Being from Texas, from the very beginning when I came up with the Name of this Business "Rustic Territory" I knew that I wanted to make it into an actual brand. And by Brand I mean.. Cattle Brand. After all, what is more Country then Cattle Brands? So when I designed the logo itself I made sure to incorporate that idea. I drew out several different designs on paper until I chose the perfect one. And at that point I thought it would end there...
But about 6 months into running this Company, I got the urge to go further and have an actual real life Cattle Brand made from the design of our logo. Yet, I had no idea what actual purpose it would play. So I put it off...
My mother has made Candles her entire adult life, I always loved and appreciated her artwork because that was exactly what it was. She had a keen knack for making these adorable cupcake shaped candles, popsicle's and lollipops that were coated with cotton candy colored icing and sprinkles. They were just too cute, I was constantly trying to tell her to set up a booth in one of the local antique shops because they would definitely sell. But she never would, so I kept pondering on the idea. Eventually I decided I wanted us to make a candle together for Rustic Territory. And If you were a following fan of our Business in November of 2019 you might remember our first go..
Round 1 consisted of a Glass Mason Jar (Country of Course) and a 2 layered colored candle that was Candy Apple Scented. The coloring did not turn out like it was supposed to so the bottom layer that was intended to be dark red like a Candied Apple ended up being a pinkish color. Then the top layer was a Caramel Color and that part turned out as it was supposed to. However we had the layers 50/50 and I wanted it to be more 2/3rd Red at base and 1/3rd Caramel at top just like a real Candied Apple. None the less, I had the sticker labels made for the front and the lid. And I launched them on Black Friday week of 2019. They were called "Mom's Candles". But to say the least... it was a total flop!! We only sold a few and I was disappointed so I let the idea rest for awhile to come up with a better plan & design.
See, it turns out I was over complicating it as we all do with most things. After a few survey's I posted on Facebook I found that the majority of you want a simple candle. A solid white candle instead of colored and especially instead of a dual colored candle. Your feedback reminded me that we all have different home decor and color schemes in our homes. So a solid white candle can be universally placed in any room without interfering with your current decor. How could I forget this one simple thing...? After all, my own mother is Queen at having Apples and Red in the kitchen, Beach and Turquoise in the Bathroom, Dolls and Baby Blue in the Living Room and so on. It is the obvious things that escape us all.
So I went back to the drawing board. I knew that I wanted the candles to be in a Mason Jar because I wanted them to stick to our Rustic Country Style. But there were so many sizes and lid types to choose from. I bought jar after jar and lid after lid before I decided to shy away from Mason Jars... They were Country yes, but they also didn't speak high quality class like I wanted them to. So I kept searching...
A few months later, I finally found a Gorgeous Libby Glass that was Simple and yet Elegant. It would give me the Fine Quality I was looking for but it needed some Rustic Touches. So I went to a local wholesale Candle Supply Company here in Fort Worth, Texas (Lonestar Candle Supply) and began my Easter Egg Hunt. Because that is exactly what it felt like, except I had no idea what I was even looking for lol. That is, until I found a wood lid that perfectly fit my Libby Glass. I was thrilled and spent the rest of the afternoon in that display room sniffing scent after scent and asking questions. They also had wood wicks so I got some of those knowing it would also fit the rustic look I was going for. Plus I like how they crackle when they burn, that is an added bonus.
Now getting supplies is half the battle, the rest is putting all of your puzzle pieces together. But first you need the vision of your finished product. I was still trying to figure that part out. So the supplies I bought sat at my mothers in a box for a few more months.
One day it hit me, "why not get my Rustic Territory logo made into a cattle brand that I can use to actually burn into the wood lid?" So now I had a plan for my Cattle Brand after all, it had finally found it's purpose. I immediately found a Company here in Texas (Pittsburg Foundry) who specialized in Cattle Brands and placed my order. I was really getting excited now!!! (:
Once the Cattle Brand arrived I went and bought a torch on my way to mother's house. I couldn't wait! That afternoon, one by one I heated the brand and burned it into the center of each wooden lid. I was thrilled to see how well they turned out, it was even better then I had anticipated. Then we began our mixture... This is where everything got really complicated.
My mother already had her way of doing things so I watched as she showed me all the steps involved. You got to place your soy wax shavings into a pot and mix in your color dye along with scent that is all measured exact. It is important to get all of your measurements exactly precise or you could run into problems. Mixing dye and scent has to be done at an exact temperature, pouring has to be done at an exact temperature and even where you place the candle to cool is vitally important. Trust me there is more to it then you might think. But with some trial and error on other jars we got it all down to a documented science.
Finally, we poured our first leather scented white candle into a libby jar. I had already cut and preset the wood wicks prior in the shape of a "T" centered inside the glass. With the name of Rustic Territory I like to say we are Rustic to a "T" lol. It's a little corney I know, but I thought you would appreciate the details.
Once the wax mixture was poured it became a waiting game to see how it would set. Sometimes you will get air pockets, cracking or sweating or all three. Most of which can be avoided but I found when using soy the sweating is pretty normal due to the wax releasing excess oils during temperature changes. This was easily resolved by dabbing a paper towel inside around the wick and placing in a cool area of the house.
I used this time to get the finishing touches ready. I placed the metal inside section of a mason jar lid on the bottom of the wood lid. This was intended for you to be able to put out your flame with out worry of burning your wood lid. Then I did a clear honey coat stain on the lid to give it a more finished look.
Then I decided that I wanted to offer you something more instead of just a candle. So I rummaged through all of my mothers tart molds and found one with Stars. This was perfect because Rustic Stars are very popular in the Country. My dad has them all throughout his home. So we poured some Scented Star Tarts too. I let my mother do all the mixing and pouring. I was pretty much just the one with the design idea helping her put all the pieces together lol.
Once all the wax cooled, we bagged up the star shaped tarts and complimented them with a hemp rope bow tie. This also helped give it the Rustic look I was going for. So after nearly a year and a half, we finally had a finished product that I knew you would like. I was very excited and couldn't wait to show it off!!!
Finally, I ordered the labels and designed the custom box and launched it! And I couldn't be more Excited & Happy to say that this Rustic Candle Box is selling like Hot Cakes!!! Which proves with dedication and a lot of creativity you can do anything you put your heart into. And my mother and I have hand poured our heart into each one of them just for you.
So with love, I sincerely thank you,
Emily Stricklin, (Owner & CEO of Rustic Territory)
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