Rekindle my fire: Vegan craft candle maker Boho Flame Candles Co launches after support from the Development Bank of Wales

A £ 6,000 micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales supported the launch of vegan candle maker and retailer Boho Flame Candles Co.

The Blackwood-based start-up uses soy wax and hand pours small batches of their homemade candles. They specialize in luxury crystal infused and scented candles. Owner and founder Melanie Smith decided to turn her hobby into a business after spending years away from the workforce as a stay-at-home mom to a child with extra needs.

I had been a stay-at-home mom for many years, more than I expected after having a child with extra needs, and wanted to get back to work. However, returning to the job market proved difficult after so many years of absence, even though I had a lot of skills and experience. I always wanted to be my own boss and chart my own path so I decided to turn a hobby I loved into a business, ”explained Melanie.

“The loan from the Development Bank of Wales made this dream come true by helping me set up my store and purchase essential inventory. The application process was also a dream – a simple online form. I would recommend anyone looking to take the leap and start their own business to speak to the Business Development Bank.

The loan was arranged on behalf of the Development Bank for Melanie by Director of Investments Claire Vokes. She said: “Mélanie creates beautiful handcrafted candles that are in great demand. She came to us with a good business plan and with experience making quality vegan candles as a hobby. We were delighted to be able to support his ambitions of turning this hobby into a business. At the Development Bank we are able to arrange start-up loans starting at £ 1,000 to help you make your business dreams come true. Funding can cover a range of start-up costs, such as setting up a store or purchasing additional inventory and supplies like Mélanie did. A micro-loan can go a long way.

The Development Bank of Wales can organize micro-loans from £ 1,000 to £ 50,000 to help cover the start-up costs of Welsh businesses and independent traders. To verify your eligibility or to apply, visit For an informal discussion on your borrowing needs, you can contact Claire Vokes by email – [email protected].

In addition to a shop on Gravel Lane in Blackwood, Boho Flame Candles Co can be purchased online from

Lee J. Murillo

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