Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Emily & Me

Beautifully handmade fragranced candles! I would love to introduce you to Tracy from Emily & Me

I am Kiwi born and bred, married to a ridiculously handsome builder and am the mother of two. We have a three year old boy, Manasseh (Hebrew for new beginnings) and a one year old daughter, Emily.

Lemonade Soy Candle

Emily & Me has been years in the making. My passion for quality candles started many years ago when I was travelling in the USA. Struggling to find what I wanted here in NZ I realised there had to be an easier way than constantly importing. I began making candles for myself and over time friends began purchasing for themselves and then as gifts for others. Eventually I got the hint that there was a business opening there. I often think of Henry Ford and his desire to see everyone driving a car. I want every NZ home to smell delicious!

Jasmine Candle

Would you believe our original name was totally different? I had designed all the totes, packaging, logos, labels, everything. We’d even started putting out tester products. But something just wasn’t sitting right for me. This one night I was propped up in bed, breastfeeding our newborn, and thinking about the business. Our master bedroom had a ceiling window so the moonlight shone right in over her precious little face. I realised that if ever there was someone I would want to ‘get my crafty on’ with one day it would be this girl. So, Emily & Me was born…And everything in the office downstairs went in the bin! (I’m pretty sure she’s going to become a non-crafty, uber-logical Doctor just to spite me, lol)

Gorgeous Emily!

In 3 words...
Quality. Fragranced. NZ Made.

Herbal Nappy Cream

Current favourite...
My current favourite is actually our bestseller, the Caramel Woodwick Candle. I love that fragrance. Nothing says ‘welcome home’ like a rich buttery baking smell. I’ve tweaked the recipe twice to get it just right. Now I reckon it’s pretty much the perfect candle!

Caramel Woodwick Soy Candle

Routine! Every WAHM needs a routine to get through the day. I am one of those Pinterest mums who downloads printables and has the Kikki-K Cute Diary permanently in my handbag. Yes, we do have a Household Folder with all the playgroup info and library book lists, etc, otherwise I just wouldn’t cope. I’m a big one for ‘me time’. This looks different for each person obviously. For me, I have my me-time every morning and it’s the most important part of my routine. I’m a Christian so I have my Bible, my Kikki-K diary and my Dilmah tea. If I miss this ‘session’ I really feel it through-out the day. I need this quiet time of reflection to refocus and reprioritise. It’s good to take time to remember who I am without the business and without my family – me as me, with all my strengths and weaknesses and quirks. I feel that often gets lost as we wives and mamas and business owners put on all our different hats. When I first started Emily & Me I made myself the promise that I would never let my business grow over my family. Being a passionate, all-in, kinda gal I really struggle with that and these morning times help me to refresh and make sure I’m still heading on the path that will get me where I want to be in ten years.

Secret Garden Candle

I love showing my kids first hand what hard work looks like. When they wake up from their nap they often find me mixing a new fragrance or while we’re playing outside I’ll have an infusion going. As a parent I now look back at things that my parents demonstrated when they ran their home business and how that’s influenced my personality growing up. Particularly for my daughter I want her to know that it is possible to have a work life balance and to not only enjoy a career that works for her strengths but also relish the season of motherhood too.
The other thing that I love is the personal factor. I have no plans to be a mass producer, I always want to be that small boutique business that gives that last extra touch. Candles are one of those things that feature in the intimate times of our lives. For instance, candles can be used to set the tone for a special night in or a romantic dinner, at weddings, in beauty spas, for gifts. In a small way we get to be a part of that. One of my highlights was when a mum approached me for some guidance on a custom pour for her homebirth. We went with a delicate floral blend and afterward I received a thank you email that said “the room smelt like a beautiful garden”. It doesn’t get much more special than that! Right now I’m working with a bride-to-be on a custom display for her wedding so that’s exciting.

Palmyra Home Soy Candle

Find a niche in the market and fill it. Nothing is more annoying than new people who come into the business scene with nothing new to offer. As a business owner you really need the support and encouragement of others in your field and you won’t get that if you’re not original. Obviously I’m not the only candlemaker on the market but there are certain things I don’t sell – not because I can’t but because another WAHM does. There is a mutual respect that develops among business owners and it’s important to be aware that you need that right from the start.

There’s nothing a little Gibbs can’t fix! On the evenings when I’m too spent to be creative you’ll find me curled up with a herbal tea, bitter chocolate and NCIS.

Autumn Pumpkin Candle

From here...
I am so excited about where we are headed this year! I feel like we’re getting some traction now and that we’ve found our groove, so we’re ready to start expanding our range. We’ve just released a Limited Edition set of fragrances which has proved hugely popular and our plan is to release another four through-out the year. We’re also working with a gorgeous Wedding Planner, Monique, to create a bridal portfolio. She’s fun and young and really knows her stuff so I’m excited about the possibilities for that. Keep a look out for some fun gift boxes soon to be released. As more and more people are buying as gifts we felt it appropriate to offer a few specific options – for instance a Housewarming Box. It’s going to be the perfect gift for the first night in a new home. Most of our customers know I run candlemaking workshops in Sheffield and at The Make CafĂ© in Christchurch, these are set to expand this year too. We have so much on right now!

Apple & Fig Blossom Soy Candle

The easiest way right now is through our Emily & Me Facebook page. We have a website all set to launch in the very near future – Feel free to browse our Facebook page and get a look at the range. Also feel free to email or PM me if you have any questions.

Tracy has so kindly given me a $20 voucher to giveaway to someone very lucky! Please enter here. The giveaway will close at midnight on the 3 March and the winner will be notified by email on the 4 March and announced here on my blog. The giveaway is open to NZ residents only and LOVE you to share! Thank you Tracy.

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