Case Study – Ornamental Candle Cradle Design for Natural Candle Specialist Mazo Candles
In 2020, Cambridge Design Technology (CDT) was approached by entrepreneur and TV presenter Zo Christien to develop a range of ornamental candle holder cages for a brand new natural candle range.
As Zo explains, having worked with CDT on an earlier product development project, “It was a complete no brainer” to use the same team again for her latest venture.
“Having a nice team of people who ‘just get it’ to work with is worth its weight in gold” she adds. “I’d recommend Cambridge Design Technology to anyone.”
The idea for Mazo Candles came about after some challenging times for Zo. Opting for a less frenetic and more spiritual lifestyle, Zo chose to apply her business skills (and an inherited love for candles) to the growing market for ethical and non-synthetic candles.
From the outset the plan was to create a premium, natural candle range with both aromatic and visual appeal.
Starting the new business venture with Zo was her sister Maz – and Mazo Candles was born.
Product Design Requirement
When Zo researched the ‘mass-market’ candle industry, she realised that many existing candles were paraffin-based and reliant on synthetic chemicals for their scent.
In contrast, Zo decided, Mazo candles would be made using soya wax with additional oils such as coconut and rapeseed, and essential oils for scent. In fact, by mixing different natural ingredients the sisters discovered that they could produce candles that performed better than traditional candles.
Having developed a wax formula and found a supplier, the remaining requirement was to create visual designs for the range.
As Zo summarises “I wanted a candle range that can be an object of beauty in its own right, something that could stand alone in the centre of a dinner table and hold attention”.
Why Cambridge Design Technology was selected
Having already used CDT’s product design services on an earlier project, Zo Christien knew how the team there worked, and that they could help her and Maz bring Mazo Candles to market.
“Jon and the team immediately engaged with our candle development project,” says Zo.
“I felt right from the start that they had embraced our ideas, understood where we wanted to go with Mazo, and just ‘got’ why it had to be a visual thing that looks amazing.”
A key goal for the design was to show that they are natural. Furthermore, the design must be distinctive enough to differentiate Mazo Candles from the competition in a very busy market.
Having fully understood and bought into the creative vision and requirements for Mazo candles, Cambridge Design Technology took the concept and produced initial designs for the candle holders and cradles.
As well as the candles themselves, the range comprised of glass holders in several sizes for candles of 250ml, 500ml and 1000ml wax volumes.
A core design for the small, medium and large glasses was produced and implemented in both a classic “Elizabethan” four leaf geometric design and a freeform “60’s retro” swirls style.
From here, the CDT team designed the candle holder’s engineering form made up of CNC-machined feet and laser cut thin gauge brushed steel in the custom sizes. They sourced prototypes and made small design adjustments so each candle and glass holder size would fit snugly into its metal cradle.
Finally, CDT also worked with Zo to conceptualise a packaging format for Mazo Candles and a range of tealights, ready for a market launch.
Summing up her latest experience of working with the design team at Cambridge Design Technology, Zo Christien says:
“We want to position Mazo Candles at the top end of the market, aiming at ‘spiritual’ people who value essential oils and use candles to boost the mood of a room for a vibrant, uplifting sensation.
“The wonderful thing about working with Jon, Jack and the rest of the team at Cambridge Design Technology is that they simply ‘get it’.
They are a pleasure to work with and a talented bunch of designers who have made our product development journey much easier than it might have been.
CDT also provided Zo with digital imagery for use in product promotion and marketing.
“My sister and I are both delighted with how Mazo Candles has come to life with Cambridge Design Technology’s help,” concludes Zo.
“The candles designs are not just beautiful but also make a bold statement.”