Posts Tagged ‘beeswax candles’


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


At Queen B we strive to create beautiful and stylish things that nourish the human spirit and nurture our environment. We would love you to join our community. You can do that by subscribing to our newsletters. We promise we won’t spam you.

You’ll be the first to know about new products, special offers, tips for using the candles and getting the most from them, and that is going on at Queen B’s hive.

Shop Queen B Pure Beeswax Candles HERE

Read Full Post »

There’s something very satisfying as a parent watching your children grow up… the move from nappies to ‘big girl pants’ a monumental milestone.  So, it was with great excitement at the hive that the new packaging arrived this week for our Small Christmas Tree candles.

Ta da…

beeswax christmas tree candles, festive table decorations, candlelit christmas, christmas gift

Looking all smart and grown up


It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.

Festive table decorations solved.

Small, emergency, christmas gifts solved.

Corporate staff or client gifts solved.

There’s nothing we can’t do in our big girl pants!

Cate xx

Read Full Post »

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?


Read Full Post »

If you’re looking for a very simple to make and yet extraordinarily beautiful, festive table decoration take a look at what Julie Hall from The Black Hen has created.  Julie and I had a conversation a while back about all the simple ways people could make a candleholder for our Bee Lights candles and voila, she sent me these images today to share on our blog.  I get to meet some really creative, generous, warm, grounded and brilliant people in my life as a maker of bee created light and none more so than Julie.

Whilst I’ve called it a “festive” decoration, if you removed the festive adornment you could use it all year around.

What you’ll need:
* a fallen tree branch
* a drill
* festive adornments if you like
* Bee Light candles
* common sense

* Find a beautiful branch (you want one that is stable and won’t wobble… if required you could use a belt sander to sand the base so that it sits flat and stable on your table)
* Drill holes where you would like to insert your Bee Light candles (I’d suggest using a 6 or 7mm drill bit).  While our Bee Lights candles are often wider than that, you want a snug fit and it is easy to warm the base of the candles with your fingers and simply massage it to a narrower diameter at the base)
* Insert Bee Lights and fire them up!

A word about the common sense required:
* you’re putting candles (ie a flame) into timber (ie a flammable holder), so you either need to pay attention and blow the candles out when they are say 1cm above the branch OR you could drill your holes wider (say 10mm) and then put some blue tac or something similar around the base of the candle including underneath it and coming to a level slightly above the branch (ie something that is non flammable) and that way the candles will put themselves out when they reach the blue tac rather than setting the branch on fire!  Well that’s my theory anyway.

Simpl DIY festive table decorations for a rustic, country feel

Simple DIY festive table decoration idea with bees wax candles from Queen Bee

Nothing says festive table decorations like pure bee wax candles a brand and holly

Table decoration idea with this rustic branch candleholder for pure beeswax candles

Festive table decoration 6

If you love this, you decide to make one and or you just think Julie is the dogs bollocks for giving us this simple idea, please pop over to The Black Hen facebook page and show her some love or pop a comment below.  And if you do make one, please, please send through an image.  For creatives, there is nothing more wonderful than seeing an idea take hold and be loved and appreciated.


Cate xx

Read Full Post »

I can’t think of a greater gift than the gift of light (but then again I’m completely biased).  Although come to think of it, perhaps the greater gift is what goes with bee-created light… Over this week we’ll be doing a Christmas Gift Guide for all the important people in your life, starting today with kids.  Each day we’ll be doing 10% off the items featured for 24 hours only (discount on kids gifts expires 2pm on 3rd Dec 2014).

Kids Gift Ideas (from mum’s and dad’s, aunties and uncles, grandparents, godparents or friends)

Perhaps the thing that kids love most are 1. your time; and, 2. making things… so that formed the foundation of our kids gift list.

Christmas Gift ideas for kids for sustainable, australian made gifts that give back

Childrens Gift Ideas


1. Roll Your Own kit ($39.95) – for rolling your own Christmas Trees or making your own tapers).

2. Wee Willie Winkie candleholder ($34.95) and 20cm Beeswax Taper Candles (from $24.95) for evening bed time stories or quick candlelit dinners with the kids to calm them down and encourage conversation.  Then again this could also be a great gift for mum’s and dad’s.

3. Tealight Candle making kit (suitable for ages 8 and up with adult supervision) – we have kits for making 4-5hr beeswax tea light candles ($49.95) and 8-9hr bees wax tealight candles ($74.95).

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: