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Our Story So Far

The idea for the business came after Tony Sykes, father of Emma Sykes who was 22 at the time (Emma has Down Syndrome), could not find work for his daughter. Tony had been self-employed his entire life and thought that starting at business with Emma, would create employment opportunities that would help her on her journey for independence.

Tony and Emma, started making candles with a basic candle kit. It was difficult, and Tony asked a few friends if they knew anyone who had experience making candles. This led to the introduction of Jennifer Del Bel- the owner of a luxury candle making company, Illumina. Tony and Emma joined Jennifer to work for a few days to make candles for a market in the Beachlands area of Auckland.  The story and the candles were such a hit, a trial venture became an overnight international success.




2018 Milestones:

April 27th

Front page article published in Pohutakawa Coast Times, Leanne Chamberlin

May 1st

Logo developed and the brand begins to take shape

May 4th

Tony & Emma attend first market in Beachlands/Pine Harbour

Downlights’ launches on Instagram

May 12th

Tony featured on the AM show with Duncan Garner

May 19th

Featured on Seven Sharp with Tim Wilson.  Sold a candle a minute for 2 days and Downlights gains national awareness

May 20th

Article published on Inspire More by Beverly Jenkins

June 1st

Article published in Eastern Bays Courier, Marlene Singh

June 5th

Feature piece shared on Babble, Disney’s parenting page (1.7 million followers)

Hello USA! We open web sales to the US and Australia on the same day

June 13th

Article published in Stuff, and Sunday Star Times


June 16th

Emma makes first public appearance at Smash Fit Event

July 15th

Co-host event with Epiphany Café at Botany Town Centre for the launch of a Downlights Donut

Aug 7th

Emma receives notice that she is a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year at the Attitude Awards.

Aug 31st

Social media guru Everhance produces a fabulous video clip and it is shared on George TakeiiPresents Facebook page (10 Millilon Followers). We have reached 1.45 Million Views on this page.

Sept 3rd

Article featured in Stuff, by Brittany Keogh

Sept 4th

Follow up story on Seven Sharp with Tim Wilson continues to spark national interest.


Final filming for Attitude document about Tony & Emma