Welcome, and We hope that you and your loved ones are doing fine in these trying times
Lone Star Candles & More was one year old on January 2 of this year, and while we had planned on starting our newsletters by September of last year, the best-laid plans of mice and men, as the saying goes, do not always come to fruition.
As we expanded over the summer last year, we had no idea that the requests for new fragrance choices would overwhelm our ability to do the everyday tasks of actually running the business. And then came Amazon…
The opportunity to be part of the handmade section of Amazon was too significant to pass up. Still, the time involved in ramping up production to stock our products in Amazon's warehouses pushed our newsletter plans even further back.
Between our average growth and our move to Amazon, the other casualty in our plans was our handmade soap production, which we had scheduled to begin in August of last year. But we resolved to get that moving at the beginning of our second year, and not only did we get started, but making soap has taken off with a bang, and we now have handmade soap in some of your favorite fragrances.
Another product that has taken off as a result of customer requests is our new line of Freshies, air fresheners for your car, closet, or other small space.
We just started the Freshies in late February, and we are working on the details and descriptions for both the soaps and the Freshies to be able to get them on the website.
We hope that the current state of emergency we find ourselves in has not affected you and yours and realize that most people are not going to be concerned about buying products like the ones that we sell. We've already posted notices on Facebook as well as an email post indicating that we've suspended special sales offers.
We also hope that you're not annoyed, and maybe even appreciate having something to read that might take your mind off of the situation that all of us find ourselves in.
We decided, that due to the counties in our part of the state of Texas locking down all non-essential travel, and having some extra time on our hands, that now might be a good time to get our newsletters started. We wanted to make you, our customers, aware of what we're doing, and our plans of continued growth once this emergency has been solved.
First, some tips.
Things to keep in mind... burn your candles safely!
We want you to enjoy burning your Candles, but you need to follow everyday common-sense safety rules when you burn your candles.
Make sure you never leave any burning candles unattended. I know we're all guilty of this, but extinguishing your candles when leaving a room for more than a moment is really the best practice.
Even more important is making sure you extinguish all burning candles before going to sleep at night.
Never place burning candles within 2 feet of any flammable materials such as clothing or curtains, books, or placemats on tables, or near boxes.
Keep burning candles away from any drafts, ceiling fans, or moving air currents of any kind.
Trimming the wick to 1/4 inch every time you light your candle not only keeps the flame from getting too big, but it will make your candle burn more efficiently.
Be mindful of whether or not small children or pets can knock over your candle, or touch the flame.
While Lone Star Candles & More does not recommend, nor sell, non-container candles, we do recognize that true candle lovers do enjoy taper and or pillar candles at times. If you choose to use taper or pillar candles, we would recommend that you take extra precaution to make sure your candle holders are very sturdy & stable, placed on heat resistant surfaces. Make sure that the base of those holders is large enough to contain any wax that overflows.
If you want to know more about why we do not recommend non-container candles, please click here to read about Kim's Aunt's house fire.
Make sure that you read and pay attention to all manufacturers' suggestions for the use and safe burning of your candles. Extinguish any candle if:
- The flame is allowed to burn too close to the bottom of the container
- The wick falls over, allowing the flame to be in direct contact with the glass, due to your candle burning too long.
- You're using taper or pillar candles & since their wicks usually go all the way to the bottom, you should extinguish before the flame reaches the candle holder.
Make sure all burning candles are spaced at least 3 to 4 inches from one another.
You should NEVER use a burning candle as a nightlight.
You should not burn your candle for more than four hours at a time.
You may have heard the term, but What is a melt pool?
A full melt pool means the wax in your candle has been burning long enough to reach the edge of the container. A melt pool usually occurs in about 1 hour per inch of diameter. A full melt pool should be 1/8 to 1/4 inch deep, which will allow the fragrance to disperse more entirely into the room.
"Mushrooming," the formation of what looks like a black mushroom shape after your candle wick has been burning for a while, is caused by carbon buildup due to the flame drawing more wax than it can burn. "Mushrooming" happens when the wick is slightly too large for the diameter of the candle.
The trimming of your candle wick to 1/4 inch before relighting is always recommended but even more important if mushrooming is occurring. At Lone Star Candles & More, we try to make sure that we use the correctly sized wicks, but not all fragrance and wax combinations burn precisely the same, and we apologize if this is happening to you. Please let us know.
The reason that we named the company Lone Star Candles & More was that we always intended for the & More to be Handmade Soaps and other candle accessories as well as Aromatherapy & Essential Oils.
We'll talk more about Essential Oils a little later, but for now, let's talk about Soap, what we're making and where we're heading with this product line.
We decided to use the Melt and Pour soap base so that we wouldn't have to work directly with Lye and the other oils used in the soap making process.
In choosing a company to deal with, we wanted someone who had been at the game long enough to be reliable, and Stephenson Personal Care has been manufacturing soap bases since 1856.
We began with their Goats Milk Base and added the Honey Base and were in the process of adding the Argan Oil Base and Shea Butter Base when the current emergency lockdown put us into a holding pattern.
So our product testing began in January with determining if the many in-house fragrances that we create would be skin safe. It was easier to learn if the fragrances we buy and use as purchased were skin safe because we already have access to the safety data. With an almost combined 99% of the fragrances we use and develop being safe, we'll have soap to go along with nearly all of the fragrances that we offer.
We started with a two-color Lime in The Coconut, Goat's Milk, with an apricot seed exfoliate. We then added a combined seven more Honey and Goats Milk soaps that we introduced at the March, First Monday Trade Days event, selling out of five of the eight types.
We've since added several more types and fragrances and are very close to putting our Sandalwood & Lavender Goats Milk Soap on Amazon.
We only barely got the freshies in production before the March, First Monday Trade Days event and sold all but one of the over 40 that we took to the event.
While we don't have skin-safe restrictions, we still probably won't make all of our fragrances available in freshies because we're not sure that anyone will want their car or closet to smell like Fudge Brownies or Crème Brûlée… But you never know.
The fragrance isn't as high a percentage in the freshies as it is in our candles and melts, but the scent will last 1 to 2 months. The smell is still going strong in Kim's car at six weeks.
We hope to have details and descriptions of both the soaps and the freshies online in the next couple of weeks.
We hope you've enjoyed learning a little bit more about what we do and where we're heading.
We'll tell you more about where we're heading with Aromatherapy and Essential Oils in our next newsletter.
Please let us know if there's a topic you'd like us to cover, and as always, please feel free to let us know what you think.
Everybody stay safe and hang in there