We love local! And of course we also love home fragrance. So what could be better than local home fragrance? That is exactly what we found in On a Wick & a Prayer; a local (to us) Derbyshire home fragrance brand. We’ve always what it would be like to be a candlemaker, so we asked Annie, director of On a Wick & a Prayer to give us a run down of what her day looks like. Take it away Annie:
On a Wick & a Prayer was set up by me over 15 years ago to be designers and manufacturers of quality British candles and I am pleased to have steadily built a reputation for quality and innovation in design. Situated right at the Heart of England our location is reflected in our products which are only made in the Peak District and we use only British sourced products. I still oversee all aspects of the business, and it is still run as a family business with my dedicated team of skilled artisan candle makers who have all been trained by me personally to produce On a Wick’s quality products.
My day begins with breakfast and drinking cups of tea while checking my emails, Facebook and Twitter notifications and responding accordingly. This is followed by a walk with my ‘Meet and Greet’ team – Delphi, Tweed, Amber and Tess – the family pet springer spaniels.
A 20ft walk from our home, in the quaint Derbyshire village of Tissington, takes me to my workshop where the doors are opened around 9.00 am and I am soon joined by my staff to set about our daily tasks of creating beautiful fragranced candles. Specific jobs for the day are distributed to the team and once the max melters are switched on and cups of tea or coffee are made, we are ready within 2 hours to start making fresh smelling candles again.
While the wax is melting we take already prepared candles out of their moulds and stamp the candle with our logo design. When the freshly melted wax has reached the correct temperature, the fragrance is added to the mould then we pour the hot wax inside, it takes 5-10 hours to set. The set fragrance candles are wrapped carefully in either specially designed packaging which comprises of cellophane wrapping with ribbon displaying our logo, or tissue paper and put in a designed box. We label all of our packaging clearly to show the name of the product and which fragrance has been used, and then despatch to the retail shops we supply which includes many National Trust shops across the country.
Telephone calls are made to order our supplies for fragrances, wicks and wax plus meetings are held with new customers who visit the workshop to see first hand how the products are made. Our retail shop is located in the same building as our workshop which enables visitors to browse the products and smell each fragrance before deciding which candle product to purchase.
We also have a manufacturing unit based in Dovedale, a picturesque part of the Peak District, and staff are organised on a daily basis to make candles ready for bespoke customers, despatching pallets of large quantities of candles for companies around the country. Our new creative ideas and designs are also tested out in Dovedale by way of blending new fragrances and colours, sourcing new ceramic holders, discussing our ideas with suppliers who help us create the perfect glass or ceramic holder.
Trade fairs feature throughout the year and preparations are made constantly for the small and large fairs we attend, from the Spring Fair at the NEC, Top Drawer in London, Living North, and varying school venues, beauty spas, Christmas fairs etc.
Photo images are taken on a regular basis by a local photographer therefore building up our Dropbox photo albums in order to email product images quickly and easily for prospective and existing customers. Website updates are carried out regularly when new products become available, along with price lists and brochure updates.
Sourcing our National Trust shops and other retail outlets always requires invoices to be sent out, paying bills and chasing invoice payments inevitably is a big part of my day to day jobs. At the end of the day the wax melters are switched off and the fragranced filled candle moulds are left to set overnight ready for action the next day. The ‘Meet and Greet’ team, Delphi, Tweed, Amber and Tess then look forward to a well deserved run around in the field next door!