spaces. I also give them hacks in order to burn them all, and not to waste nothing of the candle. It’s important that my designs generate a little bit of waste.
What is the inspiration behind the brand? Since I was a little girl I have made things with my hands, I loved to decorate my room quite often, I painted even my furniture. I grew up in a house with many siblings, we were allowed to be free and let us do tons of things in which other places where not. I always experimented with things, in my University years I walked a lot and picked up things I found outside the houses, tables, or furniture that people didn’t want, and since I had no money to buy things for my place I fixed them or made things out of them. After University I moved to Sweden where I lived 14 years. I made everything, build scenographies , publicity campaigns for cultural projects then I started producing my proper ideas. You can see some of my projects in www.oyuki-matsumoto.com and the latest Yeats before I moved back to Mexico I worked as a director of a Makerspace, where I collided with designers, developers, creators, I had access to screen printing workshops, 3d printer, laser cut and I could spend time inventing stuff with former colleagues.
I enjoyed my years in Sweden, I miss living there. Something I liked a lot was the use of candles, mostly on the darkest months. It became to me indispensable, to get home after work and lit a candle. The candle is a great company, with a candle you don’t feel lonely, only warmth, enlightenment and tranquility. You can use them in so many occasions, i’s a celebration as well. We blow the candles to make a wish, we blow them with a finger ” not to kill a sailor man” we lit them to honor someone, we look at them closely to enter an state of concentration. They have being present in my life, it was not imposible not to want to work with them and share my taste with other persons, and well.. one of my influences without a doubt is my Japanese inheritance. My grandpa came to Mexico during the Second World War, even If I didn’t get to know him it’s legacy has been always present one way or another in our family, so I believe all my influences can be perceived in this project.
The flamas keep an special meaning on it’s designs? Evert design has a story, it represents some mildstones in my work with wax. It is about trying boundaries and overcoming them, little by little and add complexity to the designs and keep on exploring new ideas.