Candle in the Wind

Handcrafted by underprivileged women and hand-poured with the finest wax and fragrances, the story of Sevā, is a heady mix of social enterprise and luxury. Lifestyle Insider speaks to Sevā India CEO and founder  Arushi Agrawal.

Royal Candle Gold

LI: What made you venture into the candle business?

AA: I got into the candle business with a dual purpose in mind. Firstly, with Sevā India I wanted to create a high-quality home accessories brand that could compete with top international brands. Secondly, I was driven by a desire to make a positive impact on society by helping underprivileged women stand on their own two feet. Sevā India was my own little contribution to society by donating a part of our sales to conducting eye cataract surgeries for tribal villagers in Maharashtra.

SEVA founder Arushi Agrawal

LI: When did you realize there was a gap in the market for luxury, high-end candles?

AA: During the pandemic, while travel was restricted, I was redecorating my own home. I quickly identified the gap in the market for luxury, high-end candles based on several factors. I recognized that while there were international brands catering to this segment, there was a huge vacuum for a homegrown brand in India that could offer the same level of quality and craftsmanship. Additionally, I noticed a growing demand for sustainable and socially responsible products, which further motivated me to create luxury candles made from 100 percent soy wax. The more I toyed with this thought the more excited I got to start this. I decided to launch the brand as a pilot project for select family and friends to test out the market. After garnering success in the first year of operations, I decided to launch it as a full-fledged business with a philanthropic soul.

By combining luxury, quality, and a commitment to social impact, Sevā India aimed to fill the gap in the market for high-end candles.

Amazonia Candle

LI: What was needed to create candles that were high end, in terms of ingredients and know-how?

AA: To create high-end candles, we recognized the importance of using premium ingredients and acquiring the necessary know-how. In terms of ingredients, we focused on using 100 percent soy wax, which is known for its clean and long-lasting burn. This choice of wax ensures that the candles have a superior quality and eco-friendly composition compared to traditional paraffin wax candles.

In addition to the wax, at Sevā India we, carefully selected fragrance oils of the highest quality to create captivating scents for our candles.

To acquire the necessary know-how, Sevā India invested time and effort into training underprivileged women in candle-making techniques such as proper wick selection, optimal wax-to-fragrance ratios, and precise pouring temperatures. These factors contribute to achieving consistent and long-lasting burn times, ensuring a high-end experience for our customers.

By providing our women’s team with the skills and expertise required for candle-making, we not only empowered them but also ensured that the candles were crafted with care and precision. Candles that are truly high end in terms of both their ingredients and craftsmanship. Overall, a deep understanding of ingredients, meticulous craftsmanship, and a commitment to quality were essential in creating candles that meet the standards of luxury and elevate the ambience of any space.

Heirloom Bowl Candle Black – Medium

LI: Fragrance is a very niche field – where do you source your fragrances for the candles and the diffusers from?

AA: We collaborate with reputable fragrance houses and perfumers who specialize in developing exquisite scents. We use high-quality fragrance oils that are carefully selected for their authenticity, complexity, and longevity.

Noir Candle – Petite

LI: How many fragrances and candles are available?

AA: Currently, our collection includes a carefully curated selection of 13 distinct fragrances. Each fragrance is thoughtfully crafted to evoke specific emotions and create a unique atmosphere. In terms of candles, we offer different sizes and styles to suit individual needs and preferences. Our candle line-up includes standard- and large-sized candles in various vessel options, such as glass jars, metal or decorative containers. We continuously evaluate and expand our fragrance and candle offerings to ensure a delightful and extensive selection for our customers. By regularly introducing new scents and candle options, we aim to provide a diverse range of choices that resonate with different individuals and occasions.

LI: Do you use a special kind of unctuous, soft wax that will not drip, and where is it from?

AA: Yes, at Sevā India, we use a special kind of unctuous and soft wax known as natural soy wax. Soy wax is renowned for its clean burn and minimal dripping compared to other types of wax. It has a lower melting point, which helps to reduce the likelihood of dripping and provides a more controlled and even burn. Our soy wax is sourced from trusted suppliers who specialize in producing high-quality and sustainable soy wax. While specific sourcing locations may vary based on supplier availability, we prioritize partnering with suppliers who adhere to strict quality standards and sustainability practices. By using natural soy wax in our candles, we ensure that our products not only provide a longer-lasting and drip-free burn but also promote a greener and more eco-friendly approach to candle-making.

Leather Candle – Petite

LI: Personally, which are the fragrances you lean towards – and what is this season's top fragrance for candles and sprays?

AA: Personally, I love scents that transport me a specific memory or a feeling. I love Sevā India’s aqua fragrance which takes me back to a seaside with rugged waves and a salty breeze. Another one of my favourites is ‘Leather’ which captures the warm atmosphere of a British library or study. The musty leather bound books with hints of cardamom and amber mixed with wisps of moss.

Royal Candle Silver

LI: The packaging and cases are also very aesthetic – what is your inspiration?

AA: At Sevā India we take great pride in the aesthetic appeal of our packaging and cases. Our inspiration for the packaging design comes from a blend of various sources, including minimalism and elegance. Minimalism plays a role in our designs as well, as we appreciate clean lines, simplicity, and understated luxury.

Our packaging reflects a modern and sleek aesthetic, creating a visually pleasing and timeless appeal. Ultimately, our goal is to create packaging that enhances the overall experience of our products and reflects the high-end and luxurious nature of our candles.

LI: Can you tell us about giving back – the name itself – SEVA – means service – do proceeds go to charity, and which all causes do you support with the business?

AA: As the name "Seva" implies, service is at the core of our values. Sevā India is committed to giving back to the community and supporting charitable causes. We believe in the power of collective action and making a positive impact. Starting with bringing in underprivileged women, who form our core production team to donating towards eye surgery for the needy, we constantly strive to be of service to the under privileged. We may collaborate with various charitable organizations and initiatives that align with our mission of promoting well-being, community support, and social responsibility. Stay tuned for updates on our philanthropic endeavours through our official channels.

LI: How do you plan to develop the line – venture into other home décor?

AA: At Sevā India, we are always exploring ways to expand and develop our product line to offer a wider range of home décor options. Venturing into other home décor categories would include items such as room sprays, reed diffusers, closet and car fresheners, wax melts, and collaborations with artisans for unique and handcrafted pieces. The aim would be to complement our candles and enhance the ambience of living spaces with thoughtfully designed and high-quality home décor products. As we continue to grow and evolve, we will carefully assess market trends, customer preferences, and our brand vision to determine the most suitable avenues for expansion. Our focus will always be on creating products that inspire joy, tranquillity, and a sense of well-being within the home environment.


Priya Kumari Rana

Lifestyle Insider is a kind of junction point, connecting people with diverse interests that touch on the more luxurious aspects of lifestyle – fashion, design, travel, food and spirits, art, watches and jewellery, cars, yachts, and aviation, and technology. People today don’t fit into boxes and categories. In our individual ways, we are interested in diverse themes, products, and the challenges that face our world today. You will judge how well this effort of mine caters to your passions and proclivities.

Lifestyle Insider is a showcase of all that is beautiful and luxe. Behind every creation, is a designer, chef, entrepreneur, or a design maison. I have delved into my own appreciation for objetsde luxe that I have admired over the years – be it a love of fashion from the world’s top Parisian and Italian fashion maisons and their ’90s muses, or the care that goes into sari and Indian textile collections in my own family. Growing up on four continents, as the daughter of a former Indian Ambassador, I’ve seen a remarkable array of historic places and met a myriad people. My aim is to bring my world view into this website, a curation of what I find particularly stunning, unique, and newsworthy.

It’s an exciting time for brands all over the world. With change comes opportunity. With the global ‘reset’ and uncertainty on many fronts, there is a chance to write a new script. Let’s be those pioneers.

A bit about me:
A luxury and fashion journalist with 25 years of experience in publishing and magazine journalism, I have edited some of India’s top fashion and luxury magazines. I got my BA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, and went on to receive my Master’s in English and French from the University of Strasbourg, France. I have also studied German and Film. I live in Gurugram, India, and look forward to once again exploring our world with a new-found freedom.

Priya Kumari Rana

Founder and Editor

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