Scent can be a powerful evocation; a memory, a feeling, or even a fresh start. Candle making certainly offered just that to Sabrina Clarke. The mum-of-four has always had a creative streak. But after a difficult year during the pandemic, Sabrina needed a new challenge.
She told Centre of Excellence, “At the beginning of 2021, I set myself the goal of running my own business in order to be my own boss and still be able to be a full-time mum.”
Acknowledging the fact that many have struggled to find solace and relaxation in a very stressful time globally, Sabrina came up with the idea of creating beautiful, personalised and scented candles. Although she had no experience with candle making, the thought of crafting new designs from wax appealed to her as she could create them from her home in Norwich.
"I knew nothing about candle making..."
Sabrina said, “I knew nothing about candle making until I started my course with Centre of Excellence, which I'm so very grateful for. Everything I've learnt is from the course and, after months of studying, I pushed myself to apply for my business name.”
So, Clarkie's Candles was born.
Sabrina’s natural talent for working with wax is palpable in her creations. They come in all shapes and sizes, often incorporating flourishes from nature such as dried flowers, leaves and twigs. Other candles include playful touches such as glitter, brightly-coloured waxes, and various themes for special occasions.
The care that goes into these intricate designs reflects Sabrina’s giving attitude and her joy in seeing others happy. She said, “I try to live each day helping others. Seeing people smile makes it all worth it.”
But, for Sabrina, her creations are about so much more than providing special moments for others. Just as the wax is moulded into something new, the candles symbolise Sabrina’s own journey and transformation.
Sabrina said, “In my life, I’ve struggled, like most of us have, but it has made me stronger and who I am today.” Sabrina lives with a number of health conditions, including a brain condition triggered by a stroke she had five years ago that has left her with a severe lack of confidence and chronic shyness.
These struggles have been compounded by naysayers.
Sabrina explained, “All my life, I've hit hurdles and others have doubted my ability to do things. There were knocks on the way when others put me down and told me I was wasting my time and wouldn’t do it because it's something I was trying to do for myself.”
She added, “I think it's because I struggle reading and writing — but this course gave me the option to have audio, which has given me the chance to make my new dreams and goals come true.”
While naysayers might see struggles with reading and writing as a limitation, Sabrina has developed her creative abilities and her determination to succeed.
She practised pouring her candles over and over again, persevered through the set-up of her business and has achieved her goals for herself and her kids. Sabrina says her children and boyfriend have been a constant source of inspiration.
She recalls the moment her 12-year-old approached her as she was pouring a candle to say, “Mummy, I can do anything because you can…”
Since then, Sabrina says she has refused to give up and, with the support of her close family, has been able to achieve her dream of running her own business in less than a year.
Sabrina also shared her gratitude for online and accessible learning.
She said, “My CoE course has helped me achieve my goals and has changed my life for the better. Thanks to the course and the support I had from the CoE team, I was able to go the whole way, and now own my own candle making business.”
Sabrina concluded, “The best thing about achieving my own business is that I have something to call my own. The goal is to create something that's different, to show my little ones my certificates, and teach them that if you work hard, no matter what life throws at you, you can do anything.”
Sabrina is living proof dreams can come true if you don’t give up and, in her words, “shoot for the stars.”