Friday, September 18, 2009

Recent Events & Other Ramblings

Hey everybody!

I just wanted to take a couple of minutes to let you all know what is going on with me, with Jay, and with the Shoppe. First of all...YES! We are still here, and we're still taking orders. We are about to enter our busy season with Christmas just 14 weeks away (hard to believe, isn't it?), and we are gearing up!

Secondly, thanks to so many who have asked about Jay and his health. He is doing great. For the most part, we have things pretty much regulated, but every now and then we have an episode. Everything is under control, and he's doing well. Plus, he's on vacation this week!

No vacation for me, though. After five very long unemployed months, I am finally back to work. I started working August 28 at a new local place in town, but found out quickly that wasn't going to work for me. Way too many hours, not enough money, and I never felt comfortable working there. I started a new job! The schedule is much better (no more 15 hour days!) and the rewards much greater. Not just better money, but I already know some of the people, so I'm more comfortable immediately. Plus, it is a faith-based company, so no more questionable ethical decisions to make.

I apologize for not updating more frequently, as I had promised. I had hoped the first job would be a little more flexible and still make it possible for me to take care of the shoppe. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, but again, that is changing now with this new employer. I will begin updating again regularly. I like to hear what interests you, and love to hear feedback. If there is something you are looking for, or questions that you have, feel free to contact me anytime at You can follow me on Twitter @TXshoppegirl or call (817) 846-1642. I look forward to hearing from you!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Etsy $5 Monday

I wanted to post early today to let you all know of a special promotion on Etsy today. Each Monday, the Etsy Texas Crafters (ETC) team does something special to promote our team. Some weeks it is a special sale, other times there are contests, a scavenger hunt, etc.

Since this is the fifth Monday of the month, today is $5 Monday. Many of the ETC crafters are participating by offering items for $5 in their shops. There are a lot of great deals going on today, and we're participating, too.

You can check out our $5 items in our shop, or type "ETC5" into the search box on the Etsy homepage for all participating items. Happy shopping!


Friday, August 28, 2009

We're Baaaaaack!

First of all, I want to thank you all for your patience while we sorted out some issues we were having. As some of you know, Jay has a genetic heart condition. For the most part, it is under control with daily medication and common sense (i.e. no marathon running, etc.) On occasion, he will have an unprovoked incident that causes concern, such as what happened a couple of weeks ago. He was unable to catch his breath after a coughing spell. I ended up taking him to the hospital, where they kept him for observation overnight. He is now, thankfully, recovered, and doing well.

At the same time, I was having some medical issues of my own. I have a very unique condition which, when under a great amount of stress, causes my hands to swell. Most times, the swelling is minimal, and, while uncomfortable, I am still able to function. On very rare occasions, the swelling becomes too great to function. Such was the case over the last few weeks. It is predominantly brought on by stress, and I have to assume it was a combination of looking for a job, Jay's troubles, and everyday life that caused this particular flare up.

My condition, which is extremely rare (it affects only about .6% of the population, and how mine manifests itself is even more rare), is under control now, and the really fantastic news is I am starting a new job today! Both Jay and I are still fully committed to SJ Candle Shoppe, but we are not in a position right now for it to be our sole source of income. Thankfully, it has helped get us through this extremely rocky time, and we appreciate our loyal followers!

I will begin updating regularly started immediately, now that things are back to normal. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, our show schedule will probably change now that I have a job. I'll be sure to keep the schedule updated as quickly as possible. Thank you all again for your support. You have really made the last several months more bearable and enjoyable!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Please Excuse My Absence

We are dealing with some medical issues, but hope to have things back to normal in the next several days. We appreciate your kind thoughts, and will update when possible.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Etsy News

We have agreed to be part of a very worthwhile fundraising effort on Etsy. The fundraiser begins Sunday, August 16 and goes through August 26. Twenty percent of all of our Etsy sales placed during this ten day period will go to this noble cause.

The organization that will benefit from the fundraiser is Saving Shelter Pets. You can read more about their cause on their website. Check back Sunday morning for a link to all of the Etsy shops participating.

For help with your fundraiser, contact us at!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's Our Anniversary!

Eight years ago today, Jay and I went on our first date. Three years ago today, we were married. To celebrate, we went to dinner tonight at Simply Fondue in downtown Fort Worth.

The food was amazing, the cocktails were delicious, and when we left, we were stuffed and satisfied. I started the evening with a Caramel Appletini and a wonderful spinach & strawberry salad, while Jay chose a classic Absolut Sour and Ceasar salad. We then proceeded to an Italian Fontina cheese fondue, with bread, apples, and veggies for dipping. Our main course was two kinds of chicken, soy citrus pork, and three kinds of beef (we're not big on seafood), followed by a champagne toast and the Chocolate Confusion dessert. The "confusion" is a mix of milk and white chocolate, with fruit, marshmallows, rice crispy treats, and brownies for dipping.

It was a great way to celebrate eight "never a dull moment" years!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

I had a great day today! I got to spend some time with my babies (my sister's kids), then Jay and I cooked a great dinner together. Possibly the best part of the day (besides my weekly dose of True Blood on HBO) was the first pre-season football game tonight.

I LOVE football!! Not only is it an exciting game to watch, but along with football comes Fall. Although it is my favorite season, Fall always makes me a little homesick. Back home in Michigan, fall is when the leaves begin to change, the air turns cooler, and everyone and everything starts to settle in for the winter.

I remember going to the apple orchard, drinking fresh-pressed cider and eating warm cake donuts. Fall also makes me think of caramel apples, candy corn, and bonfires. School buses, pencils, and sweaters. New friends, new adventures, new beginnings.

Even though I have been in Texas for twelve years, I will always consider Michigan home. What fond memories do you have of Fall? Of home?


Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Internet is a Beautiful Thing!

I just learned how to connect my Etsy shop to my Twitter page, and it is so cool! Turns out, there is a separate section of Twitter - called twibs - specifically for businesses. I added SJ Candle Shoppe to my twibs profile, then found out I could have that link up directly to my Etsy shop.

I emailed the main twibs genius to make sure I didn't have to do anything special whenever I add something to Etsy. The good news is, once it is linked up, one feeds automatically from the other, easy cheesy.

And that, my friends, is a beautiful thing! Check out the splendor here on my twibs page!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Busy Friday

It took me all day today to cut and organize my 714 coupons, so I didn't get much done in the way of candles. That's not a typo you see. I cut, sorted, and filed 714 coupons (give or take a dozen that I clipped and threw away). Since losing my job a few months ago, Jay and I have tried to be really conscious of what we are spending. I've taken it upon myself to cut coupons - something I have tried and failed at many times in the past.

This time, I have a system. I am using the "binder method." Basically, it is a large 3-ring binder divided into sections. I found the basic sections here, then added a few of my own. (For example, she didn't have a section for pet supplies, and I like to save on my baby girl's *very* expensive food!) Within the sections, I have the coupons sorted into baseball card holders.

So far, it is working out great. I feel much more confident when I shop, knowing that I have a system. I am also less frazzled, and I am *trying* to only buy what's on my list! Just in case you still don't believe me, here's a picture of my binder:

And just because I noticed this picture cut off my head, here's a picture of my face. Hopefully, it's less creepy!

(Please excuse the bare walls and window. I just started using this room as my office, and it's not decorated yet!) I would love to hear any money-saving tips you use. Feel free to share!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Etsy Fort Worth Meeting

We had another Etsy Fort Worth Team meeting tonight at Gallery Art Cafe. We had a great turnout, with the following members in attendance.

The group is growing, and we have many great things in the works. If you're not following the team blog, you can check it out here. The contest is still going on, so you have a chance to win if you sign up as a follower. More info about the contest is here. You can view all items for the team by searching "Team Fort Worth" on Etsy.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Two button loafers & brimmed hat
Etsy Fort Worth Team member WeChooseJoy

Meditation Necklace

Etsy Fort Worth Team member JMargot

3 is a Crowd

Etsy Fort Worth Team member Wantzit


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Blog Giveaway

I wanted to make you all aware of a great blog you should be following. No, it's not mine (although, you should be following me, too!)'s the leader of our Etsy Fort Worth Team. Jennifer is the owner of Blue Sky Sunburn, and she is celebrating her blogiversary with several giveaways. Check out her blog, and her artistry, here:


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Etsy Fort Worth Team Meeting

If you're in the area, you should drop in for the Etsy Fort Worth Team meeting on Thursday evening. Team Fort Worth is for Etsy artists as well as Etsy supporters. We meet together to promote Etsy and one another. This Thursday, we are meeting at Gallery Art Cafe on Jennings just outside of downtown Fort Worth. We will be meeting from 7pm-9pm. Feel free to drop by and say hello!

Gallery Art Cafe


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Etsy Fort Worth Team Treasury

One of our Fort Worth Team members, Indigo Orchid Designs, has compiled another treasury featuring SJ Candle Shoppe. Green and browns are the theme of the Pick Your Poison treasury, and can be viewed on the Etsy site here. Be sure to check out the beautiful items our teammates are offering. You can also visit our fellow Etsy artists in person. Check the "Where to Find Us" page on the team blog for local venues and dates.


Friday, July 31, 2009

New Schedule is Up + More News

Couple of things today:

The new August schedule is up. Check the sidebar for dates. Also, I've added more events to the Etsy Fort Worth blog. You can check the schedule here.

Also, I had to make some changes to the newsletter, and the first one was sent this evening. I decided it would be better to go out before the 1st. That's because there is a special promotion announced in the newsletter that begins on the first.

If you'd like to subscribe to the newsletter, either complete the info on the Contact Us page here or send us an email to


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Newsletter Is Ready!

I am so thrilled to report that the first issue of "Shoppe Talk," our monthly newsletter, is ready! I have scheduled it to go out Monday morning. If you haven't signed up to receive the newsletter, send me an email to so I can add you. I'll do my final edit on the list Sunday night, so be sure to send the email right away. You don't want to miss out on the special promotion that is announced in the newsletter!

Also, you can follow our promos, news, etc throughout the month on Twitter @TXshoppegirl.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

August Show Schedule

As it stands right now, I will still be at Grapevine Market every Thursday and Saturday through August. I emailed the director of Keller's new Farmers' Market, and all the spaces are filled right now. Also, I don't want to jump the gun, but it looks as though I may be getting a job soon. If that is the case (and my husband *really* hopes it is) then I will update the schedule accordingly. Either way, my Etsy shop is still open, and the website is as active as ever!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

KW Cares Event @ Keller Williams

Today was the KW Cares event at Keller Williams in Fort Worth. I think the event was a success. We got to meet many new people, including a fellow Etsy Fort Worth team member, DiAnne Arnette. DiAnne has some beautiful, elaborate jewelry in her shops Wantzit and Wantzit2. Amanda from Indigo Orchid was also there, along with a few other clothing and purse vendors.

Overall, it was a good day to "talk shop," meet new people, and stay out of the heat! I'll be sure to post some pictures as soon as I get them downloaded from my Blackberry.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Wow! Busy Day!

It was really nice to get a ton of stuff done today. I got three batches of soapsicles done and picked up some new bags and got them ready for the show tomorrow. I also met up with Crystal from Annie's Powder Room. I'm taking some of her whimsical soaps to the KW Cares event tomorrow.

The KW Cares event is at Keller Williams in Fort Worth. KW Cares is their program for helping agents in crisis. Ten percent of the proceeds from sales at the event will go to their program. If it's a success, they may make it an annual event.

Here are the bags I was working on tonight. I'm quite proud of the way they turned out!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lazy Saturday

I've had a great couple of days meeting with friends, hanging out with my husband, and getting some things done around the house. I may be having too much fun hanging out with friends, because I didn't even make it out to Grapevine today!

Thursday night, of course, was the Etsy Fort Worth meeting. After the meeting, my mind was spinning, and I started writing down a bunch of ideas that I had. Some ideas are for our shoppe, and some are for the group. I ended up working so long that I didn't go to sleep until five in the morning! Of course, I think the giant caramel latte that I drank had something to do with that.

Then, Friday night I spent some time at my friend Cass' house. We hadn't seen each other for a few months, so I ended up staying there until 3 am! Still, I swore I was going to get up at 5 and go out to Grapevine Market, just as I've been doing every Saturday.

At 7:45, Jay was finally able to wake me. Obviously, I was just too drained to wake up. I even slept through two alarms! Regardless, I was glad I got to spend the day with him. He was off today, so after we made lunch, we went to the mall and a movie.

The mall was fun. We're not usually mall people, but we were walking around and found an embroidery shop. We stopped to talk to them about getting new shirts done, and they are going to give us some really great prices. We also stopped at the cookie place to get something to drink. The girl behind the counter asked what soy candles were, because Jay was wearing his shirt with our logo on it. We explained to her what we do and why it is different. Then I gave her my card, because she said her mom is a candle "freak."

So even on a day we weren't really "working," we made two contacts. That, plus getting to spend time with my husband were enough to make it a great lazy Saturday.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Etsy Fort Worth Meeting

The Fort Worth Etsy team had a great meeting tonight at Gallery Art Cafe. Seven of us met, drank coffee and talked shop. The members who met tonight are:

Shastinalynn + her guest, Sarah

Danica (FlowerBedHead) posted some good pics on our team blog. She's going to forward a few on to me. For once I remembered to bring my camera, but forgot my SD card! I'll be sure to post the pics when Danica sends them. Meanwhile, keep checking the team blog for more great info about the team.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Show Schedule Coming Soon

July is drawing to a close, and I will be publishing our August show schedule soon. I had previously said that I would be at Grapevine Market each Thursday and Saturday through mid-October. I still intend to participate in that market, but hopefully only on Thursdays. I am waiting to hear back from the market director for Keller Farmers Market to see if I am accepted. If so, I will be attending there on Saturdays from 8am til noon.

I have a meeting with the Etsy Fort Worth team tomorrow evening. I am looking forward to meeting many of our fellow etsians and "putting our heads together" on how we can get the word out about our group. We are having a contest for those who follow our team blog. Many of the artists are contributing to a gift basket that one lucky follower will win. You can see the details on this thread, and you can follow our team blog here. I'll have more info, pictures and follow up after our meeting tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally Got My Day of Rest

Since Jay was off today, I decided I was going to be "off" too. I let him sleep, and curled up with a book. I spent most of the day reading, then we caught up on some Tivo recordings. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot accomplished, but at least I feel rested. I have a lot to do tomorrow, because I will be very busy Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

In Need of a Day of Rest

I had every intention of going to church today, then coming home and doing nothing. I got up, got ready to go, then proceeded to freak out when I couldn't find my keys. I finally found them, just in time to be late! : (

Instead, I turned to the oft-neglected laundry basket. I got four loads done before I had to call it quits. I decided I had earned some fun time, so I set about catching up on some of the blogs I follow. I'm hoping that some day soon I will have a beautifully designed blog with lots and lots of followers.

I also got caught up on some Etsy news, plus our Fort Worth street team tidbits. We are having a contest for followers of our blog (the team blog, that is). The details are in the Etsy forum, here. Please check out the blog and my fellow Fort Worth artists. There is some real talent in this group!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Scorcher

I am really enjoying spending time out at Grapevine Market. I have met many great people, both vendors and shoppers. Many of our shoppers are from out of town, so it feels good to be sharing what we love with such a diverse audience.

Today was another hot one. The day started out nice, with a cool breeze, and only about 76 degrees or so. All that was forgotten, though, when the temperatures climbed to 100+ around noon. It certainly wasn't the hottest day we've had, but that's easy to forget when you're "in the heat of it."

Even still, I had a great time. I talked to a lot of people, sold some things, and will do it all over again on Thursday. Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Help Us Make Room!

Although we are in the heat of summer, I am already looking ahead to Christmas! I have several shows already lined up, and am looking to book many more. The only bad thing is I am running out of room!

I have several shelves of discontinued items that I am ready to clear out. I've added a clearance page to the website, with some nice discounts. The recipes are our same high-quality soy candle recipes. In most cases, only the packaging has changed. In some cases, the scents are discontinued. Either way, we don't have room for them on our shelves anymore!

Check out the clearance page of the website, and help us make room for more great things to come!


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another Successful Show

I was at Grapevine Market today from 9-2. It was a good day to be outside; although it was hot, there was a nice breeze most of the day.

I was also invited to participate in a new market today. Keller started a farmers' market a couple of weeks ago, and the market director was in Grapevine today. I'm going to check out the website, and may try to participate. Of course I will keep this blog and the website updated with any changes.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hostess Program is Here

Exciting news! After many inquiries from our loyal customers, we are introducing a hostess program! We wanted to keep it very simple, not so complicated you didn't know what you were getting. The program works like this:

When you host an event, you'll get 10% of order totals toward free product. Plus, you'll get one item at 50% off. You can choose to host your party in your own home or online. If you choose to host in your home (or venue of your choice), I will bring all of my items, and you and your guests can sniff to your hearts' content. I will have additional inventory on hand, and you and your guests should be able to take most of your items at that time (excluding any custom orders, of course).

If you choose to host an online party, I will set up a special page on the website where you will direct your shoppers. Each of your guests will have the items shipped directly to their home, and you will still get credit for the orders.

If you have any questions about the Hostess Program, or to host your own event, email me at


Monday, July 13, 2009

We're Featured in an Etsy Treasury!

I recently made a decision to become more involved in our Etsy team, Team Fort Worth. Yesterday, one of our members created a Treasury that is featured on the site. Our soapsicle is featured in her treasury. So why is that a big deal, and what the heck is a treasury anyway? According to Etsy:

What is the Treasury?
The Treasury is a member-curated gallery of short-lived lists of 12 hand-picked items each. Members can feature their favorite items, items selected on a theme or just whoever they like. The Treasury is not intended for self-promotion, but instead to acknowledge and share the many cool things for sale on Etsy. Admin often choose an exceptional Treasury list to promote to the the homepage hand-picked items.

Hand-picked. Pretty cool, huh? To check out the treasury, click here. You can search all of our team's items on Etsy by entering "Team Fort Worth" in the search bar.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Newsletter Coming Soon

I spent most of the day today researching different sites to handle our email newsletter. It looks like our first newsletter will go out at the beginning of August. Jay and I are celebrating our three year anniversary in August, so we'll have an anniversary special just for newsletter subscribers. We'll begin showcasing gift baskets and gift giving ideas in our September issue.

Make sure you're "in the know" by signing up to receive our newsletter before August 1. Just go to the Contact Us page on the website to be added to our customer list. If you're in the area, you can also sign up at any of our local shows. You'll get 1-2 newsletters per month, plus an additional email for a special gift during your birthday month. (no SPAM - I promise!!)


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shopping Cart is Available!

It took a little longer than I expected, but the shopping cart is up and fully functional on the site! I also added a page with a link back to the blog, so if you're searching the site, it's just one click to get back here.

I went to Grapevine Market today, and it turned into a really good day. The weather was comfortable until just after noon, when it started to reach 100. Thankfully, the Market is only open until 2 every Thursday and Saturday, so it wasn't long before we were packing up to leave. I was even told I had "the best smelling booth" there!

I still plan to list some sample packs, both on Etsy and on the regular site, so be sure to check back for those items. I will have monthly specials beginning in August, and all orders ship out within 2 business days in most cases. Shipping is via USPS Priority Mail, which usually arrives in 2-3 business days.

I spoke with a woman at the Market today who wanted to place a large Soapsicle order for her daughter's birthday. I think they would also make a great stocking stuffer, and it's not too early to start thinking about Christmas! If I can help you with your party or wedding favors, or fundraising needs, please email me at .

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Website Capabilities

I have made some upgrades to the site, including adding the shopping cart. It isn't available yet, because I've only been able to add two items. It's *much* more time consuming than I would have thought! I'll also be adding a fragrance page that will give descriptions of each of the scents we carry. You won't have to guess just by the name anymore!

I've been trying to get together with my sister, Stephanie, and tonight is the only night we are both available. Tomorrow is Grapevine Market, after which I will continue working on the site. I hope to have the entire cart operational by the end of the weekend, so check back Monday to see the changes take effect.

As always, you can email me with any questions you have at or use the Contact Us form on the website.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sugar Scrub Is a "Go"

Wow, wow, WOW! I am so thrilled with the results of my sugar scrub, and I can't wait to have it added to our line. Here's the history of the scrub, and why I'm so excited.

I had been asked about adding bath and body goods to our line for the last several months. I kept reassuring our customers that I was working on recipes, and that we would have some new additions soon. I was thrilled when Jay and I were both able to attend a bath & body class at one of our favorite suppliers a couple of months ago. (Although Jay assured me I would be the point person for the B&B..."I'm not telling people I make soap and bubble bath.")

So the big day arrived, and we got to the showroom early (!!!). The instructor arrived late, and spent the majority of the class plugging her newly-published book. She then proceeded to tell a story about a lotion she made that failed miserably. She ended the story by saying, "This is the lotion we're going to make today."

Umm...huh? Jay and I glanced across our work stations at each other, and I shrugged. We gathered our ingredients, mixed everything together, and stick-blended our little hearts out. We blended for a really long time, without the lotion achieving the "whipped" texture it was supposed to. Then the instructor mentioned we may not get that texture right away. She suggested we take it home and let it rest, assuring us it would be a beautiful rich lotion in the morning.

We went on to try our hand at the sugar scrub, which we partially finished before our class time was up. Jay and I took our half-finished batches of scrub home and played with the recipe a little (we didn't have one of the oils on hand, so we had to substitute).

The next morning, we went to check on our lotion, very excited about what we had concocted. Of course, by now you've probably already guessed that the lotion was a big flop. We tried everything short of standing on our heads to try to get this lotion to set like it was supposed to...nothing.

After that debacle, aside from being furious, I put it to rest. I shoved the lotions and the scrubs in the back of our supplies, and went on my merry way. I researched online, tried a few things, but couldn't come up with something that I loved.

Then, last night, I found the courage to try the scrubs. I came across them several days ago and wasn't sure what to do with them. I've been having problems with ingrown hairs after I shave my legs, so I thought I would try using the scrub to see if the exfoliation would help. Lo and worked beautifully! Even tonight, I don't have any stubble, and my legs still feel remarkably smooth.

I am so thrilled that the scrubs turned out. It makes me a little bummed that I didn't try them sooner, but now that I know I have a good recipe, I plan to make more...and soon!

I'm going to be listing sample packs of our goodies on Etsy, hopefully beginning tomorrow. I will group a sample of the scrub with some bath salts, a small bar of soap, a small bath bomb, and possibly a tart melt or two. Check out the shop here, and look for the scrub and other bath goodies on the full site soon


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Slight Change of Plans

There have been some interesting developments on the trade show front recently. First, one of our shows is on hiatus for the summer. During July and August, Trade Days USA at Texas Motor Speedway will not take place. The show will resume September 26-27. I'm not sure at this point whether we will be participating. There are three other shows scheduled for the same day, and I need to determine which is going to be the best for us.

Also, I have decided, for the time being, not to participate in Trade Days of Waxahachie. I wanted to give it a fair shot, but it is a very new show, and its quite a drive. For the traffic that we saw the last time we were there, it's hard to justify a permanent booth there at this time.

The good news is, through October 17, Grapevine Market will take place every Thursday and Saturday. The Market has actually been going on since mid-April, but we haven't taken advantage of it. I have talked to a number of vendors at the Market, and they all have had success there. The advantage to this is that I know I have a show lined up every week for the next three months!

After mid-October, the holiday show season will be in full swing. I will, of course, continue updating the blog and the website as I book shows. Do you know a can't miss show in your area? What are your favorite things to shop for at an open-air market? Please share!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some Website Photos

Candle Trio~ 16 oz jar, 10 oz jar, 8 oz tin

Tart Melts with Warmer

Soapsicle Set~ 1 Soapsicle with cloth in your choice of color

Group Photo~ Reed Diffuser, Candle Trio, Tart Melt, Soapsicle Set

Hope you enjoyed this quick look at how the website is progressing. It is up and running, so don't forget to visit:

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Scents Now Available

I have had many people request custom scents over the last several months. Now that we have the scents in stock, I am adding the scents to our available fragrances. For now they will be limited edition, but if there is enough demand, I may add them to the regular line. The limited edition scents are:

Creme Brulee

You can find the full Spring 2009 Fragrance List on the home page of our website


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

Hope you all had a fantastic day celebrating our nation's Independence. We took it easy today and stayed around the house.

I took some time today to get our Etsy shop up and running again. I am now part of the Etsy Fort Worth team. The Team has meetings and shows together periodically, so that's something else to look forward to soon. I've already listed a few items in the shop. If you see something you like, you can purchase it directly through Etsy. That way, you won't have to wait until I get the shopping cart up on the full site. We accept PayPal or personal check through Etsy.

I'm going to start ingredient profiles here on the blog. Basically, I will take one ingredient - let's say shea butter - and then discuss all the benefits of shea butter. We can talk about any ingredient you'd like, so if there is something candle or bath/body related that you have a question about, let me know. I'll do the research and then share it with all of our readers.

As always, please let me know if there is something you would like to see, either on the Etsy site, the full website, or here on the blog. Thanks for supporting us as we grow!


Friday, July 3, 2009

Signature Line Coming Soon

One of the things I love most about this business is getting to experiment with different scents. Many times, we get special requests to duplicate fragrances from this company or that, and it's always interesting to see other people's preferences. Every once in a while, though, I like to throw a bunch of scents into wax and see what comes of it.

It's that urge to throw stuff together that prompts us to create our signature line. Jay and I had so much fun at the supplier last week, that we spent nearly three hours there! We mixed fragrances until I didn't think my nose could handle it anymore! In doing so, we came up with several combinations that we really like, and we want to share those with you. We decided, since these are our own creations, that these will be our new signature line.

We'll still have all your old favorites (Pumpkin Pie Spice, anyone?), and we'll keep trying to track down those duplicates for you, but the signature scents will be uniquely ours. We hope you love them, and we look forward to their website debut soon.


Another Contest Winner

For those that were paying attention, today was the monthly drawing. For those who weren't (myself included), this probably snuck up on you. Don't forget, the monthly drawing will be held at 11 pm Central Time on the 2nd of each month. So without further ado, the winner is...


Diana has won a 16 oz candle from our top eight fragrances. Congrats, Diana! I will be emailing you soon with your scent choices. For next month's drawing, you can get extra entries by 1) leaving a comment on any post from this blog, 2) subscribing to this blog, 3) attending one of our shows and signing up in person, or 4) visiting our website and signing up as a customer through the Contact Us page.

We hope you have had a chance to check out our new website. Please let us know what you think. If you have any suggestions, questions, or special requests, you can contact us through the site or email me directly at


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Website Is Up!!!

It will please some of you to know that I have been working feverishly to get our website up and running. I can now officially say that it is ready. The shopping cart hasn't been added yet, but you can see photos and descriptions of all of our items, a brief bio about us, and a page that will show all of our upcoming events.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am that it is finally available. I will still be updating here regularly. In fact, this site will be updated daily beginning today. The other site will evolve some too, but here is where you should look for the day-to-day workings of the shoppe.

Once again, thanks to everyone who has encouraged us over the last several months. We look forward to branching out and meeting many more candle fanatics like us. Be sure to check out the new site and let us know what you think.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trade Days Reminder

Just a reminder that we are at Trade Days USA this weekend in booth F1. Check out their website for full details and show schedule. The weather was beautiful on Saturday, and I'm looking forward to another great day at the Speedway.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter @TXshoppegirl or email me with questions at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Exciting News + Upcoming Shows

First, for the exciting computer is fixed!! I was a little anxious about using this computer after it was infected, and have tried to use Jay's as much as possible. However, I am happy to report that everything has been removed (at least, the stuff that didn't belong!) and I've been going successfully on this computer for two days now. I'm also getting used to this computer in general, as well as getting myself more organized, so I will be blogging more regularly from now on. YAY!!!

So, here's where you can find us in the coming weeks:

Trade Days USA @ Texas Motor Speedway - Fort Worth, TX
June 20-21
July 25-26
August 22-23

Trade Days of Waxahachie @ Ellis County Expo Center - Waxahachie, TX
July 11-12
August 8-9

We'll be, hopefully, filling in more dates as we find more shows. Be sure to stop by and say "hi" if you're at a show where we're exhibiting.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Recent Events

Apologies for staying away so long. I was under the weather for a few days and am still not quite up to par. I also had something *really* terrible happen, which has kept me off of the computer. My laptop - remember, my brand new, hardly used laptop - was hacked! It happened through a virus I got on Facebook. I am still trying to get everything cleaned up, but will definitely be off Facebook for a while!

What I have been doing in the meantime, besides getting well, is researching recipes. In the coming weeks, you'll be seeing a new lotion formula, lip balm, and a sugar scrub. Don't forget to check back often to find out when these goodies will make their debuts.

As always, and especially now that I'm not using Facebook, you can follow me on Twitter @TXshoppegirl or subscribe to this blog. My next show is this weekend, when I'll be debuting my new logo at Trade Days USA. Check us out in booth F1, Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Severe Weather = Nothing Gets Done

I had some ambitious plans for today that included making some soaps & some candles. Unfortunately, we had a tornado warning, so nothing got done. I was afraid to start anything for fear of losing power, since all our appliances are electric. Instead, I spent most of the evening playing Mah Jong and listening to a CD on my laptop after losing cable & internet service for a couple of hours.

The result of all of this was a day that was spent doing very little. The up side is that I feel very rested, and look forward to getting a lot accomplished tomorrow.

This is what our back fence looks like after two panels were blown down by the wind. Excuse the tall grass. Today was also the day the lawn man was supposed to come out, but it was a little too wet for that!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Progress Report

I am so excited to report that I finally have some soaps ready to sell! The Green Tea Cucumber guest soaps and the Carrot Veggie Bars are both ready. Several other bars will be ready the first of July. Those soaps are Orange Flower Opulence, Pomegranate Passion, and Peppermint Pick-Me-Up.

As for upcoming shows, I will (tentatively) be at Grapevine Market this Thursday and Saturday. I am just waiting to be approved as a vendor. Next weekend I will be at Trade Days USA at Texas Motor Speedway. ( ) I am in booth F1 down the main row. I'm looking for some more shows to fill out my summer, and will update as I book shows.

I also got another request for lotion tonight, so I will be working on that recipe next. I've been wanting to try a few that I've found, so this is a good opportunity. Hopefully, I'll have some ready for July as well.

Remember, you can stay updated by subscribing to this blog or by following me on Twitter @TXshoppegirl


Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Soap, and Another Show

Today I cut another batch of soap, called Pomegranate Passion. It is scented with Pomegranate fragrance and has Passionfruit Tea leaves embedded in it. The tea acts as a mild exfoliant, and the pomegranate adds a nice mild fragrance to the bar. It needs to cure before it can be sold, so it won't be ready for 3-4 weeks.

This weekend, I'll be at Trade Days of Waxahachie. The hours are Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 9-4. They have only been re-open a few months, so this weekend they are having a Grand Opening celebration. There will be a band, children's activities, and 100+ vendors out to celebrate. I will be set up in booth #1; be sure to come say hello if you're in the area.

I will be tweeting from the show; you can follow me on Twitter @TXshoppegirl.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And The Winners Are...

Kelly & Shane!

Kelly is the winner of the 16 oz candle, like the one pictured in my profile pic. Shane will receive a bar of soap & some bath salts. I will be contacting each of you by email for your mailing addresses. Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for the next drawing on July 1.

Now on to the soap I made this afternoon. I *cannot* wait until this soap cures! I tried a new recipe this afternoon, and added some Shea Butter to a small batch. Shea butter is ultra-moisturizing, because it absorbs immediately into the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and is said to heal burns, dryness and stretch marks.

I added some orange flower essential oil to the batch, which adds to the luxurious experience of the soap. I intend to call this one "Orange Flower Opulence." I also love that it came out completely white, which enhances the pure goodness of the bar. Here's what this one looks like after it was poured:

I can't wait to try this one! Remember, if there is something you want to see, please leave a comment or email me at You can always follow me on Twitter @TXshoppegirl. Also, look for the grand opening of our website soon:


Drawing Update

Just a quick note to clarify about the drawing tonight. I will be drawing two numbers using Your number will be based on the sign-up sheets from Kellerfest. You will receive an additional entry if you leave a comment on this blog or subscribe as a follower of the blog.

I will post another blog entry at 11:00pm tonight Central Time, announcing the winners. I will also have details of a batch of soap I have just finished, along with some pictures of the soap.

Don't forget to check back here tonight for the winners!


Monday, June 1, 2009

One More Day til the Drawing

Well, Kellerfest is in the history books. We survived - just barely! You still have one more day before I announce the winners of the drawings.

As a reminder, there are (2) items. The first is a large candle. It's the same one as the green candle in my profile picture. The second winner will receive a bar of soap and some fizzing bath salts. Come back tomorrow to see the results.

Now, on to our next show. This weekend, I plan to be at Trade Days of Waxahachie. I was scheduled to be there a couple of months ago, but there was a death in the family, so I had to cancel. I look forward to trying this one, as it is a relatively new show. Hopefully, they are already building a following, and I'll be able to meet some more great people. To find out more about this show, including a schedule of upcoming dates, check out their website: Hope to see you there!


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Kellerfest Day #2

Jay and I are up and at 'em, getting ready to head out to our second day of Kellerfest. We met a ton of great ppl yesterday, and look forward to meeting about 6,000 more today!

We are in booth #30, just to the left of the front gate. Be sure to stick around for the HUGE fireworks display around 9. Last night's was great! Hope to see many of you there!


Friday, May 29, 2009

Kellerfest is Here!!

OK, so I just got back from setting up our booth at Kellerfest. We are in Booth #30, just inside the front gate. I'd love to stay and chat, but I need to head back. Hope to see you there!!!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Look Mom, I'm Blogging...

...and it's not even midnight yet! I noticed that over the last several days I have been blogging *really* late at night. I'm trying to break that habit, but it seems like that is when my brain just starts going!

So why blog in the middle of the day, you ask? Because I just finished making up a few sets of diffusers (remember, the ones I should have been making yesterday) and I am super excited! We have switched the bottles we use for the diffuser oil, and the new ones are GORGEOUS! I know I am probably the only person you know who gets so excited about packaging, but lemme show you what I mean.

Here is what we were using when we first started making diffusers:

Not a bad looking bottle, right? But then someone asked for just the oil. She said she had a ton of bottles and only needed an oil refill, which...I didn't have. So off we went, back to the place we buy our materials to see what we could see. Our second generation diffuser set looks like this:
Same glass bottle, but this time, the oil comes in a seperate bottle. That way, if all you need is the oil, we just pull that bottle out and you're good to go. (I should mention here that each of these includes a fresh set of reeds. They're not pictured bc they don't fit in the box!) Better.

Now, I am all about being practical, but, this is also something you're going to use in your home. You want it to make a statement, right? That's why I am sooo excited to show the *new* and *improved* SJ Reed Diffusers generation 3.....

Are these a couple of beauties, or what?! I love that they look trendy and chic, but are still obviously functional. They also go very well with our new logo design, which you'll see in an upcoming blog.

Since I'm on a roll with the pictures, I thought I'd end with this one. Check out this handsome guy who, although he still lives with his parents, is among my biggest fans. He brings his mom along to check out the stuff at my shows.
Thanks, Isaac! I appreciate your support!!! XOXO from Aunt Sarah!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I'm too lazy for my own good

Even though I have a HUGE show coming up this weekend, I just couldn't brind myself to do any work! I probably should have made some more diffuser sets and run a candle inventory. Instead, I made 4 sets of coasters and spent the rest of the day doing laundry and surfing the web.

I had a batch of soap curing, but I waited too long to take it out of the soap form and it got too hard. When I tried to take it out of the form, I ended up splitting the soap in half! I'm going to have to figure out how to salvage what is left, or else I just got stuck with 3 pounds of passionfruit tea soap!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Busy Weekend, Followed by a Busy Monday

After a really long weekend at Trade Days, what I wouldn't have done to spend my Memorial Day out at the lake!

Instead, I spent 8 hours inside on my new laptop. I've been looking up recipes, researching ingredients, and watching old shows I had on the Tivo. So here's a look at what's coming up:

Lotion Bars
Lip Balm
Body Butter

I also hope to have the website up and running within the next few weeks. Somehow I have not found the time to get the pictures taken. Once those are done, we'll have it hosted; you'll find the site at

That's all I have for tonight. Don't forget the first giveaway will be June 2. You can enter by either 1) subscribing to the blog or 2) leaving a comment on one of my posts.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Couple of Things

1) Starting today, all orders will have a free sample included. This is a simple way for me to thank you for your support, and also allows you to try a new product risk-free. It's also a way for me to get your input on what you like, and what you'd like to see in the future.

2) I have also decided to do two give-aways each month. One giveaway will be for a candle product, and the other will be for a soap or bath product. Some of the giveaways will be for subscribers only, so make sure you are signed up to follow me here on the blog.

Remember, you can also follow me on Twitter @TXshoppegirl.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Upcoming Shows

Hey Everybody!

Don't forget we are at Trade Days USA this weekend. Saturday and Sunday 8-5 at Texas Motor Speedway in North Fort Worth. You can find us in booth F1.

Next weekend we will be at Kellerfest in Keller, Texas. Keller is just North-East of Fort Worth. I won't know our booth number until we check in on Friday, but will update as soon as I can. The hours for Kellerfest are: Friday 5pm-11pm; Saturday 10am-11pm; Sunday 1pm-7pm.

Remember, you can contact me anytime at Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @TXshoppegirl We hope to see you soon!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Big News!!

OK, I realize that I said I was going to be updating the blog regularly, and I fully intend to do that. One minor thing happened, though, that in "Sarahland" equates to something huge: my computer died! My wonderful, faithful laptop that I have had for the last 2.5 years is finally gone. I now have to start completely over, and it's a little scary. I had *a lot* of stuff on that little laptop. But I will be updating again, now that I am up and (sort of) running with my new laptop. Now on to the big news...

WE HAVE A WHOLESALE ACCOUNT!!! I am so excited about this; it seems like I have been working on this for so long. I kept getting my hopes up, then nothing would happen. See, just about every show that I've done, whether a high school craft show, trade show, or just talking to people about our business, I always have people ask about buying wholesale. I've even had a few that looked really promising, but then nothing would come of it. I was getting so frustrated, and wondering if I could really make it happen. Well, today, it happened!

We still have to work out a lot of the details, but this is so encouraging.

Gotta run, have a pot of Leather and one of Lime Vanilla Royal on the stove.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Welcome to SJ Candle Shoppe!!

I am so excited to finally be setting up this blog! It's been a long time coming, and I apologize for taking so long. The purpose of this blog is to keep my loyal followers updated with the goings-on of our company, SJ Candle Shoppe.

Over the next several days, I will be setting up a lot of the content of the site. I'll keep a list of scents in stock, as well as new products we're working on. As a sneak peek, here's what I just finished:

This is a trial batch of Carrot Veggie Soap, made with real carrots and good-for-you oils. I'm trying to come up with a catchy name, but so far I'm coming up blank. If you come up with something I love, maybe I'll send you a free bar, so...suggest something!!

We're also trying to determine what other products people are looking for. Of course everything that we make will be environmentally-conscious. We do it because that is what people are looking for, but also because it is important to us. If you have any suggestions or questions about our shoppe, our products, or US, please comment. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter @TXshoppegirl.