This is personally, my favorite time of year. It always has been but even more so since I got into the candle business. I just adore the natural fragrances of this season. Speaking of fragrances, our Fall scents have just arrived and are being tested as I type this. So far, the cold throw is amazing and I can't wait to light them up and test their hot throw properties.
With this blog post, I want to remind everyone how to burn your candles properly so that you get the best burn every time.
- Always trim your wick before lighting. This should be done each and every time you go to light your candles.
- On the first burn of a new candle, be sure to allow a full melt pool to ensure great future burns. If you don't allow for a full melt pool on the first burn, you may have a candle that is "tunneling" down the middle. A good rule of thumb for this is to burn your candle the first time for one hour per inch of the container's diameter.
- Keep your candles away from drafts such as open windows and doors, AC and heating vents. Drafts can cause your candles to burn improperly.
- Don't burn your candles for more than a few hours. If you'd like to burn longer, extinguish the candle, trim the wick carefully and re-light.
If you do all of the above, your candles will burn evenly and you will get the proper amount of hours out of your candles.
I hope everyone enjoys the great weather of Fall and all of its beauty. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, ideas or suggestions.
Til next time....keep it glowing :)
It has been just over 6 months that we took our business public and I cannot believe where we are in such a short time. Most businesses take at least a year to really take off and get out of the red so to speak, and that's if they're one of the lucky ones. But, we have done even better than that in just 6 months! Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I look at how far we've come in such a short time.
I started this business after being laid off from a position I truly enjoyed, due to the economy and downsizing of the company I was working for. I have always had a crazy (some might call obsessive) passion for candles. My sister-in-law had a candle shop out on the West Coast, and after she sent me her hand poured soy candles, I was in love with soy, how cleanly they burned and I found the scent throw to be incredible. She taught me why there is simply no better candle to burn than soy and how to achieve making the best soy candle out there. So, I threw away the dozens of paraffin candles I had in my home and tried my hand at making these candles to enjoy for myself.
During the time I was laid off and searching for a job and becoming frustrated at not being able to find a decent paying position due to the awful turn our economy took, my husband suggested I start a business of my own. After countless hours of research to learn everything and anything I could learn about the candle business and many mentoring talks with my candle genius sister-in-law, I went for it.
Now for the announcement....just a little over six months in and having been so successful this quickly..... We find ourselves in need of help and will be hiring our first employee! I honestly didn't see this happening for quite some time, but it is happening NOW! Crazy, I know right?! This business is my full time gig so I have plenty of time to devote to it. Having to bring someone in already, just goes beyond what I thought would happen at this point. The young lady we have decided on will be handling our sales and having seen her in action already, I know she is going to have Shore Makes Scents products in countless shops, wineries, salons, spas, B&B's and the list goes on. We decided to hire someone because at this point, I simply can't handle everything by myself. Right now, I handle all aspects of the biz like maintain the website, pour candles, make scrubs, order supplies, package product, ship product, handle finances, marketing, sales, and on and on. Now, to be able to hand over the sales to someone who I am very confident in, is a true blessing. If she does as well as I think she will, we may need to hire even more people. Haha! I always thought I'd be a one man band, so to speak, but Shore Makes Scents is about to blow up huge in a way I hadn't even envisioned.
I am beyond thankful for you, my loyal customers, the support of my family and friends and also a special mention of my nephew who has a brilliant business mind and has assisted me with the financial and marketing aspect of it all. Without all of these people, this business would not be where it is. I simply don't have words to express my gratitude to all of you who helped me achieve a dream of being an entrepreneur and being able to live my life on my own terms. I will say to anyone that has a dream that maybe think they can't make it come true, or maybe you are afraid to take the leap.... Take that leap! Believe in yourself! Believe that you can, and you WILL!
Til next time....keep it glowing :)
As I was carefully packaging up orders today, I got to thinking about something I read recently on another candle company's website. They were making orders and shipping them the same day. Same day?! What?!
For those that don't know, a soy candle will burn best and have optimal scent throw when cured properly. This is why I state on my website that once an order is placed, it will ship 3-4 days after the order is received. The reason for that is solely because I make orders as they come in and cure them for at least 3 days before shipping. Not only do they need time to cure, but the temperature that they cure in is also important. Ideal temp is 68-72 degrees.
Now, when we ship, we can't control the temps the candles are sitting in as they move from facility to facility and from state to state. We also all know how packages get thrown around during shipping, so the uncured candle is not sitting undisturbed in a ideal temp setting, as it should be. I could offer a quicker turnaround time, but then I would be sending out my products without being able to say I gave complete attention to detail to every candle that left here. When it comes to curing, I need to control the where and temp in which it happens. I have been told that I can be obsessively punctilious when it comes to my work. But, it makes me feel good to give my customers the best products I am capable of. This is why it doesn't feel like a "job" to me. Feeling good about what you do is what it's all about in my book!
Til next time....keep it glowing :)
After having a nice conversation with a good friend today, I sat here thinking how blessed I am. My friend's teenage daughter has Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, which in her case is a mix of Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis & Scleroderma. Can you imagine that as a teenager? It must be hard enough as an adult to have such a disease, but being given this diagnosis as a teenager must be extremely difficult. Her beautiful daughter is a very active girl with cheerleading and typical teenage activities, so to live with the pain she has to endure daily, must be the hugest challenge. We all know how unkind children can be in school, so her challenges are many, both physically and emotionally. Yet, this kid keeps on keeping on with a smile on her face. No doubt thanks to her very involved and caring parents that make her the strong young lady she is. So, as I sat her thinking about all this, I decided to donate 15% of all Shore Makes Scents sales for the month of May to The Lupus Foundation. Which brings me to my point of today's blog entry.
Some of you already know that we are always involved in one cause or another, be it a Fundraiser, Animal Shelter, Horse Rescue, etc. But, I want to go a step further and have decided that every 3rd month, we will choose a cause and donate 15% of our sales for that month to that particular cause. I have already decided that the August cause will be Rheumatoid Arthritis and our donation will go to The Arthritis Foundation. I chose that because someone very near and dear to me suffers from that affliction specifically. I'd like to ask my Shore Makes Scents people to choose an organization or foundation near and dear to your heart that you'd like us to make one of our every 3rd month donations to. Once we have a bunch of suggestions from you, we will write them on a piece of paper and draw one out every 3rd month and continue on with this donation idea. And if you have a story to go along with your suggestion, we'd love to hear it. Feel free to post your suggestions and stories below in comments.
I will end this by saying that by no means are my husband and I rich, but I feel like we are due to the caring, thoughtful and loving family and friends we surround ourselves with. So, I'd like to show my appreciation for what I have by giving back and paying it forward. Because after all, isn't that truly what life should be all about?
Til next time....keep it glowing :)
So, I'm in week number three of this pneumonia gig and finally starting to feel somewhat normal again. I don't do sick very well and my poor husband has been a Godsend through this illness. I am seeing the doc this week and I'm hoping that me and this pneumonia are ready to part ways for good.
Why am I thankful? Well, aside from the fact that this illness didn't kill me and my husband being the absolute best through it all, I am thankful for my family, friends and loyal customers. Today, I am back to doing some real candle pouring again. Yay! I have events and parties coming up that I'm excited about and my faithful customers placed their usual once a month orders. So, it feels good to be back to pouring, listening to tunes and taking a break to have lunch and type a quick blog entry. I feel the need to give a shout out (do people still say that? haha!) to some special friends. Dawn....she keeps me laughing by just being her real and funny self. She truly helped me through the last few weeks and kept my spirits up. Martha, my newest friend.....she has the kindest heart and reminds me that there are still people in the world worth knowing. She is funny as all get out too. We've had some great belly laughs lately. Last but not least, Brenda....she's been an inspiration to me since I've known her. With all she faces, she shines like no other. I'm so proud to know this woman and I'm honored to walk with her and her beautiful family next month at the Walk for Lupus in OC.
I will end this entry with a request. Let's get back to business talk, so please ask me any candle/tarts/scrubs related questions you may have. I'm here to educate to the best of my ability. So fire away if there is something you'd like the answer to. If you don't have a question, how about a request or suggestion. I'm always open to those.
Til next time....keep it glowing :)
Meet my bed buddies. Yes, that's right, my bed buddies. I landed myself in the hospital last week with double pneumonia. I can't seem to do things in small fashion, so I went big and contracted myself not just pneumonia, but double pneumonia. My doc said both lungs were full with this gross disease. Yay me! Rarely getting sick and having not been in a hospital since I was about 11 years old, I was not exactly a happy chick. My observant & thoughtful husband knew this and brought me these adorable stuffed animals that became my constant companions for when visiting hours were over and I was left with only hospital staff to hang out with. Funny how the simplest of things can change one's attitude and mood. How could I wake to see these and not smile? Well, I guess I would have actually had to sleep in order to wake. Which brings me to this. There is no rest to be had in a hospital. Every hour on the hour, new faces greeted me to poke and prod and generally make me miserable. Their intentions were good of course, but I was never happy to see them. All I wanted to do was sleep away this rotten illness. The staff at the hospital was having none of that and ignored my pleas for one solid hour of sleep.
Ever ingenious that I am, I hatched a plan to free myself from this prison. My last morning there, I took myself, my IV and oxygen into the bathroom where I washed up, put on some makeup (yes, makeup in the hospital...I had a plan!), and braided my hair quite cutely. I now looked well! As well as one can look with double pneumonia anyway. I had been priming one of the nurses to feed the doctor how well I was looking and feeling. He was making his rounds on the floor and coming to see me to assess my status. There was little hope at that time that I'd be getting out in the next few days, much less that day. But I was ready for him! I waited. Quite patiently I might add. He got called away just before coming to my room. Really? Ugh. Ok, so I get to enjoy another yummy hospital lunch (ok, it really wasn't so bad), watch the Phillies play some ball and wait for the doc to return.
Quite a few hours later, he returned and came to my room. Long story short, I worked my charm and he agreed to release me if I swore to follow his every instruction. I was to pretend I was still in the hospital and do a whole lot of nothing. Which is exactly what I have been doing and hence, my surrender into the blogging world. But, I am starting to feel much better and so very ready to resume work. I have a lot of orders waiting to be poured and I cannot wait to dive back in. I appreciate the understanding and patience my customers have shown me during this time. You really are the best ever! I feel very blessed to come out on the right end of this illness. I am so fortunate to have the best husband that doesn't tolerate my stubbornness when I refuse to go to the hospital. I have a fantastic family and the most fabulous friends a girl could ever ask for. On top of that, I get to work this amazing business that I am so passionate about. Damn, it's great to be alive!
Future blog entries will be more business related and much more interesting. This, I promise. But, I had to start somewhere, so I figured I blather on about my near death experience. Haha! Til next time....keep it glowing :)