Erica Worthy, of Cumming, and owner of Worthy Soy Candles, http://www.etsy.com/shop/worthysoycandles recently "enlightened" me with her special talent, making soy candles.Read further for the interview.
Rene': Tell us a little about yourself and what you do:
Erica: I've lived in the Atlanta area, for about a year and a half. I have also lived in Texas, Mississippi and New York. I have 3 children who keep me very busy when I'm not making candles or crocheting, lol. I am a maker of Soy Candles & Unique Crocheted Items. I started making Soy Candles about 3 years ago when I found out the drastic benefits of Soy versus Paraffin.
Rene': Why Soy?
Erica: You see, Soy is much cleaner burning than Paraffin. With Soy you won't get the black soot around the top of the container. That soot is toxins that are emitted into the air that you breath & in my case, the air that my children breath. That was a huge factor in why I started making Soy Candles. But that's not the only benefit. Soy also burns up to twice as long as Paraffin & emits a greater scent throw. Plus, everybody loves candles!
Rene': What is the process and where do you make the candles?
Erica: Making Soy Candles is a lot like cooking actually, I even do it right in my home kitchen. There is a lot of measuring, stirring, pouring, & probably most important, testing. I have just starting making my candles with an all natural Hemp Wick which makes them even cleaner burning than the cotton wicks you'll find in other Soy Candles. I got started doing this when I bought a kit several years ago, but the kit was just a guideline & I have found bigger & better ways to make my candles since then. I try to keep a wide variety of scents as well, I currently have over 70 fragrances to choose from, I started with only 10! Most of the fragrances I carry now are ones that have been suggested by customers or potential customers, I'm always happy to get a specific fragrance for anyone who asks. 2010 will bring a new line of Soy Candles made with pure Essential Oils that can be used to massage & moisturize your skin!
Rene': What motivates/inspires and challenges you?
Erica: I am a member of a couple of supportive teams that are very encouraging & inspiring. The North Georgia Street Team (Team NorGA) & the DIYscene Street Team are my biggest motivational sources. They each have monthly themes & swaps to keep me thinking of new & exciting things that I may have not thought of on my own. My biggest challenge... having enough time to make all of the ideas I have!
Rene': Has the current economy affected your business? How?
Erica: The economy has drastically affected us all. I have definitely seen a drop in sales from this time last year. But I do have some tried & true customers that always keep coming back for more. That is an encouragement to me that they enjoy my products so much that even in these dire times they afford themselves the luxury of my Soy Candles.
Rene': How did you decide on how the product would be packaged and sold?
Erica: It actually took me quite some time to decide on a form of packaging. I tried several different methods & containers but once I got an official logo for myself everything just sort of fell into place. All of my candles are labeled with my logo, their fragrance & my web address so they can find me again in the future. My votives are individually packaged to keep them safe & to make them the perfect gift. The containers I use are clear glass Hexagon jars with black lids. This definitely sets me apart from most candle makers who typically use the Jelly Jars. I choose these containers because of their ability to match almost any home decor & because of the fact that when the candle burns the bends in the glass cast a very pretty shadow effect on the candles surroundings.
Rene': Any advise to others interested in making candles?
Erica: Test, test & then test some more. Test out different types of wax, different types of fragrances, different types of wicks, different types of containers, everything until you find a method that works for you & makes your product your own.
Rene': What is your favorite scent? Best selling Scent?
Erica: I am a big fan of Earthy but Feminine scents, so my personal favorite is Asian Amber, but a close second would be Brandied Pear, which is also one of my best sellers. Another great fragrance is Cedar & Saffron, this is a perfect unisex scent that I have found to be popular with everyone who gets a whiff of it. But I can't forget Monkey Farts & Reindeer Poo, both of these are very popular for namesake alone. Luckily they don't smell anything like their names imply, lol. Reindeer Poo even comes with an accompanying poem that tells how the recipient has been naughty all year & therefore is getting Reindeer Poo for Christmas, making it a perfect gift.
Rene': Does aromatherapy really work?
Erica: I believe that aromatherapy does work, but I think that ANY fragrance can be used. Scents & fragrances are prevalent in everyday life. Just as a song or place can evoke special memories or feelings, fragrances can do the same. One scent can make you feel relaxed & at ease, while another can invigorate you & make you feel energized. I have one particular customer who has a very serious disease & she is one of my best customers, she is constantly telling me how much the scent of my candles keep her spirits lifted & makes it easier for her to get through the days, despite the pain.
Rene': That's wonderful! Where can we purchase your products?
Erica: You can always find all of my candles & crochet at www.WorthySoyCandles.com. I don't currently have any local brick & mortar shops to purchase my candles, but there is a little shop in Pinehurst, Texas that carries them. However, I am always willing to deliver my candles to people who are local at no additional charge. I also try to do as many craft shows as I can during the year & I inform all of those on my mailing list to the when & where. If you would like to be on my mailing list please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rene': Are you offering any current promotions or coupons?
Erica: I will offer this special to all readers. Receive Free Shipping on any items in my Sale section at www.WorthySoyCandles.com. OR you can purchase $20 worth of any items NOT on Sale & pick any Sale item to receive absolutely Free (Sorry, free shipping offer does not apply for this special). To take advantage of one of these specials use the code "NEWYEAR" during checkout by 1/31/10.
Rene': Erica, it's been a pleasure. Thank you for offering this special promotion for our readers and for sharing your time with us.
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