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Small Business Spotlight – Soy Vella Candles

Small Business Spotlight – Soy Vella Candles

Welcome to our newest regular segment. I should say from the outset, this segment is NOT sponsored. I have invited small businesses  I have found, to share their story in an unpaid format. Being a small business ourselves, I was excited to realise that I actually have the opportunity to support small business myself simply by giving them an opportunity to share their own stories. This weeks story, comes via Marijana Martino Director of Soy Vella Candles. Marijana and I connected over Instagram and this delightful lady can sure make a gorgeous candle. I hope you enjoy this small business story as much as I do.


From the depths of darkness, a new flame was born…


Marijana Martino is the owner of flourishing Melbourne candle company, Soy Vella Candles.  Anyone who meets Marijana, a married mother of one, falls in love with her effervescent personality and her passion for creating hand poured beautiful candles. But her passion has come from a hard road travelled and only her strength, vision and the encouragement of family and friends has bought her to the success she is experiencing today.

Marijana was just 37 years old and working away at her desk; all of a sudden she felt numbness in her left arm and her face and began to feel odd. She told one of her work colleagues she wasn’t feeling well and gave him a rundown of her symptoms. He picked up on what was happening but didn’t say much because he didn’t want Marijana to panic. He smartly called the Stroke Foundation and got her to do a few exercises to see if she could do them.  When they realized that she could not do the simple movements they called her husband Lorenzo and an ambulance.  In hospital she was told she had a mild stroke and was lucky that it didn’t fully touch her brain. Struggling back when Marijana’s Father had died not long before the real drama of a difficult life journey dating back from when she lost her Mother at 19 months of age. In October of 2012 after battling to regain her health after the stroke and suffering the loss of her last living parent, she was required to have major stomach surgery.

The majority of her stomach was cut away and she faced a three-month stint in hospital. Her weight plummeted to 40 kilos I she was lucky to be alive.


“I was off work for 6 months, and it took well over 12 months to get back to normal, l still am not 100% l always forget what l am saying or l stop to think on what l am going to say. I find it very embarrassing. But l guess this is the person I am and I have learned to be proud of me.


My husband Lorenzo and daughter Chelsea helped me so much.

Lorenzo used to shower me, dress me and even take me to toilet.

Chelsea had become my mum.  She looked after me like a child; she fed me and always kept me positive.

Going through this life experience has opened my eyes to what life is really about, when you have your 14 year old daughter at the time saying to you mum l don’t want you to die, I need you, You become to fight every ounce of my mind and body to stay alive and keep fighting for my family. I actually lost the will to live after my father died. My mum died when l was 19 months old, my brother died at 36 years old about 15 years ago so pretty much my whole family has passed on. I don’t know how to explain it but it was like they where pushing me to keep going and see the light that there is more to life than working 24/7 for someone who didn’t appreciate what you were doing.  I had been working so hard and not treating myself with respect,” Mariana explains.




It is strange to look back and see how this terrible time was that ended up leading me to a wonderful time in my life.  Back then I felt very incomplete, l hated it, l felt hopeless.  I am a very independent person and for this to happen to me was totally devastating.  I needed something to do to occupy my mind and time while I recovered.   I needed something to keep me busy so l wouldn’t think of the things that had happened to me. I also wanted to try and build a business where l didn’t have to work for someone else who didn’t appreciate me as a person.  Candle making presented itself to me and I began to experiment with the process, enjoying creating beautiful fragrances and sourcing interesting containers.  Making candles put me in ‘the zone’ and helped me recover.  It was amazing.   Now I have a growing business and have met so many wonderful people who continue to bring light into my life.



I believe that life has thrown me so many challenging things but the key to success is to never give up and just be true to yourself.  My message is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. You have to live life by your own terms and you have to not worry about what other people think and you have to have the courage to do the unexpected.



We don’t develop courage by being happy every day.


We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.


You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own. I write about the power of trying, because I want to be okay with failing. I write about generosity because I battle selfishness. I write about joy because I know sorrow. I write about faith because I almost lost mine, and I know what it is to be broken and in need of redemption. I write about gratitude because I am thankful – for all of it.  Believe in yourself believe in the power you have to change your life.There is life after a stroke… l am living proof!!


Live Your Life…. Be Free…..

You can find the very lovely The Vella Box via Instagram, or Soy Vella Candles via Instagram, Facebook and the website.

Are you a candle lover like me? What is your favourite scent?

Nicole xxx

**Disclosure, I have not received any payment in any form for providing this opportunity. As always if I receive any product, payment or payment in kind, I will preface the article with that statement. I simply enjoy the opportunity to share small business to a new audience.



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1 Comment

  1. What an amazing story – so inspiring! I think there’s so much to take away from Marijana’s story, it’s one of courage, love and hope and of course, beautiful candles!

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