Vegan-friendly artisan candle-maker Boho Flame Candles Co launches


A £6,000 micro loan from the Development Bank of Wales has supported the launch of vegan-friendly candle-maker and retailer Boho Flame Candles Co.


The Blackwood-based start-up uses soy wax and hand-pours small batches of their artisanal candles. They specialise in luxury crystal-infused and scented candles. Owner and founder Melanie Smith decided to turn her hobby in to a business after spending years away from the workforce as a stay-at-home mum to a child with additional needs.


“I’d been a stay-at-home mum for many years, more than anticipated after having a child with additional needs, and wanted to start back to work. However, returning to the jobs market was proving difficult after having so many years away, even though I had lots of skills and experience. I’d always wanted to be my own boss and paving my own way and so decided to turn a hobby that I loved into a business,” explained Melanie.


“The loan from the Development Bank of Wales made that dream a reality by helping me fit out my store and buy in essential stock. The process of applying was a dream too – a simple online form. I’d recommend anyone looking to make that jump of setting up their own business to talk to the Development Bank.”


The loan was arranged on behalf of the Development Bank for Melanie by Investment Executive Claire Vokes. She said: “Melanie creates beautiful, artisanal candles which are in high demand. She came to us with a good business plan and with experience of making quality vegan-friendly candles as a hobby. We were delighted to be able to support her ambitions to turn that hobby in to a business. At the Development Bank, we are able to arrange start-up loans from as little as £1,000 to help make your business dreams a reality. Finance can cover a range of start-up costs, like fitting out a shop or buying in additional stock and supplies as Melanie has done. A micro loan can go a long way.” 


As well as a shop on Gravel Lane in Blackwood, Boho Flame Candles Co candles can be bought online from


The Development Bank of Wales can arrange micro loans from £1,000 up to £50,000 to help with start-up costs for Welsh businesses and sole traders. To check eligibility or to apply, visit