Once, quite some time ago I flirted with the idea of doing a candle making course, making my own candles and maybe selling them at markets… (then I slapped myself!) At the same time everyone else was thinking the same thing and there was a huge influx of candles. At our first trade fair visit we were also amazed at how many wholesalers sold candles, there are a lot to choose from!
So how do we choose what candles to stock??
What made our decision so easy was our own experiences. We had bought and burnt candles and used essential oils for years. For me personally, a candle needs to smell as strong and as consistent from the first burn to the last, (lots of homemade and cheaper candles don’t deliver on this) burn cleanly and last for the time they say it will!!! We had discovered and used Bridgewater candles for about 2 years before we opened the shop and we felt they delivered on all counts.
We were extremely fortunate to met Mel & Chris Woods who are the sole distributors in Australia for Bridgewater, as well as Greenleaf, our other major candle and sachet brand that are both manufactured in the USA. Our good fortune was not only being able to become a stockist of Bridgewater and Greenleaf products, but also to develop a wonderful working relationship with both Mel & Chris, who have guided and encouraged us at all times.
There are many candle businesses based in Australia, but we chose Bridgewater and Greenleaf because we know the quality of the candles. We know customers will come back for more, not just because they are GOOD, but also because they provide a complimentary range of products, which include the sachets, room sprays and reed diffusers depending on the need and location for the fragrances. It is the sachets that draw people in… we are told many times a day how beautiful the shop smells, all because of our sachets spread throughout the rooms, which also makes them one of our biggest sellers!
But this isn’t just about candles and sachets!!! In retail, your products are one of the most important parts of your business…. but equally so are people. It isn’t just about people pushing products onto you, but real friendships that are formed, which continue into long term successful working relationships. This is from the wholesaler to us, as well as the relationships we develop with our customers, who love to call in catch up and see what’s new!
We have hit the jackpot in meeting Mel & Chris, who are genuinely nice guys who care about their customers, they always have time to talk, share and have a laugh……. every other retailer that walks onto their stand at trade fairs, feels the same way, they are greeted as friends and gain as much pleasure in catching up with the boys as we do…. that really says something about them and also how customers should feel when they walk into our shop!
Later this year we are launching a new candle range from Diamond bay Imports, that is a little more exclusive, a little more expensive but a whole lot of FABULOUS so watch this space!!