Archive for November, 2012

To celebrate the launch of our Jam Jar tealights (a collaboration with Joost) we negotiated a special deal for Queen B customers giving you 15% off Joost’s range of homewares as part of a Queen B group buy.

Here’s the deal:

1. Click on the link in this blog post to download the order form – ByJoost order form
2. Put together your order (please fill in all fields or we won’t be able to include your order).  The form is designed to make things easy for you – simply put the number of each item you would like in the orange coloured cells and the form calculates your total spend for you.
3. Email the order form back to us by 5pm this Friday (30th November 2012)

We’ll put in one big order (giving everyone a lovely discount) and then we’ll ship out your goodies when they arrive.  We’ve been told it will be 3-4 weeks to get the stock and plan delivery to everyone before Christmas.  If we’re not going to be able to deliver to you before Christmas, we’ll let you know and you can pull out if you like.

If it is not on the form, then it is not part of this offer.

Homewares byJoost – empty Pinch Pot (grey), a few strawberries in Tapas Plate (grey), lots of strawberries in Large Bowl (white), water in Small Glass, small bowl in background (white)

Homewares byJoost – salt and pepper in Pinch Pots (white), walnuts in Small Bowl (white), salad in Serving Bowl (white), carrots and quinoa on Side Plate (grey), water in Small Glass

Homewares byJoost – out of focus grains in Small Bowl (grey), corn in Serving Bowl (grey), avocados in Large Bowl (grey), asparagus in Jam Jars (white). Chef (Matt Stone) not for sale.

How’s that for fabulousness?  You can now eat dinner on your Australian made ByJoost dinnerware and homewares by the ambient light of your Queen B Jam Jar tealight candles.  Does life get any better?


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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Back in March I blogged about Joost’s Melbourne Greenhouse and our pure beeswax Jam Jar Tealights which lit the way – the second eco love child of our long term collaboration with Joost.  We’ve been inundated with requests for them ever since, but it took until now for them to get to the top of the list of things for us to do.

So (drum roll) it is with great delight that we announce the launch of our Jam Jar tealights.  The story of Joost’s life – bucket loads of great ideas focused on sustainability (+ an obsession with jam jars) and the need for people to execute.  The story of my life – the love of execution (+ an obsession for beeswax candles that burn perfectly).  It’s a match made in heaven.

Each pack contains 2 x Glass Jam Jars + 8 pure beeswax tealight candles (4-5 hour burn time).

To reuse the glass jars, simply flick out the metal wick sustainer when the tealight has finished burning and pop in a new tealight.  To clean the jars use hot, soapy water.

Here’s how they look when they are lighting up the Greenhouse by Joost…

Jam Jar tealights lighting up the Greenhouse by Joost at Melbourne Food and Wine Fair

Everyone looks better looking by beeswax candle light?

Queen B Jam Jar tealights lighting up the Greenhouse by Joost at Melbourne Food and Wine – notice that apart from the legally required safety lighting, the entire dining area was lit purely by beeswax tealight candles.  Go bees.  Joost, the diners & the planet thanks you.


And here are trays of these beautiful little lights freshly poured from an enamel teapot at Queen B.

Trays of Jam Jar tealight candle refills

Jam Jar tealight candles in reusable glass jam jars

If you’re looking for a eco gift that is Australian made, supports our regional communities, will light up people’s lives, smells good, looks great and isn’t going to end up as landfill, look no further.


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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These 8cm solid pillars have literally been on my list of things to do for almost a year.  All it took in the end was an order for 200 of them!  We had moulds done, wicks sorted, embossing tool made and packaging solved in a matter of weeks.

So, for those of you who thought our existing range of solid beeswax pillars were too tall…

our pure beeswax tealights too small…

our beeswax dinner candles too narrow…

our beeswax votives in glass too glassy…

and you just wanted a shorter, wider, un-glassier candle, we’ve finally done it.

These bee-uties are 8cm tall.  Approx 4.5cm wide and burn for around 20 hours each.

They are perfect for the Page Thirty Three Essential Oil Burner.

To celebrate their launch we’ve got them at 20% off for 48 hours – until 17th November 2012.

You can get them in a pack of 2

8cm solid beeswax pillars – pack of 2


or a pack of 6

8cm solid beeswax pillar – pack of 6


and because it is actually all about the flame, here’s what they look like when they’re lit (sorry about dodgy photograph)

8cm solid beeswax pillar candle lit


and here’s the Page 33 Essential Oil Burner that became the trigger that got this project off the ground.

Page Thirty Three Essential Oil Burner



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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For some months now we’ve been working closely with a Rabbi from the Kashrut Authority on getting Queen B candles kosher certified.  Many of my friends are Jewish and I’ve been blessed to be a part of plenty of their celebrations.  All of which seem to feature candles.  All of which (without exception) were lit by paraffin candles – unless I provided the beeswax ones!

It seems a travesty to bring your loved ones together to breathe in the fumes from petroleum by-product candles.

I figured there was no point in whingeing about it.  So we’ve done something about it.  We’re delighted to now have Kosher Certification for our entire range of candles.

So what, you may ask, makes a candle kosher?

‘Kosher’ means ‘fit to use’. It is a term most commonly applied to food that meets certain requirements, but can also be applied to other products the meet the requirements of being fit for use.

From a candle perspective there are 3 relevant considerations:

1. the fuel must be from a kosher source – pure, unadulterated, natural beeswax gets a tick.  Since it is not a food (ma’achal) its status as a product secreted from bees (yotzei min hatamei) does not make it non-kosher. Beeswax is considered kosher provided that no non-kosher solvents are used in its processing (at Queen B we use water), and it contains no non-kosher additives (we use no additives at all).

2. the wick must be pure – cotton wick gets a tick

3. the candlemakers – we got a tick there too.

Whilst our tealights, tapers, solid pillars and Bee Lights are all perfect for Shabbat candles, the Rabbi has also been advising me on the requirements for specific occasions.  Some of those are taking a little longer in testing than others!  First to be ready are our Chanukah candles.

Our bundle of 45, Kosher Certified, pure beeswax Hanukkah candles come in a 1.5 hour burn time option

Bundle of 45 Hanukkah Beeswax candles – 1.5hr burn time

or a pure beeswax, Kosher Certified, Chanukkah candles 3 hour burn time option

Bundle of 45 Chanukah Beeswax candles – 3hr burn time

And just in case you think I’m being tricky and these are just Bee Lights by another name, they’re actually not.  They are slightly fatter (to fit in the standard Menorahs in which they were tested) and slightly shorter to meet the burn time requirements.

We look forward to adding new products to our range for specific occasions or specific requirements.  Stay tuned.

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Earlier this week I received an email that brought a tear to my eye.  I wanted to get permission to share it – and that I now have.

This is why I do what I do…


“Cate, I spent the early evening with our 9 year old grandson, chatting out on the patio.

I brought out some of your candles as the sun went down… the ambience was very significant.

he and I had a wonderful conversation… his parents are divorcing… it was very special.

your candles were a special part of that and I wanted you to know.

do you market ambience?…I am sure that you do…perhaps my situation is unique.”


Thanks CD.  While your email brought a tear to my eye.  It is wonderful to get out of my head and to feel.  I’m not sure that words can actually ever describe what a gift bee created candle light is, but yours sure rocked my world.

Cate xx

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In my view of the world, people buying natural or organic products expect to be able to trust the producer to not be secretly using chemicals, or lying about organic certification.  Unfortunately there is a player in this industry who is untrustworthy.

Last week I wrote a blog post about lessons I’d learned, mistakes made and the things I’m proudest of.   At the same time, I’ve been sitting on this information for over a year and sitting on a draft of this post for over 6 months.  I’ve been sitting on it because I am sick of negativity and I didn’t want to seem negative and I feel as if I am revealing the silent shame of the industry I am so passionate about.

As I reflected during the past week on the lessons I’ve learned and what I stand for, I realised that I wasn’t completely ‘leading with passion’, ‘trusting my gut’, ‘choosing what is right (not what is right now)’ or ‘paving my own path’.  I am passionate about integrity.  My gut instinct is that people are sick of being lied to and we need to have this conversation.  I think it is ‘right’ (even at the risk of sounding negative) to air this.  And, goodness knows, I’m marching to the beat of my own drum/paving my own path!  And so it is that this post sees the light of day.

Claiming ‘certified organic beeswax’ when the wax you are using is not certified organic is,to me, a black and white issue.  Making the claim is not only misleading and deceptive (and thereby a breach of the Trade Practices Act), but also shows a complete lack of integrity.

According to the ACCC, “A business that labels its product as certified organic must ensure that its product is actually certified. Any business that falsely advertises that its product is certified will contravene the CCA“.

The CCA is the Competition and Consumer Act.  It “prohibits businesses from misleading or deceiving consumers, or from engaging in conduct that is likely to mislead or deceive. The CCA also prohibits businesses from making a range of false or misleading representations. Fines, injunctions and/or damages may be sought where businesses fail to meet these requirements“.

Having done my research and verified with their major beeswax supplier that they did not have organic certification [beekeepers are an honest breed] I called the ACCC and they said they are only able to investigate a small percentage of complaints made, but to put it in writing.  The conversation didn’t instill much confidence.  I feel like I could do with some bolstering.

How do you feel about businesses claiming their products are certified organic when they aren’t?

Unfortunately for us I know that these claims have impacted Queen B financially.  I know that, for me, organic certification is important in the food I buy and the products I use on my skin and in my home.  My gut feeling is that it would also be an important consideration to the type of person who would buy beeswax candles.  Two candles, side by side, one claiming certified organic and another not, I too would probably choose the one claiming certified organic, as I know many people have [although having been around for as long as I have, I would expect to see the certifying body on their website and if it wasn’t there I’d email requesting those details].  I’ve randomly met them.  I’ve spoken to them on the phone.  I have to admit that it does make me mad that an ethical business can suffer because of another with no ethics.

There is a very good reason that we haven’t gone down the ‘certified organic’ path at Queen B.  Organic certification in so far as it relates to honey & beeswax is interesting.  Simply put, organic certification requires that your hives are 5km’s from the nearest industry or chemically sprayed field, and as bees can fly up to 14km’s, certification is an expensive marketing ploy.  That, of course, is a very simplistic explanation, but the fact remains that it is rare to find a third or fourth generation beekeeper who has gone down the path of organic certification.  They employ good husbandry to ensure their hives are healthy and antibiotic & chemical treatment free.  Every beekeeper that we buy from is a third, fourth or fifth generation beekeeper.  I value experience and integrity over marketing.

If you have been duped by these claims of organic certification, I’d love it if you could pop me an email… I assume that the ACCC, like me, appreciate evidence and the more evidence I have, the better.

And finally, because I just worked out how to use polls on WordPress and I think they’re fabulous –

If you’re going for ‘other’ please keep it clean because I’m moderating the comments so that this doesn’t get out of hand!

As always I appreciate your comments and feedback whether here, on facebook, on twitter or privately via email.  If you do feel passionately about this, please spread the word so that others can have their say too.

Cate x


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It’s my ‘work from home day’ today… which is usually far more stressful than working from work where I get distracted constantly!  This morning I took the opportunity to listen to a podcast by Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge.  If you run a small business, it is 17 minutes well spent.  You can find the podcast here.  If you don’t have 17 minutes, you can read the notes I made here

Grace Bonney – 20121105 After The Jump – Notes from Lessons I’ve Learned

I am a big believer in things happening for a reason.  While I have been aware of Grace’s radio show for a while, I have never actually found the time to listen.  Today I did and it was a gift.

I’ve learned, or am learning, all of the same lessons.

I have made, or am currently making (:-)) all of the same mistakes.

I am proud of some of the same things and learning to be proud of others.

I feel that one thing missing is a formalised way of giving back/helping out.  My philosophy has always been to run the business on low margins and rather give back every step of the way.  However, it dawned on me that there is more that I can be doing in helping to mentor other businesses, manufacturers and/or designers.

On that note, I’m announcing a Queen B Mentorship for 2013.  Applications are open whether you are starting out in business or a little along the path… whether you’re a producer or a reseller… whether you’re a designer or a manufacturer.

The mentorship will consist of 5 x 1hr one-on-one sessions – in person or on skype.  We can agree upfront on a formal table of topics of interest, or you can use me more informally as a sounding board.

Application form here

Queen B 2013 Mentorship Application

Applications close on 26th November 2012.

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