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Monthly Archives: January 2013

  • Jill of All Trades - is this you?

    You know how sometimes you can be sad and happy at the same time?  Well, that's me today.  After a couple of weeks of to'ing and fro'ing, my offsider/beautiful note writer/friendly phone answerer/killer salad maker (aka Treena) has decided that she is going back to Perth.  Happy and sad.  She'll be missed (sad) but she's excited (happy).

    So this opens up the position of Jill of All Trades at Queen B.  The last time I recruited for the role I put an ad on Seek.  I thought we'd try a little closer to home initially this time (via the blog and facebook), BUT given the last ad found Treena, I'm figuring I got the ad right, so I thought I'd post the text of that below:

    You will be self-motivated, a 'people person' and have great attention to detail for this "girl" Friday position (boys also welcome to apply). A passion for sustainability, Australian made, natural products and luxury goods would be a great start.  

    Based on Sydney's Northern Beaches, this position is for 2-3 day per week initially with some flexibility in the hours you work. There is potential for this to be a full time role within the next 6 months.

    Our core business is hand-making pure Australian beeswax candles. Our candles are made without compromise and are sold in galleries, design oriented stores and eco/organic stores across Australia.

     Your role will be many and varied with never a dull moment and will include lots including:

    • attending to customers in the retail store

    • packing and dispatching online orders

    • responding to email & telephone enquiries (in time)

    • keeping the retail store clean & tidy and well stocked

     This is a great opportunity for a bright and passionate person motivated to make a difference and motivated by results. Your organisational skills, attention to detail and hands on abilities will be rewarded both in seeing results and in being part of the small and passionate team.

     To be successful in this role, you will need to have:

    • excellent communication skills (written and verbal)

    • the ability to work both on the big picture and to have an eagle eye on attention to detail

    • great administrative skills (proficient computer skills)

    • a passion for making a difference

     Work experience is preferable.

    We offer a unique working environment, an unrivaled product, a completely flat management structure (you will report to the owner) and an opportunity for the right person to make a real difference both to our business and to a broader audience.

    The position is for an immediate start - or ASAP so that Treena can do a handover!

    Cate Burton, Director
    Queen B
    send resume and covering letter by email to: cate.burton[at]


    If you know of anyone fabulous for this role, please forward this on to them or point them in our direction.

    Here's to 2013!

    Cate xx

  • More Jam Jar Tealight goodness

    Our surprise hit of 2012 was the product we collaborated with Joost on - Jam Jar tealights.  A perfect illustration of 1 + 1 = far more than 2.  A glass jam jar + a pure beeswax tealight candle = hours of loveliness.  A jar full of romance?  And ampule of ambience?  A window of perfection?  Oh, don't get me started... I'm just back from a great break and I'm feeling the love.

    Anyway, the break gave me an opportunity to get to some of the 1,000 unread emails in my inbox (whoops) which made me realise that you wanted more options.  Of course, options mean me holding stock (so that we can ship out your goodies outrageously fast), but the brain cells have brainstormed and they all agree that this is a fabulous idea.

    So, with no further ado, we have two new options available in the Jam Jar tealights... a box of 8 Jam Jars tealights (8 jars + 8 candles)

    Pack of 8 Jam Jar beeswax tealight candles with 8 jars Pack of 8 Jam Jar beeswax tealight candles with 8 jars

    And a box of 60 Jam Jar tealight refills (which is a great complement to our Jam Jar tealight Party Pack).

    With that many pure beeswax Jam Jar tealights you can create beauty like this

    natural beeswax tealight candle in recyclable glass jam jars - a collaboration with Joost Bakker For your valentine (or wedding candles)


    or this...


    natural beeswax tealite candle in recyclable glass jam jar For the directionless

    Wishing you a very happy, beeswax candlelit 2013.

    May your Valentine (be that you or someone else) shower you in natural, golden light, poured by hand from the loins of Australian bees.


    Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holderspersonalised candlesvotive candlestealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

  • 2012 Blog Stats - the Year in Review

    Every January, Wordpress send me a summary of blog statistic which always makes for interesting reading.  Taking up around 200 hours a year (4 hours per week) it is a big time investment, but I think it is useful given all the thought that goes into what we do.

    So, here's what caught your fancy in the past 12 months... drum roll... our top 5 posts were:

    Say hello to our new, reusable, clear tealight cups    
    Choosing the ‘right’ candle… it’s all about the burn time    
    Why the white beeswax Queenie?    
    Beeswax candles are better value than soy, palm or paraffin – the facts & figures    

    Roll Your Own Christmas trees


    The top 5 search terms through which people found our blog were

    • when things go wrong as they sometimes will
    • mona tasmania
    • the most romantic picture ever
    • porcelain dome tealight holder
    • queen b candles

    Go figure!  Those were a bit of a surprise to me.

    The top 5 countries from which visitors to our blog came were:

    Australia FlagAustralia  
    United States FlagUnited States  
    United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom  
    Canada FlagCanada  
    India FlagIndia  

    And, the busiest day of the year was November 15th with 502 views. The most popular post that day was Feedback to bring a tear to your eye.

    If there is something you loved particularly, something you'd love to see more of or any tips you have for a better Queen B blog, please comment or let me know.

    Here's to a fabulous 2013.

    Cate xx

  • Strategy, Planning and my New York Times Bestseller

    Anyone else having troubles easing themselves into 2013?  I'm just back from a 10 day fast (yep, the variety with no food - just water, psyllium husks and detoxing supplements) and slowly trying to find my feet... fast.  The good news is that I am better able to see my feet now and my second chin was so hungry it ate my third chin - so things are looking up on that front.

    This week is officially strategy and planning week.  To ease myself into it, I went to the hive yesterday to deal with the 300 emails there and process all the orders, prepare invoices etc.  I left two enormous piles of invoices for the lovely Treena to pack the orders.  Woke up with a big case of Catholic guilt this morning.  Treena is the unpolished diamond who arrived in my life in June.  She writes the most beautiful notes on the invoices and packs the orders like we're sending out gold... which we are.  I think I've laughed more in the 7 months Treena has been on board than the previous several years combined.  I've also cried more!  I used to think that my life was a bit of a rollercoaster until Treena arrived.  I now realise it is relatively sedate.

    Which brings me to 2 points:

    1. If you have been the beneficiary of Treena's beautiful notes or lovely packing prowess, please send her some loving.  I can only imagine how she is feeling after 3 weeks with close friends and family interstate to return to work.  Hell, even I struggled yesterday, and Queen B is me living my dream.  Treens is a Gen Y'er... so loves to communicate electronically, give her a holler on our Facebook page here -, or you can send love letters to thehive[at]  I tell her regularly, gently and forcefully how great she is and that she is making a difference in people's lives, but you know how sometimes you just need to hear it from someone you don't call "Mumsy"!

    2. I'm also thinking of writing a book about my new approach to HR which is to not talk to my staff for their first 4 days back at work while they get over the shock and depression of being back at work and realising that they need to work in order to afford holidays. I've got a few of the chapter headings worked out:
    - Controlled Crying for Adults
    - No Gen Y You Cannot Eat Out All the Time, Buy Whatever You Want, Have Regular Holidays and Live in Some of The Most Expensive Real Estate in Australia Without Working (that's NGYYCEOATTBWYWHRHLSTMEREAWW for short.  Catchy huh?)
    - Stay Calm and Meditate (on what you love about working here)
    - I'll Be With You Shortly, Just As Soon As You Get Through the Shock of Being Back at Work
    - You Know How Your Mum Told You You Can Have Everything?... Learning about White Lies.

    It's looking like quite a short book at the moment.  Any other topic suggestions, chapter titles or HR techniques gratefully appreciated.  HR is not my strong suit... my usual approach is to cry with them!... which may be why all of my staff call me some variety of the name 'mum'.

    And now for the strategy and planning.

    Any ideas, stories, photographs, suggestions, needs or wants (candle related preferably) gratefully appreciated.  I do have a few things I'm working on, but now have to get through the 905 unread emails in my inbox first.  I just know there is an order from Wholefoods House, Collette (Paris) or Harvey Nichols (London) in there somewhere.  Wouldn't mind seeing one from you too... there's no quicker way out of a slump than sending out love and light and knowing that in some small way you're going to make someone's day better.

    Strap yourself in. Welcome to 2013.  Remember to tell you boss today how much you love and appreciate them!

    Cate xx


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