Much time has passed since we last blogged. So much has happened and there isn't enough time in the day to do all of it. Here's what's new...
1. By the Bay Botanicals has a new home at 7 East Main Street, Westminster, MD. Our Grand Opening was June 22, and was a big success. Granted we did have some computer burps in the first two hours but finally had that corrected before more customers came after 12 noon. Since the opening we have had many returned guests talking about how they loved their freebie candle and back for more or wanted to redeem coupons given out at the event.
2. We have a new employee - Crystal. She is our chief retail sales associate and store artist. Crystal, a Westminster native, has a lot to offer from an amazing creative talent in drawing, but shares our passion for our candles eager to share her own experience about the candles we offer and helpful for all who have questions. To boot she makes authentic dream catchers that we sell in our shop too!
3. We have two new candles - Westminster Candy Apple and Kentucky Vanilla Sunrise. While the Westminster Candy Apple candle is available on our website, the new Kentucky candle will be added shortly for all to purchase.
4. In store events and sales. To spread the work about our gift shop, By the Bay Botanicals Candle and Gift Shop, we are offering fun in store events and sales. Coming up we have ...
8/26/14 - Dog Day - Well behaved dogs welcome and all dog gifts are 15% off!
8/29/14 - College Color Day - Wear your college colors (McDaniel, Towson, U of MD, and so on)
and receive 10% off your entire purchase
9/04/14 - Macadamia Nut Day - Samples of Macadamia nuts plus all Hawaiian candles are 15% off!
9/07/14 - Grandparents Day - Show us your pics of your grand kids and get 10% off your entire
9/13/14 - National Peanut Day - Come in and get free samples of Recee's Peanut Butter Cups and
9/20-12 - Wine Weekend - In Celebration of The Maryland Wine Festival at the Carroll County Farm Museum, all of our wine glasses and wine candles will be 25% off!
9/28/14 - Drink Beer Day - 15% off our Beer Soap and Sarsaparilla candle!
Now - Sept. 22 - Enter our End of the Summer Vacation Photo Contest. Send us your favorite summer vacation photo for your chance to win one of two $25 store gift certificates. Details can be found on our Facebook page.
5. We'll be participating in Westminster's Fall Fest. Come Friday Sept. 26th as we'll be open from Noon - Midnight with many other shops and restaurants with special sales, refreshments and preview of Fall and Winter merchandise!
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have lots more planned for our gift shop so please follow us on Facebook to learn more about upcoming sales, candle news, contests, and more!
It is true. By the Bay Botanicals is retail bound. The owner of the business, Michelle Sholund, has started the process to rent a retail space which will be the company's first retail store. But wait there's more! A portion of the space will be designated for a workshop where all the candles, car fresheners and other products will be made in store. Currently all products are made in a small workshop at the owners home, where the business works from as of today, March 4th, 2014.
So when will this happen? Any day now! Michelle should be hearing from the necessary people with an approval to move forward. This includes having access to funds, signing a lease contract, and starting work on a getting it ready to open. A Grand Opening date will be set when the space has been officially confirmed.
So why a retail space? The answer is simple. The way we are able to sell to customers now is via our website, through wholesale orders to gift shops in the Mid-Atlantic region and direct to customers via art or wine festivals in Maryland. With many people buying from us at shows and wanting to re-order they are forced to order via the internet or wait until the next festival which may be another year away. Having a retail place not only will allow customers to come and shop from are large collection of scented products 6 days a week at a permanent location, but give us the additional space to produce our products and keep up with our growing demand. This is where By the Bay Botanicals is going to redefine retail shopping. Much like watching pretzels being made at Auntie Anne's, customers will be given a rare look at how our products are manufactured - from our workshop to the retail display shelf. When was the last time you saw the products you bought at a gift shop made right in front of you? Most likely never.
Some added surprises you will also find at the By the Bay Botanicals store will be:
- candle accessories like wick trimmers and dippers made in the USA
- a small selection Made in the USA greeting cards and gift bags for various occasions
- fun promotions such as Orange Wednesday and Purple Friday where if customers where orange or purple, they will receive an automatic discount.
- Seminars on topics like decorating with candles, travel tips (such as how to pack lighter or how book your next vacation on the cheap) with a local expert, and DIY projects using candles.
- Much much more!
Another perk about having a local retail shop allows us to do more and connect more with our community. We also hope to use this store as a tool to build local ties with other small businesses, work with non-profits, as well as add more jobs to the community offering perks and a fun work enviornment that big box stores cannot.
If you want to weigh in on your thoughts for this store such as suggestion something we should offer or even be on a mailing list if you would want to work for the company, leave a comment below or email us at Bythebaybotanicals (at) gmail.com. Stay tuned for more information if you want to see what is next on this fun journey!
Here at By the Bay Botanicals, we are super happy to finally announce that we do custom labeling for our candles and car fresheners as well as making custom candles for anyone! The future is now, in the world of having something special and personalized. Our cars, smart phones, even M&M's - we want them to be special and By the Bay Botanicals is able to do that too.
The company has been doing custom candles and labeling since the company started, however a plan of how to convey this to public has never been addressed. The process of having a custom labeled product is simple - just 5 Steps which include picking a scent, color, and what you want you want your labels to look like. All of the work is done in house - labels as well as the making of the products so turn around time is shorter than with most other companies. The average time to create an order from start to finish is 3 weeks. One week to create a mock up of the art work and tweaking it for approval followed by 1-2 weeks for production time. Large orders, such as those for gift shops, may take up to 4 weeks.
So, who would want a custom candle label or even car fresheners? Many people - from high school reunions favors, weddings, corporate promotional events, family reunions, retirement parties, even gift shops looking for a unique way to highlight the aromas of their region and sell them to their customers.
Prices vary depending on the volume of the order, but there is a one time customization fee of $30 per each custom product. To learn more visit our Customization Page of our website or Contact Us with your questions! - Michelle, Owner of By the Bay Botanicals
Carol, my mom and huge supporter of By the Bay Botanicals, revealed to me a few days before Easter that the growth was cancer. We told ourselves (rather fooled ourselves), believing prior to the news, there is no way it could be cancer as breast cancer doesn't run in our family. But apparently it isn't just a hereditary disease as many have thought it to be. My mom and I talked quite awhile about it sharing info she had learned from the doctors and so on. Sure the worst thought did cross our mind, but after a thorough consultation with those involved, we were quickly reassured that this type of breast cancer is easily treatable through surgery.
It is was that point my mom and I wanted to do something to help others with the news, fighting the fight, or at the very least help memorialize those who lost the battle of breast cancer. We came up with a simple promotion for the month of April - as April is the month Carol would be going through her surgery - that One Candle Can Make a Difference. Choosing three different pink candles from the Destination Scentsations candle line, the three we're offered them at a discount of $1.00 off and an extra $1.00 would then be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help with breast cancer research. To help promote this we simply did a video together posted on By the Bay Botanicals website and Youtube and linked it to Facebook and other social media outlets the company is involved with as well as word of mouth with people at our churches, friends and family. Since April is now over and all the orders have been filled, we can happily say 22 candles sold bringing our total donation from our customers to $22.00! As an added bonus, By the Bay Botanicals is going to match the amount for a total donation of $44.00. The payment will be made May 6, 2012. We aim to do another fund raiser come Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The feedback and outpour of support for my mom - who has heard every Facebook post, email, etc. - has truly helped her find hope and courage, but the fight has just begun. To date she had one surgery at Anne Arundel Medical Center to remove the tumor, but the results from the pathology report on April 29th showed not enough was removed. The surgeon has recommended another surgery to remove what is left, but an MRI needs to be done. The waiting is the worst as the shock mixed with fear makes both of us wonder "what if this doesn't work". However thoughts shift to wanting the whole thing to be over with and know it is importnat to stay positive. Again the encouragement, positive energy, & prayers is what really helps in staying focused.
This is why I would like to put it out there that there will be days in the near future that By the Bay Botanicals will not be holding regular business hours due to doctors appointments and to show our support. The business is a very small one. Family matters is more important than money here as you only have so little time with those who matter. This means we will try and answer all emails and phone calls as soon as possible - within a 24-48 hour turn around time. Orders may be processed in 3-5 days instead of 1-2 days. Production time for creating products that are either out of stock or close to being out of stock may take more time to process too. We merely ask for your patience. By the Bay Botanicals is not going anywhere we do think of our fans and friends as family and have a responsibility to you too as we want to continue to have that relationship with you. Thank you for your time and well wishes! I will keep you updated via Facebook on the progress.
~ Michelle Sholund, owner of By the Bay Botanicals
Spring Art Fair Season Begins!
Image used with permission of The Chesapeake Bay Trust
This past September By the Bay Botanicals ran a promotion, for the whole month, where 10% of the sales of our Maryland themed palm wax candles was donated to The Chesapeake Bay Trust. This consisted of retail sales from both our website as well as at art and craft shows during the month of September. On behalf of both businesses, we thank you all for your contributions!
The results? Of those candles that sold, $10 was made as a donation to The Chesapeake Bay Trust and with an added boost, By the Bay Botanicals added an additional $10 to help in the effort. The total may not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps. In addition to raising money, By the Bay Botanicals handed out pamphlets which has more info about The Trust as well as information on how to get a Bay License Plate at art fairs to those who have never heard about The Chesapeake Bay Trust. We also shared links to The Trusts website as well as sharing articles via our social media outlets from The Trust's social media sources - it is a start in the right direction. While we are still retweeting information from The Chesapeake Bay Trust, we currently, through this partnership, are working on finding more ways to help raise funds and awareness for the Trust as it is detrimental to help the Chesapeake Bay's fragile ecosystem which so many people in over 5 US states depend on for their livelihood.
To learn more about The Chesapeake Bay Trust, please click on the photo! Please share your thoughts, via the comment section about ideas you have or would like to see done with regard to this partnership for future promotions! We'd love to hear them and you never know, we might use your idea too! Thanks again for your support!
~ Michelle Sholund, owner and craft artist of By the Bay Botanicals
Starting this past August, By the Bay Botanicals became a partner with The Chesapeake Bay Trust. We both share a common goal - helping improve the environment - and teaming up only seemed to be the next logical step for By the Bay Botanicals to help work within our community and give back. Our small company is doing so through several different projects and our current project is our September Promotion: Save the Bay. During the month of September we're donating 10% of the proceeds of all of our Maryland themed palm wax candles to The Chesapeake Bay Trust. This money is goes toward supporting educational and restoration projects, such as the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, as well as grants ranging from small schoolyard habitat plantings to large scale restoration projects.
Here at By the Bay Botanicals we have initiated Go Green business practices such as:
Our business is making it even easier for our fans and candle lovers alike to help the environment by choosing to buy any size of our Maryland themed candles: Annapolis Sail Away, Baltimore Berry Blush, Chesapeake Bay Mist, Cambridge Classic Lavender, Cumberland Christmas Tree, St. Michael's Fresh Strawberry. For each one these candles bought either via this website or at our September art fairs, we will donate 10% of the sales of those candles to the Trust. As a sign of thanks, below check out a few of the photos from our property highlighting our pro-active environmental efforts.
~ Michelle Sholund , owner and craft artist behind By the Bay Botanicals
While July 4th is a time to watch fireworks and have backyard BBQ's, one thing is for sure there is no other day where USA's patriotic colors, red, white, and blue look so good. It is the one day where all the political issues subside for one day, neighbors are treated like family over a burgers and hot dogs feast, and those in the military are thank for their service to the country. Our question to you though is despite all these 4th of July traditions, are you proud to be an American? In the news there has been a lot said about defective products made overseas and a surge in finding and buying items Made in the USA. Items that are made in the USA means your friends, neighbors, or family members aren't losing their jobs to places overseas with horrible business practices. According to an article via www.madeinusa.org "The main goal of these U.S corporations is to increase profits. Macionis describes this by saying, "...global corporations enter these countries to gain access to raw materials, inexpensive labor, and vast markets....to lower tax liabilities and to move money from country to country, profiting from fluctuating currency rates"(276) Buying products from these companies is unpatriotic!
Now I ask you, with the candles you have bought in the past, are they made in the USA? Some companies, like Chesapeake Bay Candle Company - who still have 3 plants in China, are trying to bring jobs back to the US opening a plant in Maryland. However, next time you go to Target or Kohl's to buy one, look at the label to see where it was made. The same goes for those you see in Dollar stores or other department stores. We here at By the Bay Botanicals are proud to say that all of our candles (and other products) hand poured, packaged, designed and created in the USA, more specifically, in Maryland. We grow our own lavender and mint where other organic dried flowers and herbs are obtained through New England harvesters and manufacturers. The glass jars we use for our candles are made in California. Our oils are obtained through multiple US perfumers and distributors. Even our wicks are made in Pennsylvania. This goes to show that our money goes back into local and regional economies, and not overseas.
This 4th of July we challenge you to be more conscious of where you buy your products. Demand that more retailers find and support those companies who are in the USA and that you would buy those product if made available.
Have a safe and enjoyable Independance Day! - Michelle Sholund, owner of By the Bay Botanicals
Palm Springs Pear Berry Oasis
Each month we love to highlight a candle from our Palm wax Destination Scentations candle line that best fits that month. This June we're highlighting Palm Springs Pear Berry Oasis - a stunning soft peach/pink colored candle with a beautiful aroma of mixed berries and meaty, fresh pears. One whiff and you'll think you're transported to a breath taking desert spa complete with palm trees, tranquil pools and endless massages, just like the popular travel destination, Palm Springs. This makes a great gift for the super moms you know who never take time for herself, those who love to travel to Palm Springs or wish to go there, as well want a unique candle to burn for summer (it makes a great outdoor party candle too). Get yours now as through the month of June they're $1.00 off! Click on the photo for more info!
It's funny how so many people stumble across our business for so many different reasons yet there are two common questions we're asked a lot. One, how did the idea of making candles come about? The second, what is the inspiration behind each candle creation? Today we're going to answer both questions...
1. How did the idea of making candles come about? As the owner of the company, there's a funny story to this answer. We first started doing potpourri and room sprays and felt comfortable doing only those products. It wasn't until 2009 that more and more people kept asking, "don't you do candles?" The answer was no due to many name brand companies offering all kinds of candles, we didn't see By the Bay Botanicals able to compete. However, that didn't stop new people from asking the same question as well as offer reasons why they were unhappy with the leading brands - too much soot damaging their walls, the scent never lasted, and the issue of tunneling was just a few of the complaints we heard. What finally broke the resistance to not make candles was when a store owner shared their desire to want to offer personalized candles that were handmade, affordable and great smelling. We experimented with a candle kit, but didn't like it. However the same day, through some research, and interesting article about an amazing new type of wax, palm wax, made us want to try it out. It was fun to work with. The crystal effect that is so striking and unique only to palm wax, opened our eyes to a world of possibilities. Through even more research we learned how it was very eco-friendly, (coming from a renewable resource - the palm tree), there is no soot and smoke, and the scents we were using were bold and long lasting. Everything that we saw with palm wax also fits perfectly with our business standards - make great quality aromatic products using all natural resources. We couldn't keep it to ourselves and had friends, family and even fans of our original products try them out. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Looking back on the whole experience, it is hard to imagine us not making candles.
2. What is the inspiration behind each candle creation? Oddly enough, the candle line name was the inspiration to the candles By the Bay Botanicals creates now. Through the beginning phases of learning to make candles it was hard to see past doing something different than what other candle making companies were doing. Through this it we hard a hard time coming up with a vision for the candle line asking ourselves questions like what are others not doing and when you smell a candle what does it remind you of? It wasn't until the 2nd week mark of experimenting, I sprang up from a hard sleep and mumbled the words, "Destination Scentsations". It took me a few seconds to fully wake up and write down the words, and it was just perfect. The idea of smelling a candle and having that scent take you on a journey to any place you want - say your favorite travel destination is what no one else has done thus far. Ideas flowed from Key West Key Lime Pie to Chesapeake Bay Mist to Napa Valley Merlot. Today we have 30 different fragrances with more in the works. As the owner of By the Bay Botanicals, we create our own scents through blending of multiple high quality oils to capture what makes each travel spot unique pulling from different cultures, breathtaking views, and that locales' history which can be captured in a scent that pulls from those memories. Isn't that what candles should be about? Hopefully reading this blog, and exploring other parts of this website, inspires you to try one of our candles.
Thanks so much and keep asking questions! - Michelle Sholund, owner and craft artist
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.