They just make scents...

W dzisiejszym poście chciałybyśmy przedstawić Wam markę Just Makes Scents z USA - rodzinny "biznes świecowy" prowadzony przez Phil'a i Debbi Brown. 

Trafiłam na tę markę przeglądając, moją uwagę zwrócił bogaty wybór zapachów, fajne słoiki, no i fakt, że jest to rodzinny biznes :) Postanowiłam skontaktować się z Phil'em, który był tak uprzejmy, że odpowiedział na kilka pytań dotyczących prowadzenia firmy Just Makes Scents. Wspólnie z moją siostrą Dagmarą miałyśmy też okazję przetestować po jednej świecy i wosku.

Zapraszam do przeczytania wywiadu - można dowiedzieć się kilku ciekawych rzeczy o prowadzeniu "świecowego biznesu" od kuchni. No i oczywiście recenzja Dagmary:)



In today's post I'd like to introduce Just Makes Scents - a family candle business from the USA, run by Phil and Debbi Brown. 

I've come across this brand while browsing, I was drawn to wide variety of scents, nice jar design and the fact that it's a family business :) I've decided to contact Phil, who was kind enough to answer a couple of questions regarding running Just Makes Scents. Along with my sister Dagmara, we've been also lucky enough to be able to test two spectacular candles and two wax melts.

Please be invited to read the interview with Phil - you'll learn some interesting facts about running a candle business. Oh, and the candle review by Dagmara, of course :)

Highly recommended! 



Ever wondered how to run a candle business? Phil and Debbi Brown just make scents, and they're really good at it!

OLGA: In your bio, I read that you're a veteran owned business. Military career seems like a far cry from crafting scented candles: what was the main factor that induced you to get involved in such business?

PHIL: For me, the key word in your question is business. I’ve always wanted to own my own business. I just could never figure out what I wanted to do. Also, I work a full time civilian job, so dropping everything to start a business wasn’t really a viable option for me. Debbi used to work a full time job as a Radiation Therapist, but she has some health problems that prevent her from working full time. We were trying to think of something for her to do from home to earn some extra money. She loves candles. She often has one or more burning in every room in the house. I was actually complaining to her about how much she was spending on candles when we had the idea that a candle making business might be just up her alley. She’s the candle lover and I am the businessman and it is working out good for us.

OLGA: How do you come up with new scents? Do you track what's currently fashionable by watching offers of the likes of Yankee Candle, or do you choose scents you personally like, or is it something else? Please describe the creative process.

PHIL: We purchase the fragrance oils used in our candles. Despite the business name, we don’t make our own fragrances. We are always trying to figure out what the best new scents are. Our most popular scents are duplicates of popular designer fragrances; Victorias Secret “Love Spell” and Abercrombie & Fitch “Fierce” are our most popular scents. We also have a lot of Bath & Body Works fragrances. Picking a fragrance oil is hit and miss. Many times we have introduced a new fragrance that we thought would be very popular, but it turned out to have very slow sales. Honestly, I’m not a very trendy guy and I had never heard of “Fierce” before we purchased it. I was ordering some fragrance oils and the company had Fierce listed as one of their best sellers, so I bought some. Now, that’s our most popular fragrance in candles and wax melts. Also, I do a lot of research on-line trying to figure what candle fragrances are most popular on Amazon, or from Yankee Candle.

OLGA: What's the most difficult part about running your business?

PHIL: The challenges have changed as our business has grown. When we first started we were all excited about our new craft of making candles and we made tons of them. Our original business plan was that we would make candles and then sell them at festivals and craft shows. I never really thought that selling on-line was something that would work for us. We made lots of candles for our first craft show, and then found out that all of our candles were smoking terribly. Many people say that soy candles don’t smoke. That is not necessarily true. A candle with too much fragrance oil or the wrong wick will smoke. We found that out the hard way. After that, we spent a very long period of time making test candles. We would often have 20 or more candles burning in our kitchen as we tried to figure out the best jar, wick, and fragrance oil combination. We finally worked out our own recipe for the strongest candle we could make that burns for a long time and does not smoke. There’s a lot more science to it than I would have thought. Now that we have the recipe set, the most difficult part is trying to figure out how to grow. We decided to try on-line sales with about 2 years ago. At first, we would go weeks without a sale. We kept working at improving our ads and growing our fragrance list and now we have orders through Etsy almost every day. We sell a lot more on-line than I ever thought we would. Also through Etsy, we’ve shipped candles all over the world including Europe, China, New Zealand, and Australia. It still amazes me that Debbi and I make a product in our basement that we have shipped all over the world.

OLGA: In a business dominated by companies such as Yankee Candle or Kringle, what's the difference you bring with your products? 

PHIL: Many people are turning away from big business and trying to buy more of their products from local small businesses. That’s what is all about. It allows someone who makes products in their home, to sell to customers all over the world. When you buy from a big business, you never know where your money is going, or even if it’s staying in your own country. By buying from small businesses, you know that your money is staying in a local area and that the business you are supporting is also buying their materials from other businesses and creating jobs.

OLGA: Creators of perfumes are usually on a strict diet, they do not drink alcohol, they do not use perfumes themselves in order not to "confuse their nose" - as creators of scented candles, do you follow any of similar rules?

PHIL: We don’t make our own fragrance oils. We purchase them from candle supply businesses. When you smell a lot of fragrances, your nose does get confused. We see this at craft shows all of the time. Customers start smelling all of the candles, and in a little while, everything smells the same. We keep a container of coffee grounds with us. It’s a little trick that when you smell coffee grounds, it clears out your pallet and you are able to smell the different fragrances again.

OLGA: You offer a wide range of scents. Is there one particular scent that is especially dear to your heart? 
PHIL: For some reason, I love the pineapple. It smells so fresh and clean. Just like a fresh cut juicy pineapple. It’s not one of our best sellers, but it’s my favorite.

OLGA: Is there an interesting story - perhaps adventure - connected with the creation of any of your scents, or perhaps connected with an unusual customer order?
PHIL: We did not start out as an on-line business. Our plan was to sell our candles at local craft shows and festivals. We still sell at events like that, but most of our sales comes through the internet now. Our daughter went with us to sell at a local apple festival. This particular day, we were not selling a lot. Our daughter started asking us some questions about why the candles were arranged and we really didn’t have a particular set-up for that. We have a couple of scents with funny names like “Monkey Farts” and “Butt Naked”. She insisted on moving them to the outside edge of the display so people would notice them as they were walking by. People immediately started noticing Monkey Farts. They would see it and laugh and open it up to smell it. It has a really nice banana and berries smell. We sold several and it brought a lot of people into our booth. Now, we always put Monkey Farts and Butt Naked in the most visible spot of our display.

OLGA: What do you want to achieve with your business?
PHIL: I would love to be able to retire from my full-time job and work on growing our candle business full time. We find it very fulfilling to make our own products and sell them to other people.

OLGA: In Poland we are currently in the middle of particularly grey winter, can you recommend a scent that is sure to boost my mood? :)
PHIL: We have some awesome spring fragrances that will make you forget all about winter. I think the best we have is Wild Tuberose & Jasmine. It is strong but delicate and will take you away to a bouquet of spring flowers.



By the one and only Daga aka Moose :)

Time for relax- Caramelized  Pralines by Just Make Scents 

Such a sinful sweetness! Absolutely seductive scent of caramel. What’s more ,,Caramelized Pralines”  just do have something mysterious behind the delicious face.  A good choice to boost your mood.  Yummy!

Orange blossom wax melt

Long-lasting seductive smell of orange blossom, jasmine and honey. Strong but feminine at the same time.  Sunny and warm aroma in the middle of winter.


Thanks for tuning in. I'll leave you with this - recommended by Phil himself to bring on the spring !

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