Yeah, I try not to say that too loudly around schools. If you’re out and about – or, “oot and aboot”, heard often in Florida around this time of year – Tampa Bay area over the next several weeks, guess what? I have FREE SNIFFS.
And I’m talking soy candles and artisan soap. Really good stuff, too. Organic soy wax. High-quality oils and wicks. My soaps may not be made from “women’s fat asses”, but it’s all shea butter, olive oil, glycerin, and goat’s milk. Close enough.
I love creating unique scents and infusing my nerdy obsession with pop culture into my candles and soaps.
*Despite the first and second rule, if you’re too young to have seen the film Fight Club, watch Fight Club. Not only is it more relevant today than it was twenty years ago, but it’s barely aged, you’ll probably freaking love it – and, ladies…it’s Brad Pitt in his prime. 😉 The film is a witty, funny, gritty, honest mindfuck of a story that moves fast enough for those of you with the attention span of a gnat. Okay, done. Now, WE DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB.*
Come see me…because paying shipping SUCKS.
There’s just no way around it with jar candles and dense soaps. I could mark everything up and say “free shipping included” but does that work? Aren’t you guys smart enough to know I just shoved it into the price?
Here’s my gig list – nearly all of them are having live bands, microbrews, wine, arts, and local handmade crafts, so these are really fun events/fundraisers. I believe they’re all FREE, too. FREEEEEEEEEEEE.
17th: Shopapalooza, St. Pete.
23rd: Ella’s Black Friday Pop Up Market on Nebraska Ave, Tampa.
24th: Art Walk, Pinellas Park, Small Business Saturday.
27th: Cheval’s Holiday Gift & Craft Market, Lutz.
1st: Holizaar, St. Pete.
7th: PAW/Pinellas Ale Works, St. Pete.
13th: Eco Fest Market, Lutz.
21st: Third Friday, Safety Harbor.
Growing Up Broke
When we were kids, we got what we needed, not what we wanted. We lived on one military paycheck. Clothes were passed down, pants were hemmed, lunches were packed, food was from the garden and we weren’t allowed to eat McDonald’s or Burger King. (Our junk food was pizza.) Going out to eat was an event, we cut our own lawn, we didn’t have air conditioning, and the family shared a single bathroom. Mom used layaway for Christmas gifts. I still shower at night from years of working around the hot water heater schedule. We had well water, recycled, planted, reused, fixed things, cooked, sewed, patched, chopped and got creative. It’s funny how that’s all “in style” at the moment. Even layaway made a comeback. Growing up, it was embarrassing to be the only kid with a brown bag or white hem marks from multiple let-outs. I’m grateful now, but it definitely sucked at the time. I never developed a taste for fast food or soda pop, but I adore peppery arugula and cool, crisp cucumbers with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
I realized while writing this that we are all nickel and dimed to death. We pay for little things here and there; Netflix, a subscription, games, Pandora, cable/hulu, etc. Most have their own cars (and insurance.) Phones. <—-Just that adds up to hundreds each month…and you don’t even have a roof over your head or food on the table yet. THIS is why we don’t have much money left over. Everything adds up. All that little stuff amounts to something. Payments, credit cards…at 15-18% interest, we’re throwing money away by keeping a balance, too. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog. And I would never give up my Pandora. It’s $3.99/month well spent.
AprilsScentSations, The Beginning
I was about ten years old and we were in Peddler’s Village, which is an artsy area of Pennsylvania near Philadelphia. My mother loved to shop. And by shop, I mean dragging us along for hours while she meandered around and bought nothing. I saw a brightly colored candle kit guaranteeing ease at mastering wax creations. I knew better than to ask, but I did. To my shock and amazement, Mom (an artist herself, who gave it up for the joys of marriage) grabbed the kit and plunked it down at the register. Little did she know that was likely the precursor to AprilsScentSations.
Nothing was off limits; we made candles with ice, used empty cardboard milk cartons, made dripped candles, and it was awesome.
I found myself quite lost after my Gram and Mom died. For over a year and a half, I wanded around on autopilot in a low-grade depression, despite meds. “What did you do for fun when you were a kid, before the paycheck?” Bike riding, reading, swimming, candle making and playing with makeup.
So, I started doing those things again.
Florida is weird during the holidays.
Well, I could have stopped at “weird.” Doing craft markets with Christmas songs playing in the background while a trickle of sweat drips down my chest and I’m swatting at mosquitoes doesn’t feel…merry. It never does here. I bury my nose in the candles and then…for a brief moment, it does.
Candles which ARE NOT SOY can cost you a shload in home repairs
It’s crazy how much scent adds to the atmosphere. And how it can slowly ruin your home. A customer told me he was having his air ducts cleaned out and the cleaner came down and said, “You burn a lot of candles.”
He said, “Yeah, we do.”
The cleaner: “There’s so much soot and paraffin wax crap caked up there, it’s ruining your ducts. From now on, nothing but soy candles, they burn clean.”
Read about the toxins in paraffin candles here: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/21/candles.air.pollution/
I haven’t done a lot of blogs because writing is challenging. Sitting for more than a few minutes is difficult. I was in a car accident last year which herniated every disc in my neck except one, and it partially dislocated my hip. The neck injury has deeply affected my arms and hands, especially my right one. I’ve been in intense therapy, yoga, and had four epidurals to try and get back to normal. So far, not much luck but some of the pain has decreased.
I decided to plunge back into AprilsScentSations for the holiday season to offset the loss of bookings, and because it allows me to stand at the stove instead of sitting at a desk. I also find it therapeutic to get away from screens and work with my hands. It’s fun to mix all these scents together. I always wanted to make unique candles that you can’t buy anywhere else. So far, I think I’ve mostly achieved this…and I’ve even noticed a few copycats.
To those who send Amazon gift cards, THANK YOU. I’m on there like mad lately reordering supplies. It’s incredibly appreciated AND helpful!
Etsy will have a site-wide sale on Black Friday and my store is included.
I hope to see some of you at the shows!
Ps. This was written VERY quickly and I didn’t really edit it. I need to get it out and get back to shrink wrapping and labeling. I’m fully aware my writing sucks massive weenis on this one. But my point: Come see me. Oh, and there’s a sale on Etsy next week. 🙂
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