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Posts Tagged ‘Australian made’

The last time I moved I took an enormous bag full of unused gifts from various past employers to Vinnies.  Along with the 20 odd t-shirts and 11 caps were 2 (shoddily made) picnic hamper sets, 5 umbrella’s, (I kept another 4 – although why I really have no idea as I haven’t used any of them in 6 years), about 9 stress balls (what message does THAT send?!!), 4 plastic insulated coffee cups, a vinyl/faux leather notebook cover and desk set, 5 completely useless branded backpacks and about 15 plastic water bottles.  [What didn't make it were the various bottles of wine which I had consumed having long since forgotten who they were from and the olive tapenade and stale crackers never eaten!]

I know I had cupboards full of what was essentially landfill but I felt too guilty to send it there given the consumption of precious resources taken to make it.  Sadly when I got to Vinnies they told me that they would throw the vast majority of it away as they were inundated with it.

So, why then write a post about more “stuff”.  Well because we’re heading into giving season and if you’re going to give stuff then it would be remiss of me not to tell you about gifts that are useful, beautiful and sustainable.  A gift that keeps on giving – to our farmers & beekeepers, to the jobs it creates at our hive, to our local packaging manufacturers and suppliers.  A gift that recognises that your staff work hard and they also need to relax hard.

A few months ago we were tasked by long term client, Buzz Strategic Concepts, to put together a little ‘just because’ gift for their clients.  Not for Christmas.  Not for any particular reason.  Just a random act of kindness and gratitude gift.  They sent us personalised cards to go with each gift and we did all the logistics for them.  Bravo!

Sustainable, australian made corporate gift

 

And to make sure the gift went the extra mile, we put their brand on the candle – subtle but effective.  Every time their client looks at or fires up this little beauty (and if you know your Queen B candles you’ll know that that will be a whole lot of times over a whole long period of time!) lovely, sweet, positive, appreciative thoughts flying your way!

logo corporate gift, australian made, sustainble, eco, hamper

 

Of course we also do larger gifts and hampers

corporate gift hamper, australian made, eco sustainable gift

 

 

And we do smaller gifts too… this one coming in under $15.

meaningful corporate gift, sustainable, eco

 

If you’re looking for ideas, send us an email or give us a buzz, we’d be only too happy to help you out.

Cate xx

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For years now we’ve been asked for citronella candles and for years we’ve said no because that would make the candles toxic to burn (you can read more about that in our post on Fragranced Candles – The Hidden Risks).  So, have I lost my mind in telling you we now have a citronella offering?  Have I compromised on our values? NO to both questions… I just found a fantastic, Australian made and owned product that isn’t a scented (toxic to burn) candle.

In August I spent 3 days going through the Gift & Homewares shows.  It was soul destroying… approximately 95% of what I saw was mass produced, faux French, faux copper, faux rust product made overseas.  In about 8 football fields worth of exhibitors (that’s over 6,000 exhibitors) I brought back information on 4.  Flame in a Can was one of them.

So, here’s a little of what got me excited.  Flame in a Can is:

• SAFE - only burns on the wick, so no risk of fuel spillage fires
• clean burning – no black smoke; no nasty fuel smell; eco-friendly
• self-contained – no pouring required; easy to use; just open the lid and light the wick
• long lasting – each tin gives up to 6 hours burn time; can be extinguished and re-lit any time
• wind-resistant – the large, attractive flame will stay alight even in strong winds
• good value - low cost + long burn time + no waste = good value
• made in Australia

Finally, a citronella solution for your outdoor, alfresco dining without compromising our integrity.  You can have your Flame in a Can under the table (we’d suggest putting it in a terracotta pot so that they don’t get kicked over) and your Queen B candles on the table!

 

 

OK, so they suggest putting it on the table and say all sorts of things about candles that we KNOW don’t apply to Queen B candles, but I personally don’t think a can with a flame is a stylish table decoration no matter what they say!  I’d stick to having it under the table!  Then again, I don’t think a fake, plastic, battery operated candle is attractive either and yet there are obviously thousands who do based on their proliferation!

We’ve got 2 options available for Flame in a Can:

• Individual can - $9.95
• Box of 6 cans – $49.95 (that’s 1 can for free)

You’ve got to love it when you find a solution to what seems like an insurmountable problem!

Cate xx

 

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I asked Sarah to come up with a catchy headline for this blog post and there it is!!

We’re lucky to have a very talented local painter, Stephen (just in case you hadn’t worked that out!), who now hand paints all of our personalised candles at Queen B and we want him around here more!!!  Stephen is a funny, quirky, breath of fresh air, and in hive of women it’s fresh air we enjoy!

So, here are few recent examples of Queen B personalised candles painted by our very own drone!

christening or naming day candle hand painted on a pure beeswax pillar candle

A special thank you to Paula for sharing, and allowing us to share, this photograph. xx

hand painted personalised candle, unique gift, australian made, a gift for an amazing friend

An extraordinary gift for a friend

Happy wedding love aunts and uncles

Such beautiful sentiment… and on a candle that’s going to burn for over 200 hours… the customer requested a light blue floral surround and away we went!

name candles for wedding, wedding unity candle, australian made,

Hand painted wedding unity candles

You can find more details about our personalised candles in various sections of the website – Baptismal (or Christening) Candles, Wedding Unity Candles, Bereavement Candles and other Personalised Gift Candles.

Here’s to a little more testosterone at the hive!

Cate xx

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One of the wonderful things about having a Sunday/Monday as your weekend is that you don’t have to go to work on Monday’s.  It’s a great time to catch up on things when they’re quiet.

Today I’ve promised myself I’ll clear my inbox, which seems to be never-ending because I keep getting distracted :-).  One lovely distraction was a beautiful photograph sent to me by stylist, Meagan O’Donoghue from The Style Palette Co.  I’m always amazed by the talents of our customers.  You’re really quite an extraordinary bunch going about your lives choosing to make a difference.  It shouldn’t surprise me given what we do, but it does and it is a constant delight.

Anyway, Meagan took a gorgeous photograph of our Mini-Marilyn Bee Light holders with a couple of Bee Lights.  And the thing that struck me as I was deleting volumes of administrative emails was just how simple the candles and the holders are but how nature is so beautiful that you don’t need to fussy it up.

brass candleholder with pure beeswax taper dinner candles

Mini-Marilyn brass candle holders with Bee Lights

So in the spirit of making it a wonderful day, we’re doing a Monday offer today – 20% off Brass Mini-Marilyn candleholders and 20% off the Pack of 10 Bee Lights.  It’s spontaneous and open until midnight tonight only.

I can say hand on heart that our Bee Lights will blow your socks off when they’re lit.  They are the ultimate testament to the brilliance of nature (and why we are so thorough with our wick testing)!!  They burn for 3 or so hours each (that’s several nights of lighting them during dinner from every candle) and they don’t drip if they are out of a breeze.

And just in case you don’t think that I practice what I preach, here’s a view from where I’m sitting right now!!  I did consider replacing the 2 in the background with new candles but decided that it was better just to be completely authentic.  This is how I stay calm on a Monday in the face of 553 unread emails!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday.

Over and out.

Cate xx

light a candle to keep your brain calm and relaxed on a busy day

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness” Chinese Proverb

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For years when I’ve need a special gift, I’ve personalised a candle but I couldn’t work out a way of viably offering the service.  Well, I worked it out! Need a gift for that impossibly stylish friend that you’re always a little nervous to buy for? Looking for something to give in that situation where words are impossible (I particularly find this so when someone is grieving and words just seem completely superfluous but you want to show that you care)? Uninspired by the “off the shelf” options for that special occasion that you want a really memorable gift for? … allow us to personalise a candle for you. To start with we’re launching personalised candles with a range of beautiful quotes – with the quote on one side of the candle and a personal message from you to your friend on the other side – and with number candles that are perfect for special birthdays (because we’re always being asked for them)!  Imagine giving a gift of light personalised by a bona fide artistic person, armed with a paint brush, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.  No laser printing going on here folks, this is the real McCoy! Tell us your favourite quote (it doesn’t need to be one of these) in the comments field below.  We’ll hold a vote next week and if it’s voted #1 we’ll send you a candle with the winning quote on it. Each quote is one entry – multiple quotes, multiple entries!

a personalised gift to say I love you, australian made, hand painted, beeswax candle

“At one glance I love you with a thousand hearts.”

cheer up gift, maori proverb, personalised candle gift

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”

Personalised candle, eleanor roosevelt quote, friendship gift

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart.”

baptismal candle, christening candle, personalised baptismal candle, personalised naming day candle, personalised christening candle

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

personalised candles, personalised gift, inspirational quote, unique personal gift

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

inspirational quote, personalised gift candle, graduation gift candle

“Accept your path with its many twists and turns… the adventure is in the journey not the arrival.”

I'm sorry gift, how to say I'm sorry, personalised I'm sorry candle

“Real friends are those who when you’ve made a fool of yourself don’t feel that you’ve done a permanent job!”

personalised birthday gift, unique birthday present, inspirational quote

“It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years”

Personalised gift, friendship gift, personalised candle, unique gift

“Good friends are like stars… You don’t always see them but you know they’re there”

personalised candle, inspirational quote, happy flame beeswax candle,

Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers “grow, grow”

personalised candle, bereavement gift, mourning, gift instead of flowers, gift for grieving

“A luminous light remains where a beautiful soul has passed.”

Personalised gift, gift to say I love you, anniversary present, personalised candle

“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous”

personalised gift, wedding anniversary gift, wedding gift, australian made, hand made

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems to short”

For a special birthday, choose from our range of celebratory numbers – we’ll paint the numbers on one side of the candle and a personalised message from you on the other for a truly unforgettable gift.  You’ll be lighting up their life for years to come Personalised birthday candle, hand painted, unique memorable Australian made gift Personalised first birthday present, Australian made beeswax candle personalised birthday candle personalised birthday candle, australian made, hand painted, happy flame beeswax candles personalised birthday candle, australian made, northern light beeswax candles personalised birthday candle, beeswax birthday candles, bumble beeswax candle personalised birthday candle, queen b, bumble beeswax candle from northern light hand painted birthday candle with a personalised message and a light brighter than the northern light personalised birthday gift candle personalised gift for birthday, bee created light from Queen B beeswax candles     I include the photograph below to show you how the candles burn (i.e. down inside their hand-painted wrap leaving your personalised message intact).  Unfortunately friends don’t usually send me photographs of their candles burning :-)

unique, sustainable, Australian made corporate gifts hand made in Sydney

Personalised candle done for Joost

Looking forward to hearing your favourite quotes and lighting up the lives of your favourite people. Cate xx

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I chose this week’s love letter for two reasons.  Firstly because I love someone who goes and does their own research and then forms their own opinion and secondly because I happened to have another call from a concerned customer this week about this very issue and so the email was timely.

As I said in return, “I get so torn between “rising above it” (which a lot of people espouse and which makes a lot of sense to me) and then being so angry and incensed that people are being completely misled and the injustice of it all (to our business, our staff and our customers).  Whilst you seem to have read through it, I hear about and meet people regularly who are reading it on a superficial level (because they’re busy) and they’re buying it.”

“Hi Cate,

I just read your post on chlorine and then located and checked out the offending website to sate my curiosity.  What an “ode to an ego” it seemed, all the way through.  The person in question is quite good at sounding as though he knows what he is talking about, at a superficial level – by subtly misdirecting the reader.  Very calculated.  It seems disturbingly personal – and directed at you.
I also felt the fuss about candle painting was sour grapes –  he offers nothing as sophisticated as your decorative pillars.  It is far easier to put someone else down than come up to the mark.
Anyhow, bravo to you for standing your ground, whilst retaining your dignity and grace.  Mr obfuscation is showing poor form and I wouldn’t buy his candles on principle (as well as the fact that I love yours so why would i change). Anyway, as I said, he offers far less in every way.
Keep doing what you do so well,
J”
Having worked every day of the long weekend, I can assure you that I’m not doing Queen B because it gives me work/life balance.  Having not put prices up in 8 years, I can assure you that I’m not doing Queen B for money.  So why do it then?  Because I’m completely obsessed with bees.  I’m passionate about minimising chemicals in our homes.  I’m passionate about the environment.  I get to meet extraordinary people.  Because if I’m going to do something a gazillion hours a week then I want to do something where I feel as if I’m making a difference.  And most of all because I love making and sending out light.  If you think about for just a second, that really is an amazing thing to be able to do with your life.
Feeling blessed,
Cate xx

 

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What do you get when you want a candle that is taller than a beeswax tea light candle?  Narrower than a solid beeswax pillar candle? Wider than a Bee Light or beeswax taper candles? And doesn’t need to be burned in a container like beeswax votive candles and tealight candles?…

You get a Queen B pure beeswax Mini Pillar candle!

mini beeswax Queen B pillar candle natural happy flame for pure beeswax light

Mini Pillar candle – 100% pure beeswax

 

Sitting approximately 5cm tall and 3.2cm wide this mini-pillar burns with a beautiful, large flame (much larger than a tea light flame).  Left out (i.e. not in an enclosed space), it won’t drip.  Put in a contained space, it can consume the wax to a much wider diameter than a tea light or votive.

You can see in the video below two different uses for the mini-pillar. The jar I use in the video has an external diameter of 6.7cm. Remember to put sand in the bottom of the jar to give the candle a level surface to sit on.

 

This candle was borne of customer feedback (and a glaring hole in our range).  I’ve already put it to work getting my Page Thirty Three Oil Burner fired up (one of the draw backs of their design is that they really need a large flame to heat that volume of water and because it is very exposed).  This little pillar rises to the challenge admirably making the oil burner work a treat.  It’s a stunning looking oil burner too.

I was contemplating product development recently and took the time to prepare a process chart capturing the Product Development Cycle at Queen B.  Sometimes I wonder why I never seem to get anything done!…

Queen B product development lifecycle flowchart/diagrammatic template… let's have a meeting to discuss!

Queen B product development lifecycle flowchart… let’s have a meeting to discuss!

 

To celebrate the launch we’re doing 20% off for 24 hours only.  Blink and you’ll miss it.

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