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Archive for March, 2010

Not sure that I even want to share this news!…like most people, I hate the sound of my own voice!

Yesterday we received a call from ABC Radio asking to interview me on James O’Loghlin’s show on Sunday night.  Evidently I will be on between 8.30pm and 9.00pm.  In Sydney it can be heard on 702, but I understand that it is a national show, so turn in to James O’Loghlin on ABC on Sunday night on your local ABC station.  They had read our profile story in OUTthere magazine and I thought I’d be good for a yarn!  Fingers crossed my stomach stops churning prior to then!

Let me know how I went if you listen in…


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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We’re kicking off the Queen B Giveaway bonanza with an Earth Hour photographic giveaway (see earlier post on The Design Files for more about why we’re doing this).

Simply capture a few photographs from your Earth Hour activities candlelit by Queen B candles (yes, I can tell the difference between a Queen B candle versus other toxic candles because a beeswax candle has a more golden light)! Upload your photographs to our Facebook fan page (click the Facebook link in the right hand column or go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Queen-B/127493264895).

Princess Bee and I will pick a winner who will receive $200 worth of Queen B candles (we’ll pick those too)!

Earth Hour celebration

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About 6 weeks ago one of our customers contacted me to tell me that I really needed to get Queen B candles reviewed or featured on The Design Files.  I looked it up and started an email to Lucy the editor and then as life would have it, the phone rang, the email pinged, a candle-maker called and I forgot all about it.

A few weeks later the same customer emailed to say congrats.  The Design Files had written about Queen B candles.  I checked my sent items to see if I had actually sent something unknowingly (yes, I am sometimes more productive than I realise!), but there was nothing there.  Angels had intervened!  I emailed Lucy to say thanks and she had found out about Queen B from our friend Joost.  Funny how these things work.

Lucy then ran an online giveaway for her readers and it was such a roaring success, that it crashed the comments server!  You can see the comments here – http://www.thedesignfiles.net/2010/03/queen-b-earth-hour-candle-giveaway.html – and here – http://www.thedesignfiles.net/2010/03/qyeen-b-earth-hour-giveaway-part-2.html.

I learned a lot from reading the comments – and on the basis of the feedback will make some changes/improvements to the information on our website.  I was also struck by the sheer number of people who commented.

Often with Queen B, a lot of ‘brainstorming’ goes on in my own mind.  I am quite good at seeing both sides of an argument, but that then makes it difficult to come to a decision!  How much easier would it be to have lots of feedback from the people who ultimately keep Queen B afloat?

So, we’re going to have a weekly giveaway on Queen B.  It won’t necessarily be huge, but hopefully it will encourage lots of you to subscribe to see our blog posts (the ‘Subscribe’ box is to the right) and to post comments and feedback.  I am mindful of the fact that I would like to have loyal customers reading the blog (not just people wanting freebies), but the purpose of this blog is to record some of the Queen B journey and to educate – about beeswax candles, and running a small business and what we’re up to – and it would be great to have more people on that journey.

I’ll do a post shortly with our first giveaway.

Feel free to post your comments to this or any other post.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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Last weekend Sydney City Council had the official opening of the new Town Hall replete in solar panel splendour.  As part of the celebrations, the Live Green House was on location as were volunteers from the WWF Earth Hour team.  We were approached to ask if we could send along someone to teach beeswax candle-rolling.  With over 20,000 candles rolled, we sent in Ade (bung knee and all) and from all accounts it was very popular.

Queen B candle-rolling class at Live Green house

Earth Hour is traditionally one of our busier times of year thanks to the ‘naturally carbon neutral’ status of pure beeswax candles (according to the organisers themselves).  Of course it makes sense that pure beeswax, made by bees to store honey WOULD be more earth friendly than petro-chemical candles (paraffin) or hydrogenated/bleached soya oil or palm oil candles.  Then again, based on our sales, about 99.99999% of people are turning off their lights and lighting environmentally damaging (not to mention the damage to your health) candles.

For more information on the toxicity of candles, read our post on the article I wrote for Living Wisdom.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

We have had many customers over the years ask if they should send their tealight cups back to us so that we can use them.  Given the nature of our business (ie low margin, high volume) it simply isn’t possible for us to clean the cups viably for reuse (although you can put them in your recycling at home).  We came up with another option instead.

New to the Queen B range are our bags of tealights without cups… simply use your existing tealight cups.  In keeping with the minimalist theme, they’re packaged in a brown paper bag.  We have bags of 25 tealights in both our 4 hour and 9 hour pure beeswax tealight candles.

Queen B 9 hour beeswax tealight candles without cups

Queen B 4 hour beeswax tealight candles without cups

Please remember that tealight candles MUST be burned in a tealight cup – otherwise they will drip everywhere and you won’t get the burn time promised.  This option is for people who have been saving their tealight cups.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

This year we’ve having to go it alone in marketing our pure Australian beeswax candles for Earth Hour.

Last year WWF used our Eco-bulb as their official Earth Hour candle. [This year they have outsourced their entire store to a corporate apparel company who have sourced a torch from China to go with the t-shirts they have made in China]… ‘turn off your lights and switch on a torch’… not sure that it has the same ring or effect as a lighting a pure beeswax candle.

To celebrate Earth Hour 2010 we’ve created 100 Limited Edition small eco-bulbs to accompany the medium eco-bulb which is a constant part of our range.  The eco-bulb’s burn really quite beautifully – the screw in part of the bulb burns away completely and then the candle burns down into the ‘bowl’ of the bulb… it took months of wick testing to find the right wick, but oh how good is it when we do?!

Queen B Eco-bulb duo candles

Queen B

Queen B eco-bulb duo pack in sinamay

There are only 100 of these special Limited Edition Eco-bulb Duo packs.  The two candles come packaged in one of our beautiful, bio-degradeable sinamay bags.  To purchase the duo-pack online, go here – http://queenb.com.au/shop/index.php?cPath=206.


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

One of our most exciting times of year is Earth Hour… because it focuses people on the environment and because the World Wildlife Fund (the organisers of Earth Hour) are specific about only 100% pure beeswax candles being natural carbon neutral.  They state:

“… make sure you use 100% pure beeswax candles which are gentler on our planet – smoke free, non-toxic and non-allergenic.  They are also made of natural beeswax, not petroleum based wax, so they are effectively carbon neutral.” WWF

This year Earth Hour is being held on 27th March 2010 at 8.30pm.  It is estimated that over a BILLION people globally will turn off their lights for Earth Hour.

The event, which began in Sydney in 2007 with 2 million people switching off their lights, swelled to more than 50 million people around the globe in 2008.  In 2009, participation intensified by hundreds of millions as 4159 cities, towns and municipalities in 88 countries, as well as many of the world’s best-known landmarks, acted for climate change.  Organisers have stated that cities participating in 2010 have already overtaken those that took part last year.

The World Wildlife Fund in Australia have been purchasing Queen B candles to light their landmark Sydney event since inception in 2007.  What will you be using to light your Earth Hour?

Queen B rolled tapers

WWF Earth Hour event - Queen B rolled tapers

WWF Earth Hour event - overall look

Here are a few images from the official WWF events in past years.

Earth Hour lit by Queen B rolled tapers

Queen B plain wrap pillars lighting Earth Hour event


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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I just received the most beautiful photograph from a bride we did a unity candle for. Photography by Luke Gow Photography. The candle goes into our photographic competition.

Queen B beeswax Wedding Unity Candle

Queen B beeswax Wedding Unity Candle


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

When looking for a parcel carrier to deliver our parcels, there were many things to consider… what was the most carbon-neutral option, price, speed, efficiency, what happens if no-one is home etc. Taking into account everything, we decided to use the Australia Post eParcel service. This is more expensive than several other options we have.

Generally Australia Post are fine. The guys who pick up the parcels are great – efficient, friendly, interested in what we’re doing, helpful. It all falls down from there. We are on to our 4th account manager is 3 years. There may have been more, but they leave without telling their ‘Accounts’, so the only way we know is if we try to contact them.

Our two biggest issues are breakages, Australia Post losing parcels and the delivery contractors not leaving cards in letterboxes.

The breakages confounded me for months. We have done everything internally to pack parcels safer than safe. We got to the bottom of the issue when we discovered that after our parcels are picked up here, they are taken to the local business centre where they are loaded into 7ft high cages. The cages are then taken to the distribution centre when they are tipped upsidedown onto a conveyor belt. At maximum a parcel can be plummetting 8ft onto the conveyor belt. Not what we had in mind. The only way around it – ‘Glass’ stickers on any parcel containing glass. Although we were cautioned not to use them too often or the helpful people who gave us this tip would get in trouble.

Not leaving cards is a hassle (because we get irate customers wondering where there parcel is and thinking our service is slack when in fact we ship every order within 2 business days). But we can even work with that because Australia Post is a behemoth and still has a government mentality.

What absolutely gets my goat is the missing parcels. Of course every parcel we send is readily identifiable as a parcel from Queen B because it says so on the label. We have between 15 – 20 parcels that go missing a year. That may not seem like much, but given we pay a premium for a service that is ‘trackable and traceable’ it is actually very annoying, not to mention the cost to the business of resending candles (and we pay for the redelivery too).

Imagine then our fury when in the lead up to Christmas a consignment of boxes with over $2000 of candles went ‘missing’. Someone in Australia Post was doing their Christmas shopping. Our ‘trackable and traceable’ parcel couldn’t be tracked or traced. I drew a line in the sand. I called our Account Manager and said I wouldn’t be backing down until compensation was paid. He had several things to say:

1. If I read the ‘fine print’ of my contract with Australia Post it says that they can smash and lose all my parcels and no compensation is payable.

2. If I want to insure my parcels, I can pay more for that service and it is unreasonable for me to expect compensation because i wasn’t paying for insurance… which misses the point that I do pay more for a service that is supposed to track and trace my parcels and that the parcel was never scanned which is the service guarantee of the service I use.

3. Australia Post has ‘one of the best delivery rates in the industry of 95%’ which he was very proud of… which also implies that Australia Post knowingly expect to lose 5% of my parcels each year (which I wasn’t told when we signed up for the eParcel service) and then expect me to cover the losses that result from it… which is written into the fine print of a lengthy contract. Excuse me?

Australia Post sent me a $50 cheque “as a goodwill gesture” – que? You don’t track or trace my parcels – which is the service I pay for? Your staff do Christmas shopping with my parcels (the only reasonable explanation as the parcels were all barcoded and had our details on them so would have eventually been returned or delivered if they had simply gone astray)? And I am expected to feel great about your “goodwill gesture” of $50 (1/40th of the value of the parcel and about 1/100th of the value of other parcels of ours they had smashed and lost during the year)?… I’m not feeling the goodwill Australia Post.

(PS I tried emailing our “Account Manager” a few days ago to express this sentiment and got a bounce back saying he’d ‘moved on’. I’ve emailed our new Account Manager, but haven’t heard back for 3 days…

Not the best way to be spending my time…


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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