You have probably seen and heard our excitement over the upcoming launch of our first product, a curated candle that started as a dream to share a little bit of the Bleu Bee brand with our clients (aka, our friends).
Back in February, I connected with Tenisha Dotstry, a veteran and military spouse through a collaborative Facebook group for creative military spouse entrepreneurs. I explained to Tenisha that I wanted a tangible way to welcome new clients who signed with us for design services and gift them a little bit of the Bleu Bee experience before they even saw a design concept board.
As creative tendencies grew between Tenisha and I, so did the vision and plan for our candle. We would launch a collaborative “Bleu Bee Designs x Fair Winds Candle Co.” product and Tenisha would magically translate the description of what I envisioned our brand (the epitome of a whimsical and fresh southern coastal home) into a magnificent scent story!
Read on for a little Q&A with Tenisha:
How did you get into candle making? I got into candle making in 2016. I’m allergic to many of the candle fragrances in big box stores, so I wanted to figure out how to make candles myself that wouldn’t trigger my migraines. So far, I’ve made thousands of candles and not one migraine yet! So I feel like I’m doing a good job at fulfilling my initial mission.
What is it about this craft that you are so passionate about? The science of it all is fascinating. Most people think “oh, it’s just melted wax, a perfume oil, and a wick and you’re all set right?”. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a constant learning process when making a candle because the possibilities are endless. It all depends on the wax you use, how much fragrance you want, the fibers of the wick, even the jar it’s all in. Not one candle is exactly like the other when you pour in small batches like I do.
Walk us through the process of how one of these candles comes together: It starts with the wax. In my workshop, I’ve decided to use a luxury coconut wax because it’s a beautiful blend of coconut, beeswax, apricot waxes that makes the fragrances I blend up shine! The star of the show is the fragrances. I don’t use standard run-of-the-mill oils. All of my scents are custom blended so that they are exclusive to my custom clients and my brand. Then it’s getting it all to temperature, placing the appropriately sized wick in the vessel, and mixing the oil and wax together and pouring it into the jar to make it a candle!
4) How did you and Brittany come up with a scent for this branded candle? Ah….lots of zoom calls and back and forth on a google doc helped bring her signature scent to fruition. When I work with a custom client like Brittany, I like to learn as much about their business as I can and who they are as a business owner. All of that can translate into a scent believe it or not! Sometimes, I can just tell from the vibes I get from a person what they would like or dislike without them specifically telling me. From our meetings, I came up with 4 scents that I blended and made into candles for her to experience firsthand. Once she had those, it was easy for her to narrow down exactly what she wanted, as after a few tweaks Brittany picked the very first scent I blended for her signature candle!
5) Candle care – what are some of your best practices? How can clients receive the most out of their Bleu Bee Designs X Fairwinds candle? If you only remember one thing from this blog post it’s TRIM YOUR WICK! Trimming the wick of your candle every time you burn it not only ensures that you’ll get a nice clean burn through the life of your candle, but it cuts down on soot and smoke that may come from your wick as it gets further down in the jar. This Bleu Bee Designs X Fair Winds Candle should burn for ~ 50 – 60 hours, trimming the wick will help it last as long as it can. (Don’t worry, we’ve added Candle Care cards to each of our candles as they’re shipped!)
6) Tell us a bit about who you are, how you work with clients to curate custom candles and anything else that is part of your journey as a creative entrepreneur! I’m a Navy Veteran and a lifelong creative! This isn’t my first foray in creative entrepreneurship. I’m also an award-winning sculptural basket maker under the name Ten Dots Textiles. That side of my life in on hiatus right now as I grow the candle side of things. I’ll be back doing that next year. Working with entrepreneurs to create signature fragrances for their business is a new service for Fair Winds Candle, and one we’re hoping to grow. Helping a brand find their voice through scent is exciting and always a challenge that I’m willing to accept! I’m looking forward to helping other businesses like Bleu Bee Designs make a signature scent for their clients in the coming seasons.
So there you have it, the birth of our very first product! Give Tenisha a follow over on Instagram @fairwindscandle and her website.
I am proud to say we have sold two dozen candles in the first two weeks of pre-order. As of August 15th, you’ll be able to purchase your own bit of the Bleu Bee experience through our new online storefront
“Curated by Brittany“.
And we’re just getting started …
There’s even more excitement to come over the next several months with Curated by Brittany, including one-of-a-find vintage and antique pieces, pre-fixe digital design boards with a hand selected shopping list, fabric & wallpaper selections, and eventually home décor, accessories, art & furnishings! This is just the very beginning of Curated and I’m so thrilled to have each one of you here with me.
Brittany “Bee” Zimmerman