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Earthy Decor Blog Post and Podcast

I am so delighted to share this podcast and blog post with you! Last year, I had the opportunity to chat with Shannon from Earthy Decor. She has put together an amazing blog and podcast on earth friendly lifestyles.

In this episode, we had a great time chatting about bees and business. Check out the blog post for the highlights of the podcast along with a few resources I shared.

The podcast is about an hour. Click here to listen! If you love this episode, be sure to check out the rest of her episodes. If you need more information, here’s the podcast description from her website:

Sick of negativity? Here, we focus on human connection, earth friendliness, sustainability, nature hotspots, and wellbeing. Listen from expert guests in various eco friendly specialities such as:

Minimalism, urban farming, aquaponics, tiny living, zero waste, nutrition, environmental health, and sustainability. I also talk to those that live alternative lifestyles (off of the grid, van life, and tree house dwellers.

Let’s restore nature, ourselves, and the world around us. Let’s be Earthy (Earth Friendly).

I for one love following her blog posts and listening to new episodes of the podcast! I hope you enjoy it too!

 

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Candle Making Workshops: Fun with Friends and Family

I have been teaching candle making workshops in Calgary for over a year now. In that time, both the participants and I have learned a lot. Today, I want to share some of the beautiful creations I’ve seen in workshops so far. I’d also like to share how the workshops evolved and some of the brand new workshops we are offering this year.

For the last year, the focus of the candle making workshops was rolled beeswax candles. When I first started making candles, I made rolled candles. I have since branched out into making solid beeswax candles as well. That said, I still enjoy making rolled candles. The beehives are quite popular and one of my favourites too!

Cayman Blue Rolled Beeswax Beehive Candle
Cayman Blue rolled beeswax beehive candle with bee.

There are a few styles available in our store although I think making custom orders is more fun! From making custom sized pillars to supersized tapers, every order is new and exciting.

Custom Rolled Beeswax Pillar Candles in Natural
Custom Rolled Beeswax Pillar Candles in Natural
Custom Super Sized Rolled Beeswax Taper Candle in Cilantro
Custom Super Sized Rolled Beeswax Taper Candle in Cilantro

Make and Take

I love to share my knowledge with others, so I am naturally enjoying the workshops. I started out small by running what I call a Make and Take station at markets. Anyone with a few minutes to spare and interest in candle making can stop by and learn to make a candle.

Make and Take: Candle Making at the Inglewood Night Market July 2016
Make and Take: Candle Making at the Inglewood Night Market July 2016

I have had people of all ages stop by for candle making fun. It’s always a pleasure to see how excited they get about the finished product.

Candle Making Workshops

From here, I started running longer workshops. To me, workshops are more than just learning how to make something. I wanted to provide a opportunity for people to have fun with friends and family. As an added bonus, they get to do something a little different. Paint parties and ceramic painting have been around for awhile. I hadn’t seen any candle making workshops in Calgary.

Candle Making Workshop November 2015
Candle Making Workshop November 2015. Busy bees!

Candle making workshops are great for newbees and oldbees (pun definitely intended). Experience is not necessary, but we do welcome those who have it! Not only do makers learn to create candles, they have an opportunity to socialize. Whether it’s with friends and family or strangers, we have fun. We’ve had groups of friends, date nights, and solo adventurers, so there’s a good mix every time.

November 2015 Rolled Beeswax Candle Making Workshop
Beautiful candles from a rolled beeswax candle making workshop.

On top of candle making, I like to share some of my bee knowledge. Makers learn a bit about where the raw materials come from and how bee colonies operate. The bees work hard to produce the wax. I believe it’s important to acknowledge their amazing contributions.

Candle making is part art and part science. Rolled beeswax candle making workshops are perfect for getting the creative juices flowing. Before coming to a workshop, I encourage participants to look for ideas. Google and Pinterest are both great resources. We have a Pinterest idea board to help makers get started. Sometimes the ideas work and sometimes not quite, but we can usually find a way to make it happen!

Candle Making Workshop June 2016
Candle Making Workshop June 2016. Check out the spiral and stacked candles they made based on Pinterest finds!

All the people who come to rolled candle making workshops leave with a unique set of candles. I love seeing the variety each person gets to take home.

November 2015 Rolled Beeswax Candle Making Workshop
Beautiful candles from a rolled beeswax candle making workshop.

Workshop Partnerships

Earlier this year, I was fortunate to partner with Sam from The Tea Wagon to do a combined workshop. Sam led the group in creating their own custom tea blend while I taught them how to make beehive candles. There were so many choices of ingredients for the tea blending! It was interesting to learn about each ingredient. We learned about the benefits they have and how they are normally used.

Tea and Candles May 2016
Making a custom tea blend at the Tea and Candle workshop.

The beehives were beautiful and the tea blends sounded delicious! I am looking forward to partnering with Sam again for more workshops. Find out how you can sign up for our upcoming tea and candle making workshops below.

Tea Blending and Rolled Candle Making Workshop May 2016
Personalized tea blend and rolled beeswax beehive candles.

Upcoming Candle Making Workshops

This year, I wanted to come up with a series of new and exciting candle making workshops. I received a lot of feedback from previous workshops. One request I saw a few times was for lip balm. I’m excited to share we will be running a lip balm workshop this season!

From teacup candles to holiday themed candles, every month features a different project. I am excited to be partnering with The Tea Wagon again and Stitch Plus Stitch this season. Details on all the workshops we offer are available on our workshop information page. If you’re interested in coming to a workshop, registration links are available here.

Private Candle Making Workshops

Although our public workshops are quite popular, the dates don’t always work for everyone. For large groups or busy schedules, we are happy to offer private workshops. Private workshops are great for:

  • Birthday parties
  • Corporate team building
  • Family fun nights
  • Ladies night
  • Church groups
  • Camps
  • More

We can also help organize wedding activities including:

  • DIY wedding favours
  • DIY unity candle sets
  • DIY wedding decor
  • Bachelorette parties
  • More

Contact us for details on how you can book a private event.

Candle Making Kits

Mini Taper Beeswax Candle Kit
Kit to make four rolled beeswax mini taper candles.

If you prefer to fly solo and need a hand getting started, we have candle making kits. Kits come with materials and instructions to make your own rolled beeswax candles. No cutting required! All kits are available in the colour and style of your choice. They also make perfect gifts for young makers who may not feel comfortable using knives yet. Shop now to get yours!

Beeswax Sheets

Mexican Blue Beeswax Sheet
Mexican Blue Beeswax Sheet

For those who already know what they are doing, we also sell beeswax sheets. Local pickup is available year-round. With twenty four different colours to choose from, there is something for everyone. Check out the available colours here.

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Mountain View Arts Festival 2016

Last weekend, I was fortunate to head to two markets. I covered some highlights of the Inglewood Night Market already. Now it’s time to talk about the Mountain View Arts Festival.

YYC Beeswax at Mountain View Arts Festival 2016
YYC Beeswax at Mountain View Arts Festival 2016

I have to say I enjoy heading out of the city for markets. The drive is usually lovely (except perhaps in a winter snowstorm) and it’s fun to explore new places. I am ashamed to admit I haven’t explored Didsbury as much as I could have this year or last. I’m hoping to remedy that next year.

Ryan of Ancient Silvers at Mountain View Arts Festival
Ryan of Ancient Silvers at Mountain View Arts Festival

This year marks my second year at the festival. We were indoors this year, and I was fortunate to be beside Ryan of Ancient Silvers. He had a selection of jewelry as well as some of his art. The wolves are definitely a highlight!

Wolf by Ryan of Ancient Silvers at Mountain View Arts Festival 2016
Wolf by Ryan of Ancient Silvers at Mountain View Arts Festival 2016
Wolf and Raven by Ryan of Ancient Silvers at Mountain View Arts Festival 2016
Wolf and Raven by Ryan of Ancient Silvers at Mountain View Arts Festival 2016

Thank you to the organizers of the Mountain View Arts Festival for putting on another wonderful event. I am looking forward to returning next year! Thanks to Ryan for being an awesome booth neighbour. I’d also like to send a shout out to Darlene of Pages of Stories for stopping by to say hello! It was great to see you! More thanks to the musicians throughout the weekend. I didn’t catch all the music, but what I heard sounded great! Special thanks to everyone who came out to take part in the activities and enjoy the market.

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Inglewood Night Market September 2016

This weekend was busy with three days of market fun! Today, I’ll be sharing some highlights from the Inglewood Night Market on Friday. Next week, I will cover the Mountain View Arts Festival.

YYC Beeswax at Inglewood Night Market 2016
YYC Beeswax at Inglewood Night Market September 2016

What a gorgeous evening for the night market! So many people came out to support the musicians and artists. This month, the live entertainment focused on youth. It was wonderful to hear all the young talent.

Hillcrest Naturals at Inglewood Night Market 2016
Hillcrest Naturals at Inglewood Night Market September 2016

It was a privilege to share a booth with Steph from Hillcrest Naturals. I think her display is pretty snazzy.

Hillcrest Naturals and YYC Beeswax at Inglewood Night Market September 2016
Hillcrest Naturals and YYC Beeswax at Inglewood Night Market September 2016

We revamped the display space a bit to accommodate all our product. I think the result worked well! Night markets are always fun because I get to bring out the paper lanterns too.

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One of our booth neighbours was Jacqueline Moller of Kootana Gallery. She stopped by to show me her lovely salt rock candle holders, which are quite amazing. I headed over soon after to check out her display. I LOVE the succulents she has in the stones.

I have to say one of the highlights of the night was to help so many people make candles. The candle making station was busy for much of the night. There were many talented young people making candles throughout the night. I didn’t have a chance to take any pictures, but one made it to Instagram 🙂

Thank you to the Inglewood Night Market organizers and volunteers for the fantastic market! I am looking forward to next year already. Thank you to Jacqueline for being a great booth neighbour. Thank you to Steph for sharing the space and helping out throughout the evening. With the busy candle making station, I don’t know how I would have done it with out you! Finally, thank you to everyone who came down to support the market. It was great to see so many new and not-so-new faces!

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What is the best part about running a business?

All businesses are different. All people are different. When it comes to running a business, every business owner has a favourite part. My favourite part is the challenges I get to address every single day. I am grateful to CEO Blog Nation Hearpreneur for sharing my thoughts. The article features my comment along with those of fourteen other business owners. Check it out here: 15 Entrepreneurs Share What Their Favorite Part of Running a Business Is.

We want to know!

If you are a business owner, what do YOU think is the best part of running your business?

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Social Responsibility in Business

This month’s Capital Ideas topic is social responsibility. I am delighted to share that my comments were featured in Thursday’s Calgary Herald. I thought it would be nice to expand on them a bit as well.

Starting Out

I have been living in Calgary for awhile now. Most of my time has been spent at university. While studying, I was amazed at the number of opportunities there were for students to get involved in the community. Even more amazing is how much the students choose to give back.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in community oriented events throughout my university career. I also organized a few. Both were hugely rewarding. From the beginning, I wanted YYC Beeswax to give something relevant back to the community. With this in mind, I built lip balm pricing around how I wanted to give back.

Giving Back

We currently donate $0.25 from every lip balm sold to Apiaries and Bees for Communities (A.B.C.) in support of their educational programs. We choose to support them because they are a local initiative, which means the funds will remain in and benefit the community. The educational programs include school outreach, and I believe A.B.C. imparts valuable knowledge to the next generation making them a worthwhile cause to support.

Moving Forward

In the future, I am looking forward to developing more programs to support other worthwhile local initiatives. A few ideas are in the works, so keep an eye out for them!

Here’s the Capital Ideas page from Thursday’s Calgary Herald (click the picture for the full article):

Capital Ideas Calgary Herald July 28, 2016

How do you give back to your community? How do you think businesses can be better at giving back to the community? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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A Reflection So Far: The Millennial Entrepreneur Podcast

I had an amazing opportunity to challenge myself earlier this year. I am part of a number of business groups online, and I met Arne Giske when he put out a call for guests on his brand new podcast. Although I had some misgivings when I saw the post, I knew it would be a great learning experience for me and I thought sharing my experiences would be helpful for other millennial entrepreneurs. I bit the bullet and signed up.

The Interview

On the day of the interview, I was pretty nervous. I had no idea what to say or how talking to Arne would go (we had only communicated via online messaging). Podcasts and live speaking are  completely different beasts! The podcast could be listened to time and time again whereas doing a presentation for a live audience is usually more transient. As a musician, I am completely comfortable getting up on stage to play a concert. I’m less comfortable speaking; however, by the time I presented my masters thesis this spring, I was feeling much more comfortable. I’ve never recorded a live session for speaking or performing other than for personal use, so being interviewed for the podcast was a little nerve-wracking to say the least. I was determined to make it a success.

When we got on the Skype call, I was still pretty nervous although chatting with Arne made me slightly more comfortable. It was nice to put a voice to a name. We had a great conversation, and I’m so happy I was able to share some of the resources I have found to be invaluable in building YYC Beeswax with his audience. As we got further into the podcast, I became a lot more comfortable chatting about my experiences. After we were finished, I was excited I had accomplished something I didn’t particularly want to do. I was also a bit nervous (again!) about listening to the end result.

Published!

The podcast was published a lot quicker than I was expecting, and I immediately had a listen. It really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! Mission accomplished. While I was there, I also listened to the episodes before mine, which were full of great resources! I would highly recommend checking out the entire podcast series. If you’re looking for my episode, you can take a listen here:

Huge thanks to Arne for having me on his podcast. It was an enlightening experience, and I wish him all the best as he moves forward. I know I will keep listening!

Are you a millennial entrepreneur?

If you are a millennial entrepreneur, check out The Millennial Entrepreneur podcast on iTunes (there are some great interviews up already and more to come!). You can also show some love to the Facebook page, on Twitter, and the website is full of fabulous resources.

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Looking Back: One Year in Business

We recently reached our one year anniversary (woohoo!), and I’m amazed to see how far we’ve come. Looking back, I found this picture from our second ever market last May:

2015-05-02 12.02.26

We did a lot of work over the summer adding new products and revamping the display. It still changes from market to market because we like to change things up. Here’s a picture from our latest adventure in Canmore from March of this year:

2016-03-05 09.57.01

That’s an amazing difference (to me anyway!) I’d like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last year. I am looking forward to another busy year. Don’t forget to check us out at some of the markets we’ll be at. If you aren’t able to make it, we are always happy to schedule a private appointment.

Here are some of the highlights of our last year:

What a year! There are a lot of exciting things in store for the upcoming year as well. Keep up to date by returning to our website, joining our mailing list, or following us on social media (click for links to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram). Some of the exciting things you can look forward to are:

  • Ability to purchase directly from our website (late 2016)
  • Collaborations with other local businesses (throughout the year)
  • Learning new tidbits about bees and candle making (throughout the year)
  • Watching our first year of beekeeping unfold (hint: follow our hashtag #yycbeekeeping2016)

Is there something missing? Do you have any questions? As always, if you have questions or feedback, we’d love to hear it!

Here’s to another fabulous year!