By GABI OUWERKERK
AMSTERDAM - Giving special moments in life extra meaning. That's at the heart of entrepreneur Anne-Floor Sinnige's Moments of Light product line. Three years after the launch, the products are on sale from Germany to Hong Kong.
Sinnige found the inspiration for her business in Thailand during a close friend's wedding. "At the stroke of midnight we all left a wishing lantern up. That was so beautiful. It suddenly became quiet, everyone following the lights in the sky. We were in the moment together."
"I had wanted to start for myself for some time and thought back to that moment in Thailand. How could I translate that into a product line?"
Thus was born the idea for a line of scented candles for special occasions. Each candle features an appropriate poem and perfume. 'The Moments I am there for you' candle is suitable for giving to someone who is going through a difficult time. The 'Moments of Fire' candle turns candle wax into massage oil. Ideal for a romantic evening. In the meantime, the range has been expanded to include a bath and body line.
At the start, Sinnige had no entrepreneurial experience whatsoever. "Everything was new to me. Via Google I started looking for a candle maker, perfumer, glass supplier and a designer. I raised the starting capital of ten thousand euros with crowdfunding."
To promote her products, the entrepreneur visits trade fairs at home and now abroad. Soon after the launch, she noticed that the products were also popular across the border. "In Belgium, for example, people often bring a personal gift when they go to someone's house for dinner. At most, we bring a bunch of flowers or a bottle of wine." Not every candle sells equally well in every country. "The 'Moments of Fuck It', meant for someone who makes a brave decision, is especially popular in our own country, in France they can appreciate it less."
Despite this, Sinnige is getting about 70% of her sales from abroad this year. She owes this in part to a large private label order. "During a German fashion fair, I approached the organizing fashion house to ask if a collaboration was possible. They asked if I could make two thousand candles to give away to business relations. Followed by an order for twelve thousand."
The entrepreneur enjoys coming into contact with other cultures through her products. "At the fair in Paris, the whole world comes by and they all approach you differently. Italians only do business if the texts are delivered in their own language. A group of Indians walked by five times without asking for anything only to suddenly place a large order on the last day. That surprise effect is what makes doing business fun."