Throwback: The Story of Standard Wax (2/3)
This post is part two of a three-part series on our history, growth, and changes over the nearly nine years of history - all leading up to a fun limited-edition launch featuring throwback products from our past!
Now that you know how we started (you can peep the first part of this blog here) I'm excited to share the roller coaster of events that followed our accidental launch.
When we first started, Standard Wax was novel as hell. It made me feel ALIVE knowing that we were making something people would stop to look at and go "oh wow!". You see, back then (that phrase makes me feel ancient) Yankee Candle and their friends ruled the candle world. You could have a giant glass jar with YANKEE CANDLE plastered all over. You could also get the Capri Blue candle from Anthropologie (if you know, you know). That was the candle market.
So when we started pouring candles into something new - ceramic vessels made by an artist - people perked right up.
This got us a lot of fun attention. Press mentions. Photoshoots. We were on the cover of a local magazine. We got into the world of tradeshows where buyers had never seen candles like ours before. We could throw parties and the who's who of Phoenix would flock.
Our business was catapulted to another level. We rented warehouse space. We could no longer sustain our growth by making all of our candle vessels by hand, so we branched out into new designs. We started custom manufacturing ceramics overseas and ordered thousands at a time. We traveled for "inspiration" all the time. Business meetings always took place at fun bars and restaurants. We hired consultants to create crazy spreadsheets to project our sales. We had a team of people to help with production and marketing!
These were what I lovingly refer to as the Glory Days. We were living the dream! If the Standard Wax history was a TV show, this part would be a montage of laughter and drinking and traveling and late nights and piles of money and SO. MANY. CANDLES. going out the door each day. We would take our team on Adventure Days (we once surprised them by flying to Magic Mountain for the day) and we'd produce elaborate photo shoots all over the state. We frequented workshops and conferences, we both got married. We had incredible life-changing revelations and got matching tattoos (more than once... three times to be exact).
We launched a lot of new things - because that's what you have to do to stay relevant in the world of wholesale. Room Sprays, Reed Diffusers, new colors, new scents. Limited-edition runs and artist collaborations. New packaging, more efficient ways to ship. We even invented the Scent Kit so people could try our fragrances before buying
We launched our Signature Ceramic candles and dove headfirst into the world of custom manufacturing. This was a wild ride, to say the least! We learned how to work a sample process, decided on a factory overseas and went to town on our first giant shipment of candle containers.
Through the growth we always kept one thing in mind: we were bringing art into your everyday. Our designs, our scents, our messaging - everything carried that feeling through.
The world of small businesses was growing right alongside us and we had visions of scaling to be like some of the other indie darling companies we looked up to: a big, beautiful warehouse with lots of natural light and a huge team of rad people helping out.
But just like in the TV shows and movies, at some point that incredible montage has to end.
Stay tuned for part three of this series, where we'll dive into the breakup, the evolution, and the rebirth of Standard Wax.