Greetings everyone and Happy 2015! We are expecting a lot going on here at By the Bay Botanicals - both with our products as well as our retail location at 7 East Main Street in Westminster, MD.
First, we just celebrated 7 months of being open at our Westminster location and celebrating this milestone. In planning on opening a retail location, the pressure is on to make it a success. Today so many people open a retail or restaurant and not have a not of experience nor a plan in place. We are lucky in that we did have a business plan, a marketing plan and design plan all in place before opening the location. What really helped is being apart of an incubator with the town of Westminster helping me with all the little things like handling building codes, planning the grand opening, offering resources and help from the Chamber of Commerce, Carroll County Economic Development center, and mentors regarding marketing and future strategy. The free support has helped us stay open and couldn't have done it without them. For anyone reading this thinking about starting their own business, go to your local county's business resources and simply introduce yourself you will be amazed there is a lot of help available to help you achieve your dreams.
Second, new products! It is hard to believe when we opened our doors in June 2014, how much products are needed to fill a store. The gift shop started out with a few items like wine slushy mixes and wine accessories, some pet products, some office gifts and partially filled candle shelves with our own merchandise. Today we doubled our gift offerings and continue to grow. The goal was to offer items that compliment our travel inspired candle line with fun and funky gifts with an emphasis on eco-friendly and Made in the USA. We have held true to those core goals and adding things like Chippers, flavorful chocolate bark bites. They are super addictive and come in nice small packets - perfect for on the go. From chocolate we go to dips and soup mixes from Texas. The company is called Carmie's Kitchen and their products focused on homemade foods and brilliant packaging have won several food awards as well as Best New Product at the Philadelphia Gift Show 2015. Their catchy named dips and other gourmet foods are out of this world flavorful and super excited to carry their dips like JR's Ranch, Guacamole Dip, and BLT, plus soups such as Chicken Enchilada and Papa's Potato. We're adding more local souvenirs with the help of those from Parttime Pioneers and their amazing Wood Transfer Art, blue crab stationary from California, several Maryland companies with super unique souvenirs ranging from original crab art work made into tea towels and mugs to Westminster souvenirs with horses and farmscapes on key chains, magnets, and the like. We continue to sell Beer Soap made in the Mid-West as well as carrying new scented goats milk all made in Frederick, MD from goats milk right in the Frederick area.
Lastly, we have have been experimenting with different and new fragrances and starting in February will be announcing some new candle fragrances. Our first one will be Ireland inspired, just in time for St. Patrick's Day. We have a few more in the works, and just trying to figure out just the right name to name them. We are still working on getting our wax tarts made and up on the website, but it is a real time consuming task. Check out our progress though via our website.
One more thing... be sure to like us on Facebook. We have almost 1,900 followers and want it to grow. Often sharing videos about our candles, pics of new products and neat tips and events, the best way to stay in the loop is to Like our page. We are now on Instagram too! More about that in our next blog post... Until next time... Stay warm and safe!
Michelle, owner of By the Bay Botanicals
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.