Where were you brought up and where are you based now? I was brought up in Slovakia (Central Europe) but I moved to London when I was 21 without a single word of English. I’ve been based in London for last 10 years and currently contemplating where to go next.
How did your upbringing influence your connection with nature and the world around you? My ancestors were farmers and my family grew their own food until recently. I grew up watching and helping them with the process. When I was about 10 years old I developed an interest in herbalism and I remember I used to pick fresh herbs and flowers in the fields every time I went for a walk. You can pretty much say I’ve always been connected to nature and even though I live in the city now I still have that connection.
Can you share any rituals you incorporate into your daily life? My morning ritual is a cup of coffee and since I became a healer I practice reiki on myself before bedtime.
Can you tell us more about your professional background before creating SVAR:ØG candles? I studied photography and I’ve been doing it professionally for the last 10 years. I specialise in product photography so not having to outsource my product photography has been a big bonus when setting up SVAR:ØG.
Can you tell us the story of SVAR:ØG candles and the inspiration behind the brand? I was burning through so many candles in my home, so it was an obsession and curiosity that got me into making. The market is saturated with so many candle brands however to find a 100% natural product is still quite rare. Having a deep connection with nature I always knew I wanted to make a 100% natural product that doesn’t harm our health and is also kind to the environment.
How do you think we can lead a more mindful and conscious lifestyle as individuals and how can this be beneficial? I think we should look back and learn a thing or two from how our ancestors used to live - they lived very slow life, used their hands a lot to make and create things. They had very little but were happier than people nowadays who have everything and still want more. They re-used items, often for many generations. They fixed broken stuff to gave it another life. I believe in the life cycle of goods - and quality goods will have an extended life cycle.
How important is nature to you and how do you connect with it? Nature is part of me and who I am. Living back home I used to take walks in the forest almost every day but unfortunately living in the city it’s not possible. My partner and I are currently looking at the option of moving somewhere next year that allows us to be closer to countryside and also expand the business side of things.
What or where makes you feel most alive? I love walks in the deep forest, when I can feel the pure energy and life around me. What is beauty to you? - Love is beauty to me.
What do you love most about your work? As a kid I excelled in art subjects and attended art classes after school. My grandfather was a photographer so when I was 14 I got one of his cameras and been taking photos since. I was an artist from very young age, so I’ve been enjoying creating something with my own hands and the fact that people love what I make. I also love the opportunity this business gives me to meet so many lovely people and the connections and friendships I make.
What do you treasure most? - Love, kindness and family. People, places, works of art
KWhat are your favourite sources of inspiration? - I find inspiration in everything. Since I started taking photos, I had to look at the details people usually don’t see. I also find beauty in any small thing and weirdly sometimes it’s the “ugliest” stuff I get inspired from.
What do you do or where do you go to relax when you're not working? - I am currently juggling between two businesses and they take most of my time, so having free time to myself is very rare these days. However, if I get the chance I try to reconnect with myself by meditating, taking a walk in one of the many parks London has to offer and spending time with people I love.
Where would you love to visit? Any particular reason why? - I dream of visiting Japan for its old traditions, simplicity, culture, food and humble people.
What is next on the horizon for you and SVAR:ØG candles? Since our launch in February 2020 we’ve managed to secure seven stockists in the UK and two in Europe and we’ve been featured in September’s issue of the British version of Tatler magazine. We’ve released 6 candle scents, a pillow mist and a tealight Discovery Set. We’re currently working on pillar candles, a couple of new scents for winter and we’re planning on doing candle making workshops in London this Autumn. Hopefully it’ll all be manageable before the end of this year.
Describe SVAR:ØG candles in three words.
Clean, minimalistic, authentic.