We just got back from the summer Philadelphia Gift show and this is what we learned...
We finally recovered from the grueling time setting up, selling and breaking down our booth at the Summer Philadelphia Gift Show that occurred July 21-25. We made a lot of new friends - both other exhibitors as well as with new buyers all sharing amazing stories of how they started their businesses.
The last time By the Bay Botanicals was at the Philly Gift show was in 2013 and a lot has changed in the span of 5 years. The layout of the show was different and for us we chose to be apart of the Handmade/Makers Market section reserved for those who handmade their products. We came back because we want to acquire more wholesale accounts with gift shops/buyers - that range from hospital gift shows, souvenir shops, and even subscription box services - to help share our unique palm wax candles and other gifts with our area - Mid Atlantic and beyond.
We did have one big take away, that we learned, from this event. No matter how prepared you are, still expect the unexpected. What that means applies to multiple examples I experienced.
One example was while By the Bay Botanicals wasn't the only candle maker at the event, which was a known from past experience, but instead at least 15 different candle makers exhibited at the event. Most of them were soy based. Some professional brands like A Cheerful Giver and McCalls are long time exhibitors, while others were handmade by local artists testing the waters. The feed back from our buyers is that they loved our packaging, the colors and style of jars really stands out and caught their attention, and the scents really were natural, not fake. The one thing that really solidified the sale was the fact that we have a money back guarantee if for whatever reason the buyer is not satisfied. Standing behind your product means a lot to gift shop buyers because reassurance that trying something is risky and knowing that we guarantee products eliminates that risk. So, despite having a lot of competition - more candle sellers than before, knowing your product and offering something that stands out, affordably priced and guarantee your work, can really mean the difference of being passed up to closing a sale.
Another example of expect the unexpected related to the weather. The whole time the gift show took place the whole area - most of Pennsylvania and Maryland, experienced the worst rains with lots of flooding in years. Many roads, airports, and even amusement parks were closed due to flooding and flooding condition. This meant attendance was at an all time low. But it didn't keep all people away, each day we did bring on a new buyer who will be carrying our line of candles. A majority of our buyers came from New Jersey! The weather did give us time to really get to know and network with our neighbors some of which we shared leads of people we knew that may be an interested buyer.
Lastly, the last example stems from the fact that while many rate the success of a show by how many orders you get at the event, most forget orders still happen after the event. This is something we are familiar with from last time we attending the gift show. This time however we are being more proactive in following up with people whom we have exchanged business cards or given out sales packets. Despite the fact the Philly Gift show is over, we are very happy fill new orders with new clients, following up and answering questions from potential buyers about to place their first order and more.
If you are a gift shop owner looking to carry a unique line of candles, visit By the Bay Botanicals wholesale page, http://www.bythebaybotanicals.com/wholesale-inquiry.html. Note we do offer private labeling too - perfect for highlighting local landmarks, add a photo of your store front or state your website on the label of too. If you were at the Philadelphia Gift Show and what to share your experience, comment below!!!
~Michelle Sholund, owner of By the Bay Botanicals
Have you ever wanted to learn more about palm wax candles but don't know where or how to start? Would you like to learn a new skill, like candle making, to start your own small business from home? What's holding you back? Possibly finding the right information to get you started? You have come to the right place!
Michelle here, founder of By the Bay Botanicals, and I want to let you know you are not alone! I became fascinated by palm wax candles 10 years ago when I received one as a gift. I tried finding as much info as I could on the topic of palm wax and palm wax candles, but sadly the info I found was vague and inconsistent. I was lucky enough to find a palm wax candle kit and was able to make my first candle. It was fun, but trying to find the right candle supplies that worked with palm wax was a huge challenge. One that resulted in a lot of wasted time and money experimenting with different wicks, fragrance oils, and dye.
Fast forward to the present... I created and perfected my own unique line of candles and started my own candle business - By the Bay Botanicals. To this day I still make palm wax candles and sell them on the company's website, to mom and pop gift shop wholesale clients, as well as offer private label/custom candle orders too.
The one thing that hasn't changed is the fact that the information about palm wax is still the same - inconsistent and the information is still pretty vague. That is why I have decided to pull all my notes and research together to create an in depth online course geared to those who want to learn not just the basics when it comes to palm wax candle making, but everything about palm wax candles. The course, which is being created right now and will be released in a few weeks, will cover topics like what is palm wax and what is the truth behind the rumors and negative press that involves the palm oil industy, what makes palm wax candles so unique, knowing exactly what equipment and supplies that are needed to make them as well as where to get the supplies, an in depth step by step process showing exactly how to make a candle, tips on how to spot and fix common palm wax candle making issues, as well as the 4 W's when it comes to taking the skill of learning how to make candles and apply that knowledge and start one's on home based business to make money doing something you love. The online course even includes a full palm wax candle making kit where in the matter of 1-2 house you'll be able to make 6 candles to enjoy or give as gifts with info on how to get more supplies too.
If any of this sounds at all intriguing, and you want more information, click the link below to download a free palm wax ingredient and equipment checklist. Consider it a gift to tide you over until we are able to announce when enrollment in the course is open to students. As a bonus, the checklist has a resource guide sharing online candle suppliers I recommend for obtaining candle making supplies too. I really hope you take the first steps to inquire more about the course so you too can learn to do something fun and rewarding while getting paid to do it too.
~ Michelle Sholund, founder of By the Bay Botanicals
this business is for sale...
Could the new owner be you? As the current owner, Michelle Sholund, is spreading her entrepreneurial wings to fully work on her other small business, My Staycation Box, and has had to take time off to care for her mother, she feels it is time to step down as owner of the business. Which opens the door of opportunity for others who have dreamed of owning a business - that happens to be fun too, this might be it.
By the Bay Botanicals is an established candle manufacturing company - all candles are made in house (in the USA) by Michelle along with the other scented products also produced by the company. What sets this company apart from others is that By the Bay Botanicals uses 100% palm wax making for a truly clean burning candle, in multiple sizes, that comes in a large array of colors and scents which are all inspired and named after popular travel destinations.
An ideal owner could very well be an already established business say a soap making business or other type of candle business hoping to expand it's product base to a person hoping to run a business that is already up and running, with a trade secret formula and established brand and following without the risk of starting a new business from scratch.
If this sounds interesting to you click on the button below for details and to talk to the broker handling the sale of the business.
It's long over due - an update!
Happy Memorial Day weekend! We hope all of our wonderful fans get a chance to salute and honor those who have given their lives during their military career which have be cut too short. May God Bless you all - family and friends of fallen heroes!
Reflecting on this holiday it seems like By the Bay Botanicals has grown silent over the past few months. I can assure you it is alive and kicking. The main reason why you have not heard of any updates is because of a recent partnership with My Staycation Box, a monthly subscription box service that is all about delivering a vacation in a box for those who need an escape but can't drop everything and go. The box itself contains amazingly curated products sourced from or inspired by different destinations each month - right up the alley for By the Bay Botanicals since we pride ourselves in offering products that are inspired and named after popular travel destinations. By the Bay Botanicals is the exclusive provider of all the scented gifts for the box which involves creating new scented products for destinations we have not explored yet.
In the next few weeks, those new scents will be made available through our website for our fans to buy. Some of those scents include Jamaica Rum Punch (tropical fruit punch scent), Australia Koala Kiss (eucalyptus scent), New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade (a festive, spa like scent) and Greece Fresh Baked Baklava. Since By the Bay Botanicals is still a small business, it is a time consuming process to create and test new fragrances for My Staycation Box as well as find the time to photograph and add them to the By the Bay Botanicals website. This is something we are going to remedy over the next few weeks especially due to the requests of wanting to additional products from those just learning about By the Bay Botanicals via My Staycation Box.
You may have noticed the website has finally gotten a facelift! This is something we are very happy with, but still tweaking. It is our goal to make it easier for people to navigate such as have easier access to learn about additional scents that are similar to ones browsers are searching for, make the check out process simple and easy, among many other aspects of the website better optimized with our fans in mind.
For those who may not have been keeping up with where is By the Bay Botanicals today... We moved from our warehouse location in Westminster back to the original home based location in Reisterstown. The move was simply due to the one year lease running out and did not want to rush into a decision of another warehouse or retail space without seriously considering all options. While space is tight in our current workshop, we are making it work to meet the demand of both our wholesale and regular clients. Only time will tell how long we will stay at this location, but right now it is home and very happy here.
What else is going on? Our focus is to continue to offer more of the great scents and products we are known to offer. We want to connect more with gift shop owners across the nation, not just those in the mid-atlantic region to carry our line of goods. We are working towards offer more interesting and fun content via our social media channels including running contests and offering coupon codes for different upcoming holidays, and reconnect with our followers by asking their input on new products we released as well as ideas on how to make them better. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.
On that note, we want to know what you think! Comment below with your thoughts and ideas for By the Bay Botanicals. What is it that you like the most about the company? What would you like to see us do more or better? Have any burning questions you would like to ask us and we answer? Again, comment below and we will respond to each and every one!
Thanks for your time and do burn your candles safely!!
Michelle Sholund, Founder and CEO of By the Bay Botanicals
What's new at by the bay botanicals for 2017?
First of all, greetings and welcome to 2017! For those returning you may notice a new layout on the By the Bay Botanicals website. This is something we have talked about doing for some time, yet each time we start, time constraints get in the way. As we continue to spruce up the website we will be adding product listings such as photos of room sprays and wax tarts available for purchase.
Another piece of big news is that in 2017 By the Bay Botanicals will be temporarily moving back to Reisterstown! It has been one year since we moved out of our gift shop and into a warehouse location. We signed a year lease and it is amazing how fast one year goes by. Since the owner of By the Bay Botanicals also started another business, My Staycation Box, a decision has been made to not renew the lease and transition back into being a home based business for a short period of time and continue to make the company's candles and other scented products there. Until the moving transition is completed, people may find some delays in orders placed over the By the Bay Botanicals website. This is a good move as the company makes important decisions on how to grow without the pressure of making irrantional snap decisions that may affect the company long term.
This 2017 also brings an opportunity regarding marketing opportunities which involves working with subscription box owners to include our candles in future box offerings. It is a great way to get our items into the hands of people who have never heard of By the Bay Botanicals while also growing the brand in ways we were not able to do so before. Currently By the Bay Botanicals scented goods are being featured in My Staycation Box, a subscription box that delivers a vacation experience to subscribers doorsteps each month. Since the products offered at By the Bay Botanicals are inspired and named after popular travel destinations, this fits very well with our brand. Know of a subscription box that you think would be a great match for By the Bay Botanicals, suggest it in the comment section below!
Lastly, we are in the process of signing up for a few art and wine festivals this Spring! It has been a while since we have sold our candles at shows, but we have not forgotten how! We hope you will join us. Event dates and places will be listed on our Events page as information is confirmed.
With all that is going on in our neck of the woods we encourage you to stay connected with us by liking and following us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/bythebaybotanicals) as well as Instagram (www.instragram.com/bythebaybotanicals) Until our next blog post, we hope you stay well and warm this winter and always think of us for your candle needs! - Michelle Sholund, owner
Vlog Episode #4 - Why Does By the Bay Botanicals Handpour Our Candles Verses Have Them Mass Produced Overseas?
This week we answer Ryan's question, "why do we choose to made make our products verses having them pass produced overseas?" Additionally we tackle the importance of supporting local artists over products you can get a Big Box Stores.
The answer to this is in 3 parts covering the importance of quality, how handcrafted products often have a remarkable story, and how your money helps people you know achieve financial success on their own verses supporting big corporate retailers who's biggest concern is to make big profits at the expense of having poor quality, cheap products and keeping employee wages low.
This is a goodie - and encourage you to share as well as comment below with your thoughts as well as any suggestions for future episodes.
Catch up on company news here at By the Bay Botanicals! Here's what you can expect to read:
We hope you enjoy!
Thanks for checking us out on our blog series - Why Does By the Bay Botanicals...
Each week we answer a question you pose us through social media, email, or through the comment section of our blog and other sites. Today we answer Why do we name our candles after popular travel destinations? In the video we not only talk about the origin of how we looked deeper into the niche of doing travel inspired candles, but show some examples too to better illustrate how it's all about the branding. Please share with your fellow candle lovers and friends - we really want folks out there know our candle line - Destination Scentsations, is a better alternative to sooty candles and scented candles where the fragrances fade quickly. Enjoy!
In this episode we answer the great question - why are our candles designed the way they look today? Well, it didn't happen over night, but several years of experimenting. From the very beginning we knew we wanted our candles to look different from all the others you see in shops - they had to stand out from traditional mason jar type candles. This episode takes a look at our journey of how our candles evolved. Here we talk about the style, the shape and how that helps make our candles burn better, and the transitions we went though to make them stylish jar candles that are incredibly sticking and makes you want to touch and smell them. Please comment with your thoughts on this video as well as post future questions you would like to see us answer on a future episode! AND SHARE!!!
I am the owner of By the Bay Botanicals. We want to stay connected to you, and through this blog we aim to share with you tips and tricks to buying and burning candles as well as read up on what goes on behind the scenes at By the Bay Botanicals. Feel free to comment, and comment often as well as share with your friends and family.
Wish to contact me directly about questions or comments, visit our contact page.