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Archive for the ‘Why You (Really) Need Soy Candles’ Category

One of the most frustrating and time-consuming ventures for any club or organization is fundraising. How will you do it? What will you do? Will you sell something? Candy? Magazines? Cutlery? Or will you collect returnable bottles or have a carwash? Let us make this a breeze for you. If you want to earn some real cash for your club or organization, and do it easily, consider selling soy candles from Country Wickhouse Candles. They’re all-natural, hand-poured, and handmade in the USA. Go to our website, contact us, and let’s get started. How do we do it? Like this…

Country Wickhouse Candles, a fully licensed producer of natural soy candles, is now offering a line of 8 oz. soy candles in tins ideal for fundraising. The sale of these candles is not only simple, but also a lucrative venture for any club desiring to raise money. We offer seven of our most popular candle scents that sell for $10.00 each, sales tax included (for New York State customers only; tax does not apply to any other state).

This is half of what a person would pay in a retail establishment!

But more importantly, in an effort to help your club maximize its profit, we will give your organization 50% of all sales made. That’s $5.00 a candle! (Some shipping costs may apply depending on where in the world you are.) Few fundraisers offer a percentage as high as we do, which is a perfect reason to consider us, Country Wickhouse Candles, for your next fundraising activity.

Not only will you be offering your patrons a completely natural and attractive candle product, but also you will be giving back to your community and supporting the small business economy. And you’ll be that much closer to achieving your monetary goals!

So, drop us a line at countrywickhouse@gmail.com, visit our website, and let’s have a chat about how you can earn some real money quickly and easily by selling Country Wickhouse Candles’ signature candle tins. We can send you a sample order form and explain the whole process to you. C’mon, give us a try…you’ll be happy you did!

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Country Wickhouse Candles wishes you and yours the very best this holiday season!  We spend the year interacting with some of the most creative, interesting, and supportive customers there are, many of whom are just discovering the joys and advantages of soy candles.  So, in honor of our customers and people all around the world, we’d just like to take this chance to tell you how much we appreciate all of you, and to express glad tidings for the new year. 

We’d also like to pause a moment to remind you of the benefits of burning soy candles, just in case you’re thinking about taking advantage of the great gifts soy candle products make…

  • For starters, soy wax is safe and biodegradable.  It’s made from pure, 100% natural botanical oils with a soybean base.
  • Environmentally friendly, soy candles promote the growth and care of the environment by using plants, a renewable resource.  So remember, when you’re enjoying soy candles, you’re supporting America’s farmers!
  • Soy candles burn at least 50% longer than candles made from paraffin wax, and produce about 90% less soot than paraffin candles. Soy wax is a favorite of environmentally conscious people because it’s not made from petroleum, like paraffin candles, thus there is virtually no soot or smoke generated through the use of soy candles. The incorporation of soybean oil lowers the melting point of the candle, which translates into cooler burning candles and faster scent dispersion throughout an entire room or area.
  • Unlike paraffin wax, soy wax can be removed from furniture, carpets, clothing, and other surfaces simply by using hot soapy water.  
  • And don’t forget, soy wax is also a great natural skin moisturizer!  Rub what’s left of your soy candle wax into dry skin and cuticles. 

If you’re thinking about giving the gift of soy this holiday season, Country Wickhouse Candles has just posted their WINTER scents online.  Below are some quick descriptions of each scent to help you choose from all of our wonderful scents!

  • Bayberry – Bayberry is a signature favorite for the holidays.  Enjoy this woodsy scent infused with sweet berry notes.
  • Christmas Tree – Christmas morning comes to life all throughout the holidays and winter with this delightful pine aroma.  Spruce notes are combined with subtle wood tones to create this smooth yet strong scent.
  • Christmas Cookies – Made with sugar and vanilla, these tasty cookies are fresh from the oven.  You’ll want to enjoy warm, delicious sugar cookies after lighting this candle!
  • Cranberry Citrus – A blend of cranberries, red grapefruit, tangerine, orange, lemon, and lime, this delightfully classic mix is sure to wake up your senses this holiday season! 
  • Eggnog – Enjoy the classic aroma of this traditional rich and creamy holiday cup.  This fragrance is swirling with pleasant scents of sugar, milk, cream, and light rum. 
  • Gingerbread – Our gingerbread candles combine warm vanilla and spice notes to recreate the pleasant scent of homemade gingerbread cookies.
  • Sugar Plums & Berries – Lose yourself in this dreamy combination of plum, raspberry, pear, and clove scents!
  • Spiced Pear – Spice up your holidays or any day with the aroma of juicy pears, brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and a touch of cinnamon.
  • Under the Mistletoe – Who’s that kissing underneath the mistletoe?  Sweet berries and green apples come together with the festive scent of Siberian pine needles.  Enjoy subtle notes of fir needle, cedarwood, fir balsam, and tree moss, too!
  • Winter Wonderland – Surround yourself with the peacefulness of fresh snow, festive lights, and cozy winter spices!  Indulge in warm notes of cinnamon, clove, vanilla musk, and mulberry with hints of fir balsam, pine, and cedar.

And don’t forget our entire line of AUTUMN scents, the list of which is still available on our website.  These scents include Candy Corn, Caramel Apple, Country Cider, Fireside, Football Field, Happy Harvest, Hot Cocoa, Nutty Banana Bread, Pumpkin Latte, and Pumpkin Pie.  For complete scent details, check out the website at Country Wickhouse Candles.  And, of course, all our COUNTRY scents are available throughout the year on the website as well, so take your pick!

Once again, Happy Holidays from Country Wickhouse Candles!  May all your days be filled with happiness and blessings!

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Soy is a bean.  And like any good bean, it must be grown.  Hello!  But how does this bean become soy wax, you ask?  Well, here’s a crash course in soy wax production and its ultimate dependence on America’s wonderful farmers.

Soybeans are either crushed mechanically or solvents are used to extract soybean oil.  After some color modification (bleaching) and refining, the oil is hydrogenated to make it more solid.  Hydrogenation is nothing more than the process by which poly- and monounsaturated oils are solidified, thus increasing viscosity.  All that’s needed to do this (just in case you have it laying around the house and want to try making soybean wax) is hydrogen, heat (somewhere in the vicinity of 280 – 500° F), and a nickel catalyst.  A nickel what?  I don’t know either.  At any rate, the whole experiment makes saturated fats that can be used as soy wax.  The drawback?  Soy wax is super soft with a low melting point, so any creative soy candle maker usually works with a soy blend that contains not only soy wax, but also other natural botanical oils.  Incidentally, what’s left of the bean after the beginning stages of the process is recycled as cattle feed.

So, what’s this got to do with farmers?  Let me remind you that soy is a bean that must be grown by the millions, and hence soy candle makers and enthusiasts must depend on the commitment, hard work, and responsibility of our nation’s farmers.  These men and women, after all, are not in the business of deciding whether we make a votive or a tealight, but rather they plant and produce a renewable resource that is all-natural and environmentally friendly.  America’s soy farmers may not be erecting solar panels or windmills (though thousands of them have and will!), but they are contributing to the ecological well-being of our planet.  And to me, that makes them heroes.  Their product is renewable, so they’re not involved in the depletion of our natural resources.  Soybean husks are recycled as cattle feed, thus nourishing livestock while offering the world a commodity that is both waste-free and biodegradable.  And like many vegetable farmers, stalks and other “plant parts” are composted, which dramatically decreases the need to use chemical fertilizers.

Ultimately, American soy farmers pose virtually no threat to our environment, and instead produce a useful vegetable from a renewable resource whose primary use is dietary and not wax.  At Country Wickhouse Candles, we may make what we believe are the best soy wax candles on the market, but we owe much of our success to the farmers who complete the dirty work none of us is willing to do.  And this isn’t just the case with soy farmers.  Each and every one of us should count ourselves grateful for the dairy, cattle, and vegetable farmers of America.  As candle makers and general consumers as well, we honor and thank our farmers.  We’d literally be nothing without them.

But perhaps Thomas Alan Orr, in the poem “Soybeans” from his work, Hammers in the Fog, captured the soybean farmer the best.  In his poem, he illustrates not only the plight of the farmer, but also how underappreciated many of them are.  Farming is not easy, and in hard times (like the ones we’re still having) it is often a battle simply to survive.  I’ve included the text of the poem below.  I hope you read it.  Its message is powerful and memorable.  Oh, and the next time you’re taking a quiet drive through the country and you see some guy or gal in a tractor in a field, pull over and thank them.  They’re most likely American farmers.

The October air was warm and musky, blowing
Over brown fields, heavy with the fragrance
Of freshly combined beans, the breath of harvest.

He was pulling a truckload onto the scales
At the elevator near the rail siding north of town
When a big Cadillac drove up. A man stepped out,
Wearing a three-piece suit and a gold pinky ring.
The man said he had just invested a hundred grand
In soybeans and wanted to see what they looked like.

The farmer stared at the man and was quiet, reaching
For the tobacco in the rear pocket of his jeans,
Where he wore his only ring, a threadbare circle rubbed
By working cans of dip and long hours on the backside
Of a hundred acre run. He scooped up a handful
Of small white beans, the pearls of the prairie, saying:

Soybeans look like a foot of water on the field in April
When you’re ready to plant and can’t get in;
Like three kids at the kitchen table
Eating macaroni and cheese five nights in a row,
Or like a broken part on the combine when
Your credit with the implement dealer is nearly tapped.

Soybeans look like prayers bouncing off the ceiling
When prices on the Chicago grain market start to drop;
Or like your old man’s tears when you tell him
How much the land might bring for subdivisions.
Soybeans look like the first good night of sleep in weeks
When you unload at the elevator and the kids get Christmas.

He spat a little juice on the tire of the Cadillac,
Laughing despite himself and saying to the man:
Now maybe you can tell me what a hundred grand looks like.

—Thomas Alan Orr, “Soybeans,” Hammers in the Fog 

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We often get questions at Country Wickhouse Candles about how properly to burn soy candles.  If a single, common issue exists, it’s with the challenge of getting an even burn with the soft wax.  This should never be a challenge, however, since any candle must be enjoyed under certain conditions.  Below you will find some helpful hints on how to burn soy candles more evenly, thus making your experience with them more enjoyable.

Soy Just Ain’t Paraffin:  I know, horrible grammar!  But you get the point.  One of the most important things to remember when dealing with soy candles is that they DO NOT burn the same way paraffin candles do.  Some (if not all) paraffin candles contain PETROLEUM, and I don’t know about you, but if I were made of petroleum, I’d burn hot and completely, too.  Unfortunately, so many people own petroleum-based candles that they have become the standard by which all candles are judged and used.  When considering the environmental impact of paraffin candle products (not to mention the smoke and soot their wicks produce), EVERYONE should be burning SOY candles instead.  With all this in mind, let’s talk about properly burning soy.

Wick Length:  NEVER follow the 1/8-inch wick rule with soy candles.  Instead, keep your wicks at 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long for an even burn.  Most wicks in soy candles already come in these lengths.

An example of an even burn in a soy candle tin.

Tins (and Other Containers):  Again, mind your wick length and keep it at 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long.  ALWAYS place any container on a LEVEL surface, and NEVER burn longer than 1.5 hours at a time.  And of course, never leave a candle unattended.  Another great idea for more evenly-burning candles is the use of a CANDLE TOPPER, which will more evenly distribute wick heat.

A votive holder.

Votives:  Follow the wick rule above and ALWAYS burn votives in VOTIVE HOLDERS.  These holders act like small containers, and as the container heats, it helps in the proper melting of the soy wax.

The metal wick tab at the bottom of a tealight cup.

Tealights:  This is a common concern among folks who’d like to see every ounce of soy wax melt and disappear.  The bad news is, this will never happen.  Use the same wick lengths as above, and as soon as the tealight extinguishes itself, the show’s over.  The metal wick tab at the bottom of the tealight container will never burn (unless you use a blowtorch), so for safety reasons, throw the tealight away when it burns down to this point and puts itself out.  It may be hard, but it’s time to say goodbye and move on when you can see the wick tab.

Unburned (Unused) Soy Wax:  But wait!  Just because ALL the soy wax in your container hasn’t melted doesn’t mean that it’s been wasted.  Remember that soy wax is all-natural and biodegradable.  It is also one of the best NATURAL SKIN MOISTURIZERS on the planet.  Claw it out of your containers and rub it into dry skin.  It even replenishes cuticles.  And it smells good, too!  Go ahead, it won’t hurt you…it will only help!

Hopefully these tips will aid you in burning soy candles more successfully.  The most important thing to remember is that soy is VERY SOFT, and hence we must take some unique (albeit subtle) approaches to using them.  Follow the tips above and you’ll have no problems with any soy candle product you ever own…and if you do, let us know.  We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Burn on, wise soy candle-burning person!  You care about yourself and your environment…Thank you!

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It seemed appropriate, considering the name of this blog, that my first article (“Man, That Smells…Good!”) should have been about “smells” and their influence over the body and mind, since scent surrounds me and you everyday and everywhere.  But very rarely do we appreciate the environmental stimulants coursing around us, or how they make us feel and act. 

Though my intention in this forum is far from an obsessive tendency to blog about candles (even if my wife and I are relatively passionate about the soy candle craft), I did intend to offer a place where we could chat about things like candle science and the obvious presence of candles in our lives.  After all, as many people in this country who own a pair of underwear also have a candle of some kind around the house, whether for ornament, emergency, or necessity.  So, we’re blogging about one of the most familiar objects in our culture, as well as in the cultures of many people on our planet.  We also wanted a spot to bring to light issues like the environment, conservation, recycling, and respect for our world at large.  So, we’ll be blogging these things, too. 

NOTE:  In case you’re wondering whether I have a clue as to how to use pronouns correctly, “we”  refers to me and my wife, the beautiful young lady (see her up there in the picture next to the good looking, very lucky guy?) who actually and brilliantly runs Country Wickhouse Candles.  She proofs each and every blog post, and is actively involved in the ideas and elements that make our modest business what it is…Oh, and she says, “Hi.”

BUT…our primary focus here is to have fun, meet interesting people (no matter what your opinions), and share some of what we know (and don’t know) about all sorts of things.  For this very reason, I have a file in my File Cabinet (over there on the sidebar) called “I’m Babbling Again…What?” that will contain snippets of thought and snapshots of life that might strike me from time to time. Also in the File Cabinet are all my files on candle science (“Soy Dork:  Candle Science”) and reasons why we should all value soy candles (“Why You (Really) Need Soy Candles”).  Of course, like any fragrant flower, the File Cabinet will grow…

On these notes, let me personally welcome you to “Life Smells, So Smile!”  Hello!  Nice to meet you; we’re so glad you came.  And we wouldn’t be a little country candle store if we didn’t remind you to come again…and often.

Read on!

Brian & Kelly Doe

(Yes, that really IS our last name.  I don’t think you could come up with a joke we haven’t already heard…really.)

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With the great amount of research that has been conducted on the subject, there’s no doubt that fragrances, or pleasant scents, can dramatically influence the human mind and emotions.  This reality has been known for literally thousands of years.  Greek physicians and philosophers mused over and wrote about the phenomenon as far back as 500 BCE, noting the emotional and mental effects of certain combinations of leaves and flowers worn as garlands.

What is immeasurable, however, is the influence different scents will have on each of us personally since we all experience our environment in unique ways.  For some of us, the smell of lilac may have a calming effect, while the scent of cotton candy may inspire memories of a childhood adventure at the county fair.  I know that the memory-sparking effect of some fragrances is true in my life every time I put one of my wife’s handmade orange creamsicle soy candles to my nose.  The recollections come easily as I remember my Uncle Whit’s tiny store at the north end of Ford Street in the city of Ogdensburg, New York. 

There was never much of anything on the dusty shelves save the bare necessities—cans of vegetable beef soup, singly wrapped rolls of toilet paper, bread, matches.  I’m not sure why I remember these particular images, but they are forever woven with the picture of that ice cooler at the back of the store, the one holding the loose orange cream popsicles (in an era when you could still buy many items individually and not gathered or lumped together in a case, box, or bag for mass consumption).  My little brother favored the rocket pops—rocket-shaped flavored ice on a stick colored red, white, and blue.  But not me…

“What’ll it be, Doe-head?” Uncle Whit, snowy-headed and the size of giant, would ask loudly, even though I was already at the old cash register with nickels and an orange cream popsicle…which, of course, always leads me to the memory of the Red Man we got from the same store and the afternoon my brother and I spent vomiting behind Dad’s garage…but that’s for another day.  Anyway, I love the smell of that orange creamsicle candle my wife makes, and everyday I take a good, long sniff of the one that I keep in my office, that I’m unwilling to burn lest I destroy the memory.

The point is simply this:  Good or bad, scent affects our moods, jogs our memories of people, places, things, and experiences, and causes us to connect to a very ancient part of the brain that has already associated the fragrance to our personal existence before we’ve even identified the particular scent wafting into our nostrils.  This is because our sense of smell is something like 10,000 times more powerful than our sense of taste.  How?  Our “olfactory receptors,” or smell receivers, are directly connected to the limbic system, which is not only the oldest part of the brain, but also the center of emotion.  Only after the deepest parts of the brain are activated does the smell sensation travel to the cortex to be recognized as a familiar (or unfamiliar) fragrance.  Consequently, our process of “smelling” is fascinating and the most intimately wired and powerful sense we possess as human beings.

Cheri VanWinkle, on her Colorado Adoption Consultants website, goes even further by relating scent identification and effect to children.  Under her link to Country Wickhouse Candles she states:

Recent studies suggest that a newborn infant can recognize his mother’s milk from that of other women based on his sense of smell.  In adoption, it is very important for your smell to be imprinted on his brain as his new parents.  Pick a scent and stay with it so your child will associate that scent with the safety of being in your care.  Candles are one of many ways you can do that! 

What an amazing thought.  Each and every one of us, from infant to grandparent, really should “stop and smell the roses” just to see how it makes us feel, what memories it inspires, and most importantly, what part of our personal existence it will reveal or to which it will forever link us. 

So, keep smelling!

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