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  1. Hello and Happy New Year…

    Now that we’re past the manic Christmas rush I’m back in the workshop replenishing stock and developing new thoughts and ideas. 

    It’s also time for a bit of reflection now that we’re stepping tentatively into the brand new year. 

    As we’ve reached the end of 2018, it’s a natural time to look back on the last 12-months.  For once it was quite difficult, last year was somewhat unfocussed due to illness in my family and often feeling like I was on the back foot trying to keep up with life in general.

    To help me move forward next year, I’ve invested in the fabulous Makers Yearbook https://makersbusinesstoolkit.com/makers-yearbook. 

    Yes, I’m a sucker for something that looks good, but wow – it’s made me think long and hard about what I know and don’t know about my small business and just how far I’d let my business brain slip. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I kept up with orders, and kept up with events.  Although on one occasion, I felt like a complete prat when I showed up at an event in Doncaster and realised I hadn’t brought a table cover and half my stock was missing.  As always, I made the best of it, had a wonderful day and learned the lessons.

    Part of this reflecting process took me back to my schooldays when I would occasionally get homework assignments returned, saying, “Can do better” or “must do better”.  Thinking back to the teenage me, it was a fair summary; I always did well but could’ve done better.  Reflection is a marvellous thing, and I have a wry smile on my face when I say that my only new year’s resolution, if it can be called one, is “Can do better, must do better”.

    I know I’m better when I plan, so with the help of my yearbook, I’m looking forward to a fully focussed year ahead.

    These plans include some special Valentines and Mother’s Day products which I’m working on now, and there will be others coming up as the year goes on.

    A word on Veganuary

    If, like me, you are looking at incorporating more plant based food in your diet this month, it’s worth thinking how you can stretch the concept further by considering other products you buy.  All soaps, candles and bath products from Pio Soaps are vegan, with the exception of face packs which contain yoghurt and honey.

    Enjoy the year ahead

    Lisa xx

  2. At last it’s that time of year when I’m winding down on fairs until the new year, my stock is made and waiting to go out to that chap in the red coat, and I can finally take a breath between despatching orders.

    Not a great believer in relaxing (much), I’m making an early start on next year’s resolutions.  People who know me won’t believe I’m early for anything, but this time it’s true.   My resolution is to blog more about my business, because if I don’t say what Pio Soaps and Mythology Candles are about, or what I am passionate about, then no-one knows.

    Today, for the first time in ages, I’ve had a general google about candle making and was quite annoyed about an article I came across. It began by saying how easy candles are to make, and how easy they are to make money from.

    Total balderdash.

    Statements like that are really annoying, and also irresponsible.  They leave the reader with the idea that you can melt a bit of wax, stick in a wick, stir in some fragrance and hey presto, you have a candle that’s fit for sale.  Not in a million years.

    The article didn’t reference the types of wax to choose between, all of the containers, the fragrances, not to mention the wicks.  Let’s not even get started on wicks…

    It certainly didn’t mention the hours of testing, or the almost but not quite moments of success and failure.  The joy, and sometimes tears, when you do get it right, and you have a product ready for sharing.  A product made with love and care; an invention of time and knowledge.  And when, by crikey, you’ve made it to that point, there are the CLP regulations to abide by.

    I believe my fellow small batch makers would agree… It might be easy to melt some wax, stir in some fragrance and stick in a wick.  But the art and science of chandlery certainly is not.  And it ain’t cheap either.