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Archive for September, 2012

Personally I am a fan of beige… and cream… and gray (shades of, even)… and black… and faun… but just occasionally it’s great to lash out and let a little colour in.  Call me crazy baby.  That’s just the kind of gal that I am.  What fun then to combine my love of candles AND splashes of colour with these gorgeous recycled glass candlesticks (all the while showing a little support for the Spanish economy).  Take it from someone who has welcomed a little bright orange into her life, it’s enough to make you smile! [and for those of you wedded to the elegance of black, I’ve got them too and they really work rather well with the other colours too].

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your favourite colour?

 


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 holderspersonalised candlesvotive candlestealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

 

 

 

 

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I had two blog posts that I wanted to work on today and initially thought they were separate subjects.  One on “Buy Nothing New Month” and one on Conscious Giving – but then I realised that they’re really one and the same.

I must admit that my initial (knee-jerk) reaction to Buy Nothing New Month was one of horror.  Taken literally, that would be a complete disaster not just for Queen B, but for thousands of Australian manufacturers and small businesses.  Then I started thinking about how it really doesn’t apply to our candles!  Being beeswax, they are essentially recycled.  They’re not ‘new’.  We take a waste product from honey production and turn it into something functional.  Beeswax candles are as ‘vintage’ as it gets.  My lawyer brain was working overtime!

Then I read on…

It’s about thinking where our stuff comes from (finite resources) and where it goes when we’re done (often landfill) and what are the fantastic alternatives out there to extend the life of our ‘stuff’.”

And you know what, I really get that.  I think about that stuff on a daily basis.  It’s one of the reasons that we only use 100% pure Australian beeswax – infinite (if we look after our bees), long lasting, naturally carbon neutral, non-toxic, no landfill content (soy, palm and paraffin all have a very high environmental cost).  It’s why we don’t make square candles (too much wasted beeswax).  It’s why we use sinamay bags (a waste product from banana harvesting that is completely biodegradable).  It’s why we use Australian sourced, FSC certified card for our packaging (smaller environmental footprint than recycled card as it turns out).

And that then gets me on to my second post which was all about conscious giving.  Choosing carefully.  While it may seem too early to be talking about the festive season, when you’re pouring candles individually from an enamel teapot, you get started on Christmas early!… and I happen to know that we have lots of ‘A type’ personalities in our customer base (takes one to know one) who are planning end of year teachers gifts!  Anyway, I acknowledge my own bias, but if you are considering gifts (be they birthday, corporate, festive, teachers, lovers or just because), then I know that giving a Queen B candle is a gift that gives many times over.

As for ‘buy nothing new month’, I suggest that we change it to ‘buy consciously every day of the year’.  That Queen B lady… She’s a crazy one!

 

 


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 holderspersonalised candlesvotive candlestealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

 

 

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As you probably know by now, supporting Australian beekeepers and regional communities is a big driver at Queen B.  So, we’re all for anything that promotes Australian farmers and gets people thinking about the role that our farmers play and what we can do to support them.  It’s a happy coincidence then that in 2012 we are celebrating Australian Year of the Farmer.  Hopefully we’ll go on celebrating our farmers every year.

AYOF is about celebrating and enriching the connections between rural and urban Australia.  It recognises what farmers do for all Australians. It’s about what we eat; about fresh fruit and vegetables (generally pollinated by honey bees), dairy, grains (pollinated by bees), fish, meat (fed on grain pollinated by bees), eggs and about wool, cotton, timber – all the fine quality products that our farmers grow and harvest in large and small businesses. [And about the integral role in each of these activities, played by honey bees – Ed.]

Australian farms and the industries that support them generate more than $405 billion each year, that’s 27% of our GDP.Australia’s farmers should be recognised and celebrated: for feeding the nation, for leading the world in farming techniques and innovation, and for sustaining the vital agribusinesses that underpin our economy. Farmers are the providers of our nation.

So, to me, the big question is what we can do in our every day lives to support Australian farmers and beekeepers.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • only buy Australian fruit and veg – and if the supermarkets don’t have what you want from an Australian grower, complain.  Be belligerent about it.  Just last week I bought crushed garlic in a jar because it was the only way of getting Australian garlic (at 10pm for team lunch at the hive the next day)
  • Don’t buy that wretched $1 milk – it’s killing our dairy farmers.  Complain about that too.
  • Support small producers where you can by buying at farmers markets, your local fruit & veggie store or organic stores

and buy roadside honey directly from a beekeeper… the supermarket stuff is generally a blend of local and imported honey (that is overheated to stop it candying on the shelves).

And here’s a biggie

we’re nearing that time of year when businesses will spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars on staff gifts (we hope) and client gifts.  Send them our way and we guarantee a gift that will not only be loved by the recipient, but will directly support Australian regional communities.  We have gifts ranging from $20 to hampers choc full of honey, beeswax candles and other honey goodness (nougat, beeswax based mens shave soap etc) that range from $75 to $250.  We can brand things.  We can handle logistics.  The sky is the limit.

So, if you work in a business that gives gifts, or you have any friends in high places who organise gifts, please pass on our details.  We’d be only too happy to wow them with what the world can look like without another jar of olive tapenade, bottle of wine or overseas made picnic set!  And just before you worry that our gifts are really aimed at women, over 80% of corporate hamper recipients are men and in the words of the Head of Marketing Strategy from one of our clients “I just wanted to tell you how beautiful I thought the hampers came out.  I hope you are as proud of them as we were to present them to the company.  I had many people say how amazing they looked and we received feedback from clients like never before.”

Bring it on.  We’re ready and rearing to go!

Cheers

Cate

 

Queen B Christmas Corporate Gift Hamper

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OK, so this post borders on narcissism, BUT anyone who makes a product will tell you that there is nothing like the thrill you get when you see it loved in someone’s home.  And so, a few photographs that I snapped when I was staying with Joost & Jen (+ girls, dog, chooks & bees)…

Bee Bottles, Vases & Jars

Bee Bust & other assorted Queen B goodies

Broken bottles from Dom installation & Queen B reversible candleholders

Joost’s beehives… pollinating his 9 acres of flowers & veggie patch

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In early August I did my annual pilgrimage to Melbourne to showcase Queen B candles.  It’s fun to catch up with existing retailers and good to introduce new retailers to Queen B, but undoubtedly the highlight for me each year is seeing my Melbourne posse of friends and seeing what Joost has come up with for our stand.  As you probably know, I’m a bit of a control freak.  Joost is the opposite.  I have everything packed and shipped to Melbourne a couple of weeks in advance.  Joost decides on what he’s doing for the stand the night before we set up!  He likes to use it as a form of torture.  I like to think of it as creative dissonance!!

Once again, his stand was spectacular.  I always love the juxtaposition of our rusting & rustic, grounded, modern, angular, bold, almost masculine stand in a space the size of 6 football fields full of stands with white and chrome displays.  It is always telling that I get just as many enquiries from people wanting to buy elements of the stand (including the plants which most people think are fake until I point out the spiders webs that the spiders are creating around the candles)!

With no further ado, following are some images of our stand.  You can buy the individual towers from ByJoost.

Calm before the storm

 

Set up whirlwind!

Joost on his direct line to the universal force

 

The total package

Getting the feel

 

 

 

 

A bevy to celebrate (local gin, home made lemonade & local mineral water, of course)!

 

 

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There are some aspects of social media that I get, and some that I don’t.  Twitter, for example, I don’t get.  I have nothing useful to say in 160 characters.  I don’t find much of what anyone else says in 160 characters that useful either.  It’s a little too like shouting.  Yet I have a friend who has built a multimillion dollar business from the ground up who tells me that a large part of that success is because of Twitter.  One day I hope to get it.

Blogging, where I can be verbose and give waaaaaayyyyyyy too much information I get.  I get feedback (which I love).  It’s engaging.  I think it lifts the veil a little on Queen B (not that there’s too much mystery there).  It’s like sharing something with a friend… it makes you feel closer.  I am not interested in “running a business”, I was to make a difference to people’s lives.  I am not overly interested in flogging candles.  I want to light up your dark times (and the romantic ones and the light ones in between).

Anyway, on Wednesday I was chatting to Working Bee and telling her about the online world and how it has changed the nature of business.  We’d been tidying shelves and found these beautiful, little tealight cylinder hurricanes that I had bought months ago and I had never put online.  So, we photographed them and we put them up on the website.  We sold six within an hour and another 12 within 24 hours of the product going live.  Mind blowing.  And that was before we even blogged about them.  Or put them in a newsletter.  Or tweeted about it!  And before the whole idea even went viral.  Who would have thunk it?

Here they are

Cylinder hurricane tealight holders x 6 (tealights not included)

 

I think what people like best is that it’s only $34.95 for the 6 holders.  And it’s spring – so we get to play outdoors again.  Oh, and it’s Australian Year of the Farmer and buying Queen B candles supports our farmers… but more on that later.

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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 holderspersonalised candlesvotive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

 

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OK, I know, it’s been a while since I last wrote but it has been a crazy 6 weeks or so.  That means I’ve got LOTS to update you on so this will be an active little blog over the next week.

First up, because we’ve just unpacked them all and we’re loading things on the website as we speak, we’ve got a whole load of new porcelain tealight candleholder domes in and we’ve also started stocking the porcelain cups in a variety of beautiful designs.  Retailing at $11.95 (for the cup) and $24.95 (for the dome) these are always one of our best-selling gifts.

Here’s a few of the new cup designs:

Porcelain cup tealight candle holder – Dandelion

 

Porcelain cup tealight candleholder – Roses

 

Porcelain candle holder tealight cup – Dragonfly

 

Porcelain candle holder tealight cup – Chinese Blossom

 

Porcelain candleholder tealight cup – Cherubs

 

Porcelain candleholder tealight cup – Hanging Blossoms

 

Black porcelain tealight candle holder cup – Filigree Dragonfly

 

 

And as if they aren’t tempting enough, we have lots of new designs in the domes as well.  Clever people.

 

Porcelain dome tealight holder – Filigree Butterfly

 

Porcelain dome tealight candleholder – Frangipani

 

Porcelain dome tealight candleholder – Sunflower

 

Porcelain dome tealight candleholder – Filigree Heart

 

Black porcelain dome tealight candleholder – Filigree Dragonfly

 

Black porcelain dome tealight candle holder – Filigree Butterfly

 

Black porcelain dome tealight candleholder – Tulip

 

Porcelain dome tealight candleholder – Bluebells & Butterflies

 

Phew.

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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 holderspersonalised candlesvotive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

 

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