T&K: Making Beeswax Candles

We have a sale!!  It is surreal that the dream of having our own business is materializing right before our eyes.  T&K Home Market is officially a business and we have sold our first item: 100% Beeswax Candle.

Our dream of creating a business that focuses on handmade crafts and home decor started when we lived on our farm in Minnesota.  That dream evolved when we moved to the desert of Arizona and, again, when we moved to the islands, but it never faded. From the start, one of the key aspects of our business would be to have a product line with items created from recycled or upcycled material, as much as possible.  We envisioned creating a business that would reduce waste while making a positive impact on the environment. While our focus prior to moving to the islands had been on wooden crafts, we took up the art of candle making as our debut item here. This shift came one day, when we looked at our recycling bins and discussed what the odds were as to whether recycling ever really happened here on our island.  There is a recycling center here, but almost everyone claims that all the material taken there gets relocated to the dump. One would think that on such a small island it should be easy to confirm or deny that claim, but, like most things here, a straight answer is hard to find. While looking at the bins of separated glass, plastic, and metal, we talked about the concept of decreasing waste on the front end of consumerism, as well as the concepts of repurposing and upcycling on the back end of consumerism.  It was the numerous, interesting looking glass jars that started us down the line of candle making. What if we could use these jars for another purpose, rather than just hoping they get recycled? It didn’t make sense to have something that took so much energy to create and looked so nice to be used only once and then end up crushed and broken on the north end of the island for generations. We envisioned that we could save one glass jar at a time from the landfill by upcycling it into a candle.  

As we researched candles, we quickly learned that beeswax candles were the ones for us.  Beeswax candles burn longer compared to paraffin or soy wax candles, which would keep that same glass jar out of the landfill for longer.  Furthermore, beeswax is an all-natural, renewable resource; it is not made from petroleum; and it does not require the use of pesticides in production or additives to create the candle.  The benefits of beeswax when compared to paraffin and soy wax went on and on and they fit perfectly with our business view of environmental responsibility. For additional benefits, read my article “The Power of Bees: The Benefits of Beeswax Candles”.

Now that we had a concept, it was production time.  We excitedly set to the task of making candles. As with any new hobby, it was fun to watch the raw materials come together and turn into beautiful candles.  Next, it was time to find a way to market and sell our candles. We took a shot at asking a cool, new store on island that focused on selling locally made products if they would be interested in including our candles in their merchandise.  They said yes! It was all coming together. Our dream was slowly, or maybe not so slowly, becoming a reality. My husband, the T in T&K Home Market, built a display stand in our signature, rustic design and the candles were carefully loaded up.  On the first night on display, we sold our first two T&K Home Market products. We were the owners of a new business, focused on creating items to brighten a person’s personal space while lessening the impact we place on the environment. And that is how it starts…the future is wide open and we are ready for the adventure.

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