In order to revive the candle lighting culture in Kashmir valley, 24-year-old girl Mehak Pervaz has started her business venture by making, designing and customizing different varieties of candles.
“On one bright sunny morning, I woke up and grabbed my phone to open Instagram where I found dazzling photos of candles. I was so inspired that I quickly decided to do candle business in Kashmir,” says Mehak.
Hailing from Elahi Bagh area of Srinagar city in Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehak says that since her childhood she was fond of candles and candle lighting.
“It is annoying to see how we left candle culture dying. One must perform candle lighting and observe how it lit up everyone’s mood,” says Mehak who has named her business – Shamaaque by Mehak and goes by the name of “Shamaaque_by_mehak” on Instagram.
Though her candle business is only one month old, she claims to have been receiving great response from the people across the valley.
“I started this business last month only but I have received compliments and appreciation all across. On an average I am getting 3-4 orders per day which I think is not bad as a beginner. Good thing is that people are ordering different colours and designs of candles on festivals, wedding ceremonies and birthdays,” she says.
Mehak’s only problem she said is the lack of high-speed internet facility. She rues that on 2G internet service she is not able to upload high definition content of candles.
“Within a month I have managed to get more than 700 Instagram followers but I am unable to upload quality content on it due to lack of 4G internet service. It is frustrating to upload photos and videos of candles on Instagram on 2G mode. But I try my best to show people newly designed candles in order to attract and motivate them”,” she said.
Mehak, who is also an engineering student at SSM College, said that she is going to make candle business as her career. “Since not many people are doing candle business therefore, I am passionate to take this business forward to bring loads of candle varieties.”
Aiming to revive candle culture in Kashmir, Mehak said that in the past people used to light up candles during power outages but now they have neglected its use completely. “Outside Kashmir, people use candles regularly but here people do not even know the use of candles beyond lighting. But now I hope I will be able to show people dynamic colours of candles, multiple designs, customization of candles and whatnot.”
Such is the status of candle culture here that Mehak had to import tools, material and wax from outside Jammu & Kashmir.
“I invested almost Rs 40,000 on my candle business. I could not find a single item in Jammu & Kashmir,” said Mehak who is currently pursuing the business with her elder brother Sibtan Mir.
Mehak claims that she receives most of her orders on social media accounts. She then prepares the order and delivers it through advanced payment or cash on delivery mode.
During the recent female entrepreneur’s event of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation Limited (JKTDC) held in Srinagar, Mehak’s candle business was appreciated by the tourism officials in the administration.
“I displayed the varieties of candles in my stall and received compliments from officials in the administration. They appreciated my work and supported me for doing this business,” Mehak said.