Saturday, July 12, 2014

Candles Available For Sale -- As Of 7/12

Candles currently available for sale - 
Cinnamon Candy - red - 2 each
Cucumber Melon - green - 3 each
Egyptian Amber - orange - 3 each
Fresh Linens - dark blue - 2 each
Lavender & Lace - purple - 2 each
Lemon Cupcake - yellow - 3 each
Love's Spell - light blue - ...? (these are reserved most likely for my neighbor)
Raspberry Sorbet - pink - 2 each
Vanilla Cream - brown - 3 each

Price - $4 per candle (plus cost of shipping, if applicable)

I have uncolored versions of all candles, six each, that will be on sale (MOST LIKELY) at New Leaf Market starting next weekend - price will be a little higher per candle due to in-store markup for profit margins.

For those of you not close by to the Panhandle, I think flat rate shipping should work - I doubt they'll reach heat enough to melt (my wax was perfectly intact when it shipped from my distributor). This would be added on to your total purchase price. I do have a PayPal account that should work for electronic transactions.

Any other questions or want a special fragrance just let me know and I'll see what I can do. There are MANY options available!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Candle Production...and first sale? :)

So, as I predicted Monday, I didn't get my delivery in until about 6pm...when I was already on the road to pick up the fiance from work.  Even though we didn't get home until after 8pm, I couldn't resist opening up all of my boxes, checking for anything damaged (100% intact, thanks Candle Science!), and...using my free sample fragrance to make my first ever batch of candles!!!

So, this is a typical "prep" state for my current candle production setup. My batches I've done thus far have been 1lb of wax, which makes exactly three candles. I like to get the containers ready ahead of time with all parts attached (warning/instruction sticker is already on bottom, wicks are secured, etc) and add my dye chip (the yellow piece stuck to the side on the bottom picture) with my wax to the pot immediately. In lieu of a double boiler or hot plate (neither of which I already owned), I have a huge stock pot filled with water with another smaller pot with water in it to make a double boiler of sorts.

I quickly learned that, for one batch of candles, my setup is not very good. It takes a good bit to get everything up to temperature just for one measly batch of three candles - in short, I spent most of my time watching a pot, waiting for it to boil...insert whatever cliche phrase you like here. Through all the waiting, however, I finally got to the point of pouring...

Success. For my first batch of candles, really, things went beyond smooth. Those three got the royal treatment -- I hid them under my huge stockpot and left them out overnight before coming back in the morning and cutting the wicks:
I'm the proud mama of three absolutely perfect Lemon Cupcake candles -- the first business success of Sweet Little Somethings, a completed and well-made batch of candles! The Lemon Cupcake candles smell absolutely fabulous and the buttery yellow color was pretty much exactly what I wanted. So far I've had no issues with irregularities or frosting on ANY of my candles. The only imperfections were a direct result of either myself mis-cutting a wick on a Lavender & Lace candle (purchased by the fiance) or my five year old touching a Cucumber Melon candle before it was completely set (very small spot, I think it can be sold still as is).

So, after only doing one batch late Monday night, today was a candle marathon. While Chris worked a half-day at work, I managed to complete four batches of three candles each. Lavender & Lace, Fresh Linens, Egyptian Amber, and Vanilla Cream got made batch after batch in about three hours. Doing multiple batches with my setup was MUCH faster versus the single batch time. I can honestly say I really enjoyed making these today!!! Morning session pictures:
Lavender & Lace wax melting. Dye chip is the dark object.

Lavender & Lace poured.

Lavender & Lace starting to set on top; leftmost candle cools the fastest for some reason. Fresh Linens candles are the fresh-poured three on the bottom.
Almost fully set Lavender & Lace - such a perfect color!
Fresh Linens, almost set (blue) - Egyptian Amber freshly poured (orange)
The brown is Vanilla Cream - I didn't get pictures of it during production. The orange is the Egyptian Amber, and the rest you can see what they are from the pictures above. :)

So, in one morning I had made a little more than half of the fragrances I had ordered into a batch of candles. The finished products are bold and smell heavenly - though the Lavender & Lace doesn't smell like TRUE lavender (thus the reason I have decided to change the name a little), and the Vanilla Cream is somewhat light (thus, Vanilla Cream). The Fresh Linens scent is very strong in terms of cold throw, as is the Lemon Cupcake. Either way, the scents and colors are very nice and consistent really for a first timer!!!

After we got Chris and ran some errands, we finally got home around 5pm, which is when I decided to power through and finish the other four batches I needed to get done to have the full array of fragrances available when I pitch the products at my regular job next week. The afternoon session pictures:
Green - Cucumber Melon
Red - Cinnamon Candy
Both of these fragrances are extremely accurate to the names given! The Cucumber Melon candles have a good cold throw and are a dead ringer for their Bath and Bodyworks counterpart fragrance. Chris does not like Cucumber Melon fragrance, so he complained the whole time I made these; I made them first however followed by the strong Cinnamon Candy fragrance to drown it out. The Cinnamon Candy candles are Red Hots reincarnated as a extremely strong fragrance, and I used LESS fragrance oil in these on purpose and feel they overpower everything around them still!

Pink - Raspberry Sherbert
Blue - Love's Spell
I'm no Victoria's Secret type nor am I into perfume, but it seems as if the Love Spell fragrance by VS is extremely popular. Love's Spell is a rather obvious imitation of the same smell; my fiance actually liked this particular smell quite a lot when I didn't think he would. The Raspberry Sherbert name (originally from Raspberry Macaroon fragrance) was necessitated for me because I really can't smell the coconut that is supposed to be there -- but I definitely get a Raspberry Sherbert smell! Chris suggested Raspberries and Cream, but since I decided on Vanilla Cream for the vanilla...Raspberry Sherbert is sticking.

All in all, I had extremely few mishaps and by the end of the day a great system of line production. My turnaround times between batches were pretty short and cleanup wasn't bad at all prior to refilling containers and going through the process again. The only thing missing from me being ready to take these guys into work are my labels (should be here maybe tomorrow or Thursday!) and a bit more time to let the candles cure (general recommendation is a week for best results). I'll make my pitch sometime next week. :)

Chris (a.k.a the fiance) bought four from me at my $4 price -- my first real customer haha! -- and I get to enjoy them along with the profit. Fabulous! I also don't have to put my labels on these, so I get to save a little material as well. :) Here's to hoping there are many more sales and happy customers to come!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Welcome to the site!

Starting this coming Monday, when my materials finally arrive, my new business venture and journey of creating handmade candles will begin. Along with my Facebook site, my plan is to document in detail the work and love being put into my creations. I would love to almost recreate what I do, step by step, for everyone to have a good feel of what learning the candlemaking business is really like. Make no mistake: I am a beginner, and I am sure I'll make some beginner mistakes.

My ultimate hope and goal is to have this be a profitable side business to myself working at my regular job. I have a chance to possibly bring my product in to my place of employment as a product we sell on the shelf if my manager likes them, and I do want to sell them with family and friends face-to-face if possible. I do enjoy candles quite a bit, as I find a lot of people do, and I hope that my products will brighten many people's homes in the near future. There are a few reasons my candles should interest you:

  • Made from 100% soy wax: a clean-burning, American produced alternative to the crude oil byproduct paraffin -- less soot with longer burn times!
  • No heavy metals or lead wicks: the wicks are a blend of cotton and plant fibers woven together to burn cleanly and be self-trimming as well!
  • Convenient metal tin: keeping a lid on your candle between burnings will prevent oxidation of the wax, while the little metal feet on the bottom of the container will protect surfaces from heat (yet, as always, candles should be carefully monitored due to fire hazards - never leave a candle unattended).
  • The fragrances available are (almost) limitless!: upon request, I can potentially find many other fragrances that are not in my main beginning stock of 8 scents -- if you want a particular scent, I can create three candles for your special order (my smallest batch size is three - buying all three is a must!).
Please, if you have any other questions or want to learn more about my upcoming process, contact me on Facebook or here on Blogger. Expect a long winded post on Monday from my first batch of candles - including pictures! I really can't wait to share the initial batch being produced with everyone.