Friday, June 16, 2017

Shipping candles in the summer.

Happy weekend candle friends!  Oh my word.. is it HOT outside.  Are you feeling it?  I sure hope it's cooler where you are and if you can, send some cool thoughts my way. 

The high is climbing to a scorching 109 degrees and we'll be experiencing 120's by Tuesday.  My poor poor garden is a sad sight indeed, droopy and struggling for life even with the shade canopy we built last month.   I don't know if I should just give up or continue to baby them through the rest of the summer......It's even too darn hot to be in the pool, can you believe that! When it's this hot out the pool is't very refreshing when the sun above in flambeing your skin.   So I'm curled up inside, grateful for the invention of the air conditioner and worrying about packages that I shipped out today; so very nervous that my customers may open a box of goopy waxy mess.  Actually, I haven't had a complaint of melted candles in years, stopped typing to knock on wood  but I still worry...I'm a worrier.  

I wrote a post way back when this was a candle making blog about shipping candle in the summer heat.  Figured it was the perfect time to update and share it.    

First up..The faster the better.  It's the whole ground vs. air debate.  One may be cheaper but the other is super duper fast and I've come learn something very important about transit time.  The faster your items travel, the risk of your candles melting during transit decreases significantly.   Sure the cost is more but if your giving out refunds or sending replacements you're loosing money. 

Trucks aren't air conditioned....but neither are planes.  Just remember, the air is cooler way up there.  And planes are FAST. 

The United States Post Office offers relatively affordable prices for air mail.  Using Priority Mail or First Class (under 16 ounces) can get your candles to your customers in 1-3 days.  And as a bonus you can order FREE Priority Mail boxes from the website.  They'll even deliver them for FREE to your door.  But you don't have to use those boxes if they aren't the right fit for your business. Although the Priority Mail boxes you order from USPS are exclusive to the Priority Mail rate, the Priority mail rate is inclusive.

Ground shipping can be slower, anywhere between 3-10 days. But that doesn't mean its impossible to get your candles to their destination safely.  When I first started shipping candles in the early 2000's I used DHL and FedEx and boy did I learn a thing or two or three......or four

Regardless of the carrier, even when shipping airmail, at some point your candles are going to be sitting in the back of a steaming hot truck.

When shipping ground during the summer months consider scheduling your pick up time so that it's your drivers last stop.
 Last on the truck = first off the truck. Keep those boxes moving!

Make arrangements with your carrier that you want your packages to ship low in transit,  hot air rises.

Ship during the beginning of the week.  Mon-Wed.  You want to limit the amount of time your candles are riding in the back of that truck.

The next thing to really consider..or perhaps reconsider is marking your boxes.

I've been shipping candles for over 18 years, I learned early on that marking your boxes makes them a target.  

I've used fragile stickers, I've written in big bold black sharpie "leave in shade on porch"  I've custom made stickers specific for candles and I even purchase stickers that were specific to sun sensitivity.   I use to pay to have my candle company printed in beautiful script on every box I ordered.  I've come to learn that all those markings are food for a contentious shipper.
The less that I marked my packages, the less complaints of damaged items I had.   I now ship in plain ole non de-script boxes.

Well, I guess that about wraps it up....If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments down below I'd love to hear from you.

Oh and a quick shout out to all those incredible Dad's out there.  Happy Fathers Day!  I'm so blessed to be married to one the worlds best DAD's 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Gemstone Candles

 I have a secret love for rocks..I live in the desert and am so lucky to have an abundance of them all around me.

These are all hand formed with hand cut facets.  The process takes a while from start to finish. Forming layers with different types and colors of dyes and blending and forming the wax to achieve the varying striations.   The outcome is so beautiful.

But it's scorching outside and sometimes it feels just as hot inside; so many projects are being shelved until the weather cools down which means the blog may be on hiatus for a short time.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ladybug candles

I've been working on so many new projects I did't even realize that the roses out back had been blooming.  Stopping to smell the roses had never rang so true.

Last year aphids had invaded two of my rose bushes so badly that no amount of hose spraying would rid them from my beloved plants.  I'm not a huge fan of neem oil, it stinks and leaves my roses sticky.

I resorted to ordering ladybugs from the net and released them one evening.   The next morning I woke, eager to see the progress those adorable and hopefully hungry little beetles had made...but there wasn't a ladybug in sight.  A few days passed and I was lounging outback when I heard the neighbor behind us calling to his kids "Come look!" he shouted "look at all these ladybugs."

"Traitors" I thought

His little ones started giggling and I could hear the thudding of their foot falls as they raced around the yard for the next hour "get that one daddy"  So I grabbed the dusty bottle of neem oil and set to work listening to their laughs, delighted that at least someone got to enjoy them.