Where it started is simple: it started with my parents. My father worked in Denmark for five years at the end of the sixties, early seventies. At that time Denmark was a cradle of modern design. Clean lined, colourful and playful. Together with my mother, he wanted to make a warm gift for their family and friends in Belgium. A gift that would capture the ambiance of the cold, wintery north. That’s how the bika candles came to life: five candles in the same colour but with different lengths. The different sizes gave a feeling of peace and serenity, the vibrant colours gave warmth and atmosphere. Back in Belgium the demand for bika candles rose steadily. Soon the hobby of moulding candles became a true craft. As a child I helped my mother tie the wicks, check the candles, and keep an eye on the slow melting pot. And later on I could also sometimes mix the colours.
Once an adult, I decided to choose a different path. For about ten years I worked as an official in Brussels. A versatile job but without many prospects. After a few years the oppressed life started to frustrate me, especially with children the two hour train ride felt like a serious strain on my professional and personal life.
In 2005 I took the plunge and took over the business from my mother. A bicycle ride away from my home I found a big workshop on a site where they once processed flax. An appealing place that shelters several other craftsmen. The past decade I’ve slowly grown into the life of an independent craftswoman. Professionally there are always new challenges, new opportunities and new trends. It’s varied and creative work, different than I thought initially. Nothing has changed about the bika candles – even though the emphasis is now a little more on sets of three instead of five candles. Variety in colour is still one of our main assets as you have probably already noticed on our web shop. The quality of our raw materials has also remained the same.
In 2010 the loyalty to our values of sustainability, local production, craftsmanship and quality was rewarded with a Belgian distinction (www.ambachtindekijker.com). In 2011 I was nominated personally for the Belofte Oost-Vlaanderen (Most Promising East Flanders) (www.markantvzw.be). Since 2012 we carry the label Handmade in Belgium (www.handmadeinbelgium.com). And in 2015 the concept Ceci n’est pas une Lampe won the third price in the competition Belgian Beauties (www.handmadeinbelgium.com).