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Posts Tagged ‘beeswax candles’

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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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

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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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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

Method:
* 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.

Cheers

Cate xx

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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).

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