Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Blog Feature Bliss Candles
Bliss Candles is my newest shop up for a blog feature. She has a large variety of wonderful candles to choose from. She also packages her candles giving you a price break when you purchase more than one. I found her top selling candle, so you might want to stop by her shop and check out what she has to offer.
Who are you? I have a wonderful handcrafted soy candle business out of Grand Haven, Michigan called Bliss Soybean Candles and Gifts. I focus on providing an exceptional quality product while offering items that are decorative and beautiful at the same time.
How long have you been crafting? I have been in business since 2004 and continue to grow by leaps and bounds!
What feeds your imagination? I have always loved decorating and am a professed candle addict. Those two things along with being crafty by nature are what drive me to come up with new lines. I like being different which is one thing that distinguishes me from the rest. My obsession with offering the best quality product around is also a major contributor to what I offer in my product line.
What made you decide to make your crafting a business? It is rather humorous. I actually starting making candles for myself and made too many. Yes, I go a little overboard with things in my life! I started giving them away to friends and then I just plain had too many. Everyone was raving about them and I had a mountain of candles in my house so I did a craft show at Garfield Park to get rid of them. Well..the response was overwhelming! People ranted and raved and it was clear they liked the fact that my product was different and of a higher quality than others. So I kept on going until I established such a “fan base” that I couldn’t stop! I have thousands of customers now, wholesale accounts, fundraisers, and the whole bit so now I’m really on a roll
How did you find etsy? My friend Anne – http://anneball.etsy.com - told me how well she does on Etsy. I was skeptical at first and actually tried it out briefly, finding that it didn’t work for me. I came back this year in April and worked hard and voila…I’m doing quite well! I find if you put the time into Etsy and follow all of the tricks that people put out there, you can be extremely successful. If I didn’t work full-time, I am convinced I could do ten times better – seriously!
Have you ever been published in a magazine? No, but I keep trying to figure out ways to get to Oprah because she loves soy candles. She uses Beanpod and while they are great, mine are so much better. I just have to get it past her staff – ha!
What is your most effective marketing venue? Blogging, the forums, and treasuries. Up until three weeks ago, I didn’t have a clue about what a blog really was. If you keep them updated and you market, they are an incredible tool. I am getting orders on my main website now which rarely happened unless it was someone local who saw me at a show! With the forums, you really need to get out there and help others out. Participate in conversations. I do whatever I can. Treasuries are another fantastic tool to get the word out and let people know you are out there.
What is your goal for your business 1 year from now? Like most, to still be in business. One goal is repeat business. While my time is limited, I do my best to get orders out within a week and I always try to communicate as much as possible with my customers. Customer service is huge for me. I would love to see 500 sales by this time next year! Etsy is such a huge venue that I would also like to see 200 new customers by the end of 2009.
Do you sell your products on other sites or businesses? I do! I have my own website – http://www.blisscandles.com and I do have my candles in stores! I have a list of stores on my site but I have sold to establishments in Grand Haven (Michigan), Pennsylvania, Canada, and California. I am also working on getting into fundraisers.