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Posts Tagged ‘Australian made’

We’re vicariously finishing school here at Queen B…  Sarah’s daughter writes her last HSC exam today and I have to say I think we’ve all handled it magnificently!

In amongst the exam study, “we’ve” (I use the term loosely as my role is just to listen to Sar) been getting everything ready for the Year 12 formal (we’re the organising committee🙂 and we’ve got our Teacher’s gifts sorted.  So why this blog post if the gifts are already done?

Well, I’m reliably informed that our teachers receive A LOT of scented candles as gifts from students and if I was a teacher I would be deeply affronted were I to receive a candle other than a pure beeswax candle.  Plus not everyone is finishing their HSC TODAY (did I mention “we” are… forEVER!!!!) and so I’m sure there are some of you that still have that quandary on the to-do list.

So, we put our thinking caps on – “If I was a teacher and I was to receive a gift, I’d love…” and “If I was a parent and I seemed to have a million children with a million different teachers and I want a million dollar gift that doesn’t cost the earth…” and we’ve come up with a few cracking ideas and offers so that we can all just finish school in style.

Now, just put yourself in the teacher’s shoes and see what you think…

$25 ish

La Rochere Dragonfly Tealight Holder + 4-5hr Tealights (clear cups) – Box of 5 – $24.95la-rochere-dragonfly-tealight-holder
Not only are these candleholders made in France (where La Rochere have made their glassware since 1476), but the dragonfly has a lovely spiritual significance.

We’ve teamed with up with a lovely little box of bee created light (a box of 4-5hr tealights in clear cups) and applied a discount of around 10% so the pack is selling for $24.95.

 

 

 

 

La Rochere “Buzz” Tealight Holder + 4-5hr Tealights (clear cups) – Box of 5 – $24.95

la-rochere-buzz-tealight-candle-holderAgain this holder is made in France but the other lovely thing is the pattern of light created by the rings in this holder… it casts a beautiful pattern on a table (when sitting alone) or on the wall (if sitting up against a wall).  You’re going to have to trust us on this because my photography skills are limited at best.

Again, we’ve teamed it up with a pack of tealights so that it’s a gift ready to use immediately and we’ve taken into account the ‘million teachers and million children’ issue that us parents have and we’ve discounted the pack to $24.95 (around 10% off).

 

 

 

$30 ish

Hand rolled 10cm narrow Renaissance pillar candle – $29.95

2renaissance_website-no-labelsAlways a favourite in our range of hand rolled, individually painted pillar candles is the Renaissance design… the writing ‘Aliis Volat Propris” is a latin expression meaning “I fly with my own wings”.  How beautiful is that?

Seriously, if you were making a candle with a teacher in mind you’d be hard pressed to find a more perfect sentiment… thanks for the learnings teacher and with that, I’ll fly with my own wings.

As we’re a little delirious (and this is Sarah’s favourite), she’s decided that instead of being $34.95 and coming in the cardboard wrap packaging, we’re going to put them in a sinamay gift bag, offer them at $29.95 AND throw in a gift card (“A little bit of light” unless you specify otherwise in the comments on checkout).  Lucky we’re only doing our HSC occasionally around here or we’d be in trouble.

 

$40 ish

Hand rolled 15cm narrow Phoenix pillar candle – $39.95

phoenix-low-res

Again you’ve got Sar to thank for this one.  We phased Phoenix out a couple of years ago to make way for Pollen, but it was always one of our most popular designs and as we were making some for our teacher’s gifts, we made a few extra’s.

We’ve discounted these to $39.95 so they’re for an extra-special-teacher.

We’re also throwing in the “A little bit of light” gift card so everything is taken care of.

 

 

I’m thinking this is going to be a wonderful year for teachers this year.  Whilst I know we all want our child to give the gift that stands out, I think that given the consequences of keeping these offers a secret, it would be great for teachers Australia wide (and our beekeepers, and the French glass makers) if you could also spread the word.

I’m exhausted even from being a vicarious parent…

Yours in solidarity

Cate x

 

 

 

 

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diwali_festival

For many years we had a Nepali candlemaker at Queen B and as we had lunch together every day I got to know a lot about Nepalese culture… with one Hindu and one Buddhist parent, I got to know a lot of those too and the various celebrations and festivals.  Every October I’d take Tilly and some of his friends out for dinner to celebrate Diwali… the Hindu Festival of Light.  If you’re looking for an alternative to the Halloween mania that seems to be going on, the celebration of Diwali is beautiful… let me share a little.

Diwali has a strong spiritual significance… of light over darkness (got to love that), good conquering evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair. Really I could stop there.  Just read that bit again.  We should celebrate Diwali daily and year round.

The celebrations are marked with millions of lights shining from housetops, outside doors and windows, around temples and other buildings in the communities and countries where the festival is observed. Prior to Diwali night people clean, renovate and decorate their houses and offices. On the night of Diwali, they dress in their best clothes, light candles and lamps everywhere and participate in prayers – typically to the goddess of ‘happiness and good fortune’.

cargo-candle-holder-small

Realistically, it doesn’t really matter what you believe or which festivals you observe, these types of events are about the rituals that are attached to them, the reflecting that we do as part of these rituals and the coming together as a community.  As someone who has struggled with anxiety on and off for many years, I’m a big fan of ritual… be that an end of day ritual (for me it is obviously about lighting candles!), a clean out or clean up (with beeswax candles being a natural ioniser, I light candles for that too!!!), a weekend ritual, your morning coffee/tea, writing, reading, having a bath or anything that helps you focus more on what is good in your life.

[I’m LOL’ing because I literally use candles on every one of those occasions and I think that perhaps I need to broaden my horizons a little!]

If you’re a little perplexed by the pumpkins and ghoulish costumes in every shop window, can I suggest that perhaps you may like to consider celebrating Dewali (daily) as an alternative? … remember, light over darkness, good conquering evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.

Happy Diwali Queen B community,

With love from Cate, the rest of the Queen B team and our former candlemaker, Tilak  xx

 

copper-dunny-light

 

We have Australian Made candle holders including the traditional ‘Dunny Light’, ‘Wee Willie Winkie’, and metal candle holders, making a quintessential gift and the ideal accompaniment for your rituals and celebrations. Shop online HERE . 

 

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business

Photo courtesy of Chalk On Stone

I’m often asked by customers who are also small business owners for advice on running a small business.  With a big business background I guess I’ve brought a lot of those lessons and learnings with me into Queen B.  Whether you’re running a small business, you’re running a big business or you’re a small cog in a big business, what I’ve learned is universally applicable.

First amongst those things is that in order to survive, you need to stand for something (but always keep your mind open to evolving).  Over the years we’ve had literally hundreds of retailers selling Queen B candles and over the years I’ve seen many of them fail.  If I had to pick a trend or lesson, it is that the businesses that are very clear on what they stand for are the ones that are still standing (and growing and thriving).

One of our most successful retailers is a shop in Carlton (Melbourne) called Make Designed Objects.  Pat, who owns Make, is absolutely clear on stocking “the best designed product from around the world”.  Over the years we’ve seen the size of his store double, he’s set up stores for the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum and his sales of Queen B candles have increased 7 fold since he first stocked our candles.  Anyone looking for a gift for someone who is hard to buy for or someone who has a design aesthetic knows exactly where to go.  We’re all busier than ever so we’ll go where our needs are most likely to be met.

Another success story is our retailer Biome.  In the eight or so years that Biome has stocked Queen B we’ve seen them grow from one store to four.  Again, they are absolutely clear on what they stand for.  When you go into a Biome store, you’re going to find a product that is organic, natural, recycled or fair trade.

At one stage, the business of the metal turner who makes our metal candleholders was on its last legs because all of the big mining and manufacturing companies thought they’d save a lot of money having their bits made in China.  He wasn’t prepared to compromise on the metals that he used and so he couldn’t compete on price, so he went back to TAFE and did night school.  But his previous clients soon learned that the cheaper bits failed, costing them more than they’d saved and now our metal turning friend is so busy we’re having to book our jobs in weeks in advance.

The story is the same for one of the local printing companies we use, for the foundry we use and even for us.  We’re all crystal clear on what we stand for and that makes us a known quantity.

The one caveat that I’d add is that whilst it is important not to compromise, it is essential to evolve.  I always thought our two most compelling features were that we were non-toxic to burn and Australian made but it was conversations with Make and Dinosaur Designs that made me realise that we’re also a design company and that is just as important.

More recently I had to look at our values as it related to packaging.  I had always been absolutely committed to packaging Queen B in beautiful, environmentally responsible packaging.  I wouldn’t do elaborate, tree felling packaging that was going to go in the bin as soon as the product was removed.  That precluded me from seeing the opportunity of Black Label for well over a decade.  When I started thinking about the Black Label range, I realised that I could still be absolutely committed to beautiful, environmentally responsible packaging by making the packaging so rigid that it would have many lifetimes once the candle was removed.  Sure, it means we have 12 cubic metres of Black Label packaging to house at the moment, but it allowed us to evolve.

The real ‘juice’ in any idea comes from the conversation.  I’d love you to add to the discussion.  What do you think?  What other brands or businesses have you come across who are absolutely clear on what they stand for and how does that make life easier for you in your decision making or in your commitment to their product?

Cate xx

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Shop Queen B Pure Beeswax Candles HERE

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One of the most versatile candles in our range are our Bee Light beeswax candles… skinny enough to light for a matter of minutes (for meditation, a bath or bedtime stories) and yet long enough and ‘beeswaxy’ enough to last for a fabulous 3.5 – 4 hrs.  What’s ‘beeswaxy enough’?… it means that because they’re 100% pure beeswax and beeswax has a very high melting point, they have a much longer burn time than their toxic cousins (and, of course, they don’t smoke)🙂

While we have a stunning range of candleholders made right here in Australia for our Bee Light candles, there is also something quite lovely about making your own for free.  I thought I’d share some of the best we’ve been sent…

beeswax candles in coral, boho wedding table decoration idea, seaside centrepiece idea, coral candleholders

Queen B Bee Lights in coral – stylist: styled_by_her, photo: @kyliemillsphotography

 

A stunning look for a seaside wedding or event table centrepiece or even just to channel that feel in your own home… we could also do with a seaside escape from time to time.

 

bee light candleholder, scrap metal candleholder, metal chain beeswax holder, rustic industrial holder

Bee Lights in plough chain found in the scrap metal heap on one of my beekeeper’s farm (little blue wren by @annawilihighfield, a gift from @afloralfrenzy)!

Seriously, if you know of a scrap metal heap, make friend’s with the owner pronto… they are an absolute treasure trove of DIY candleholders.  You can relax knowing you’re trendy right now with the industrial look and when that look goes out again, then be happy in the knowledge that you’re marching to the beat of your own drum!  And quite frankly, sustainability and recycling are going to be the ‘new black’ for decades to come.

 

Industrial look steel brush candleholder for beeswax bee light candle

Bee Lights in a steel brush! (photo & idea from Cherie Watts)

 

festive DIY candleholder idea, make your own festive table decorations, festive beeswax candle centrepiece

Create a candleholder with a fallen tree branch (idea from Julie at @theblackhen)… please don’t leave burning candles unattended in a timber candleholder!!

 

bee light candleholder, DIY candleholder, make your own candle holder

Coloured plastecine or ‘blue tac’… thanks for Cherie Watts for this idea (and photo)

 

Or, you could just leave it to us and we’ll take care of it the holders for you!

brass candleholder with pure beeswax taper dinner candles

Mini-Marilyn brass candle holders with Bee Lights (photo from stylist Meagan O’Donoghue)

Please send us your ideas for our next Bee Light candleholder post!

 

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They say a mother shouldn’t have favourites but as the youngest of 3 in my family, I know I was my mum’s favourite (:-)) and I’m continuing that tradition by holding a special place for the simplest member of the Queen B family of beeswax candles… our Bee Light candles.  Having burned literally hundreds of other beeswax candles from all over the world, I genuinely think they are the finest beeswax candles in the world.

If you’ve burned them, please leave a comment below and let me (and other potential customers) know what your experience is… it’s one thing for me to say they’re wonderful, but it holds far more weight coming from you.

Any craftsperson will tell you that it is the things that are the most pared back that are the most complex to make, and this is the story with our Bee Lights.  Wick testing for these candles took about 3 months.  It was worth every drama.  Every spill.  Every heartbreak.  Every hope dashing.  Worth every single second for the result that we got.

Stylist, Meagan O’Donoghue from The Style Palette Co recently sent me some beautiful photograph from an event she styled for AEG at Mark Best’s house.  Whilst the table setting was stunning and the food looked amazing, like most mum’s I only had eyes for my kids and boy did they perform!  With a 3 – 4 hour burn time, they burned with an enormous golden flame and without dripping for the entire event🙂.  You wonder why a wedding or event stylist would ever use other candles.

The candleholders are our Mini Marilyn candleholders made here in Sydney.

Stylist: Meagan O’Donoghue, The Style Palette Co
Photographer: Daniel Aboud
Flowers: Poho Flowers

 

The world's finest beeswax candle - bee lights from Queen Bee beeswax candles for AEG Gourmet Collection

Queen B Bee Light candles in Mini-Marilyn candleholders (styling by the Style Palette Co, photography by Daniel Aboud)

 

event candles, non drip candle, queen bee beeswax candle, luxury candle

1 hour in… not a drip in sight

 

Corporate event styling with non-drip beeswax candles from Queen B.... luxury Australian candles

2 hours down… table (& Queen B Mini Marilyn Bee Light candleholders) free from drippage!

 

non drip candle, northern light candle, beeswax candle, event candle, the style palette co, mark best chef

3 hours down… an enormous golden flame and still not a drip. Isn’t nature fantastic?

 

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One of the fabulous things about being an Australian manufacturer is the quality control (and for a perfectionist, that’s a fabulous thing)!  With all that heart and soul invested, I’m generally enamoured with everything that we brand Queen B.  Occasionally, however, we have a hand in creating something that is really special.

Our new Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder is in this category.  It really is just extraordinarily beautiful.  Made from solid brass, it is weighty and substantial.  It is designed to be used with our Bee Lights or Thins in to top or you can turn it upside down and use 12cm Beeswax Tapers in the bottom.

A sculpture on it’s own.  A paperweight when required.  A little bit of bling when shone.  A holder of bee created light.  The only luxury it doesn’t deliver is a martini!

Solid brass egg shaped candle holder for beeswax tapers and dinner candles

Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder

Reversible egg 2 low res

Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder with Bee Light burning

Reversible and elaborate egg low res

Elaborate egg & Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder

 

 

 

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I was tossing up between that title (which started the song playing in my mind!) and “I’m getting started with beeswax candles, but I don’t know which ones would be best for me” or “I love burning beeswax candles and love a discount”!

We’ve recently created new “Beeswax Bounty Boxes” to add to our range, packed with some of our best sellers.  If you want to venture beyond Queen B beeswax tealight candles, but you’re not quite sure where to start, these are a great place to start.  And because we can pre-pack them in quiet times and do 50 at a time, you’re buying at a discount to the RRP and they all come with free shipping within Australia.

beeswax candle discounted box of Queen B's best selling pure bees wax candles

$100 Beeswax Bounty Box

$100 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes a $10 discount & free shipping)

1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)     $ 20.00         36 hrs
1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                            $ 25.00       48 hrs
1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                 $ 25.00       40 hrs
1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                        $ 25.00       40 hrs
1 x Sweetness and Light                                                        $ 15.00        10 hrs
Total value = 17 Queen B beeswax candles                $110.00      174 hrs


 

Buy cheap beeswax candles in this discounted box from Queen B - maker of the world's finest beeswax candles

$135 Beeswax Bounty Box

$135 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes a $17 discount & free shipping)

1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)        $20.00        36 hrs
1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                               $25.00       48 hrs
1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                  $25.00        40 hrs
1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                         $25.00        40 hrs
1 x Sweetness and Light                                                         $ 15.00       10 hrs
1 x Jam Jar Tealights (2 jars + 8 candles)                                $25.00        32 hrs
1 x Votive in clear glass                                                           $10.00      15 hrs
1 x Votive refill                                                                         $  7.00      15 hrs
Total value = 27 Queen B beeswax candles                   $152.00      234 hrs


 

 

samples of best selling candles from the Queen B range of pure beeswax candles

$165 Beeswax Bounty Box

$165 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes $30 discount & free shipping)

1 x Jam Jar Talights (2 jars + 8 candles)                                 $ 25.00       40 hrs
1 x Reversible Beehive candleholder (brass)                               $ 30.00
1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)       $ 20.00       36 hrs
1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                              $ 25.00       48 hrs
1 x Pack of 10 x Bee Lights                                                   $ 25.00        30 hrs
1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                  $ 25.00       40 hrs
1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                        $ 25.00       40 hrs
1 x Box of 5 x 8-9hr beeswax tealight candles (clear cups)     $ 20.00      42 hrs
Total value = 38 Queen B beeswax candles                  $195.00       276 hrs

 


 

 

Discounted bees wax candles at cheap prices with beeswax tealight candles, tapers, honeycomb rolled pillar candles and dinner candles

$200 Beeeswax Bounty Box

$200 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes $255 discount + free shipping)

1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                         $ 25.00     40 hrs
1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)       $ 20.00     36 hrs
1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                              $ 25.00     48 hrs
1 x Pack of 10 x 30cm Bee Lights                                              $ 25.00     30 hrs
1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                  $ 25.00     40 hrs
1 x Box of 5 x 8-9hr beeswax tealight candles (clear cups)       $ 20.00      42 hrs
1 x Reversible Beehive candleholder (brass)                                $ 30.00
1 x Jam Jar Tealights- box of 2 jars with 8 candles                     $ 25.00      40 hrs
1 x Honeycomb-10cm narrow hand rolled candle                       $ 25.00      30 hrs
1 x Honeycomb-15cm narrow hand rolled candle                       $ 35.00     50 hrs
Total value = 40 Queen B beeswax candles                      $255.00     356hrs


I can’t even begin to describe the process we went through trying to work out what to include and what to leave out.  I feel as if I’m setting up many of the candles for years of therapy!  Rest assured that if something doesn’t look incredible and burn beautifully it isn’t part of the Queen B range.  You may well be able to find cheaper beeswax candles, but there’s a money back guarantee from me that the look and burn quality will not be up to a Queen B standard.

I think the best way of honouring the extraordinary gift from bees that is beeswax, is to strive to be as precise, as fastidious and (almost) as hard working … with the added benefits of human creativity and consciousness in the candles we make.  It’s one of the major reasons we continue to hand make every Queen B candle.  The work of an artisan is always superior to something churned out of a machine.

Looking forward to lighting up your days and nights.

Cate, Sarah, Kath & Maria (the worker bees)!

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