Archive for October, 2014

The Short Story

Guy obsessed with jam jars zero waste, off the grid restaurant + girl obsessed with beeswax (that’s me!) =  Jam Jar Tealights (5+ hr burn time)

Guy obsessed with quality + high end French restaurant + (slightly older) girl obsessed with beeswax = Longer burning Jam Jar Tealights (6+hrs)

Happily it seems that there are other guys and girls that were also wanting refillable tealights in jam jars as they’re one of our most popular products.  And now, for all of you with longer staying power we’ve got pure beeswax Jam Jar Tealight candles that will go the full distance in a Party Pack of 60 candles.

The End

Guillaume use pure beeswax jam jar tealights from Queen B for the best burning beeswax candles on the market

Image thanks to Julie Gibbs (Lantern – Penguin Books)


The Longer Story

If I went through our product list at Queen B many of the products have been developed as a solution for a client and then become an integral part of our range.  Our pure beeswax tealight candles were originally developed for Macro Wholefoods because the only other manufacturer of “beeswax” tealights used macadamia nut oil in all his candles.  The Eco Bulb was done in collaboration with Joost and later used by the World Wildlife Fund for their Earth Hour campaign.   Our Hurricane candles were designed for the inaugural official Earth Hour launch event held on windy shores at Lady Macquarie’s Chair.  Our Bee Lights were developed for a Greek Orthodox Church customer.  The Jam Jar Tealights were made to solve the lighting at the Greenhouse sustainable restaurant as they had no artificial lighting.  And the list goes on.

And so it was that a few months ago we were approached by Guillaume Brahimi who was getting ready to open Guillaume in Paddington.  They wanted to use our Jam Jar Tealights and liked the size of the jar but needed them to burn for an hour longer.  A couple of frustrating, production issues months later and they’re in use, thoroughly tested ready to light up all of those summer weddings, events and parties that need candlelight that will go the extra distance – from before the first guests arrive until after Cinderella leaves the ball.

See, wasn’t that long after all!

If you’ve used our jam jar tealights, tell us what you love about them most in the comments section below and we’ll send a free Jam Jar Tealight Pack (2 jars + 8 candles) to the winning comment.  Winner drawn at 5pm tomorrow – Tuesday, 28th October 2014.

Queen B taper candles and jam jar beeswax tealight candles

Photograph courtesy of a customer

Looking forward to lighting up your summer (and your autumn and winter and spring),

Cate xx

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A creative collaboration is in some ways like giving birth (although the pain is rather more cerebral!)… you have to find the right partner, with similar values.  It’s best if you each bring different, although compatible, strengths to the relationship.  There’s a process of getting to know one another and, if it is a good partnership, the alchemy where 1+1=3.  You get better at it with time.  And then you decide to create something that is in and of your joint DNA, that hopefully you’ll love (!!!).  I guess that’s where I’ll leave the analogy because it the product world there is also the process of rejecting things you don’t like along the way and trial and error and, well, that’s just a conversation we don’t need to have on a beeswax candle blog!

Which brings me to the point of this post which is the announcement of our new Dinosaur Designs Atelier range – a joint collaboration with Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, the talented duo behind Dinosaur Designs.


dinosaur designs atelier range of Queen B candles - individually hand made in Australia

Dinosaur Designs Atelier range of pure beeswax candles from Queen B


Atelier is the French word for “workshop”, and in English is used primarily for the workshop of an artist in the fine or decorative arts, where a principal master and a number of assistants, students, and apprentices worked together producing pieces released in the master’s name.

Building on last year’s two designs – Totem and Boulders – this year they came up with 3 new designs in the Atelier range.  We clearly used up all the creativity on the design and making process and they’re simply titled “Blue, Red & Yellow”!!

Beautiful to mix and match in a cluster, or as you can see below just as stunning on it’s own… or with a honeycomb pillar.

You can only imagine the hardship I went through having to do testing…


dinosaur designs collaboration with queen B - hand made beeswax candles

Atelier Blue – testing!


The candles are part of a larger Atelier range from Dinosaur Designs covering an entire range of homewares and jewellery.  To see the full Atelier range (including the candles), head to your nearest Dinosaur Designs stores (including London and New York).  Or, you can find an extensive range of Queen B candles (including the Dinosaur Designs candles) at Make Designed Objects in Carlton and, of course, you can see them at Queen B’s Hive in Brookvale.  We’ve all got them available online.

We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Cate xx

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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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Well, aren’t you a vocal bunch?!  Based on your emails, it seems that while many of you like a pro to paint your personalised candles for you, others want to come and do their own.  So, we’re going to offer casual candle painting workshops on the second and fourth Saturday’s of every month, from midday – 4pm at the hive in Brookvale.  Bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Whether you’re looking for a creative activity to do on your own, a fun way to spend a few hours with friends, an activity to do with your kids or simply an avenue to make something that is EXACTLY what you want for your decor, or a completely unique, heartfelt gift, we’ve got it covered.  We’ve also done these in the past as kids birthday parties and corporate team building days.

To book: Call (02) 9905 1188 or email the hive [at] queenb.com.au

Time: midday – 4pm, 2nd and 4th Saturday’s of every month

Cost: $20 (covers painting materials, hand finishing of your individual candle/s and a bottomless cup of the best tasting tea you’ve ever had in your life)!  If you’re making an afternoon of it with friends, feel free to bring along your own bottle of wine and/or champagne… we’re happy to provide glasses.  The cost of the candle/s you paint is additional based on the size/s you choose.  Pricing for the pillar candles as follows:

10cm narrow – $29.95
15cm narrow – $39.95
20cm narrow – $49.95
10cm medium – $49.95
15cm medium – $69.95
20cm fat – $89.95

Depending on the thickness of your artwork and how much of a rush you’re in, we may be able to finish your candle on the day or it will be available for pick up the following week.  We can, of course, also send it to you (cost of shipping additional).

What to bring: An apron so that you don’t get paint all over you.  Food if you’re going to be hungry.

We have hundreds of examples of candles that other people have painted at our workshops over the years to provide you with some creative stimulation.  In my experience, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.  For some reason once you wrap that piece of art around a beeswax candle, they somehow always look amazing.  Watch the video below to see some examples of what others have done.




The dates of the 2nd and 4th Saturday’s of the month for the remainder of 2014 are as follows:

October – 11th and 25th
November – 8th and 22nd
December – 13th (we’ll be closed on 27th Dec for our annual break)

We will publish dates for 2015 once the hive reopens in mid January.

Feel free to call if you have any questions, otherwise, hopefully we’ll have a chance to meet more of you at the hive over the coming months.

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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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