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Archive for July, 2010

Just a little bit of sharing.

This email in recently from a customer we did a bespoke candle for:
Beeswax candle for birthing or breastfeeding

“I love the candle it is perfect!. The thickness and height are great – I light it each time I get up to breastfeed in the middle of the night. The amount of light it gives is perfect as it is not to harsh but also gives off amble light to see.”

So what’s not to love about being a beeswax candlemaker?!


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 read this this morning, and it really struck me…

“When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticise it as “rootless and stemless.”  We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed.  When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped, nor do we criticise the buds for not being open when they appear.  We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.  The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies.  Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential.  It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is [whole] as it is.”  (Gallway, 1974)

Isn’t it wonderful when you read something (or hear or see something) that is impactful?  That challenges you?  That switches on a light and makes you see a situation differently?… whether for a moment or for eternity…

With Queen B, we have something resembling a stem, several leaves and even a couple of buds… beautiful just as she is for right now.


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 was asked a couple of weeks ago to do a birthing candle for a customer who was expecting her fifth child.  Brave, brave soul.

Anyway, the request was as follows: “I am about to give birth any day.  Wondering if you could design a candle for labour. I would like a pure beeswax candle with a mother and child hand painted on the outside.”

And voila!

Queen B hand-painted bespoke design birthing candle

Birthing candle

This update from Lisa: [Our fifth son] was born at home in the birthing pool just as sun went down.

He was welcomed with his birth candle which I light every night when I feed him.”

Lisa’s just ordered another one – same design, this time in baby blue… I’m thinking that with 5 boys, Lisa’s going to be needing lots of candles to relax by in the next 20 years or so.


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 was surprised recently to see a dramatic increase in sales of candle-making kits.  (It was a nice surprise!)

Puzzled, when I let people know that their order was on their way, I asked about it.  Turns out that our customers think that beeswax candle-making is a wonderful school holiday activity.

Rolling beeswax candles is suitable for ages 4 and up (I even did it at Christmas with my 2 year old niece!).  Having said that, you would need to assist with kids up to around 6 years old.  Our Make Your Own rolled taper kits are great for developing kids dexterity and of course children love candlelight (hip, hip, horray!). [Side note – I always start a dinner party (mine or friends!) with getting everyone to roll a taper candle.  It is GREAT for breaking the ice.  Gets everyone in touch with their inner child.  And helps you to identify the A-type personalities all of whom will immediately compete to roll the neatest, tighest taper candle and then have a competition to see whose burns for the longest!]

Pouring beeswax tealight - birthday partyPouring beeswax candles is another fun activity but probably more suited to kids of around 9 and up.  One of the beautiful things about beeswax is that when you are pouring candles you pour at quite a warm temperature… so if there is a spill, there are no burns.  We have kits available with everything you will need both for 4 hour beeswax tealight candles and 8-9 hour beeswax tealight candles.


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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Recently I was at a friend’s housewarming. (wow, there are a million ways I could go with that intro!)

I was introduced to someone as running a business called Queen B blah blah blah!  The woman (who I had never met before) exclaimed excitedly that she had recently been on our website and that our candles were ‘divine’.  I asked the next obvious questions – “What is your name?” (because I process all the orders myself, I would have recognised the name) and “What did you order?”.  She looked a little embarrassed.  Turns out she didn’t order from us!

I was fascinated.  It is seldom that I get to meet someone who has been on our website who could tell me completely independently what s/he thought and why s/he didn’t order.

She told me that she had ended up ordering from one of our “competitors” (who she named) because they had 100 x 8-9 hour tealights which were cheaper than ours.

I was a little shocked to be honest.  I hadn’t realised that they had launched a new product.  Before we made beeswax tealights, I had burned hundreds of the tealights from the Northern NSW maker and they had never burned for longer than 5-6 hours.  Being the nerd that I am, I looked up the website as soon as I got home.  Mmmmm 5-6hr tealights gone and now reading “8-9 hour” tealights (which looked EXACTLY the same – a little larger than our 4 hour tealight).

Beeswax tealight candle comparison

Queen B "8-9hr", Northern NSW "8-9hr", Queen B "4 hr"

I bought some.

At the same time I bought some of the tealights from the WA manufacturer whose name keeps coming up.

Well, they say that a picture speaks a thousand words.  Here’s what I found.  I performed 4 tests, then shocked at what I was seeing, bought time lapse photography software and filmed it so that you could see too.

Here’s the summary from the last 10 seconds of the video.  [Can I also just say that I switched the business over the Apple Mac about a year ago and I LOVE iMovie!]

Tealight Test # 1

WA Manufacturer

  • “4 hr” tealight – $15 (box of 10) = $1.50 ea @ 3.17 hrs = 47c/hr
  • “7 – 8 hr” tealight – $20 (box of 10) = $2.00ea @5.25 hrs = 38c/hr

Queen B

  • “4 hr” tealight – $20 (box of 9) = $2.22 ea @ 5.58 hrs = 40c/hr
  • “8 – 9 hr” tealight – $25 (box of 9) = $2.77 ea @ 8.25 hrs = 34c/hr

Northern NSW Manufacturer

  • “8 – 9hr” tealight – $15 (box of 5) – $3.00ea @ 4.67hrs = 64c/hr

Queen B tealights are the cheapest beeswax tealights to burn per hour (based on true burn time rather than claimed burn time) and are the only tealights to live up to their promised burn times.

The issue with the WA tealights is to do with their beeswax still being too dirty and the wick too large.

The Northern NSW one burns well.  Having said that, I can’t see how it would ever burn for 8-9 hours being the size it is.  In fact the Northern NSW tealight weighs less than the Queen B 4 hour tealight.

Always interested to hear your thoughts and feedback… post a comment or pop me an email.  It’s lovely to have a conversation with someone other than my mind!


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 consider myself blessed to be doing something that I love with my life… and for the most part I enjoy the various aspects of living Queen B.  There are a couple of exceptions – wick testing and doing trade shows.

To be honest I found trade shows so harrowing, that I stopped doing them for the past couple of years.  I found them a rollercoaster of emotions – delight to see existing customers, or people who ‘get’ what we do and despair when people dismiss the candles as expensive, or just think we’re another company selling candles (seemingly EVERYONE, whether fashion designer, skin care brand or homewares label does candles… just not pure beeswax, or made in Australia, or non toxic, or hand-made… oh, I digress!).

Anyway, I decided that we had to be in it to win it and so we’re doing the Reed Gift Fair in August in Melbourne.  Typically I do the tradeshows on my own – which means lots of time in my own head, missing sales when the stand gets busy and difficulty getting a toilet break!  This time I thought I’d throw it out there to any Melbournites who are familiar with Queen B candles and who may have a few hours, a day or even a few days available between 7th – 11th August, who’d like to come play.  Life’s too short to feel harrowed!

Lunch and a candle gift on me.  Our stand is always mind blowingly good because it is done by Joost (of the Greenhouse, Urban Crop, the latest Grange Hermitage launch, the Yellow Pages Hidden Pizza restaurant).  Oh, I do go on.  Best of all, you get to talk about Queen B candles all day.

If you’re willing and able, please pop me an email to queenb@queenb.com.au.

Joost Bakker designed Queen B stand for Life in Style


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 receive enquiries weekly as to whether we sell scented beeswax candles.  We don’t… for a couple of reasons.

1. The vast majority of candles are scented with ‘fragrant’ oils (fragrances, aroma oils, aromatic oils etc).  Fragrances are synthetic chemicals.  Clearly this would not be consistent with Queen B candles.  More on this in a moment.

2. A few candles are scented with essential oils.  Sounds good so far.  Essential oils are, after all, natural.  The problem is that by pouring it into the wax, the oil is combusted during the burning process.  And as soon as you combust an oil, there are toxic emissions.  No matter how pure or natural or lovely that essential oil was to start with.  According to The Essential Oil Encyclopaedia, the smoke from burning essential
oils may contain potential carcinogens, such as polycyclicaromatic hydrocarbons.

Of course it is perfectly safe for you to put drops of oil in water (or wax) and to vapourise the oil (through heating), as in the case of using an oil burner.  That is fine because the oil isn’t being combusted.

So, back to fragrances.  I am sure that many of you, even though fans of Queen B, may have a fragranced candle lying around that you just can’t get rid of because you love the smell so much?  If so, read on.

According to The Environmental Working Groups recent report “Not so Sexy – The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrance”, the fragrance industry has over 3,100 stock chemical ingredients.  Their report which focuses primarily on fragrances/perfumes found that “the average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label… chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions and many substances that have not been assessed for safety…”

A quick read of the entire 44 page report (you can find it here) should cure you of any desire to burn fragranced candles (or wear perfume for that matter).

Interestingly when I looked into who regulated fragrances in Australia, I found out about NICNAS (National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme).  NICNAS requires all importers and/or manufacturers of industrial chemicals for commercial purposes to register with NICNAS.  Interesting.  I did a quick search on a couple of well known manufacturers of ‘natural’ soy wax candles that I know to be using fragrance oils and the largest of them showed up as being registered with NICNAS.

In the interests of keeping this post to a reasonable length I offer the simple observation that it appears that the EU have a significantly better & more restrictive system for regulating industrial chemicals than Australia does.

By all means, have a beautifully scented house… by using pure essential oils in an oil burner with a Queen B tealight below.  Or if you prefer you can just enjoy the natural, light honey aroma of a Queen B candle – just as nature intended.

Happy burning!

Cate


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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