Did you know the term for a candle maker is “chandler”? Although, I prefer the term “chandelier”, it’s not catching on.
A day in the life of this chandelier probably isn’t very exciting to you; but it has become a life I love.
As of now, I work out of my home. There are days I love being at home, and other days when I scream in my head, (okay, not always in my head), all day long: “I need a building!” or “I need more room!”, especially when tripping over the cat or dog. God will provide a place in His time.
THE DAYS: My day starts very early. Generally, I have a plan for what needs to be done for the day. As soon as I walk into the kitchen for my coffee, there sits my computer, and the wax remains from the previous day. I never really get away from my work, (neither does my husband – poor guy), because it is all around me.
I check my website for orders. Orders are prepared for shipping or delivery. I absolutely love doing deliveries! Yes, I want my business to grow, however, I never want to be so big that I cannot continue local delivery. I love my hometown, and the people here are very special. They don’t know this secret, but it does me more good to see them than selling a candle.
After checking the website, I will order any supplies I need. Comparing prices and freight costs is very time consuming. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time on the computer (and checking the balance in my business account).
Each day is different, and for that I am grateful. There are some days when there is no candle or wax melt production at all. Some days it is like a print shop around here. Some days this place is a photography studio (for social media and the website), and other days I may be painting signs and frames for signage at wholesale locations. I have always been a crafter, so the days I get to “create” are the best days.
On production days, when I know I’m not going to leave the house, I generally look orphaned. I do try to brush my hair before my husband gets home. There are many steps in manufacturing candles. Lots and lots and lots and lots of math and lots and lots and lots of weighing of waxes and fragrance oils. I use Ziggy a lot! Ziggy, (used to be Alexa until she got snippy with me and now has a male voice), can perform calculations a lot faster than I can. When candle vessels (jars) arrive, they are washed, labeled with a warning label, and wicks are placed; this process is usually an entire day’s work. On candle making days, waxes are weighed, blended, and put into a wax melter, along with the weighing and measuring of fragrance oils. Preparing candles is not simply adding oil to wax; wax has to be heated to an exact temperature prior to adding fragrance oil, and candle vessels also have to be heated to the right temperature. The wax then has to cool to a certain temperature prior to pouring. Each candle is also weighed when poured. Candles are labeled and then set aside to cure for a minimum of ten days. Candle making has taught me “some” patience, (my family may disagree), as I am either waiting for something to heat up or cool down…always!
On marketing days, when I actually get dressed and no longer look orphaned, I am traveling around the panhandle delivering orders to wholesale accounts and attempting to make relevant connections for future locations for my candles….I won’t just put them anywhere.
Depending on the location, I will do vendor shows. Honestly, these are like exercise: Exhausting, but I am always glad I did it afterward. I must say, I have met some of the nicest people and made some very good friends doing these shows. I am amazed each time I do a vendor show at how much people just want to talk, visit, and make a human connection. I have found the more people I am in contact with, the more I enjoy doing this. You see: It’s not really about the candles, it is about people, being transparent, showing them my heart so they will show me theirs. What a beautiful thing! Gosh, I am so lucky!
THE BEST DAY: The best day only happens once a month. I usually save this day for when I am having a bad day and need an attitude adjustment, as it always fixes my heart and mind. This is the day I get to write a check to the Charity-of-the-Month from the previous month. Trust me, it isn’t a very big check (yet!), but I can live with this for now, as hopefully it is drawing attention to a need and maybe, someone else will see the need as well and pass it on.
THE SILENT PARTNER: I can’t mention a day in the candle making life without mentioning my sister. She is present in heart, body, and mind daily, doing whatever needs to be done; especially the menial tasks I don’t particularly care for. She receives no pay (yet!), except for coffee, whatever she can find to eat in our refrigerator, and an occasional “oops” candle or wax melt. She is the one that keeps me driven and level headed – she is the calm to my crazy, the serenity to my panic, the logic to my illogical, and the hope in my despair. Our process is like two dancers with no music: she slides when I shift, and I shift when she slides. Generally, we know what the other is thinking and can finish each other’s sentences. I am blessed to be able to spend so much time with her, and it is a big bonus that she is my sister.
That’s about it in a nutshell…The not-so-glamorous life of a “chandelier”…but…it is fun, it is hard work, and I love it. It is truly a privilege to get to be a part of people’s lives. I understand that candles are not “necessities”, so I am honored each time a person chooses a Cyclone Candle Company product as one of their luxuries. Because the sense of smell is the strongest memory trigger of the senses, it is my hope that our clientele will get to make many happy memories with our products and have the opportunity to relive them over and over.
Thank you for reading.
P.S. Don’t forget to squeeze each other tight today!