Moving to Canada as a young adult poses many obstacles but also offers many opportunities. Ramon Dean Segui discovered this when he came to Vancouver in 2019 when his family migrated. He went to work right away and instantly appreciated the feeling of independence one gets when given the chance to be employed and to use one’s skills. While working, he took different courses that earned him diplomas and certificates relevant to working in the food industry, where he started as a dishwasher and worked his way up to be a Sous Chef at Section 3, one of the popular restaurants in Yaletown that time. He decided to switch careers and became a bus driver for Translink before working at HandyDart which is his current job.
One day, Ramon found himself having issues with his health, and had a kidney transplant. At the time he was recovering, he was asked by his daughter Janelle, who had her own little micro business baking cakes and confectionery, to go into business together, making scented candles since they both liked them. He found that candles helped him in his recovery process, and read about the benefits of aromatherapy, which he shares with his customers as a back story of his business.
“We searched online where we could get the supplies locally and we started that week,” Ramon shares. He experimented and tested making the candles until he perfected their product with the help of video tutorials online. His wife helped him with the production of the candles as well.
He chose this product because of the therapeutic benefits that people need. Ramon says that candles have been enjoyed by both men and women all over the world for years, that’s why he wants to produce candles with high quality.
“Whenever I see people enjoying my finished product, it gives me a feeling of joy and accomplishment. I finally decided to make more candles to share the benefits with family and friends. The positive feedback from them drove me to make more and start selling them,” he says. Ramon adds that his candles calms the mind, relaxes the body, improves mood, stimulates memory and supports a restful sleep.
One of the features of their product is that they are made from 100% vegan soy wax candles, safe for children and pets, and they have a clean burn. They also customized gifts and giveaways according to customers preferences.
What started as a side business has now become a full-time business when Ramon and his family decided to incorporate the business in January 2023 because of the warm acceptance of the community. They called their product Artsy Candle, and are now being sold in various markets, online, and internationally.
For Ramon and his family, showcasing Filipino products with Canada and with the world shows how much they love our culture and heritage.
“Artsy Candle labels have the sun in the background similar to one in the Philippine flag to show a part of our heritage. It is a good way to explain to young Filipinos here that the sun represents liberty,” Ramon adds.
He feels that it is important to share with the next generation of Fil-Cans our culture and history to keep our Filipino community alive in Canada.
“As parents to our only daughter, we started volunteering at Filipino events when she was little. One of the best things we did for her was to understand who we truly are and learn about our culture.”
Giving back to the community is very important for their family. Their tagline is “maker of candles with a purpose”, as they run a feeding program in the Philippines. Each candle they sell feeds one child at a time, with proceeds going to the feeding program. They also volunteer with Filipino Seniors of BC to deliver food to those who are immobile, and attend some of their events to support their organization.
The success of Artsy candles is because of their unique scents. They have a Pinoy scents collection that captured our kababayans hearts in Canada and abroad. Scents included their most popular one, the authentic smell of sampaguita, the national flower. They also have ube keyk, kapeng barako, leche flan, buko pandan, kalachuchi, gumamela, and Pinoy rum.
“We are in the process of adding New Pinoy Scents for the coming Filipino events organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Vancouver in June and December,” Ramon shares.
They also have a variety of scents that are popular to non-Filipino markets and were very well accepted.
With all this hard work and enthusiasm for their unique product, Artsy Candles is lighting the way for many other Pinoy businesses whose aim is keep the future bright for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
(You can find Artsy Candles on their website artsycandle.com, Instagram @artsycandle_rvj and on Facebook as Artsy Candle – with the yellow Sun logo and AC in the center)