Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for June, 2014

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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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

 

Read Full Post »

Winter finally seems to have finally got her claws into Sydney, the cold and grey days brightened by the number of candles lit at the hive.  It’s a lucky fortune, I realise, that we get to light such magnificence daily and it’s a lucky fortune that I love to share.  As you may have noticed, I’ve also been pondering gratitude, generosity, gift giving, card writing and all those wonderful things recently because I have a lot of it in my life.

Putting all of it together, I decided that one of the keys to spreading the light, brightening up the short winter days was to do an uber special, Queen B’s Long Weekend Sale.  All offers are open until midnight on 10th June 2014.  And I’ve also been giving some thought as to how you can share the light without breaking the bank and came up with a few ideas on that front too.  So, here we go.

Firstly, the most popular candles in our range – our pure beeswax tealight candles.  We’ve got the following special offers:

Queen B beeswax candles don't bumble beeswax

Secondly, my favourite candles in our range – our Bee Light candles.  I often send these out as a random gifts of light packaged in a brown envelope (as you see below)… I’ve loaded them up with an option INCLUDING SHIPPING for an additional $3  (i.e. our usual $11 flat rate shipping for orders <$100, free for orders over $100 doesn’t apply).  So you can order away to your hearts content and we can ship directly to the lucky recipient.  Tick “this is a gift” when you’re checking out and tell us what to write on the card and we’ll do everything.  For the next 3 days we’re doing these at 10% off so we’ll pay the shipping cost for you.

Ensure a happy flame with your beeswax candles with these bee lights

And as a final addition to the plethora of queenie b’s day long weekend specials, I came up with a way of sharing pure beeswax tealight love at a lower cost.  Why not buy a bulk carton of tealight candles and put together your own smaller packs.  I’ve loaded up an option to purchase the sinamay bags we use with a swing tag for $2.00 each. Buy a bulk carton of tealights.  Grab a few bags.  Use some of the tealights for yourself and give some as gifts.

sustainable packaging with queen b beeswax candles for a happy flame

 

That’s all for now folks 🙂

I hope you’re having a gorgeous long weekend and hope that we’ll be lighting up the long nights for you through winter.

Cate xx

 

Read Full Post »

We are the recipients of a huge volume of really extra-ordinary mail here at Queen B.  Emails.  Letters/cards.  Facebook posts.  They’re the pep in our step.  The wind in our sails.  The hand holding us up.

Given the big difference it makes to us, I thought we’d pay it forward.  So, each week we’re going to pick a “Letter of the week”.  We’ll publish it and send the lovely writer a little extra Queen B bee-created light.  In some ways its trifling to pick 52 bits of feedback from the hundreds that we received, but I figure we’re better doing something that nothing at all.

Seriously, lovely letters are what make the world go around.  I don’t think that I am unique in small business in completely doing my head in (!!) over-thinking everything, and making sure that every decision I make it ethical and sustainable etc.  So it’s really lovely to be reminded to lift your head to the light and to remember what we’re doing here and the difference we’re making.

Today was a really special day which is perhaps why it finally struck me that I needed to do this!  We received several really lovely emails, but one in particular really touched me.  She wrote about an issue that has long concerned me and never written about because I was sick of negativity!  I share her email here:

Dear Cate and Sarah,

You truly spoil me.  You cannot imagine my surprise to find my beautiful candles waiting for me so soon after I ordered when I got back home this morning after a trip to the shop.  It wasn’t until I opened the box and got a glorious waft of honey that I knew who my parcel was from.

I expressed how much I loved your products yesterday but I had only sample the jam jar tea lights. As I unwrapped each item I grew more and more excited. And the lollipops! How novel! I cannot wait to try them!

I have to say it again. You’re products are AMAZING and you should be so proud.

Thank you again,
K”

Thank you K.  Your email really touched all of us.  I’m not sure that I am particularly deft at negotiating great marketing with running an ethical business.  But I do know that all 3 of us turn up at Queen B every day and give it everything that we have to give (and sometimes more).  And it’s lovely when that is appreciated.

Thank you to all of you who communicate with us – be it in comments, Facebook posts, emails, letters or on the phone.  May you be the recipient of a random gift of light (be it from us or from someone else) in return.

Cate xx

 

Read Full Post »

This year I was invited to be the head judge for the beeswax candles and beeswax classes at the Sydney Royal Show (aka The Easter Show and The National Honey Show).  I know people bang on about things being a privilege, but it really did feel like a privilege to be doing work on behalf of the Royal Agricultural Society.  The Easter Show is an incredible institution and if you ignore the rides and show bags, it is such an important educational activity.  I was just thrilled to be doing my bit.

Interestingly beeswax and beeswax candle entries have increased exponentially since Queen B started putting entries in about 8 years ago.  It’s wonderful to see.  Given our haul of ribbons each year, I think they figured they should use my skills as a judge and allow some other people to win.

The main purpose of this post is for all of our Steiner / Montessori / creative parents & other creative souls.  Did you know that in 2014 it only cost $8 to put an entry into the National Honey Show competition?  Perhaps my favourite class for schools / kids is the decorated candle class.  It is also relatively simple to roll a taper candle.  Entries usually open in January and close in February (i.e. it’s a busy time of year).  So, why not put in your diary for late January 2015 to go to the Sydney Royal website and why not put a candle into the competition?  You’ll be supporting the Royal Agricultural Society and having fun at the same time.  All entries are displayed.

Here are a few of my photographs from the judging and the show…

National Honey Show judge at Sydney Royal Show

National Honey Show beeswax candle entries at Sydney Royal Show

Sydney Royal Show burning rolled pillar candles

National Honey Show decorated beeswax candles

National Honey Show solid beeswax pillar candles over 3cm

Sydney Royal Showcase of National Honey Show beeswax candle entries

Championship beeswax and beeswax candle winners at Sydney Royal Show

National Honey show winners for solid beeswax pillar candles

Championship beeswax candle winner at Sydney Royal Show

Winners are Grinners at the National Honey Show

 

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: