Monthly Archives: March 2013

Mar
31

From Cake Decorating to Soap Making

This entry was posted in cold process soap, Fragrance Oils, soap making interview, Soap making supplies, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , on by .

estee lauder photo

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:  Michelle L. Daniel  of Tea Time Creations, LLC.

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I have always been interested in aromatherapy.  My nightly ritual involved relaxing in a hot bath with my own special blend of essential oils.  Since I have always been drawn to scented bath products, I wondered if I could make a soap with my special recipe of essential oils that I loved so much.  I began researching soapmaking and decided to give it a try.  I was addicted.

After experimenting with several different recipes, I wondered if I could incorporate my cake decorating skills into soapmaking.  A friend who had seen my work suggested I take my soaps to a holiday craft event.  One thing lead to another, and Tea Time Creations, LLC was formed the beginning of 2012.  I haven’t given up my career as a court reporter, but I hope to someday make Tea Time Creations, LLC a successful business.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  I make custom designed soap into cakes and cupcakes.  I also make three-tier cake stands to display my soap out of vintage china.

4.  What are your business goals?  I truly hope to someday make Tea Time Creations, LLC a successful business.  Ultimately, I hope to do custom designs for weddings, showers, parties, etc.  I really enjoy coming up with new designs and challenging myself to create unique pieces.  I have always been drawn to the unique, and want to create a product which will memorialize a life event — that bride on her special day, a mother to be, or a child’s first birthday.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  Being a new, start-up business, I have had the need and opportunity to order several products from several different companies.  I find Natures Gardens fragrance oils to be the best.  When a company is formed with the purpose of satisfying the sense of smell, the scents chosen are the most important ingredient, and Natures Garden wins hands down.

Your Website:  www.teatimecreations.com

Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/teatimecreationsllc

Mar
30

How to Hire Quality Employees

This entry was posted in hiring, interviewing employees, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, quality employees, soap making interview and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by .

interview pic

Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink…

If unemployment is so high, why is it so difficult for some small businesses to find good employees? Finding great employees is just like finding great customers. You need a staffing plan just like you need a marketing plan.

A successful staffing plan consists of 5 steps.

1.  Recruit constantly

2.  Interview efficiently

3.  Reference check thoroughly

4.  Offer quickly

5.  If you make a hiring mistake, (and even the most experienced and skilled interviewers occasionally get fooled) correct it immediately.

When employers find themselves in crisis hiring mode, they have a tendency to hire quickly and fire slowly. I like the opposite approach. Hire slowly and fire quickly.

Recruit constantly.

Build a recruiting database. If you approach recruiting the same way you market your business to attract new customers, 24/7, you’ll find the whole process less stressful and much less costly.

If you recruit only when you have an opening, you won’t get the best people because the pressure to hire quickly causes you to be less selective and sometimes even results in a bad hiring decision. You want the luxury of being able to be picky. It’s also the most cost-effective method. If you are constantly build your recruiting database you may only need to place a phone call to fill an opening.

  • Consider calling people who used to work for you who left on good terms. Returning to a former employer is a real trend and it’s happening in all industries. The trend is appropriately dubbed “boomeranging.” These people can hit the ground running! All you have to do is call and ask. Even if they say no, you can then ask if they know of anyone else who might be interested and would be a good fit.
  • Ask your current employees. Research shows that employee-referred candidates are three times more likely to be a good match for the job.
  • Ask your customers. An often neglected source of candidates is your customers. They already like your product, your store, your location, and the people you have working for you!
  • Your current applicants. The reference checking process is also an opportunity to add to your recruiting database

Interview efficiently means taking the time.

Finding someone you like and your team likes can take a long time. If you have a pool of applicants from your database, don’t rush it. And don’t hesitate to involve your star performers in the process as a means of rewarding performance and modeling successful behavior. Just make sure you properly train and monitor them in effective and legal interviewing.

I prefer behavior based interviewing; Asking questions that target previous behaviors. For instance;

“Tell me about a day when you had to complete a certain project by a deadline but on that particular day, someone called in sick and you knew you couldn’t complete it on time by yourself.”

Then follow-up with questions to elicit specifics;

“How did you handle it? What did you do? What was the result at the end of the day?”

Past behavior is a great predictor of future behavior. But behavioral questions are only effective when they prompt a response that reveals the truth about both weaknesses and strengths. It’s important when developing questions that you don’t word them in a way that makes them a leading question.

For example:

“Tell me about a conflict with a co-worker and how you resolved it.”

The latter part is the leading part. With this question, you’ve just signaled that you don’t want to hear about any times that they did NOT resolve the conflict with a coworker.

A better way to ask the question would be:

“Tell me about a conflict you had with a co-worker that stands out in your mind.”

Then ask the follow-up questions without leading toward a positive or negative result.

“How did you handle it? What did you do? What was the result at the end of the day?”

In the world of job applicants, there are problem bringers and there are problem solvers. You want to be able to identify which you’d be getting if you hired this person.

You’ll want to develop these open-ended questions to signal whether or not the applicant has the mental and physical abilities required to do the job, the dispositions such as dependability, initiative, and customer service, The personality temperament and traits such as competitiveness, assertiveness, and sociability that will fit in your company and of course the basic skills required to do the job.

Once you get the applicant describing a past situation, the key for you is to listen, and not leading the discussion. Don’t worry about pauses. Listen to what’s not said, as well as what’s said. Listen to tone..

One of my favorites; instead of asking;

“Why did you leave?”

Try this:

“Tell me about your last day on the job, from the moment you arrived, until you finished the day, describe what happened…”

Reference check thoroughly

It’s important to invest time in checking references. Some small business owners think it’s a waste of time to check references because so many employers have adopted a “limited information” policy; dates of employment, job title, ending wage or salary.

A word about liabilities: As an employer you may expose your business to defamation suits if you provide a negative reference for unlawfully discriminatory reasons; in retaliation for the former employee complaining of an illegal activity; or if you give a defamatory reference or disclose confidential facts that constitute an invasion of privacy. Keep in mind though that a blanket policy of simply giving “name, rank and serial number” of former employees can be an even more dangerous practice. This is especially true when an employer is aware of a former employee’s tendency toward, or history of, violence or sexual misconduct. Former employers can be sued for negligent misrepresentation or negligent referral if the employee is involved in some incident at the new workplace that might have been predicted based on prior behavior.

Not only is it critical to protect your business from claims of negligent hiring by careful reference checking and documenting your due diligence, I often find reference phone calls as useful as the interview itself. Contrary to the myth that prospective employers can only ask very targeted and limited questions, you can ASK anything as long as it’s not about protected classes, like race, religion, disabilities, etc.

As with all other aspects of employment law, it’s important to know your state laws. Some states have laws that may require employers to provide letters concerning past employment services (“service letters”) to former employees upon their request.

The goals of a reference call is to

  1. Confirm the information the applicant listed on the application is accurate
  2. Uncover information you won’t get in the interview.
  3. Add to my recruiting database.

Because I’m a firm believer in past behavior being a great predictor of future behavior, I make it a policy to require a minimum of three references from every applicant who I consider making an offer to. One must be a former direct supervisor and the others former co-workers. I explain my policy to the applicant and then I put the burden on them for the successful outcome of the reference checking process. This minimizes phone tag. It’s also is a good way to confirm the applicant is truly interested in the job. Once I have the name and telephone numbers, I ask him or her to get in touch with the references ahead of time and inform them that I’ll be calling, and that it would be ok to talk to me.

While I still may only get limited information from the supervisor, the co-workers usually give better insight and more substantial answers. I describe the open position to them, the skills and personality traits required and ask if they think it’s a good fit for the applicant. They tend to be more candid.

Assuming that the applicant is not currently employed with them, the last question I ask all three references is to describe the applicants last day. Asking the question this way can confirm or discredit the reason the applicant gave you during the interview for leaving the job.

If the reference doesn’t think the applicant is a good match, I ask who they know that would be, and who might be interested. If I detect desirable qualities and abilities in the person I’m getting the reference from, I add him or her to my recruiting database.

Offer Quickly

Good applicants that want to work won’t last long. On average they probably have applied at two other places during the period they interviewed with you. Don’t let too much time pass between the interview, reference checks and the offer.

Correct Problems Immediately

If you make a hiring mistake, (and even the most experienced and skilled interviewers occasionally get fooled) correct it immediately. Employees can be a huge cost for your business and can become an even bigger cost if they don’t fit. If it’s not working out, and you have given the person a fair chance and offered reasonable support then you should terminate the employment relationship BEFORE probationary period expires.

You will get much more out of investing time on the hiring side of the equation than investing time trying to change someone.

EcoMusings_logo7About the Author: Beryl Coder, of Eco Musings, has over twenty years human resources executive experience in large multi-state corporations with over 5k employees as well as small family owned businesses with less than 15. She now owns her own small business. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice.

Mar
29

Soy Candles 150 Fragrance Oil Choices

This entry was posted in candle clamshell tarts, candle company interview, candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, soy candles, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , , , on by .

soy candle connection

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name: Kristi Varner and Payton Varner.  The Soy Candle Connection

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I started making candles for myself and took one to work with me and the next thing I knew co-workers were wanting to buy them and customers started wanting to order them. My motivation was to be able to not have to rely on my job. I never know from year to year if it will be there. My daughter has joined me this year making candles for her SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) for FFA. I am very proud of her as she is going into the agricultural field after graduation. I have been making candles for over six years.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  We make candles, melts, and soaps. We offer over 150 scents.

4.  What are your business goals?  My business goal for this year is to be able to not have to rely on my job.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  I buy all my products from Natures Garden. My favorite fragrance oils are Blueberry Muffin, Eucalyptus, and Bite Me. They are amazing!

Your Website: www.thesoycandleconnection.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Soy-Candle-Connection/480675635310896

Mar
29

Passion for Soap Making

This entry was posted in emulsifying wax, Fragrance Oils, soap fragrances, soap making interview, Soap making supplies, vanilla stabilizer and tagged , , , , on by .

jodi

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:  Jodi O’Berry, Jodi’s Soapbox

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  My now 23 month old daughter was diagnosed with Autoimmune Neutropenia requiring me to quit my nursing job and stay home full-time, so I took my passionate hobby turned into business to help supplement my husbands income & help pay on her medical bills.  We homeschool our older child, so God has His perfect timing. What was your motivation?  My children. How long have you been in business? A year.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  Handcrafted soaps, lotions and bath treats.

4.  What are your business goals?  Short term is to keep growing and long term is to eventually be able to have a studio to teach soapmaking classes as well as making bath & body products.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  About 90% of my fragrance oils are from Natures Garden, I absolutely love them!  The Vanilla Stabilizer is the best I have ever used.  The emulsifying wax, stearic acid and btms are also great products.  I also really like the Fractionated Coconut Oil.  I could go on & on!

Your Website:  www.jodissoapbox.com  (Website is not completed yet, goal is April 1st to have it up and running)

Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/jodissoapbox

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0ZX7JCbBmb109GRbQVrOgQ/videos?view=0

Mar
28

Business Advice Unemployment Claims

This entry was posted in business advice, candle making supplies, Fragrance Oils, Soap making supplies, unemployment claims and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

business woman

How Am I Supposed to Keep Unemployment Insurance Costs Down When the State Awards Benefits to People Who Can’t Even Show Up For Work? Argh!

One of the most frustrating aspects of managing a small business that seems to happen to the best of bosses is when that one former employee who was terminated for excessive absences or tardiness is granted unemployment benefits. We all know how chronic absenteeism can increase labor costs, hurt morale and lower productivity. Many small businesses have adopted a “No Fault Points System” as an effective way to deal with attendance problems. A well-crafted point system can be used to both reward workers for positive attendance habits, and to identify negative attendance trends and guide progressive disciplinary action for problem employees.

A “No Fault Points System” like this is intended to eliminate the uncomfortable questioning of the reason for the absence and/or tardiness. You don’t want to invade anyone’s privacy. It also serves to eliminate accusations of subjectivity and favoritism. Under a “No Fault” system, the employee receives a certain number of points for their absences as outlined in the policy, regardless of the reason for the absence. As employees accrue more points, they receive increasingly severe levels of discipline. And after a certain period of time of improvement, the points are expunged from an employee’s attendance record for disciplinary purposes.

In some cases employers have crafted the policy to be that once an employee accumulates the maximum number of points allowed as outlined in the policy the employee is terminated.

Unemployment Insurance is For Employees Who Lose Their Job Through No Fault of Their Own

Since unemployment insurance is intended to provide workers whose jobs have been terminated through no fault of their own, an employee who was terminated under the “No Fault” points system who knew about the policy should be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits, right?

You would think so, but not necessarily. When you terminate an employee for excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness, the employee is not automatically disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. This is the frustrating part. Although a violation may be grounds for termination, it may not be a reason for a denial of unemployment benefits. No-fault attendance policies by their definition do not require showing that a violation was in an employee’s control; you may have to convince an unemployment hearing judge that each violation leading up to the termination was an intentional act of misconduct before unemployment benefits will be denied.

There is a minimum amount of proof you must provide to the state unemployment office. You must prove the employee’s absences and/or tardiness were willful misconduct and this can sometimes be very difficult to do because what YOU consider to be willful misconduct and what the state considers to be willful misconduct are often two different things.

You must show that the employee willfully disregarded your business interests and you must present specific information on the final incident, the straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. It needs to be focused and identify how that incident was willful and most importantly how the employee knew his or her actions would result in termination.

A common employer’s mistake is to state that the company has a no-fault attendance policy and believes that an attendance points’ violation is enough to result in a denial of unemployment benefits when it is not. The legal standard of willful or intentional misconduct is tougher than a policy violation.

The Difference Between Being Sick and Willful Misconduct

“Misconduct” under the law of unemployment compensation is basically something that the claimant did or failed to do that

  1. Caused a problem for the company, (certainly not showing up for work causes your company problems)
  2. Was in violation of a rule, a policy, or a law, (assuming all small businesses have an attendance policy, this is a slam dunk too ) and
  3. Was within the claimant’s power to control or avoid. (This is where it gets sticky.) Being sick isn’t their own fault. Since unemployment insurance is for employees who lose their job through no fault of their own, being sick isn’t misconduct and they may be awarded benefits. However, when the employee fails to follow policies that indicate the steps they must take when they are going to be absent, (most of the time this is in their control) they could be denied benefits. Make more sense now?

Good Reasons To Miss Work?

The law of unemployment compensation says you are guilty of misconduct if you are absent or tardy from work, only when you both FAIL TO GIVE ADEQUATE NOTICE for the absence AND you did NOT HAVE A GOOD REASON for the absence or tardiness.

Some examples of such good reasons include:

  • Illness
  • Accident
  • Lack of child care
  • Serious illness
  • Death of Close relative

So as you can see, the above would result in points but under the law of unemployment compensation, they would not be considered “misconduct.” Those aren’t incidents where you can assign fault to the employee.

However, incidents of absenteeism or tardiness could involve misconduct if the employee violated a part of the policy within his/her control, and you can show documentation of progressive discipline proving the employee knew that if they did it again, they would be terminated. For example, if the employee claims he was ill, but fails to call in advance as instructed but COULD have, AND fails to furnish required medical documentation as outlined in your policy, that’s misconduct. You’d still need to show that you gave the employee a final warning that knew the employee knew his or her failure to do what he could control would result in termination.

Having a Well-crafted “No Fault Points System” for Managing Attendance Can Be a Wonderful Tool But

You still need to do the hard work, the face-to-face progressive discipline for misconduct if you want to avoid paying unemployment claims when discharging someone for poor attendance. Simply assigning points until they hit a magic number may not count as progressive discipline that can justify termination in the eyes of the state unemployment office. Just make sure you outline in your policy what is considered willful or intentional misconduct. The difference is in what the employee could control. Absent due to illness, they can’t control. Failing to call (providing they’re physically able) and provide medical documentation IS within their control and is misconduct.

Make sure you give a final written warning for misconduct prior to discharge and don’t let time lapse between final incident of misconduct and the termination.

There are some additional risks. If you have 15 or more employees, you must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) If you have 50+ you must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA),

The American with Disabilities Act (ADA), was amended effective Jan. 1, 2009, under which most absences due to any type of physical or mental impairment are now covered by the ADA. In the past they were not serious enough to constitute a “disability” under the ADA. Thus, many more plaintiffs than previously can now claim that they were terminated because of their “disability,” because of absences due to their disability. They will argue that a no-fault attendance policy does not meet employers’ obligations to reasonably accommodate their disability.

Pitfalls to Avoid:

The most common mistakes employers make that cause difficulty in unemployment claims based upon a discharge are:

  • Failing to give a final warning prior to discharge;
  • Inconsistent discipline between two similarly-situated employees;
  • Failing to follow the stated disciplinary policy;
  • Telling the Unemployment Office official that the employee was terminated for an “accumulation” of incidents, instead of a specific final incident;
  • Letting too much time pass between the final incident and the discharge;
  • Telling the Unemployment Office that the claimant was “unable” to satisfy performance standards
  • Allowing the impression that the termination was really based upon a personality dispute; and
  • Failing to present firsthand witnesses and proper documentation when needed.

Keeping the number of unemployment insurance claims filed by former employees to a minimum can produce significant payroll tax savings.

Also, you should monitor all unemployment insurance claims made against your account and should be prepared to contest any claims you believe to be improper. While contesting an unfavorable claim against your business requires more of your time, particularity if you have to drive some distance to appear, don’t hesitate to ask the hearing judge if you can appear by telephone. Make sure you have your witnesses with you. Any employer who participates in the claims process has a better chance of keeping unwarranted claims and charges against the account at bay.

Last but not least be picky when hiring. Your employees count on you to be picky so they don’t have to pick up the slack of someone who just really doesn’t want to work. And they also count on you to be understanding and fair when something happens that’s not within their control. And your customers count on you to be picky when you hire too!

The better the employee you hire, the better your customer service, the better your employee morale, the greater likelihood your workplace is safe, and the lower the chance is that you will have to let someone go and ultimately wind up paying unemployment insurance. The liability process begins from the day you hire. If an employee starts having attendance problems early, in the introductory or probationary period, address the problem immediately.

EcoMusings_logo7

About the Author:  Beryl Coder, of Eco Musings,  has over twenty years human resources executive experience in large multi-state corporations with over 5k employees as well as small family owned businesses with less than 15. She now owns her own small business. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice.

 

 

Mar
28

Purple Candles to Raise Awareness

This entry was posted in candle fragrance oils, clamshells, Fragrance Oils, fundraising, joy wax, Natures Garden, wicks and tagged , , , , on by .

73What’s your name & Your Company Name:  Hi my name is Amy Kocher at A & W Candles

Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  I have been in business for 3 years now.  It all started after I moved back to this area and I had my electric shut off and was begging for help.  It sure was not a good time. But my daughter and I decided to do this to make a little extra money out of my apt to help with bills and to buy food.  So that was my motivation to make sure I was providing for my daughter who at the time was a junior in high school, now she is a thriving college student at Kent State University and I could not be any more proud of her.  Now in 2013 my motivation is to bring awareness to a charity who I hold dear to my heart Alzheimer  Association  of Ohio, my mom who recently passed away a few weeks ago had Dementia a form of Alzheimer Disease she was my rock, stood by me when no one else did, I decided I needed to be her voice in the fight of her life to let everyone know this is a disease that is heartbreaking to those who take care of them and those who have it, it is no fun watching a love one not remember who you are. So I now use my business for my fundraising efforts and make Purple candles to represent Alzheimer Awareness a hope for a cure one day.

What products do you make? I make two sizes of container candles 16oz and 8oz.  I also make melts in the clamshells and 1 and 2 oz containers which you can pop out and be put in any warmer, I also make Air freshener bags called sachet bags.

What are your business goals?   My business goals are not huge as I just work out of my Apt. but one day I hope to be retired from my full time job and do this on a regular basis, I would love to do craft shows and markets but most of them around here are only in fall and with a job its hard to do them all.

What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?  I use just about everything from Natures Garden….Joy Wax, Fragrance Oils, cotton wicks, clamshell containers.  My favorite product from Natures Garden is their fragrances there is so many to choose from and I do not have to order from anyone else to get them.

Facebook page:www.facebook.com/AWCandles

Mar
28

Signature Candles Using Fragrance Oils

This entry was posted in candle fragrance oils, candle wicking, essential oils, Fragrance Oils, homemade candles, melts, soy candles, votives and tagged , , , , , , , , on by .

photo (3)
1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name: 
Vintage Hills Smoking Barrel & Candle Co. LLC owned and operated by Jason & Shannon Hancock

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business?  Jason is a craftsman and exhibit designer/builder. He decided to start making functional art and meat smokers out of wine barrels.  I enjoy making candles and we decided to merge the two ideas and create structures to hold candles and the make several types of candles and art pieces.  We love vintage creations and unique designs. Our business address is on Vintage Hills Dr so the idea to bring the two together was very natural and was the motivation for our business name and idea.  Our Motto: Wine Barrel, Culinary, and Candle creations that represent the rich heritage of the South ~ Custom Oak Wine Barrel Meat and Veggie Smokers, Gourmet Servers, Wall Decor, Candle Holder Staves, Glass Candles, Votives, and melts.  We both have full-time careers so we started it off as a hobby and experiment and opened our business as an LLC on September 13, 2012.

3.  What products do you make and sell?  Each wine barrel product from Vintage Hills Smoking Barrel & Candle Co. is handcrafted by Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana native, Jason Hancock, on Hancock Ranch surrounded by the vineyards and forest of the Brazos Valley, Texas.  All of our environmentally friendly up-cycled wood pieces are made completely out of beautiful American and French oak wine barrels, and, when available cognac barrels. Jason’s goal is to build distinctive, unique, high quality wood products for the wine, candle, and culinary enthusiast.  Every craft will be a unique topic of conversation in your home, your ranch, your business, or in a winery.

Vintage Hills Smoking Barrel & Candle Co. products are sold finely finished and are 100% made from the parts of each barrel.  Each piece is made from quality materials with the highest standards.  Every wood product goes through a variance of stages of sanding, top quality stain application, protective finishes, glues, and hardware.

Our very functional oak wine barrel smokers will cook meat and vegetables.  We also create gourmet culinary server barrel head board and stave trays, sacoche de selles (pannier baskets), milieu ambiance stave candle holders for tea light, double stave Libbey candle bowl sets, and stave crosses.

Jason also does custom counter tops and cabinetry, exhibits and air brush design, and vintage auto restoration.

Candles are hand-poured by Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi native Shannon Hancock on Hancock Ranch; and all of our wax blends are 100% top-quality soy and soy blends with the finest of soy wicks and treated wood wicks.  All of our premium custom fragrance oils we use are phthalate-free, manufactured in the USA, not tested on animals, and comply with the strictest global RIFM and IFRA standards.

The historical three state series line of Culture Eternal Candles by the Vintage Hills Smoking Barrel & Candle Co. is a tribute to the long standing testament of our southern states of the Deep South and Southwest and the mysterious and enriching journey and legacy of our ancestors to where we are today.  Our candles are for anywhere in the home and feature a signature, kitchen, wine, and healing spa collection.

We feature a baby shower series, a wedding and bridal shower series, and can whip up some pristine custom candle and stave beauty for your special occasion party/event with bulk pricing. We also have wholesale pricing for vendors.

4.  What are your business goals?  New Product Development: We will be and introducing clay pottery containers and creating a French Providence and Navajo inspired Rustic Pillar Series that will adhere to a mobile double stave candle holder, more spa pieces with essential oils and Bachelorette Party spa lotion candles partnering with a bath and body vendor in Mississippi.  We also attend several design/ jewelry expos and markets annually and what sets our candles apart are the gems, crystals, and stones we put on each candle container/pillar and incorporating states with the good memories familiar to the people that live in them.  We will also be expanding the Tree of Life and the Culture Eternal States Series candles selection by demand.  We will continue to attend these diverse expos and market places to bring the finest quality products home to the client.  We really look forward to opening our own gallery with a multimedia showcase of several types of art and tons of candle options.  Also, who wouldn’t love to attend classes at the World Congress Supplies Trade Show…a little start-up can dream haha.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden; what are your favorite products from Natures Garden?  We have whole signature candle collections from Natures Garden Fragrance Oils and wicking supplies; especially fragrances like Kudzu.  The supplies are wonderful, but as important as quality materials are– the camaraderie, epic list of resources and opportunity to be able to advertise, meet other vendors, and see other amazing creations coupled with actually being able to put a face to the name are what really set Natures Garden apart from other suppliers.

YourWebsite: www.smokingbarrelcandles.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/VHSBCC

Twitter: in the works

Blog: We have a blog on the fifth tab of our site, we update it with videos, how to’s/a little R&D and cool artifacts and info pertaining to the wine and candle industry.

YouTube Channel: YT videos on the blog, VHSBCC account and videos in the works

Thanks for this wonderful opportunity, we are most grateful. We hope we have made you proud J

~Jason & Shannon Hancock

Mar
27

Using More Than 100 Fragrance Oils

This entry was posted in body spray, Fragrance Oils, homemade lotion, homemade soap, roll of fragrance, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by .

kendra

1.  What’s your name & Your Company Name:   Kendra K. Weaver (Sweet Scents By Kendra)

2.  Why did you decide to go into business?  What was your motivation?  How long have you been in business? I started making bath products for myself, it turned into a hobby and then my passion! My motivation was being able to create something and being able to manipulate it to your exact want and needs. Seeing others love and enjoy my products keep me motivated more than anything!  This January marked one year for my business! 

3.  What products do you make and sell?  I offer bar soaps (100’s of designs, shapes and sizes), Lotions, Liquid Hand Soap, massage oil, Body Spray and roll On fragrances! I offer 100+ fragrances for people to choose from!

4.  What are your business goals?  My goals for this year: offer my product in several stores.

5.  What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  I mainly buy my fragrance oils from Natures Garden…my favorite oils to use are Amaretto and Amish Friendship Bread…they are Amazing!

Your Website: http://www.sweetscentsbykendra.com

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sweetscentsbykendra

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SweetScentsByK

Mar
27

Scented Homemade Candles

This entry was posted in candle fragrance oils, candle making supplies, candle molds, candle wicks, Fragrance Oils, Natures Garden Fragrance Oils, scented pillar candles and tagged , , , , , , , , , on by .

peake

1. My name is Jennifer Peake, and my business is Scented Sensations.

2. I decided to turn my hobby into a business because I needed to make some extra money on the side to pay for a few things that had come up. I realized I might be able to take it further than just making candles and selling them on eBay so I had a friend help me make a website and set it up so people could purchase from my site. I have been in business for one year.

3. I make and sell candles. I make votives (round and square), pillar candles, glass jar candles (heart and star shaped glass and also Mason jars) and tart melts in fun shapes, such as puppy paw prints, hearts, roses and flip flop sandals.

4. My business goals are to expand a little bit more than I have so far. I have a full time job and I make candles as my “second job.” But I would love for it to become a steady income. I also would like to start selling accessories for candles, such as candleholders, plates, sconces, etc. But I need to find a source of getting those products, either through a vendor or wholesale. heart and star candles

5. The products I have used from Nature’s Garden have been mainly the fragrance oils and candle wicks for my candles, but I have also purchased and used candle molds as well. I really enjoy the fragrances you have and so do my customers!

My website is www.scentedsensationsplus.com

Mar
27

Candles scented with Essential Oils

This entry was posted in candle molds, essential oils, Fragrance Oils, homemade candles, palm wax candles, wholesale fragrance oils and tagged , , , , , , , , on by .

mystic

1. What’s your name & Your Company Name:   My name is Rev. Amanda Darlage.  My company name is Mystic Paths.

2. Why did you decide to go into business? What was your motivation? How long have you been in business?  I went into business for several reasons.  One, I wanted something that was mine, that I could grow and would give me pride.  Two, there are no shops where I live that offered these products where I live, and the nearest ones were an hour away but mostly sold mass produced (and often tacky) goods.  I was looking for authentic, hand-made items, not a bunch of resin-cast items with a weird predilection for putting skulls everywhere, or other things that conform to stereotypes.  Three, I wanted a way to meet other like-minded individuals, as many where I live are still largely underground because of the conservative nature of the town.  Four, I wanted to put my education to work.  I hold an associate’s degree in business and another in accounting.  I did not have the capital to open a store but was offered the online store at a decent price. I also run booths at local events and have been in business for four years.

3. What products do you make and sell?  A majority of the items I craft are the palm wax candles.  I use essential oils for the scents instead of fragrances.  I also put together different kinds of herbal kits and perform services, such as weddings & handfastings.  I sell a variety of products, including gemstones, jewelry, home decor, and much more.  I try to stay away from mass produced items; however, will order just about anything a customer wants.  My favorites are the handmade products.

4. What are your business goals?   One of my goals is to have as much of what I sell handcrafted and as little as possible manufactured by corporations.  Currently, one of my biggest goals is to find an artist who can forge unique athames at an affordable price, something simple and true. Another of my goals is to eventually open a brick-and-mortar store where people can come in and meet.  It wouldn’t just be a store, but a place of meeting, a place of learning and practice, a place where workshops can be held, or simply discussions over a cup of tea or coffee.

5. What are some products you use from Natures Garden?  The products I use are mostly the essential oils and candle molds. I will use the fragrance oils upon request i.e. food scents.

Your Website: www.mysticpaths.net

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MysticPaths

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Mystic_Paths