Five minutes with Xavier Tsang
@BeCandle #Fragrance #Candles #Local
Photo credit: Cherry Lee
Cherry Lee meets the Founder of BeCandle Sai Kung
Rooted in Sai Kung, BeCandle is an artisan candle shop and factory founded in 2012. All of their products are produced in Sai Kung and the brand has recently gained popularity throughout the city.
Xavier Tsang, the founder of BeCandle, was an engineering student who went on to pursue his dream of studying furniture design in Italy. With only some basic knowledge about art and design, he still decided his future path of studying design abroad. As a founder of BeCandle, he gained his reputation through joining different art and design exhibitions globally.
Growing up in Sai Kung with his whole family, Xavier realised that Sai Kung, his home town, is the best place for him to settle down, while he can also have a stable place for people to visit regularly and expand the business. “People in Sai Kung have a good sense of community and people's lifestyle here are related to candles since they care about interior decorations,” he said.
BeCandle was inspired and named after Bruce Lee’s famous quote ‘Be water’, “Wax is like water, it's powerful and flexible at the same time, it can turn from liquid to solid,” he said. It also indicated their focus on the nature of wax and the sculptural quality of the wax.
Local fragrance companies like BeCandle are not common in Hong Kong, but Xavier made his way out with high quality products and intriguing sensory related projects.
BeCandle did an exhibition at Haw Par Mansion a few months ago, the theme was about the collective memory of Hong Kongers, and the wall sculpture in the mansion ‘Ten Courts of Hell’ has impressed most of the people. In order to present it, he made ten fragrance diffusers infused with ten unpleasant scents to remind people about the bad feelings they had about the hells, but when the scents blend, it will become a calming, pleasant and nostalgic scent.
His success didn’t just come by itself, he faced a lot of obstacles when he was setting up the brand. He was confused at the beginning and didn’t have a clear business plan, he just did whatever he had a chance to do, such as joining exhibitions and trade shows. However, it didn’t bring him great income, he couldn’t sustain his business and had to spend his own money.
After years of hard work, his effort paid off by winning the young design talent award. He then gained a lot of opportunities to work with big international brands, and more people got to know about his brand. “It’s the biggest accomplishment and support when people appreciated my work,” he said.
“Instead of expanding, I focus more on quality,” he said. Xavier keeps his value in mind, so that people could spend less money to buy something high quality and made locally. He hopes the brand to be long lasting, so that he could pass it to his daughter decades later.
Based on his experience and the road of setting up a brand, Xavier has only one advice for people who would like to start their own business, “Do what you like, focus on quality, keep on doing, survive and you will be fine”.