Monday, November 9, 2009


Turning a Simple Candle into a Wonderful Gift
Coming Tuesday - November 10th

I’ve shared with you before that in the mid 1990’s I owned a brick and mortar store. Back then I made many trips to Market and I was constantly amazed by the fabulous new offerings I discovered year after year. I learned a great deal about retail marketing during those early days of business and out of necessity learned to pinch my share of pennies along the way.

Because my Shoppe was small I quickly realized some of the wonderful items I longed to carry were impossible for me to afford. In general, if I paid $10.00 for something wholesale, then USUALLY it retailed for approximately $20.00. This wasn’t always the rule mind you, but a 100% mark-up in the retail industry is fairly standard.

One year I purchased from an Importer some fabulous vanilla scented candles which smelled truly divine. They were about 6” tall and the outside shell was decorated with cinnamon sticks. If my mind serves me correctly the wholesale cost of each candle was $4.00. At Market they were displayed with all the bells and whistles and as a promotion the Showroom was giving huge discounts on case-lots. If I purchased 10 cases of 24 (that would be 240 candles) I could get them for $2.00 each. I was on cloud nine and quickly signed the order form on the dotted line. My nearly $500 investment SHOULD parlay into a tidy profit for my tiny business if everything went right…

When my candles came a couple of weeks later I couldn’t wait to tear open that first box! What I found stunned me! I honestly thought there had been a mistake! Inside the boxes were my candles alright, and they still smelled absolutely sinful. But, the packaging was dreadful! Worse than dreadful, even! The cello bags they were housed in were dingy and gray which made the candles look like they’d been on a thrift store shelf for a decade or more. I was terribly disappointed and even a bit afraid. I so needed the profit from those candles. That money alone would pay ALL my Shoppe’s expenses for the month and give me a little cash to reinvest.

Because I’m a very determined, hard-headed kind of gal (ask my Mr. AGPMan~ He calls me HM…that stands for High Maintenance!), I had to figure out SOMETHING to do! So, after thinking for two solid days and after investing $50 in an array of Christmas garlands, decorative berries and holiday paraphernalia, I set my mind in the direction of transforming each and every candle I had purchased. By the end of the week the candles were ready for sale. The transformation was complete and the cash register was beginning to sing!

Not only did I go on to sell every single candle in the lot, but I ended up learning an invaluable lesson about how a product is packaged and then subsequently marketed to the public. I don’t care how wonderful something is, if the box an item comes in is ugly, well then chances are most women (and even some men!) aren’t going to buy it!

On Tuesday I will be giving you a fairly short (and easy!) TUTORIAL on how you can transform even an inexpensive candle into something truly lovely. If your budget is tight this Christmas, then stay tuned!

Blessings as you let you try and avoid burning your candle at both ends while continuing to 'Let Your Little Light Shine'…Rebecca


passion4pink said...

OOOh can't wait, I am looking for christmas gifts for all my staff!!

Barbara Jean said...

Love this post. Thank you for sharing a part of your story, and how you turned things around with creative thinking.
Can't wait to see what you did.

Also, love the thought at the end. It is certainly the time of year that we burn the candle at both ends.
And, I have a tendency to get so focused on 'business', that i put family and friends at the bottom instead of the top of the list. I'm trying hard not to do hat this year.
It is also easy to forget who the Christmas season is all about. Christ, and His gift to us.

Blessings to you this special time of year.

barbara jean

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Rebecca,
Hello my sweet friend.
I am waiting anxiously to see what you share tomorrow. Everyone will have tight budgets this year I believe, and it is wonderful to learn something new that will add to a gift and make it special to whomever it is being given. I always appreciate what you have to share.

Have a beautiful Monday sweetie, and as always thank you for making my day today. I am always lifted when I leave here. It is like a breath of fresh air. Thank you sweet friend. Country hugs, Sherry

Faye said...

Rebecca, I enjoyed your post so much!May God Bless you!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Rebecca ~
That is so very true ~ I just love it when the packaging is pretty ~ It does make a big difference ~
I cannot wait to see what you did ~

Stacey said...

Can't wait! You are so right...the look matters alot. What does that say about us?

I recently discovered the Mainstay glass jar candles at Wal Mart for $5.00. They smell wonderful! Their label peels right off and we could easily make them into something pretty. Just an idea.

blushing rose said...

G'morn, Rebecca ~ Hope Miss K is doing better by now ... poor child has had her 'fair share' this year.

Everything you touch turns into magical beauty, so I shall look forward to this presentation of yours.

Christmas is so commercial that too often the true meaning is forgotten ...

I have pneumonia so I won't be out for a few days ... Hugs of love, TTFN ~ Marydon

Anonymous said...

You? Most Beautiful One, High Maintenance! Naw, I don't believe it! :) How wonderful to know you figured out a way to save your candles. I'll be looking forward to the tutorial tomorrow.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Dolores said...

What an interesting story..... you made lemonade out of what could have been lemons. A great lesson.
I'm looking forward to your next post.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Miss Gracie's House said...

Good morning Rebecca,
I am so with you on this...*presentation* is everything...and I *love* that attitude..."how can I fix this?" Can't wait to see them...I'm sure they are beautiful.
Thank you so much for sharing your heart with me in such an honest is an encouragement:)
Have a blessed week,

The Feathered Nest said...

You are so very right Rebecca!! After owning my own antique store I could see how customers responded to a beautifully packaged product! We are all very visual and with just a little thought and effort, a plain-jane item can be transformed into a star!! I look forward to your next post, have wonderful day sweetie ~ xxoo, Dawn

Barb said...

Hey sweetie, I so agree with you about how something is packaged. Did you know one third of the cost of cosmetics is put into the packaging? Yep. Amazing! If the packaging isn't pretty....women won't buy it...according to studies.

Can't wait for the tutorial.

Love, Barb ♥

Sandra said...

Ooh! I can't wait! I have a couple of candles that I just prettied up with ribbon and a bow! I have them on my fireplace mantle. Oh yes! the candles are in my pictures I took of my fireplace!
I'm excited to read your tuturial!

June said...

Hi Rebecca sweet,
I think you could make the tail end of anything beautiful! I cannot wait to see your tutorial!
I love this story of your determination and hard work and how it paid off for you.
Rebecca, I am so very inspired by you and all that you share with us. Knowing you, is one of the things I am most thankful for today.
Love to you,

Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Hello dear Rebecca,

Wow, what an interesting story. You did indeed make lemonade out of lemons. Can't wait to see what you have to share with us tomorrow.


Tara said...

I can't wait to see it! You're naughty for keeping us all in suspense!

cottagepinkperfection said...

OOOOOOOh can't wait. Dollar store here I come. LOL! So kind of you to share your talents with us!

Caroline said...

Looking forward to your tutorial Rebecca, I can't wait!! What an inspiring story, thanks for sharing.

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Hi Sweetest Rebecca....

How lovely of you to share these awesome tips.....You're right for sure....we gals LOVE the stuff in the cute packaging, don't we? It really is all about that. I LOVE getting a present all packaged up with frills and flowers. Lots of people are feeling a bit pinched money wise this year so these tips are going to be very helpful...

Happy birthday to Miss K too. I've been so busy and haven't been over to visit nearly enough.

Have a wonderful weekend.


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