Romode was just a vision prior to what it is now.
Rosemary knew she wanted to make candles as a business and her source of income after she had briefly learnt how to do it back in her second year of university. She knew exactly how she wanted the business to turn out but she wasn’t set to begin her journey yet so preceded with her employment as she worked on putting her dream job together. With a very random image of a candle from the internet as her profile picture, her then colleague saw it and placed an order. Rosemary went ahead to get all the particulars needed to make candles and did her very first batch for her first client, that was the very first sale which was 3 candles sold for 25,000 TZS that pushed Rosemary to give us what is Romode Candles today.
Growing up Rose suffered severe malaria often so she was determined to make mosquito repellent in form of candles as well as mosquito repellent jelly which in the long run she managed and it is in the market. Her products are easily accessible in supermarkets and also via kiafrika.shop where she has made a number of sales. At one point, Romode managed to make a sale of 100 candles from one bulk order via Kiafrika platform.
"Kiafrika platform has helped us connect to markets that I would not be able to access on a regular day as most of my customers used to come from recommendations." - Rosemary, Founder of Romode Candles
Rosemary has always preferred dim lights and that is another reason for her love for candles while the urge to learn how to make them in many ways is what got her brand here today. After the first sale which was an eye opening moment of believing in making candles for money, she started putting in extra effort to learn more as she produced more candles with the knowledge she had.
With support from friends and family who assisted with promoting her business, she eventually bought a machine and made labels for her products. Few months after she started working on the candles and building her brand, Rosemary attended an exhibition in Lindi where her products won as best and was invited for more exhibitions in Zanzibar and other parts of Tanzania and that’s how Romode candles picked up in the beginning.
Every small purchase makes a big difference.
Mhelepu Shillingi, a young lady making a living off her talent. She initially did it as a hobby up until 2020 when she decided to spend more time and focused on her hobby then turned it into something that made her money.
As a then second year student at the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, she took it up to the university campus and a restaurant in a popular building in the heart of Dar es Salaam to show the public what she can do. She was sketching in public spaces and that’s where she got recognition and many of her first customers, which is where the journey of a full time artist and how she started making money off her talent. Over two years in with over a hundred drawings and as a full time artist, she has found so much growth in her journey. Learning how to paint, teaching and selling her work she has also found the artists community very supportive and collaborative.
Mhelepu Shillingi, a young lady making a living off her talent.
Mhelepu still finds that most people do not understand the work of art. Time, creativity and focus put into your work does not get valued especially when you are trying to sell your work.
In collaboration with Kiafrika Online Market, Mhelepu is now working on growing her customer base outside Tanzania as for the past few years most of her customers have been within Tanzania.
She has managed to find an identity for her work by having a mix of colours in the background and using charcoal and graphite on her drawings.