We entered this contest last year, but when we found out that others in our industry entered, we decided not to ask for votes. This year, we decided….Let’s Go For it….so we are asking for your help!
We were asked the following questions by FEDEX in order to enter their contest:
1. If you could quickly summarize your business, how would you describe it? Natures Garden builds lasting relationships with our customers by supplying high quality, affordable, candle, soap, and cosmetic supplies.
2. What inspired you to get into the business you are in today? We began making and selling candles to supplement our family income. We noticed during that time that the needs of candle makers were not being fully satisfied by the companies that sold candle making supplies. We started selling supplies to candle makers because the industry needed a company who was dedicated to providing free classes and recipes, offering high quality products at affordable prices, ensuring fast shipping, and promoting a “win-win” relationship with customers.
3. How do you define success for yourself and for your business? Success in business is a concerted effort of a winning “team” of individuals who are passionate about fully satisfying the needs of their customers; going above and beyond customer expectations. Success should never be about the owner of the company. Success comes when you know your collective team is making your customers happy. The best rewards that a company owner can receive is the praise of a happy staff, and most importantly, the praise of happy customers.
4. How would you use the FedEx SMB Grant money to make a significant impact on your business and/or on others? Natures Garden team works very hard to provide high quality products at affordable prices to our customers who in turn make and sell finished candles, soaps, and cosmetics. We currently offer free online classes and recipes that help our customers expand their product lines. Currently, those classes are in pdf format on our website. We would love to be able to build a room at Natures Garden that allowed us to begin shooting videos for our customers, and that allowed us to hold on-site classes.
Thank you for helping us!! We sincerely appreciate your vote!!
Granulated Wax Candles
Although most candle makers melt down wax to make their candles, it is possible to create wax art candles if you have granulated wax at your disposal. Since no heating is involved in the candle making process, this can be a fun project that you can do with your kids. The sky is the limit as to how creative you can be. You can used multiple colors, layer the wax, and even create artwork pictures on the inside of your candle jars. How about scenting each layer a different scent? You can do that too. How fun is that!
Natures Garden offers two different kinds of granulated waxes that you can use to make granulated wax candles: Pillar of Bliss wax and Palm Container wax. The kind of colorant that you want to use is Spectrum Candle Dyes (you never want to use water soluble dyes or any types of pigments when making these candles).
How to Make Wax Art Candles
1. Obtain a 16 oz. apothecary jar or any other candle safe glass jar that you desire to use.
2. Using a hot glue gun, place a small amount of hot glue on the wick tabs of (2) CD-12 wicks and adhere wicks to the bottom of your jar (equally spaced apart). Set aside.
3. Decide how many colors you want to use in your candle. Scoop about 1/2 cup of granulated wax of your choice into a zip lock bag. Add a drop of spectrum candle dye to the bag and mix wax well. Typically, a 16 oz. apothecary jar will hold a total of (6) 1/2 cups of granulated wax, so it is possible to use 6 different colors in your jar.
4. Move on to your next color. Do the same as mentioned above until you have a total of 3 cups of colored granulated wax.
5. A 16 oz. apothecary jar can handle a total of 1.5oz. of fragrance. Going above this amount will likely create a fire hazard. So, at this point, add a little fragrance to each bag of colored wax and mix until you have added a total of 1 to 1.5 oz. of fragrance total.
6. Add your colored and scented wax to your candle jars. You can layer the wax any way that you desire. Fill the jar with your granulated wax.
7. Once you are done, trim your wicks to 1/2″ for your first burn. Keep wicks at 1/4″ for future burns. Enjoy!!
For more candle recipes, visit this page on our website.
The Natures Garden’s staff is at it again. This week, Zack made a realistic beer candle; foam and all! Would you look at the froth on that beer! It is even frothing over the side. This project involved working with gel wax for the beer, and whipped soy wax for the froth. Zack looks oh so proud to be posing with his creation. He said he is going to take it home and show all of his friends.
Zack has worked in the fragrance department of Natures Garden for a very very long time! You could say Zack himself is an “NG Original”. Zack says the beer scent is so realistic he just cannot believe it, and he has downed a beer or two in his time, so this is coming from a professional.
Zack plays on a soccer team two nights a week. He has real passion for the game of soccer, and has been playing the game since he was a young boy. I asked Zack what else he does in his spare time, and Zack just laughed.
Zack is an exceptional staff member, rarely missing work, always in an upbeat, humorous, playful mood, and has a fine-tuned fragrance nose! Hang out with Zack for just a few minutes and you are laughing your butt off! Click here to see the Beer Candle Recipe that Zack created.
Zack’s life motto is: “Have Fun”.
Smores Candle Recipe brought to you by Lynn of Natures Garden
As many of you know, we are currently having a Natures Garden’s staff challenge. Our staff members are challenged to choose some of their favorite fragrances and create a product with them. This challenge allows staff members to have hands-on experience with our products, and it has the potential to provide inspirational ideas for our customers. WIN-WIN!
Lynn has been with Natures Garden many years, and she has years of experience making candles. In her spare time, she sells her finished candles at craft bazaars. Lynn said that she is always trying to come up with new and exciting candles to sell at bazaars. She came up with the smores candle idea, and I was excited to see the end result. She nailed it! Her candles made we want to make real smores to eat!
For those of you who do not know Lynn, she is hard-working, creative, and she said that her motto in life is: “Live life to its fullest” and “Never give up on your dreams”. We are quite honored to have her as part of our staff. Thank you Lynn!
For complete instructions on how to make Lynn’s Smores Candle, please click here.
Hydrangea Candle with Butterfly Wax Tarts
We are having a staff challenge at Natures Garden where we have asked each staff member to choose one of their favorite Natures Garden fragrance oils and create a project pertaining to that fragrance. Staff members are encouraged to be as creative as possible, using the knowledge they have learned while working at Natures Garden. This week’s staff challenge was done by Crystal! Crystal has only worked at Natures Garden for 1 month, and we were blown away by the creativity she used when creating her Hydrangea Candle with butterfly wax tarts.
Crystal loves floral scents, she loves the colors blue and purple, and she loves butterflies. Her project depicts a contemporary spin on the various colors found in a hydrangea bush. She made the candle come alive by adding butterfly tarts. Very creative, and like nothing we have seen before. To make the candle, she used Natures Garden’s Pillar of Bliss wax that comes in granulated form. She melted the very same wax to create her butterfly tarts. For full instructions on how to make Crystal’s Project, please visit this page.
Customers frequently ask us this question: What should I charge my customers for my candles?
This is a question that many candle makers often ask. Knowing what to charge for your candles is a pivotal point in your business. You want your price of the candles that you sell to be competitive. You also want to remember that the candle price should also reflect not only your cost but the time that you put into your candle making procedure as well.
What to charge for my candles? When I made and sold finished candles, I had an easy equation that I used to figure out the price I would charge my customers for my candles. First, I added up all of my expenses. This told me how much it cost me to make the candle I was going to sell. When I sold my candles at wholesale prices to stores, I charged the customer double what I paid to make the candle. When I sold directly to retail customers myself (without sales reps involved), I charged the customer triple what I paid to make the candle.
After I was in business a while, I realized that in order to sell more products, I would need to get help from other people. That is where Independent Sales Reps were introduced in my candle company. When a candle sale was made by a sales rep, the sales rep received 1/3 of every sale, 1/3 went to cover the cost of making the candle, and 1/3 was my profit.
Fundraisers were conducted the very same way: 1/3 of the sale went to the non-profit organization, 1/3 went to cover the cost of making the products, and 1/3 went to me as profit.
To view how hiring an independent sales rep for your business can help to increase your sales, please click on this link.
I hope this helps you when you price out your candles.
Happy Candle Making!
Deborah of Natures Garden
How much candle wax do I need to fill my jars?
One of the most frequent questions we are asked by new candle makers is: How much candle wax will I need to fill my jars? And, the solution is really simple to find out with this equation.
Basically, you will find that 1 pound (by weight) of candle wax will equal 20 ounces (in volume) when pouring into containers or molds. With this knowledge, you can use simple math to figure out how much candle wax you will need to fill your containers or molds.
Take for example that you are making 6 oz. hexagon container candles for a wedding. For this order, you have to make a total of 200 wedding candles. The question you are asking yourself is, “how much candle wax will you need to fill all 200- 6oz. jars”? Here is the equation to figure it out: Take 200 x 6 to come up with your total weighted ounces. For this example, the answer is equal to 1200 ounces. Now, you must divide your total weighted ounces (1200 ounces) by 20 (volume ounces) to find out the total pounds of wax you will need for your wedding (60 pounds of wax).
Let’s try one more example since the 16oz. jar size is one of the most popular sized jars that candle makers sell. Now, you want to make 24 candles, all of which will be poured into 16 oz. jars. This equation would compute to: 24 (the amount you have to make) x 16 (the ounce size of the jar)= 384 (the total number of ounces). Now take 384 and divide this by 20 (the volume) and the answer you get is 19.2 pounds of wax (thus you should likely get 20 pounds of wax to cover yourself.
Remember the equation: Number of Candles you want to make (multiplied by) Volume of your containers (divided by) 20 = Total number of pounds of wax you will need to do your project.
We hope that this simple equation will help you figure out how much wax you will need in the future.
Happy Candle Making!
Deborah of Natures Garden
What’s your name & Your Company Name: Melissa Brown and my company name is D~Liteful Creations Candle Co.
I have always enjoyed candles and always bought from big well-known companies but I always seemed to feel I was throwing my money away because the candles would always burn so fast and the scent was never strong enough. One day I decided I was going to do some research and find out how to make candles and what types of wax there was. Then I decided on Soy wax because of all the benefits it has. So I started experimenting and teaching myself all the basics of candle making. I started out with just jar candles only and then started making specialty candles that I love creating and have also moved into body products since my business has grown. I have been creating my own products since 2010 and it started out as a hobby but has grown into a business that I enjoy and love.
This creation is called “Teachers Have Class” Back to School.
NG Golden Foods Soy Wax 464
NG Pillar of Bliss Wax for whipped look
NG CD 20 wicks
NG Break Bar Mold for math embed
NG Square Market Mold tray (for decorating and painting to make sign)
McIntosh Apple Fragrance oil
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DLiteful.Creations.Candle.Co
Mike’s sister came in from Oklahoma for a visit, and it was so nice seeing her and meeting her new boyfriend. Every time Lynette comes to town, I sit for hours talking with her. She is such a positive, fun person; she is your quintessential “people magnet”. Her boyfriend, Bruce, is a down-to-earth, yet very successful, intelligent man who said something that really got me thinking.
Bruce said, “You should let people do nice things for you”. I thought about this statement intensely. How many people in my life have offered to pay for things, or do things for me and I have said, “No…let me get it”, or “No…let me pay for it”. I always thought that I was being courteous by doing so, but was I stealing other people’s joy by doing so? According to Bruce, “It makes others feel good to do things for others, and you shouldn’t steal that joy from them”. You know what? Bruce is right!
The next time someone wants to do something nice for you, don’t reply by saying “NO”. Reply by saying, “That is so very thoughtful of you, thank you for being so kind to me”.
Have a Flaming Awesome Day!!
It’s a mistake not to market soap to men
It’s super easy for us women to get excited over beautifully-smelling soap, and we get even more excited when the soap has fancy designs. What woman can resist cupcake soap with a mountain of soap frosting on top of it? What woman can resist how wonderful her bathroom smells after using a bar of homemade soap? Not to mention how wonderful we smell after using one of those fabulous bars! We women like those little extra luxuries; they make us feel good.
But, what about men? Do they like homemade soap too? You betcha! Last summer, I brought some homemade cold process soap to the moms on my son’s baseball team. I figured that they would be excited, and they were. However, the person who seemed to enjoy the soap the most was not a woman at all; t was Brett’s coach. Before a game, he pulled me aside and asked if he could buy some homemade soap from me. He said he had never used soap like that before, and liked it much better than the store bought soap. As most of you know, I do not sell finished cold process soap, but I did give him a few more bars of my soap that I made for testing our fragrances.
Just the other day, my cousin’s husband was visiting from Baltimore and he asked me if I had anymore of the homemade soap I had given him the last time they were in Ohio. He is in construction, and his hands get extremely dry and callused. He said that my homemade soap made his hands much softer than the store bought soap he had at home. I gave him a few bars and he was thrilled! Not only that, but he has been trying to get my cousin to start making soap for him. Of course there is nothing stopping him from making it himself. Soap making is not a science/craft reserved for just women you know.
So, you see, women like the homemade soap primarily for the smell & aesthetics, and secondarily for the skin softening. Men like homemade soap primarily for the skin softening qualities. Men like their skin to look and feel young too. My point is: If you are not targeting men in your marketing strategy, you are missing an entire market sector that is actually showing growth. While men may not insist that the soap you sell them has pretty swirls or fancy designs, they love homemade soap just as much as women do. It is a mistake not to market your soap to men.
Natures Garden sells soap making supplies for making cold process soap. We also sell an entire line of melt and pour soap bases for those of you who do not want to work with lye. Whether you choose to make your own soap from scratch, or make soap with melt and pour soap bases, either of these products will be much better for your skin than store bought brands.
Have a Bubbly Awesome Day!