Category Archives: Jimmy’s Candle History

MASTER of my peace

I have lost THREE businesses, for three different reasons, and through it all I maintained my peace. Even though some would look at these as failures, I look at them as winnings (yes, seriously). The immense power of peace in your life is priceless. You may have lost everything, or in my case nearly everything, but if you hold onto your peace – you win.

He who lives with the most peace wins!

Candle Company #1 early/mid 1990’s Design Initiative Group/DIG/DigWARE/DigGlo: We grew to moderate success selling to up market stores such as Neiman’s, middle market stores such as Urban Outfitters and mass market stores such as Clair’s Boutiques. We had enough success that the government gave us a Small Business loan for $350,000 to help us expand. Within a year of the loan, I was notified by my business partner that he was taking actions that would close the doors to our candle company. I was overwhelmed with fear. I know what the onset of a deep depression feels like…I couldn’t pull myself from bed for a couple of days. I woke up one morning, stood up and said, “I am turning this into THE BEST THING that could have ever happened FOR ME!” And that I did.  FIVE and ½ weeks later, I was up and running with a new candle company.

Candle Company #2 1998 Er’go Candle: It was with this company that I helped introduce Soy Candles to the nation by marketing nationally to the upper-end gift and spa industries. At the pinnacle of our success, I was featured on CNN during Prime Time, News Night with Aaron Brown in a piece on up-and-coming entrepreneurs, called ON THE RISE. Sitting there that night, watching CNN, at what was the height of my personal success, an event that should have brought me great joy, I knew in my heart it was the beginning of the end. I am a very positive person, but in this case it was my gut talking.

My name and image was becoming important for the brand (think, Colonel Sanders and KFC). Though this exact scenario was my vision for the brand, it wasn’t the image held by a group of my investors, a family who happened to own the majority of the shares. I knew that evening, while watching CNN, that group of investors could not allow this to happen. If my name and image became too interwoven within the brand, they might lose some control. Approximately 3 months later I was voted out of my company.

Several days after I was voted off my Island, I took a week long cruise to clear my head and receive inspiration. And I did exactly that by staying PRESENT on that cruise and not spending ANY time on what had just transpired. I also knew that I didn’t want to create what I was going to do next from my mind, but instead be inspired from my inner spirit – for that reason I did not spend ANY time trying to figure out what I was going to do next. The trick, I had learned over the years of creating from my inner spirit, is to remain PRESENT in the MOMENT during these times of inspiration and let go of the past and don’t worry about the future. On the last day of that cruise, it was as if an information bubble encapsulated me with the full concept for my new company. And yet again,  5 and ½ weeks after I stepped off the cruise ship I was up and running with a new candle company. (I’m not sure why with both businesses it took exactly 5 ½ weeks to get them going, but that is amazingly what happened.)

Candle Company #3 2005 Jimmy Belasco Soy Candles: With this company, in the 5.5 weeks it took to put everything together, we also happened to design packaging that won Best New Product Packaging for our category (candles/fragrance/bath & body) at the NY International Gift Fair. We began to experience some moderate success when, in the early months of 2008, the bottom fell out of the US economy. With the drop in the economy along with some poor timing on decisions made in the months earlier, my company started to bleed money. Over the next few years, I experienced the collapse of my business. After completely exhausting all of my resources (financially, physically, spiritually & emotionally) I licensed my brand to a larger candle company in the beginning of 2011. After a year, I finally decided to call it quits – there was not more peace, love or joy in that business for me.

At the end of each of these businesses, for the most part, I maintained my peace. I usual choose to look at these sorts of tumultuous events as happening FOR ME, for my highest good… instead of TO ME or against me.   In the first two businesses at the very end, if I had spent ANY time regretting the past I would not have been focused enough to start an entirely new company in FIVE and half weeks. In each instance, in just over ONE month, I was able to create a new company, develop a full collection of fragrances, design new packaging, have samples of the new packaging produced, design and print new catalogs and have it all set up in showrooms across the country in the 6 major markets! All of that, plus a whole lot more in FIVE and a HALF WEEKS! It still amazes me that I was able to that, TWICE!

The ONLY way this was possible is because I stayed PRESENT IN THE MOMENT. I had to let go of my past and focus upon my present moment if I wanted to succeed in launching those candle lines. I am not Superman, in fact I am rather normal. What I am good at is remaining focused on the present and letting go of the past. By me letting go, I was able to maintain my peace. Because I was at peace during the process, I was able to accomplish some amazing things in a very short period of time.

Letting go is your key to peace. There is much power in a person who is able to maintain their peace.

He who lives with the most peace wins!

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go. (sung to the tune of Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow)

If you look at the case of candle company #2, technically, they walked away with the business I created, but I walked away with my peace. In this case I feel happy because I gained a level of peace in the process that I might not have been able to if the circumstances hadn’t played out as they did. This is why in the middle of a tumultuous situation I try not to judge the events as “bad”… they simply “are what they are“. I see these events as something that will end up for my highest good. It has sometimes been difficult to see things this way when the sh#t is hitting the fan, but I have had enough experience to know and trust that it can be the BEST thing that could happen… as long as I continue to keep that point of view. And trust me, because I know for myself, if you think it is the worst thing that could happen to you, you will also end up being right.

 

This universe is a magical place, whichever direction you choose in life; life is happy or life is sad, Life is good or life is bad… you will ALWAYS be right!

let it go let it go let it go

peace, love, jimmy

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Thank Goodness for Jerk Bosses!

This story happens to be relevant to many situations going on in the lives around me…and I have used this story to help my friends to see their situation differently.

My very last job “working for the man”, before I started my entrepreneurial career, was with a custom clothing company.  To me at the time, my sales manager was a power hungry control freak.  He used to have a morning meeting every morning at 7am sharp.  If you were 1 minute late, you were docked $5. After our morning meeting we would go on our day of appointments that we made the days prior. We were expected back in the office no later than 3:30 pm in the afternoon and if we were 1 minute late, we were docked $5.  We were then expected to make phone calls for 2 hours and if we were not in our offices making calls at 5:30 pm, we were docked $5.  So each day you had the potential of being docked a total of $15 if you were not in the office at the expected times.

You know, I just don’t do well with rules.  I especially don’t do well with rules that are so stiff that they stifle you. I could see his good intentions on disciplining us into good practices, so I went along with it. This was my career at the time and I would play along like a good boy.

I got a phone call from my sister and she was hysterical – “Dad had a heart attack and is in the hospital!!! You must get home immediately – we don’t know if he is going to live!!!” So, I jumped on a plane and spent the better part of the week with my family while my dad was in the hospital. And yes, he had a major heart attack and would have to undergo open heart surgery once he stabilized, though he looked like he was going to make it –  if all went well. And he did pull through and had the surgery successfully and still with us, going strong.

Upon my return from the family emergency I was greeted by my manager with the realization that for each of those days that I wasn’t in the office, I was being docked $15!!! Something clicked inside of me at that very moment. I didn’t say anything in that moment, but inside I made a decision. I knew in that instant that I could no longer work under this kind of management…it just didn’t work for me any longer. I started to make the plan for my exit…and that is exactly what I did.

At the time, I despised that manager for being such a hard ass. I now thank him for being a hard ass! If he hadn’t been such a jerk, I may not have ever started working for myself; I may not have had the nerve to jump out of the nest and find my wings. I now credit his ass-ness as the foundation for me finding my own wings. I am now so thankful for that entire situation because I started to work for myself and I am where I am today because of that exact hard ass-moment.

I believe we are presented opportunities all day long on our path and sometimes we have our blinders on because of complacency. Even though we are not happy in our current situation, the fear of the unknown keeps us there. Well, sometimes doors are closed for us and it is the biggest blessing…because we may not have had the strength to close them ourselves. Sometime we must be pushed out of the nest in order to find our wings. And when the door closes in our face, it doesn’t feel good in that exact moment, but it may be the BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN for US!  And, I mean for us…not to us. These situations are not happening to us…they are happening for us…for us to grow.

 

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Jimmy Candle History Part 4

Part 4

In May of 2005, when I stepped off that cruise ship, I started Jimmy Belasco Soy Candles.  With this company I vowed to never allow one person or group attain the majority of the company so I would never be in that position again. The only issue with that is – you have to work with the money provided and that is all she wrote. So I took on investors again, but none would have the majority. I had to take on investors because I left the previous company with not one penny – nothing but my name (I’ve been looking forward to writing that line, it makes me laugh).

Everything was going just fine, we were growing and growing through 2006 & were experiencing a 30% growth by the end of 2007.  So, based on my past experiences, I built the infrastructure to handle this growth; hired staff and moved from my home office into an actual office space . I had never experienced anything other than growth and success…success was what I knew. In fact, at the very end of 2007 we placed a $70K order for packaging so we would be set up for the upcoming quarter of growth. Then we went to market in January 2008 and everyone looked around and said, “What the Hell just Happened! Where is every body?!” The bottom had fallen out of the market. The market orders were way down at the shows! Uh oh! Instead of a 30% continuation of growth, all of a sudden we were experiencing a 30% decline! Stores stopped ordering! Then stores started closing! I was bleeding money! Holy BLEEP!

Because I never experienced a failing business, I kept thinking we could make it through. Because of this, I didn’t peel off my expenses fast enough, each month we were going deeper and deeper in the hole.  Every two weeks was a struggle to make payroll. We finally had to begin letting people go and eventually moved out of the offices and moved back into my home office with me and two other employees – into a room that really should only house two people. Then came the day that I couldn’t make payroll and my best friend, who was working for me, had to leave. That was a very sad and horrific day. My world was collapsing. I was so focused on keeping the business afloat that I wasn’t paying myself. I was behind on my mortgage and my car payment. I was so far behind on my mortgage that if I didn’t make a payment by a certain date they were going to begin the foreclosure process.  And mind you, I had a dozen dogs and a cat named George at that time – all rescues, my family. These are the animals we have chosen and animals who chose us there would have been no way I could have kept them in any other housing situation. My home is the perfect place for the dogs, nestled in the woods of a great old neighborhood. It would have been an absolute disaster if I lost the house. I also had to start parking my car in odd places because I was afraid they were going to come pick it up.

It got down to the point where I had one person in the office and I was making all the candles and packing all the orders with some occasional part time help. It truly was a daily struggle to keep the lights on.

I couldn’t raise any more money for the busines by taking on more investors or I would lose control of my company; I had already been down that road. I would rather close the business from a lack of funds than lose controlling interest by taking additional funds and have someone walk away with it again. This business was my name, Jimmy Belasco – you don’t lose control of your name.

I was nearly paralyzed with fear.  But the only thing was – I didn’t even know it. I have never operated out of fear. I had never run a business with fear. I was fearless in business. So I didn’t recognize it when it had enveloped me. I had no clue until one day I was on the phone talking with a friend and she asked me, “So what are you afraid of?” and I nearly automatically answered, “nothing”…and I caught myself and just then a rush of every fear I had filled me!

I was afraid of losing my home, my business…my everything. Wow. I was totally in absolute fear and that fear was creating my reality.  I learned early on: what you focus upon – you get. I used this tool to help me build my businesses…and now it was working against me and helping me tear down my business. The funny thing, though not so funny, at that time I had NO CLUE that fear was my focus. It had become my main focus for over a year and a half and I hadn’t figured it out until that very moment when my friend asked me that question, “What are you afraid of?” And let me tell you, that was a long list.

I was so mad at myself for letting this happen.  I know that I didn’t create the economy’s collapse…but I didn’t help the matter by focusing upon all that could go wrong instead of all that could go right.

That night on my nightly walk I was fuming. I had learned years before to confront your fears and release them. So I was saying, “bring em on! What am I afraid of?” and they would come to me, I would look at the fear, thank it and release it. Next? Then another fear would come to my mind and I would do the same. I cannot tell you that it always works and the fears leave forever…but some of them actually leave right then, the trick is, you have to expect it, truly expect that it can be that easy. This definitely is a great exercise to “exercise” or release your fears. By the time the walk was over I felt a ton lighter.

I still have some fears, I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t…but my main focus isn’t upon my fears. I know that to succeed, my focus must remain upon where I see myself, my highest vision of myself.

What I focus upon – I get.

And I get it. I can clearly see that the same exact formula that creates my heaven on earth also works to create my hell on earth.

The years of 2008 through 2011 were the darkest of my entire life – hands down – emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. I understand that I played the largest role in this…

Around 2009 I came up with the idea to license my brand. I imagined the entire process and shelved the idea after approaching some of my candle friends, who had to turn me down due to their own issues with the economy. So, at the end of 2010 when I was completely tapped out, I was equally elated when I was approached by a very large candle company that wanted to license my brand in nearly the exact model I had dreamed up the year prior. The art of manifesting at work.

In January 2011, I had licensing my brand and I was only needed to help design our new collection they would launch for me. Once that job was done I spent my time with my animals, and one in particular who was having some issues. If I hadn’t been home during that period, she would have never lived through it. I am thankful for this time with my Hippity. I also knew I needed to do some healing myself. I was so broken I couldn’t muster the strength to turn on my computer. I didn’t want to hear or read anything uplifting or positive – I was that down. Yes, the Jimmy Belasco who’s mission on this planet is to spread love and peace – was all out of love and far from peace…at least it sure felt like it.

It is also at this point when I had absolutely no money coming in. Any money that came in from the licensing deal had to go back into the company. I had reluctantly applied at several jobs that I was more than qualified for and no one seemed interested in hiring me. I had to sell off my things in order to keep the dogs fed and the bills paid. My former partner had to move back into the house to help us keep up the mortgage. There were several months where I had only $5 a week to live on for food for myself. My friend had told me about the Mexican grocery stores and that you can always find some kind of meat (usually unidentifiable) for $0.99/lb; so I would go buy 5 lbs and live off of that for the week. One of the blessing from this was the fact that I lost 35 lbs in the process.

Around March of 2011, I decided that I was going to take my recluse butt out of the house and go out to The Round Up Saloon and Dance Hall, a local gay country & western hangout. I could go and not spend any money and start to be around people again. I had closed myself off from people for the past few years. I am very social by nature and I knew that it would help me to be around people again – plus my dogs had heard all of my jokes and started saying the punchlines before I could. I also loved to watch the dancing. For nearly 20 years, every time I would go there I would sit on the side of the dance floor for hours and be amazed at how graceful some of those dancers were.

On my first or second trip to The Round Up, I ran into one of my old acquaintances, who whisked me onto the floor before I could protest. Before I knew it – I was dancing – in the “following” position, nonetheless, but I was dancing. When I am on the dance floor, the entire world goes away! When I was on the dance floor I didn’t have a care in the world. Dancing became my drug. Since I wasn’t working, I found myself there nearly every night dancing the night away. It was a very magical time for me. I believe this is where I began to heal. By the end of just a couple of months I was getting to be a very good follower. In the follow position I didn’t have to think, all I had to do is release to the lead dancer and dance. It was a very freeing time!

I know it seems as if I have gotten off track with the whole candle story, but I haven’t. As the year went on, it became clear to me that by the end of 2011 I would be closing the door on the candle company; things just weren’t working well with the license deal. And dancing was my escape from this reality. I had no more options, so when December 2011 rolled around, I had decided it was time to close the business for good.

Now this story moves into a deeper part of my personal life and has nothing to do with the business; well, I guess it does. If I hadn’t lost my business and gone through everything that I had gone through I would not have found myself at The Round Up Saloon and Dance Hall, where I not only found peace upon the dance floor but I found the love of my life on that very dance floor. I met Mabo – the person I would marry nearly two years later on August 9th, 2013.

There we all stood, fully entertained on that corner of the dance floor watching a Power Ranger do the most energetic line dance you have ever seen. It was Halloween 2011. I later found out the Power Ranger’s name was Mabo; he was the cutest thing I had ever seen!

Click on this link below to read that story… it truly was a dance hall romance – the entire 7 month romance leading up to the point we moved in with each other had to happen on that dance floor. When you read the story you will understand why…it is a beautiful story.

Mabo & Jimmy: a country and western dance hall romance.

I count the closing of my candle company as a blessing. It was time for me to exit the candle industry. I had accomplished what I was supposed to by helping to introduce the world to soy wax. About 6 months after I closed my business, I received some news that confirmed that I had made the right decision. The fragrance house I had developed my fragrances with for the entire time I was in the candle business, nearly 20 years, had sold to one of the candle companies that was also using them for their fragrances; and here is the kicker – they closed the fragrance house down and destroyed everyone else’s fragrance formulas! Nearly 20 years of my fragrance development was completely destroyed. Even if I had kept my business open, I would have been forced to close after that event. Whew, thank goodness it happened as it did!!!

The peace, the love and the happiness I have found, because I lost the business, far out weighs the struggle I went through to get here! I cannot emphasize enough – I look back on that dark period with much appreciation for my will to continue on and not give up.

The darkest times are not always as they first appear. There is ALWAYS a silver lining in every cloud, even the darkest ones; my life and my candle making career is proof of that! Don’t focus on the cloud, focus on finding the silver lining – and when you find it, don’t let go!

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Jimmy Candle History Part 3

Part 3

In Part 2 I mentioned the fact that the gavel came down on the meeting that voted me out of my company at exactly 11:11 am. Why this is significant to me… In the months prior to that moment, I began to see 11’s everywhere. Every time I looked at the clock it was 11:11 or 2:11 or 5:11. That number began to follow me. I mentioned this to a friend and she told me that when we see repeated numbers or symbols, it is simply the universe letting you know you are on your path. So, when the gavel came down at the end of that meeting and I picked up my phone and saw that is was 11:11, I simply sighed a relief and smiled. And let me tell you, the fact that I was smiling at this particular moment seemed to be of concern to those in the room who just voted me out. I think they were half expecting me to pull a Joan Crawford, “…don’t f@ck with me fellas…” moment. On the converse, I sprang up and walked up to each of them, smiled,  shook their hands and thanked them. Their attorney, who walked me to the elevator had this puzzled look on his face and said, “Thank you for being so gracious during this process.”

Back to the cruise ship…

I knew that if I was to receive some divine inspiration, I would have to not think about what had happened and not think about what I was going to do…so I became FULLY PRESENT UPON THAT CRUISE.  I could tell you every time a buffet was going to open and I mapped out my day of activities and lectures. I would sit by the pool and watch all the festivities (and people watch) or I’d sit on the deck and read or watch the water.  I truly kept my mind off of what all had transpired over the past year and didn’t try to figure out what I was going to do.

On my journey to that point, I had learned that if I wanted to receive TRUE inspiration, I had to stay present.  I had to stop thinking. I had to stop thinking about the past or the future. I had to remain present so I could create the space for the inspiration to come. I had to quiet my mind so when inspiration hit, I was open and able to receive it. This usually isn’t too easy if you are in your regular environment, this is why the cruise was a wonderful place to lose my self in the present moment.

Somewhere around the very end of the cruise, I had what I call an information bubble come down upon me and I received the entire plan of what I was going to do. It truly was an amazing experience. The cruise ended on May 14th…and somehow when the Dallas Gift Show began on June 24th I was at market with a new company, 17 new fragrances, new packaging (that won Best New Product at the NY International Gift Fair 6 months later), printed catalogs, showrooms set up across the country along with 60+ sales reps – all of this in about 5 ½ weeks!

It was a magical time and I wasn’t even really stressed much.  It all came together easily, though there was definitely some effort…but it just flowed. When things like this happen, you know it is true inspiration. I also had done quite a bit of manifesting over the years and knew how to play the game…and the game is mostly TRUST. Trusting that I was on my path and the cards would all be there as I needed them – and they were.

Over the years I have had to learn how to focus. What you focus upon – you get. I knew that once I knew where I wanted to go my focus had to be solely upon where I wanted to go and not upon the situation I was currently in. This is what pulled me through the tough times…and trust me, they were tough. I always referred to my previous business as “my baby”. Even though I didn’t own the majority of it, it was my conception, my dream, my passion – and it had been, as some might say, taken from me.  But at the time, I knew that this was not happening TO ME, but FOR ME.

Just as the previous business ended and it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened FOR ME, I knew this would be the same.  And you ask, “look how this ended, how could this be the best thing?” Well, if I hadn’t been able to experience my Er’go Candle years, I wouldn’t have built my reputation in the candle world.  And even though the end of the period didn’t end so smoothly, it paved the way for my current experience. All of what happened was a blessing. It was simply the stepping stone for the next phase…that company wasn’t my end-all be-all…just a stepping stone. I was unable to grow any further and it was time to move on. I had to let it go so I could move forward…and that is what I did.

In Part 4 the 2008 economy hits and I experience true fear, more so than ever before in my life.

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Jimmy’s Candle History Part 2

Jimmy History Part 2

So, as I was saying… I sought out this soy wax thing. It sounded like a great natural, clean option and the name Soy Wax was catchy, very marketable. One my biggest driving forces was the fact that I had educated myself on the world of Premium Fragrances and was beginning to work with some very intricate fragrance blends and paraffin has a petroleum smell to it that bastardized these amazing fragrances.  Soy wax answered the issue of the petroleum smell.

Well, low and behold, I ran into Michael Richardson, the creator of the first soy wax formula, at the Extracts show in NY when he was looking for people to buy his newly perfected formula of soy wax.  At the time he had a few earthy, granola types (I am not putting these people down, I am a tree hugger too but I am just not as crunchy looking on my surface) buying his wax, but no national brands had picked up on it yet – probably due to the fact that at the time soy wax was considerably more expensive than paraffin.  There also wasn’t any demand yet for products that were “good” for you.  This was before Wholefoods became the major player that it is today. People weren’t looking at ingredients like they do today. I figured that I could take this earthy product, marry it with high end premium fragrances and package it for the upper end gift and spa markets…and that is exactly what I did.

By the time I was ready to start working with this new found wax, my company, DIG, was folding. My business partner, who held the controlling interest, decided to close the doors.

In six weeks, nearly to the day, from me walking out the door from DIG I had begun a new company, Er’go Candle, and was at market selling my new wares and my new soy wax. Let me tell you, it was a “teaching experience”.  I had to educate people on the difference between a vegetable wax and what paraffin wax is made of – petroleum oil. I had a few years before any other national brand began to “offer” soy “alongside” their paraffin offerings and about that long before it really started to take off. Other candle companies used to laugh at me when I would say “soy wax is the future of the candle industry”. They all thought it was a fad and would be gone in a few years.  Now nearly every single one of them offers soy wax in their lines or has switched completely over to soy because of the demand. Now the first question asked in most cases when someone enters your booth at market is, “Are these soy candles?” Soy wax is now a billion dollar portion of the candle industry – that isn’t going away any time soon. Needless to say, we had some moderate success selling soy candles.

At the peak of our success, a group of the investors, a family who acquired the majority position in the company, decided to “go in a direction that did not include Jimmy Belasco”; and quite frankly, I wasn’t very interested in the going in that direction. They had to either kill me or vote me off the island.

At exactly 11:11 am on May 2, 2005, after several months of mutual discomfort between myself and this group of my investors, as well as a failed attempt on my behalf to buy them out, the gavel came down closing the shareholder’s meeting that voted me off my island.  Trust me; it was a bit more of a roller coaster than this highly polished version.

To my rescue was a friend who sold artwork on a cruise ship; he was able to have me join him as his guest. So on May 7th I was on a cruise. Thank God!

I had no clue what I was going to do.  All I knew is that I wasn’t done with the wonderful world of candles.

I knew that if I was to receive some divine inspiration, I would have to not think about what had happened and not think about what I was going to do…so I became FULLY PRESENT UPON THAT CRUISE.

…and Divine Inspiration hit.

(to be continued…)

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Jimmy’s Candle History Part 1

Jimmy History Part 1

In the early 90’s I had a custom clothing business…and hated it.  In the mid 90’s my friend and I started a company named Design Initiative Group, DIG. We took some items to market, other people’s creations: rolled beeswax candles, scented “dream pillows”, cool hammocks, and one item that we would make if we sold any…a small votive cup that we hand applied gold leaf, oxidized which created a beautiful candle cup. The little votive cups were just an afterthought, but we sold a hundred at our first show in Dallas and the same in Atlanta- we could easily make these ourselves in our spare time. When we attended the San Francisco Gift show the Nordstrom buyer came and ordered 4,000 of these little votive cups!!! After she left the booth, we jumped up and down like little girls…until it struck us that we were going to have to MAKE THEM OURSELVES! We had never seen 4,000 of anything… Oh, BLEEP!!!

We made them in the heat of Texas summer in a carport…gold leaf all throughout the neighborhood – not kidding. The Nordstrom buyer was specific about the fact that it had to have a “poured, fragranced candle” inside. We were only selling them as a candle cup, not filled with a candle. Well, at the time because we were so excited for the order and we didn’t really know better, we didn’t charge for the additional candle…nor did we understand the production process involved in making these little decorative candle cups. We worked for two long, hot months and somehow shipped the order on time.  We probably didn’t make a penny, except due to the fact that we did the labor by ourselves. The candles were a hit and they reordered…and yes, we were still too stupid to charge more for the second round…pretty – maybe, but not smart.

So we taught ourselves how to pour candles, expanded the line and immediately stopped selling other people’s stuff…and became a candle company in the first six months of being in business. That company became a moderate success…and I became like a mad scientist.  I wanted to work on all the issues that made candles not burn well – and correct them.  I learned everything I could about waxes, wicks and fragrance.  The year or so before we closed the business down, I started hearing about something new…something called “soy wax”.

(to be coninued…)

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