By Daniel Hunter

A Kent company that produces realistic artificial candles has an even brighter future, after clinching sales worth more than £2.5m in Europe, thanks to help from local export experts, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Candella Limited, a start-up company based in Sevenoaks, produces battery powered realistic-looking wax candles, known as Luminara. The product’s versatility and safety compared to conventional candles means they are a popular choice in both home and commercial environments.

With confidence in their brand, Candella brought in experts from UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) South East to help them reach global markets.

Candella, a team of four, has generated sales worth more than £2.5m from deals struck up across the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France over a 12 month period and expects rapid growth over the next few years.

“We have worked closely with UKTI and our designated adviser for more than a year to develop an export strategy for our start up business," Paul Obey, Managing Director, for Candella said.

“As well as valuable advice for financing options, marketing, legal issues, web-site design and communication strategy, we’ve benefitted hugely from financial support.

“The UKTI Passport to Export programme helped us fund attendance at overseas trade shows and visits to international clients.

“Our company has managed to generate sales of more than £2.5m - I cannot recommend UKTI resources highly enough.”

Candella’s product recently got the royal seal of approval after taking its product to the British Embassy in Brussels as part of a UKTI showcase of Britain’s high end quality products in home accessories and gifts. The showcase, at the British Ambassador’s Residence, was attended by the Prince of Belgium and also led to the company being featured in the local media, including a live interview on Radio Bruxelles.

“On the back of this UKTI event, the awareness of the product across Benelux countries — Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg - has significantly increased and we are seeing a rise in not only retail orders, but also from those in the commercial sector," Paul added.

“We were delighted by the response we got in Belgium which shows the strength of the British brand on the continent. Despite all the issues with the Euro, trade opportunities are out there.

“We have also recently re-launched our website as we recognise that a credible on-line presence is essential to expanding awareness of the brand.”

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