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.
Do you want to be the teacher's pet?
Well the countdown to the school holidays has started! To those already enjoying their holidays - hope you are having a great time and to those still at school, hang in there, it's not long to go now!
Here at alkamy.co.uk we have been busy cooking up lots of treats so you can help say thank you to your Teacher or Teaching Assistant with something that they would really love. There is the alkamy #1 pure soy wax candle, complete in the fragrance of your choice, all cooked up here in Whitley Bay using the finest pure unblended soy wax and some fantastic fragrances, alkamy #2 pure soy wax candle in a heart shaped tin and the new alkamy candle #8 candle in a mini heart tin which can be used as a super cute tealight. Organic lip balms and organic hand and body cream would also make the perfect gift to give to your child's teacher. From now until the end of the summer term you can also use the coupon code TEACHERPET online at alkamy and receive 20% off your purchases.
NEW PRODUCT INFORMATION - MINI HEARTS AND VEGAN LIP BALM
Just a quick note about a couple of new products which are being added to the range. Mini alkamy pure soy wax candles are now available in the full range of alkamy fragrances. They are super cute tealight size candle tins and are great as an add on gift and also as wedding and party favours. They are available online at alkamy for the great price of £2.50 each.
Also coming soon is our great, super moisturising, organic lip balm in a vegan friendly version. We will be using the same great organic natural ingredients as our standard version, but the beeswax will be replaced with a natural vegetable Candelilla Wax to make it perfect for our Vegan customers. It should be available online within the next couple of weeks and available in all of the existing flavours.
Well, that's it for now! Remember if you want hand made, hand poured unblended pure soy wax candles, produced in Whitley Bay, organic hand made lip balms and hand creams - you know where to come!
Until next time - take care.
www.alkamy.co.uk / pure soy wax candles / organic skincare / whitley bay /north east england
NEVFEST - NORTH EAST VEGAN FESITVAL
First of all a great big vegan shout out to the organisers and attendees of the North East Vegan Festival (NEVFEST) which was held last Sunday, 31st May 2015 at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland. It was a fantastic event and so many of you turned out and made it such a massive success so THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It was great to meet some really great customers with some positive feedback and comments and some amazing fellow traders - there was a real buzz throughout the day. The event not only brings great products and producers to you, but also helps raise money for a great charity the FARPLACE ANIMAL RESCUE CENTRE, which while we are talking of them are opening a brand new charity shop this coming Saturday 6th June in Clayton Street in Newcastle. They will be selling a whole host of donated items as well as new vegan products many of which you may have come across at the event. Head over and see them sometime next time you are in Newcastle and if you can't get there, head over and give their Facebook page a great big LIKE! Good luck guys - hope it goes well!
Alkamy.co.uk will be taking their hand made 100% pure soy wax candles, organic lip balms, hand creams and reed diffusers to the following events, it would be great to see you there too!
Saturday 6th June 2015 - Morpeth Town Hall Art and Crafts Fair
Sunday 7th July 2015 - Whitley Lodge Community Spirit Big Summer Fair, Whitley Bay
Saturday 13 & 14th - Medieval Mischief, Castle Keep, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Until next time,
Some customers may already be aware that there are changes coming into practice from the 1st June 2015 regarding the labelling of products and for the first time these will now include Candles, Room Sprays and Reed Diffusers. The new CLP labels will be displayed on all candles and other home fragrances items from the 1st June 2015, however, as many items are already in the marketplace it may be some time before you as the customer actually see any of these labels on your products.
There are a number of new pictograms on the labels which will replace the old orange style warning labels that we have seen now for many years on our household products. Along with this the Fire Safety Pictograms, under EN15494, will also be included on the labels and relate to the safe burning of candles.
A new document has been added to our website and can be found on the footer of each page of the site. This contains details of all the pictograms and their meanings which customers may start to see soon on their home fragrance items. Further information can also be found on the European Chemicals Agency website (http://echa.europa.eu/).
Although Alkamy candles are made from 100% pure soy wax, and that this is not a hazard under the new regulations, the fragrances added to candles are included under the new regulations and therefore CLP labels will be added to our candles and reed diffusers from the 1st June 2015.
So, here in Whitley Bay, we will be making up a LOT of labels over the next week - candle making will have to wait!
First of all, a big shout out to the good folk at Whitley Bay Big Local #WBBL for organising the Whitley Bay Carnival which was held today. The sun behaved and shone all day and ensured that a great day was had by all! It was a really great atmosphere and it brought back childhood memories of when the seafront was a thriving place to be. It was really well organised, great live street entertainment and some great live music too. It was lovely to see that it was so well attended and I look forward to seeing this event return again next year. Once again, big up for the Big Local!
Second shout out this week goes to Good Day Organics, a great organic skincare company based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, who are selling Alkamy Candles at their stand at Europe's biggest Vegan Festival this weekend in Bristol (VEGFESTUK). It sounds like it is going to be a great day and hope that Chris and his team have a great event! Alkamy will be taking our hand poured soy wax candles to the NEVFEST - North East Vegan Festival next weekend in Sunderland at the Stadium of Light (see here for further details) so we hope to see you there. For those of you who don't have your tickets yet, you can pay on the door.
Alkamy attended a great Charity Ladies Shopping Evening last night in Gosforth in aid of Macmillian Cancer Support. The event was really successful and congratulations to Pam Horden for organising the sold out event. A throughly good time was had by sellers and buyers alike and it was wonderful to meet some really lovely new customers - I hope you enjoy your products.
We will be attending the following events over the next few weeks:
Until next time!
So recently, on another night shift candle pouring session, I realised that in the batch of Alkamy #1 Candles I was making that I was pouring my 1000th candle! It really did take me a little by surprise that 6 months after production first started at www.alkamy.co.uk, when I was working out numbers and prices for my first 100 soy wax candles, here I was heading into 4 figures! On a personal level, it made me incredibly proud that I am doing something right and making a product that others like too. So thank you, to each and every customer who has bought an alkamy hand poured, soy wax candle. Whether it was the fact that you liked the fragrances, the fact we only use 100% pure unblended soy wax, the fact that they were hand poured and handmade, or whether you just felt sorry for me (!), thank you all for getting me to this milestone.
To celebrate this, I thought that it was only fitting that we celebrate and share the love a little. So the 1000th candle has been specially marked with a sticker inside the candle lid and a voucher inside the candle box, so from the outside no one knows which is the winning box - and now that it is mixed in with my stock, even I don't know! The buyer could find the special candle by either buying online at www.alkamy.co.uk, at one our retailers or directly from me at one of our direct selling events. Once the prize is found, the winner will be able to follow the instructions on the voucher inside the candle box and contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and claim their prize. The winner will receive one of each of our core fragrance Alkamy Candle #1 and the limited edition fragrance (5 candles in total), a full size organic linen and pillow mist, a full size jar of organic hand and body cream and a large slider tin of organic lip balm.
So happy buying customers - can't wait until the winning candle is found!
Until next time - Take care.
Handmade Pure Soy Wax Candles / Organic Lip Balms / Organic Hand and Body Cream/ Whitley Bay / Made in England UK
Wow, is it really May already? Hope you all had an enjoyable Easter - it was nice to have a break for a little while and we even managed to fit in a canal boat holiday but now it's back to business again!
There are a few events I will be attending in the coming weeks, so lots of manufacturing again to get stocks prepared for those. I will be supporting the local Whitley Bay Spring Fair in the Centre of my home town on Sat 16th May, followed by a Ladies Shopping Evening and Charity Event in Gosforth the following Friday. Then looking forward to June there is a fantastic event organised by Time and Tide Events based at Newcastle Keep in Newcastle - really looking forward to that and seeing the recently refurbished castle.
Still working on some new prototypes - hoping that they will work out as I plan as I LOVE them! And also have been testing a new range of bath and shower products which smell particularly lovely! Looking forward to Summer and the next Limited Edition fragrance - still busy sniffing out that next fragrance. And if that wasn't enough, I am also looking at some new packaging options.
Have managed to fit in a couple of networking meetings and some workshops too and meet some fellow business woman who are all so wonderfully supportive and encouraging of each other - it's a joy to be a part of it.
Well, back to work - more candles to pour before bedtime!
Handmade Soy Wax Candles / Organic Lip Balms / Organic Hand and Body Cream/ Whitley Bay / Made in England UK
Still lots going on here at Alkamy and yet another late night blog as I try to maintain that elusive work-life balance. When someone finally finds that, do let me know!
I was very pleased to hear that some of you that you got Alkamy candles for Mother’s Day gifts, which in turn made my Mother’s Day! Hope that you got to relax with them for at least a little while!
Lots of new product development taking place right now. I am expanding the size range of the existing candles, so you can enjoy your candles for longer - so lots of test burning taking place. I have also been working on Reed Diffusers and have been testing them out in various rooms of my own house in each of the fragrances. You enter to the porch to the scent of Fig and Orange, move into the hallway with the Limited Edition Spring Equinox, into the lounge to find Black Pomegranate and finally into the living room where White Pomegranate working it’s magic! They are certainly working hard to keep my home smelling lovely 24 hours a day. Although a few of you were able to purchase them on pre-order, they will be added to the website very soon and will also be available in Meander Gifts at Halo in Whitley Bay too. They are perfect to keep the fragrance of your favourite candles going long after the flames have been extinguished!
Some of you tried out the new Hand and Body Cream for me and once I have dotted all the i’s and crossed all the required t’s, it too should be available very soon - so for those of you asking for it - you shouldn’t have to wait too much longer now.
I have been talking to several new suppliers with a view to prototyping a new candle to add to the range and I am really looking forward to starting my experiments with that. I hope that, when they are finally available, that you will be as excited about them as I am.
I also met with someone from UK Trade and Investment today to discuss importing into Europe - so plenty more work their to keep me busy for a while yet.
And finally, closer to home, I have been working with another local business, Boo Boo and Ted to get some merchandising items made - they have some excellent ideas and excellent products for sale at their own shop in Whitley Bay - check them out if you haven’t already.
So I think that is all for now! Oh, well that and we are currently revising the website and all of our packaging - but that is for another day I think!
P.S. Check out the animated video on our Facebook page - and let us know what your favourite fragrance is!