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‹‹ My life as a goldfish The Queen B approach to sustainability and ethics in business ››

The million dollar question - what paint do we use to decorate our rolled pillars?

Oh if I had a dollar for every time I've been asked that question!

A little history first - and I'll be quick.  Way back when, in the days when Queen B was still just a sparkle in my eye, I took up candle-making as a hobby (or therapy to treat anxiety).  I took up painting at the same time (and carpentry!).  It occurred to me that it would be great to be able to modernise the look of beeswax candles - to use the beeswax as a canvas.  However, most paints are toxic, and generally paint won't 'stick' to beeswax with any sort of longevity.  It may stick for a while, but then it peels off... or seeps into the wax.  We didn't want peeling off, and we didn't want seepage because ultimately when that wax is melted and drawn up the wick (to fuel the flame), the colouring is then combusted and you then breathe that in.  [Just for the record, that is also why you won't find any coloured - or fragranced - beeswax candles from Queen B]

Long story short, about 18 months of R&D later, we came up with our formula.  Our pigments are sourced from an Australian company (no surprises there) that has been in business for over 50 years.  As they also provide pigments for children's finger paint, their products are independently tested and certified heavy metal free every 3 years.  They have never failed certification.

We are aware of a 'competitor' making all sorts of claims otherwise about our candles.   It’s very sad that this is the case . Please do not be misled by this deceptive conduct (and if you have been, please pop me a note). While I consider the benefits of legal action versus unnecessary cost,  I will continue to run Queen B with the integrity and thoroughness of research that is our hallmark and to hope that consumers will find this information and will trust not just what we say, but the feedback of our customers over the years. It would be completely incongruous given everything we do and stand for, for me to put a toxic paint on our candles.

On another note, just in terms of how the decoration works when your candle is burning... when burned in an indoor environment with a centred wick, our candles are designed so that the outside layer remains (creating a lantern effect).  If burned in an environment where there is a breeze, you will get a larger flame and the outside layer may melt, HOWEVER, our clever formulation means that the decoration simply sits, inert, in the pool of wax.  The colour does not leach out of the paint.  And contrary to what is stated on our competitors website, it is impossible and against the laws of physics for the wick to draw up solid paint and therefore also impossible for it to be combusted.

Sadly, I know that this misleading information is influencing people.  I get the emails.  I get the phone calls.  Our retailers call me telling me that they have received a call from this guy and that he has told them that by stocking our candles they are responsible for birth deformities.  If it weren't so serious, it would be completely laughable.  Some days it really gets to me, but other days I am reminded of all the epiphanies I've had and that the world is a beautiful place, full of wonderful people and that if I just continue to live each day with integrity that somehow this will work itself out.

Phew... it's actually good to have that out there.  I've been putting it off because I am REALLY OVER NEGATIVITY but at the same time knowing that I have to do something because it is affecting us.  So, we clear the slate.  State the facts.  And now we'll just get on with lighting special moments, one drop of bee created wax at a time.

Cate x

6 thoughts on “The million dollar question - what paint do we use to decorate our rolled pillars?”

  • Cecily Greval

    How sad to hear of the desperation of your competition, Cate. Chin up, you know you have the best product on the market! I'm sitting here now enjoying one of your sunset pillars now, they're my favorite. -
    All the feeling of a wam fire without the smoke and pollutants.

  • Leah

    Go Cate, keep your head high, your integrity is unparalleled as far as I'm concerned. I love your candles.

  • Richielou Bridgett
    Richielou Bridgett July 9, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Dear Cate, as one of your devoted customers since practically day one of your Queenship, I find it hard to believe anyone would have the gall to question anything you do or your integrity! You know you have the best product in Australia and your clients know this as well. Fie and boils to whoever might say otherwise. Just carry on being as wonderful as you are, both personally and professionally, and be endlessly proud.
    Cheers, Richie

  • anitamanuell

    Keep believing in the good natured people out there, Cate. Plenty of us believe in you and what you are doing. The false claims will catch up with your competitor sometime, in the meantime keep letting the world know how thorough your R&D is. People need to hear the counterpoint to the falsehoods.

  • queenbcandles

    Thanks guys. Appreciate the words of support from the bottom of my heart. Everyone gets their own 'thorn' because that's how we recognise the roses. I just sometimes wish that karma could happen quicker. Naughty, I know. I'm going to read my epiphanies post again so that I channel more of that energy than this! xx

  • Lynda Williams
    Lynda Williams July 10, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Cate - unfortunately it only ever seems to need one negative comment against 100 positive comments to make people view things in a bad light. People are always eager to give brickbats instead of bouquets - maybe it's easier for them. 1,000 bouquets to you and your helpers !! Since finding Queen B only less than a year and half ago these are the only candles I have purchased for myself or friends. Your honesty and integrity shows through in everything you do. I only wish I was closer to be able to call into the shop - WA seems a long way away at times. If I'm lucky enough to be over that way on holidays it's on my list to call in. Keep up the good (GREAT) work and yes Karma seems to have it's own agenda - but it does get there in the end !! Best wishes for the remainder of the year - Lynda

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