....well trust me, I am not looking forward to the 3rd signal from the universe!
So first of all last night, I find that my toilet was blocked, it happens from time to time, so I tried to unblock it - all I can say is HELL'S TEETH! Let's all block out that mental picture! Fast forward to this morning when I got into the car and I observed that my windscreen had been visited by something around the size of a flying cow I presume - was this a second sign to remind me that life can sometimes be sh*t? I can take a hint universe, I'm not sure that I need to see that 3rd sign! Needless to say I have been watching were I have been stepping for the rest of the day.
It does however, coincide with the announcement that I have had to cancel candle making workshops in one of my venues in Darlington for the foreseeable future - just as we were looking forward to the beginning of a return to some sort of normal (if normal is sitting a metre apart wearing visors of course). Fear not, we will return in 2021 (I know, where did 2020 go when 2021 is already being mentioned) and I have set up a button on the WORKSHOPS page in order for you to leave your contact details so you can be notified when we set up the new candle making workshop schedule next year. Goodness knows we need something to look forward to!
At present there are still two workshops going ahead this year in Whitley Bay and in Sedgefield but they are currently SOLD OUT. I have add an enquiry today about potential Zoom call workshops - where the materials are sent out to you in advance and then tuition is provided online, so if anyone is interested in trying that out, then please get in touch by email.
I will leave you with a photo of the lovely alkamy dog Enzo, enjoying a paddling in the sea - well, just because! Until next time!
Excited to announce a new venue and location for the candle making workshops - Lot64 based in Darlington! Lot64 will play host from Sat 25th January 2020 for the first of hopefully many workshops in the new County Durham location and candle making is just one of many other workshops that the venue currently offers. Check out the booking page for more details including details on how to book your place by clicking here.
The Christmas Candle Making workshops will be next on the agenda before we get to Darlington of course! Sedgefield is completely sold out but Whitley Bay still has some places available for the November and December dates. Again you can book online using this link.
Until next time!
Many thanks, Kay
Welcome to the February 2019 Newsletter! Just to keep you up to date with the upcoming Candle Making Workshops.
Unfortunately, the next workshop on Sunday 3 March in Sedgefield is SOLD OUT, however for those of you who can make it into Newcastle on Tuesday 5 March, I will be attending the ever popular LADIES LUNCH CLUB at the wonderful Blackfriars Restaurant. The event starts at 11am, and includes a glass of fizz on arrival. I will be doing a tea-light candle making demo and this will be followed by a three course lunch, glass of wine and coffee for the bargain price of £27.50. Anyone wanting to stay behind and join me on the full candle making workshop after the lunch event, can do so for an additional £22.50. Tickets are being sold exclusively by Blackfriars, but they can be purchased online by clicking here.
There are currently 3 places left at the next Whitley Bay Candle Making Workshop on Saturday 30th March at 2pm at Re-Create Today, Park View, Whitley Bay. Tickets are available online on the website, click here to book.
We are adding another 2 workshops at the new classrooms within The Glasshouse in North Shields. We have an evening class, for those who have requested an evening session, on Thursday 14th March starting at 6.30pm and an Easter Holiday special event for Parents and Children to attend together on Thursday 11th April starting at 11am. Click on the event links above to book online. Please note that the parent and child workshop requires an adult to be present at all times to supervise the child and the workshop is not recommended for children under the age of 10 years. I don't recommend any of the candle making workshops for anyone who is pregnant.
I will be taking a short break after Easter and putting all workshops temporarily on hold until after GCSE season (wish me luck, it's more terrifying having your child go through them than doing them yourself!) but look out for details of the workshops starting up again after the summer.
If you have any questions, please email Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org
That is all for now! ka
Open House and The Spare Room - Howay Inn.....
New locations for the candle making workshops have now been added to the website! The first is an amazing indy shop and workspace in Low Fell, Gateshead called Open House and The Spare Room headed up by Richard Murr - I couldn't resist making a few purchases the last time I was there (and I can neither confirm nor deny having some of the gorgeous Elivs and Kresse products posted out to me after their recent pop up shop there!). Richard specialises in vintage clothing and works hard to source fabulous ethically produced clothing, accessories and skincare for Open House and then has designed an amazing workspace downstairs in the shop, known as The Spare Room. I am going to be using The Spare Room to hold a candle making workshop on Saturday 10th Nov 2018 at 2pm. At the time of writing we have 3 spaces left on the workshop and it is being offered at the SPECIAL OFFER opening price of £25 per person (usual price £30). We will be using soy wax and a massive range of fragrance oils to create your very own scented container candles to take home with you (2 x 100ml candle tins). Tickets are available online - click here for details.
It's MY Retreat.....
Another one of my favourite places to visit is My Retreat in Cullercoats. A warm and welcoming place created by Julia Murray specialising in the most amazing spa therapies - I arrive stressed with muscles in knots and float out on a cloud of relaxed dreaminess! So I am thrilled to have been asked to co-host an event with Julia for her special 'Seasonal Spice' event. With a choice from 2 workshops or a full day to attend both workshops with a free lunch thrown in! The morning workshop will be hosted by Julia and will centre around essential oils specifically chosen for the Christmas season and I will host the afternoon workshop which will be candle making using essential oil blends. Tickets are available via My Retreat - checkout their Facebook Events Page with details of the events and links to purchase tickets online. Tickets start at £20 - £45 per person.
I do hope you can join me on either of the events and do make sure to head over to the facebook pages of My Retreat and Open House and give them a like and perhaps pay them a visit too!
Christmas Is A Coming.....
And finally, I am busy gearing up for the forthcoming Christmas Candle Making Workshops which we have scheduled in Whitley Bay, North Shields and Sedgefield in November and December. We will be making an extra large candle in a handmade metal container - this will be a bumper wax delight containing 400g of soy wax and a massive 40g of fragrance oil of your seasonal choice! I will be bringing along Gingerbread, Frankincense and Myrrh, Spiced Apple and the ever popular Christmas Spice with me. It's a great workshop for the run up to the festive period and will make a great gift for your loved one or you! There are a limited spaces left - check out the workshops page online for availability and to purchase your tickets online.
Bye for now!
Well that's all folks! Since opening the business and my online shop back in October 2014, I'm sorry to say that I have finally pulled down those virtual shutters and closed the online shop. I am no longer producing the handmade soy wax candles as it was becoming too much for little old me to keep up with! Family is still coming first and as my first born approaches his final GCSC year in school, I just feel that the time has come to press pause on candle making for a while.
It's been quite a journey and a most unexpected one as I had never pictured myself actually starting and running my own business. It just goes to show that you really can do when you just try! I have met some amazing people along the way, customers, fellow small business owners, crafters and retailers and I want to reach out and thank each and everyone of you for your support, encouragement and business.
The alkamy business name will still be around for a while longer though, taking a new direction into running candle making workshops and lip balm making workshops - something I have been doing for about a year now and which I have LOVED doing so much. It fits in better with family life and gives me an opportunity to pass on some skills in a relaxed environment and have some fun too.
Candle making workshops are currently run, and will continue to run, in Whitley Bay and Sedgefield at Re-create Today and From Loft to Loved. Ad-hoc workshops are also held at The Glasshouse, in North Shields. Details of these workshops can be found on the WORKSHOPS page on the website and you can book online too. I am always on the look out for new venues to hold workshops, so if you own a cafe, workshop space etc. and would like me to come and run a workshop for you - please email at email@example.com for further details. I am currently working with a number of charity organisations to offer workshops, so all budgets and requirements can be accommodated.
Before I go, I just wanted to thank the following people for helping me out in the early days:
Sandra (Meander Gifts, Whitley Bay) for becoming my first ever retail stockist and who always promoted the products so well for me and who became a good friend along the way too - I love you dearly and you always make me laugh and smile! The final batch of candles has gone to the shop - so there are limited stocks available there.
Laura and Pete (Wild at Heart, Tynemouth) another great local retailer who opened their gift shop and gave me a chance! Thank you both.
Sara (The Crafters Makery) and Angela (The Glasshouse) who stocked candles when the Crafters shop was opened and who also got me on to the idea of running workshops!
Natalie (Newcastle University - Students Union) - who got me running workshops and made me realise that this was the way forward for me. You are a ray of sunshine, a ball of energy and I look forward to seeing you very soon.
And finally, to everyone of you who has placed an order, bought a candle, or just left nice comments - THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH! You have made a middle aged lady very, very happy!
Thank you all again and if you haven't attended a candle making workshop, come along - I would love to see you!
Happy snow day! Well the Beast From The East has certainly arrived! It's not too bad here in Whitley Bay (at the moment) and Enzo and I had much fun on our morning walk in the snow today - he LOVED playing in the white stuff and was very happy to meet a rather large snowman someone had built on the fields - thank you whoever you are!
Talking of having fun, many of you who have attended the Candle Making Workshops and Classes have been asking about bringing along your children with you as it was something that they would like to join in with too. I am happy to announce that I am now able to offer the classes to our younger audience, however, those under the age of 16 years must obviously attend with a parent or carer who will be able to supervise them. So if any of you would like to bring your children along with you, then please let me know. Each of you know your own child and their capabilities, however, I would recommend this sort of activity for those aged around 7+ years. You will be able to either work with your child or alongside them allowing them to make their own candles to take home with them.
I am also planning some fun children's activities with Alison at Recreate Today in Whitley Bay - more details will be available soon on the website and also on the alkamy Facebook events page. These activities will allow children to make some fun shaped 'pillar' candles using moulds they might just find around the house!
Well, that it about all for now! Take care, wrap up warm and enjoy the snow if you can!
Well, it has been busy here recently at alkamy HQ with Candle Making Workshops and Classes becoming a real priority in the business. Initially approached by the lovely Natalie from Newcastle University's Student Union GIVE IT A GO programme, to run some candle making classes and lip balm making workshops for the many students at Newcastle Uni, it has since become a massive part of my business.
I won't lie, I was more than a little nervous at the thought of delivering a class - after all, it's been almost 15 years since I left my more traditional professional IT career in the City of London behind, and that was the last time I had stood in front of an audience delivering any sort of presentation - could I still do it?? Within minutes of finding my feet, and lets face it, my love of just talking (for those of you who know me personally), I just went with it and loved it! It was from that chance introduction with the unstoppable ball of energy that is Natalie "Burlo" Burlison, that I decided to run more of these workshops and spread the love of candle making and share my skill set with others.
I am now running regular workshops and classes in Whitley Bay and Durham with more ad-hoc events popping up in Yarm, Wallsend, Gateshead and North Shields.
The workshops are very relaxed and informal, great to attend as a get together with friends or for those who just want to pick up a new skill. All materials and equipment are supplied, just bring an apron and leave with a couple of candles and some new friendships!
Details of the workshops are available on our WORKSHOPS page and tickets are available to purchase online for all our the current planned events. If anyone is looking to book alkamy to run a workshop for their friends (hen parties, baby showers, birthday celebrations), groups they run (WI, Guides etc) or if you are looking to host activity and events days at your own venue, then please get in touch either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the contact form at the bottom of the WORKSHOP page on the website.
Hope to see some of you at one of the candle making classes soon!
As another Christmas Eve beckons, I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Whatever you do this year, enjoy it and I hope that lots of you wake up tomorrow morning to some fantastic alkamy products under your tree.
Thank you for your ongoing support this year.
ka and "Santa Baby" Enzo x
Christmas means Craft Fairs...
After a busy couple of months here in Whitley Bay, cooking up new soy wax candles with a Christmas twist, we saw Winter Berry come back again with a bang after being such a big hit last year, and also a new kid on the block in the form of Christmas Spice - with it's traditional festive scents of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and orange. Both have been very popular both with retailers and at our Christmas Fairs alike. Black Plum and Rhubarb has been proving equally popular with you all and I am so pleased that you seem to love rhubarb as much as I do!
I've been doing a few of the Christmas Events in the region since late November, returning again to the ever popular Vallum Farm and NEVFEST Vegan Festival as well as new events at Woodhorn Museum and ending my events last weekend in North Shields at a personal family favourite for their Victorian Christmas Market. The weather was challenging to say the least on Saturday but many weren't put off and turned out despite the conditions. Sunday was so busy and thank you to everyone involved for making it such a memorable event. North Shields was not only the last event of the year, but also my last event ever as the demand from the retail sector increases, my time needs to be focused on production to keep up the supply! Selling my wares at these events has been a great experience and one which I will fondly remember. Meeting other producers and customers has been an amazing adventure so a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has attended these events, has bought products or passed the time of day with me.
I'm very pleased to announce that two new retailers are now stocking alkamy.co.uk products, the Vegan Organisation Viva are now stocking alkamy pure soy wax scented candles and organic hand and body cream, and Smile Health in Alnwick are also stocking our range of soy wax candles, reed diffusers and organic vegan friendly lip balms. Look out for new stockists on our website in the new year.
So here we are, 10 days left until the big day. I hope that you are ready for the event and are enjoying a relaxing run up to Christmas. For those of you who aren't bought, wrapped and ready to go, remember that we are still taking online orders here at alkamy. Delivery for Christmas should be made by 12pm on 18th December 2015, for any order after this date, please select next day delivery to ensure that you have your gifts in time. We can offer gift boxing and gift wrapping - just leave a note in the notes section on the checkout page, and we also have on offer our organic vegan friendly lip balm large slider tins on offer at £5 instead of £7 (while stocks last).
So may I now take the opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous 2016. Enjoy your holiday season, whatever you may be doing, and come back and see us in the New Year.
Farewell Summer, Hello Autumn
Well, it's been a while since my last blog - lots been going on here at Alkamy HQ to keep me otherwise engaged. I did find time to fit a holiday to Nerja in Spain during the final weeks of the Summer holidays and what a beautiful place it was to visit. I particularly enjoyed a visit to near by Frigilianna for their Fiesta Celebrations! It was great doing the tapas trail all through the town and lots of local traders out in the town centre displaying their wares - nice to be on the other side of the counter for a change! One of my favourite buys was a locally produced handmade soap in pomelo - I had to have that considering how well my summer limited edition candle, Pink Champagne and Pomelo, has been doing! Talking of which, it has sold so well (currently a close number 2 behind the best selling Black Pomegranate candle), that it is no longer a limited edition and is being added to the alkamy range as a permanent fragrance.
For Autumn we are proud to announce our new LIMITED EDITION fragrance of BLACK PLUM AND RHUBARB. It is bursting with deep, dark autumn plums and berries, pears, a hint of sweet peach and the unmistakable aroma of rhubarb. I love it and it is already selling well - we are already currently out of stock online in it's first week! There are limited stocks available at Wild at Heart in Tynemouth and Meander Gifts in Whitley Bay. I will be making more of them very soon.
Read All About It
I was lucky enough to have a sit down and talk to Lucy Richardson from www.expressnorth.co.uk recently. Following a career in journalism, Lucy has decided it's time to set up her own online publication specialising in the inspiring stories of women in the North and asking us to join in and celebrate together. Lucy has written a beautiful article about me and the reasons behind creating alkamy - thank you Lucy it was a pleasure. You can see the article in full at http://expressnorth.co.uk/analyst-turned-alchemist-creates-alkamy/_
While attending events, I come across some very talented crafters, artists, designers and makers. One of which I wanted to draw your attention to. Oakwood Soaperie, based at Gibside, is the brainchild of Ceri, who makes the most wonderful soap blocks using traditional methods and natural ingredients. Me and my children - who all have very sensitive skin, have been using her Carrot and Sweet Orange soap and I can't recommend them enough. Every other soap, shower gel etc. I have used has left my skin extremely dry and I have seen a major improvement during the short time I have been using it - and it's SLS free to boot. Most importantly my children, who are suffer from eczema outbreaks, have had no problems using this soap and their skin has been reaction free. Her products can be found online at www.oakwoodsoaperie.co.uk - don't forget to check out her hand dyed silk scarf collection, all coloured using natural dyes and each one unique.