This blog post has been a long time in the making, y’all. At the end of May, Haley from Ginger Taylor Candles reached out and we’ve been working on putting together a fun collab that I’m SO excited to finally share with you all. Haley makes hands down the cutest, most unique boutique candles. Check out her website here: https://www.gingertaylorcandles.com/
Y’all probably know by now that I LOVE a good small business and I always want to get to know the person behind the biz. Everyone has a story to tell and a reason why they’re doing what they’re doing. Small business owners send little pieces of themselves out into the universe every time they send a sale out. It takes a whole lot of gumption to go out on a ledge, take a leap of faith and start a small business hoping and praying that it resonates with people and that you can build something truly meaningful. For these reasons, it has been one of my favorite things to really get to know people when they reach out and then give their business a voice with these blog posts. I love even more when they really embrace it and send such thoughtful and interesting answers back. I sent a list of questions to Haley and LOVED her responses, so I’m so happy to share them with you!
Plus after the interview there’s information on a *GIVEAWAY* we’re doing and you don’t want to miss out on it!
1. What inspired you to start a candle company?
My mom started a candle company when she was in her early 20’s and she and my dad have grown it on the West Coast for the last 35+ years. My brothers and I grew up working in their retail candle stores throughout Northern California and I always loved it. I loved making the candles, interacting with customers, and I loved that my parents had a flexible work schedule while we were growing up! So when I graduated with a Business Marketing degree I knew instantly I wanted to start a candle company, but this time with my style, designs, business structure, and newfound business/marketing education!
2. Where did you come up with the name Ginger Taylor?
Ginger Taylor was the maiden name of my Grandma! She passed away in 2014 and was one of my closest friends, my travel buddy, and was extremely business savvy. Her parents, my great grandparents, started Taylor’s Refresher in St. Helena in 1949. She and my grandpa ran it from 1967 until 1999 when she leased the restaurant to Joel Gott and it became Gott’s Roadside! I was always amazed by her ability- even as a 70-something year old lady- to go into business meetings with huge names in the Napa Valley, like Joel Gott, and work out deals that would end up benefitting my family for generations. When I started my business in 2017, I had hundreds of potential company names written down but none of them embodied the poise and class, and had the sentimental significance of Ginger Taylor.
3. Is this your full time job or secondary?
Ginger Taylor is my full time job! I graduated college in 2016 and took a Marketing position in Sacramento and knew within weeks I would go crazy sitting in that cubicle. So in July of 2017, I sat down, penciled everything out and I haven’t looked back since!
4. Where do you source your materials from?
The only two materials in my candles are beeswax and cotton wick, which keeps it nice and simple! I buy my beeswax from a company that collects it directly from beekeepers throughout the country. Beeswax is such a beautiful, rich, natural material so one of my priorities is to only source high quality wax from the US. I chose beeswax because it is natural and non-toxic. Most of the scented candles- Bath and Body Works, Yankee Candles, etc.- are made with paraffin, which is a by-product of petroleum and is completely toxic to breathe! I’ve seen studies that say breathing scented paraffin candles can be worse than smoking a cigarette! So I’m proud to provide a clean alternative that is safe and healthy to breathe in any space! Not to mention virtually dripless, smokeless and just bright and beautiful to burn!
5. Tell me about the candle-making process – how long does it take, how intricate is the work, etc?
The candle-making process is so much fun. Every time I invite someone to come make candles, they say “This is what you do all day?” I even had one lady come make candles with me for weeks just because she loved it. After a while, I thought “I should probably put you on payroll since you’re here everyday!” and she’s worked for me ever since! My mom taught me everything I know, so I can’t answer this question without giving her credit! Almost the entire process is done by hand- no molds. I take the rolls of beeswax (that my dad makes from the raw blocks of wax!) and cut them into the initial shape I need, add the wick, then hand-roll or twist them, depending on the style. Then they get their decorations which are all cut out of natural beeswax as well, and one final dip in the clear ivory wax to seal them and they’re ready to go! The most intricate part is probably the twisting- most people assume they’re twisted by a machine! But they’re not; they’re dipped in the hot wax and the hand-twisted into the spiral shape that we call the “Silhouette”. Visitors to the workshop who try to twist the candles usually start out optimistic, then become determined and ultimately end up frustrated when they realize it’s not as easy as it looks haha.
6. Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what’s your favorite candle-making jams?
Music makes the whole process so much more fun! I am always blasting something different, depending on my mood. On the days we need to jam and get tons of candles done, I put something like Pitbull Pandora on! Other days I’ll play Beach Boys, Bob Marley, ELO, and some days we’ll get a country playlist going! Whenever my mom’s in the shop she requests Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald Pandora, so we do a lot of oldies as well 🙂
7. What’s your long-term vision for Ginger Taylor?
My long-term vision for Ginger Taylor is to trust God and see what happens! I would love to see it grow and expand, maybe even internationally! I picture a cute little candle shop in a quaint alley in Paris, or an interactive candle-making shop on Main Street, St. Helena! Have you seen the movie The Intern? It’s one of my favorites. In it, Anne Hathaway runs a successful e-commerce business and has the most beautiful brick office. She even has a full-time masseuse for the employees! I like to think I’m working toward being at the point where I can have a masseuse on payroll 🙂 I am typically such a planner, but running Ginger Taylor has taught me to be flexible and enjoy the journey, so that’s what I’m focusing on right now!
8. Where are you based out of and what’s your favorite thing about that location?
I am from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California! However, when I started my company I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina for a change of scenery- I thought it would be easier to start my company in a totally new environment. As unconventional as it is, I spend half my year on the East Coast and half my year on the West Coast, which will always be home :). When I’m on the East Coast, I travel every weekend to events, anywhere between New Jersey and Atlanta, but my home base and workshop are in Raleigh. I have come to absolutely love North Carolina and the entire East Coast. It has such a different vibe from the West Coast, but is truly beautiful and exciting. I love the trees in North Carolina, the slower pace, and just less people. It is quaint and lovely, but within hours of many major cities and the beach! If my whole immediate family wasn’t in California, I would be so tempted to move to NC permanently. My little brother, Mitch- I call him Gus- has flown out to the East Coast the last two years to work all of the events with me. I started the company when I was 22 and having him by my side made all the difference; he made a scary move one of the most fun times of my life. On our days off we look up any restaurant with Key Lime pie, venture into NYC for a Broadway play and some sightseeing, or drive East from wherever we are until we hit the coast and find a little seafood shack. I want to look back on this time and feel like I truly experienced the East Coast 🙂
9. How often do you come out with new designs?
My goal this year was to have a new collection for every season so people have new, fresh designs to look forward to! I launched my first Spring and Summer collection this year and people seemed to love the flowers, seashells, and bright colors. Fall and Winter are my biggest seasons by far- when the weather gets colder and the daylight get shorter, people seem to want candles at their dinner tables and events, so that has always been my focus. I have Christmas tree candles, snowmen, holly leaf and berry designs, and a New England Fall Silhouette that sells out at almost every event! But it was fun to create totally different designs for Spring and Summer this year, and I have some fun new Fall and Christmas designs up my sleeve this year too!
10. What do you want your customers to know about Ginger Taylor?
I want my customers to know how much I appreciate them. I love making candles, traveling to events, and everything in between, but my absolute favorite part is interacting with the customers. Each weekend I find myself nearly brought to tears by customers who take the time to tell me an anecdote, ask about me or the company, or just wish me well. On the back of each bag of candles is the Bible verse “For you are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14. It makes my day when people stop to tell me how that impacted them or how they love that I included that. My favorite interaction was with an older gentleman in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He asked how I got the name Ginger Taylor and when I told him it was my grandma’s name and that she had passed away, he said “She would be so incredibly proud of you and what you’ve done.” I couldn’t contain myself! When I started Ginger Taylor, I knew that if I was going to spend my life working toward something, I wanted my faith woven into it, I wanted people that I loved- like my grandma- subtlety included, and I wanted an excuse to interact with incredible people from all over the country who take the time to remind me of what’s truly important. I feel so grateful to have this business and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ginger Taylor in the years to come!
Ok, y’all, was I right or was I right? How can you not love Haley and want to support her business?
Now let’s talk giveaway. Entering is super simple, just follow these easy steps:
To enter the giveaway:
1. Like the photo on my Instagram that announces the giveaway
2. Follow my account – @ downinthehollowblog [must still be following on the day I announce the winner or you are disqualified]
3. Follow @ gingertaylorcandles [must still be following on the day I announce the winner or you are disqualified]
4. Tag 2 friends in the comment section on my post
The giveaway will run from today, July 30, until Aug 6th at noon. I will use an online generator to choose a winner and announce it on my stories!
Here’s a picture of the candle pair you’re entering to win! So fun, right? Those intricate little shells? The adorableness is just too much. Y’all need these candles.
Right now I have my sage pair in the center of my dining room table in crystal candle holders and every time I walk by or through that room they just make me smile!
What are you doing still sitting there? Go enter that giveaway!