By Alesha Capone
Soy candles made by James Nguyen are in hot demand.
Mr Nguyen, 28, launched his candle-making business named Empowering Candles, about one month ago.
Mr Nguyen, who has autism, creates and sells the candles at the Iramoo Community Centre in Wyndham Vale.
After the Iramoo Community Centre shared a post about Empowering Candles on its Facebook page last month, Mr Nguyen was inundated with orders from members of the public– he has received around 68 so far.
“It was a surprise, I am keen to work by making candles,” Mr Nguyen said.
His support worker Cassie, who used to run a candle-making business, is helping to teach him how to make the candles.
Mr Nguyen’s candles come in four sizes, extra-small, small, medium and large. A large candle costs $12.
The scents available are coconut and lime, black raspberry and vanilla, green tea and lemongrass, and cocoa.
Mr Nguyen said he uses recycled jars to make the candles, to help the environment.
Apart from running Empowering Candles, Mr Nguyen said he is looking for part-time work, possibly in retail, library services or at a ten-pin bowling alley.
“Sometimes bosses might judge someone with a disability and think they need a support worker, or put them in an easy position, but some people with a disability are clever,” he said.
In addition to being good at maths and having a good memory, Mr Nguyen can name the capital city of every nation in the world.
If you would like to support Empowering Candles, place an order (cash only) at the Iramoo Community Centre’s front desk.