Happy Feature Friday!
We’re so excited to be featuring our very first candle company, LITTLE BATCH Candle Co.! Andrew crafts the most unique and true to their name scents and we love how much is put into each product — from the packaging and design, to the work to create the perfect scent! We are huge candle lovers (you should see the collection we have going!) so it was great to get to test out a few of these candles ourselves! What we really loved about them, was that the scents were dead on to their name and they truly fill a room. LITTLE BATCH offers so many scents so we’re sure you’re bound to find one that fits you perfectly! Keep reading to learn more about how LITTLE BATCH came to be, why soy wax is so beneficial, and the whole process behind bringing these scents and candles to life.
: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
: My name is Andrew Kruep, and I have my own “little” Etsy shop called LITTLE BATCH Candle Co; an artisanal candle company focused on making high quality, 100% hand crafted, and fully customizable soy candles. I’m also a very proud resident of Jersey City, NJ (about 15 minutes from Manhattan), which is where LITTLE BATCH is based!
: How did you become interested in making and selling your own candles? And how did you learn to do it?!
: Well, I have always been an avid candle lover. I absolutely love walking into a room after a candle is lit; I feel like it can completely change your entire perspective, or mood, in one moment. Because of that, I was spending WAY too much money on candles (truth!) and I wondered what it would be like to make my own. I went online and bought a small, run of the mill, soy candle making kit (a few days before a huge snowstorm here on the East Coast) and fell in love with the process of creating candles on my own. Of course, it was a kit that came with standard options, so it was very limited. Naturally, I wanted to learn all I could, and create more candles that were tailored to what I liked!
: You have your own Etsy shop! What has been the most rewarding or memorable part of starting your own business?
: Yes I do! Etsy is an awesome platform for artists, makers (as we call ourselves), and anyone who wants to sell a product they create. EVERY sale I make is the most rewarding part of starting my own shop. I believe in my LITTLE BATCHes so much, and it’s the neatest thing to pass a handmade product made entirely by me to a new customer who finds the beauty in it! Even more, it’s amazing to have customers who reorder their favorite LITTLE BATCH because they like it so much!
: Your candles are made of 100% natural soy wax which is awesome! For those who don’t know, what are the benefits/pros of what you use versus the mainstream brands that may use other contents such as paraffin?
: Ugh, first of all, thank you SO much for asking that question. It’s something that I’m very passionate about, just ask my friends who I preach to about paraffin candles, ha! I only use 100% natural soy wax because it is a vegetable based product, unlike paraffin, which is petroleum based. Yes, petroleum, as in gasoline. Yikes. In fact, paraffin is actually a leftover by-product of the petroleum refining process. It is an easy go-to for many candle brands, because it’s cheaper, and has few limitations in candle making. I, however, thoroughly believe in the natural and renewable beauty of soy and its advantages; less soot, no toxins, longer burn time, cleans up with merely soap and water, and even benefits the farmers who grow the soybeans! It’s true that soy has its limitations and is a little more expensive, (and it may be my inner vegetarian coming out) but I believe it is 100% worth it!
: How do you craft the perfect scent? What is the testing process like or how do you source ingredients and discover what works best together?
: Crafting the perfect scent takes time, perseverance, and lots of creativity. There are a lot of distributors out there, and they all offer “dupes” of name brand candles. For me, I love the challenge of making every LITTLE BATCH fragrance one of a kind. I truly enjoy the craft of inventing a brand new, one-of-a-kind, scent. As far as the process, I tend to purchase a LOT of samples when they go on sale from my distributors. You wouldn’t believe the amount of samples I have right now, it’s like Christmas every time I want to start a new fragrance! When I want to create something new, I will start by testing each fragrance by itself, then I begin to mix and match fragrances together, once I know their behavior in soy wax. From there, I can change proportions, add color, and do any details that I’d like, as far as layering or hand painted details on top. It’s a blast! I also make my friends smell everything when they come over. Haha. They give great honest feedback!
: We love the fun scents your brand offers! If you’re at home relaxing, what is your favorite go-to candle to light? Do you have a best-seller?
: Ooooo, it truly depends on the mood I’m in, but my very first LITTLE BATCH fragrance, “Happy Camper,” is probably my favorite if I had to choose one for a deserted island situation. It’s also my best seller on Etsy. It’s a clean and bright scent that fills any room. Other favorites are Cashmere (very luxurious), Surfer Dude (dare I say, a sexy scent?), B(r)ashful (dare I say, sexier?!) So Long Stress (Essential Oils and White Tea. Very zen), Fireside (Smells EXACTLY like being….fireside!), Punkin Patch (the best pumpkin scent; a Fall must-have)…..okay so truth be told I could write about every single one!
: How have you learned more about your craft or challenged yourself since starting? Any tips for growing and perfecting your skills?
: I’ve definitely learned a lot. COUNTLESS things. I’m still a very new business, so I feel like I’ll be learning for a while. Having my own shop now, I find that I need fully stocked supplies for every fragrance, no matter the time of year. Therein lies the challenge of ordering and keeping everything ready at a minute’s notice for an Etsy order. Also, shipping is such a learning endeavor. The time of year can dictate how and when I ship candles. You don’t want your candles to melt in the Postal truck in the heat of July, so it’s all about timing and learning the “ins and outs” of shipment. Still lots to learn as LITTLE BATCH continues to grow, but…..knowledge is power right? Well, that’s what Schoolhouse Rock taught me!
: It looks like you put a lot of thought into your aesthetic — from the packaging to the labels and the candles themselves! What do you want your customers to feel or experience when first receiving and using your products?
: I absolutely love making my LITTLE BATCHes, and I definitely want that to translate to the customer. I would like my customers to notice the hand craftsmanship I put into every order. But I also want them to have a full experience from the beginning of ordering till the last light of their candle. When you order through my Etsy shop, you can choose any scent and your type of wick (standard cotton or crackling wood wick), and your label (standard or custom). Custom labels can incorporate wedding vows, music lyrics, a haiku you wrote, a silly picture, well wishes to brighten someone’s day, or anything you can dream of! I also offer a fully customizable option, where you choose any scent in the world, any color, any details, custom label, any hand-painted design on the top, and you get to name the candle as well! I then package everything with care (and a custom wax seal). Argh, I shouldn’t spoil EVERY detail, because you (yes YOU!) should order a LITTLE BATCH to get the full experience of opening a custom candle. But needless to say, I enjoy making the customer feel special with the “little” touches.
: What’s next for Little Batch Candle Co.? Do you have any new projects or goals you’re currently working toward?
: I’m not quite sure what’s next for LITTLE BATCH Candle Co. Right now I’m working with a few local buildings to get LITTLE BATCHes in some high rises in Jersey City. And I’d definitely love to be able to have more inventory available in stores in NJ/NYC. I love partnering with small stores, boutiques, and event spaces to create scents that can only be found on site, exclusively for their customers. I’m also currently working side by side with local bloggers, business owners, and market vendors to create a more local presence in Jersey City. If you’ve never visited JC, you should see what all the fuss is about! Come experience our many outdoor markets, street festivals, incredible night life, or just see the gorgeous view of Manhattan from the Jersey City harbor side!
: Do you have any advice for other business owners or creators out there?
: I would say that it’s important to take one day at a time, and to continue to enjoy the “process” of creating whatever your business entails. I am definitely someone who gets stressed out and overwhelmed easily, but when I’m creating or making candles for customers, I always enjoy the process. It’s super important to me to have fun in the art of what I sell, and I think it comes out in the final product! So, although the going gets tough for small businesses (and believe me, I’m not the perfect example for stress management), it’s always nice to know that what you’re creating makes you happy. It will truly make you and your product shine ever brighter!
See more from LITTLE BATCH Candle Co. at: