Anja Cancar from Krizevci Kicks Off Own Business During Pandemic

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ivan Tominac writes, Anja Cancar, who is id rather ironically an economist by profession, decided to throw herself into a not-so-popular business. This young woman decided to dip her feet into candle wax, not quite literally of course. Anja decided to start making candles in February last year, just before things went south for Croatia and much of the rest of Europe. Today, she also has her own business.

“We’ve always had candles in the house – some normal ones, some fragrant ones. It seemed like a good idea to me for the very reason that I’d give it to someone myself, so why not make a nice, fragrant gift,” began Anja Cancar. Briefly and clearly, it all started as a little experiment, and her candle-making skills from the idea to this point have advanced considerably.

“I learned by watching, trying, reading, learning and the method of trying and failing. A lot of material failed in the beginning of making candles. Even today, I have cans that are filled with that ‘failed’ paraffin,” said Anja Cancar.

Failed paraffin is a thing of the past for her, and now she already knows exactly what the temperature hould be, how many drops of oil are needed and what paraffin she needs. This is another reason as to why experience makes all the difference, and now that she has mastered the entire candle making process, she is able to describe, and in a very simple way, the process by which her candles are made.

“Although it takes over an hour and a half by itself, the production process is easy to describe. The first step is to cut the paraffin, and the same is then melted down into a double-bottomed bowl.

Temperature is a key factor in making a candle – I pay attention to the temperature of pouring the essential oil, adding stearin and pouring into cans. I add the essential oil either alone or in pairs. I have three candles on sale that are a combination of scents, while the other three are independent scents,” explained Anja Cancar.

If we’re talking about production only, Anja Cancar makes all of the candles herself, but she also has associates in the accompanying activities. Her boyfriend helps her with the physical work, and her fellow citizens help with design and labels. So we can talk about the product as a local one from Krizevci, and although this is what makes a difference in itself, the fact that Anja does this all while maintaining a steady job, is a clear link with dedication.

“I think my candles are special because I’m present in their creation, I promote them, I come up with their names… Making candles relaxes me, I like to light a candle and I love its discreet scent.

We aren’t all the same, so my candles won’t suit everyone, but there are always those people who order my products, and that’s enough for me to know that I’m doing something good, at least to some extent,” added Anja Cancar.

As we’ve already mentioned, there’s now a registered trade behind Anja’s work. It took her two months from the first attempt to take that step, and she considers the decision to be the biggest challenge she has ever faced. However, she didn’t think she was wrong in doing so, and having everything in black and white was her guiding thought.

“I’ve been in business for a full year now, I started making candles in 2020, back in February, and they first appeared on Instagram in April. I don’t count the number of candles I’ve made anymore. I’m glad when someone calls and orders a candle, or when one of my friends tells me how their parents liked the candles and that they light them often. Then all the numbers are irrelevant because I’m glad that someone knows where those candles come from,” Anja noted.

According to Anja Cancar, the costs of opening a business were minimal, and it was necessary to register with the State Administration Office and then open a business account.

Her focus, however, remains firmly on perfecting the production itself, and the fragrances she first created are the Mediterranean with lavender and rosemary, Amber enriched with ylang-ylang and lemon extracts, and Robust with rose and sandalwood.

For this young entrepreneur, candles are a departure from a somewhat grim and boring reality at the moment as the pandemic rages on.

For more stories like Anja’s, follow Made in Croatia.


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