Meet the brand that turns candles into an art form

Inspired to transform the way we experience our homes, Noka.Design Founders, designers, and friends, Noémie Vanoli and Karima Weber set out to design objects that provide a multi-sensory experience – something that’s not only a pleasure to have in your space, but gets more beautiful with every use. Inspired by shared memories and those indefinable feelings that cannot be put into words, Noémie and Karima have developed a range of modern, hand-carved candles that bring unique shapes and scents to your space. With each burn, the sculptural candles melt into new shapes, activating the senses through their evolving shape, colors and scents – functioning as their own kind of performance art.

Committed to an ethical and eco-friendly practice, Noka.Design candles are all designed and manufactured in collaboration with local independent artisans using a vegetable-based wax blend and lead-free eco-friendly wicks, all sourced from fully-sourced suppliers. also passionate about sustainability. like they are. They have even eliminated plastic from their business and use recycled paper and fabric for their packaging. To achieve the unique look that makes each candle special, Noka.Design’s production process is steeped in experimentation – from the molding technique they developed in-house, to the careful polishing of each candle by hand (which can take up to 5 hours depending on the shape of the candle!). We caught up with the duo to learn more about the concept behind the candles.

Noka.Design founders Noémie and Karima

What drew you both to candles as a design medium?

We started with countless ideas and eventually culminated in our epiphanic concept of creating what we are today, hand-sculpted molten works of art. We wanted to do something that could transform the feeling of a space, allowing people to retain and evoke their own sense of place, especially at a time when people’s homes became their world.

noka.design

noka.design collection

You describe your products as molten sculptures – can you tell us more about how you approach form when developing your pieces?

We try to move towards creating minimalist designs and aesthetics. Our initial idea was to combine functionality and creativity. Sculpted candles have the particularity of evolving throughout their life. Each time it is lit, the candle transforms into different versions of itself, creating a performance while transforming the mood of a room. This is why the design process is so important because you have to think about each stage of the candle and its evolution. We like to play with the height and darkness of putting together different shapes in one piece that don’t seem to belong together but somehow come together.

melting candles noka.design

The names of your products are very unique and make them feel even more like works of art. Can you tell us the story of the name of one of your candles?

Our inspiration is based on the memory of simpler times in his upbringing, environment and travels. Everything we create must evoke an emotion. Our first collection “The Love That Remains” is an eclectic mix of objects and designs in our environment that had inspired us. The room “A summer at Lake Garda” was created by the similarities of our childhood memories where our families had spent summers by the lakes of Italy. The spherical dome shapes carved into elegant heights are inspired by the game of stacking pebbles, giving it a sense of joy and playfulness.

candles noka.design

Your relationship with suppliers and artisans is a key facet of your business. How difficult was it to create the ethical and eco-friendly business model that Noka has today? What would you say to designers and entrepreneurs who are starting out and who are struggling to prioritize sustainable development?

If you already have the mindset and experience of wanting to operate ecologically and ethically as a business, surely every decision will be affected by the thought “is this the best possible way to operate?” For us living in Indonesia, we have seen how plastic contributes to the destruction of the natural beauty that surrounds us – washed up on beaches, found in rivers and on the streets. This exasperation with it has motivated us to eliminate plastic at all costs and try to leave as little trace as possible. This drive has made us creative in how we operate and how we deliver our products, it has certainly helped shape who we are as a brand. The hardest part is finding suppliers who have the same values, that’s why when you find them, they become invaluable to your business. Our advice is to use the passion you have for a specific cause in the world that empowers you to constantly challenge and improve every process. Everything else becomes easy after that and you’d be surprised what you can find!

pillars of light

summer candle at lake garda

why flowers don't talk

What are your favorite ways to style your rooms at home?

Our new pieces “Pillars of Light” and “Why Flowers Don’t Talk” are large freestanding pieces that can be placed on any favorite home surface as a centerpiece. We like to display them in unique places where they can appear like a work of art, which will capture your eye as soon as you enter a room.

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? Witchcraft – ur/gf

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Alexa is a business writer at Design Milk. She lives in Miami, Florida, with her fiancé Alex and Phoebe, a retired greyhound. A lifelong art and design enthusiast, Alexa’s first stops in any new city are art museums. When she’s not writing about her favorite DM store picks, she can be buried in a book, watching reality TV, or venturing around her town with her partner and pup.

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