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It's been a long time.........

To quote Led Zeppelin.......It's been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time.  Yes it has!  Sing it!  
....since I've checked or written on my blog and it seems some people have been busy!  Turns out, if I get busy and leave my blog lonely for long enough, people will take advantage of the lonely blog and post links to undesirable sites and sites I would prefer not to be associated with (if you know what I mean) and, well, at least have absolutely nothing to do with sustainable candles!  
So, now that I've spent literally HOURS rejecting, deleting, and marking as spam many very creative comments (hmm, hmm), I am back!  And this time I will take better control of this wild feed!   I'm planning on, at the very least, once a week blog posts - Check back soon because I have plenty to write about! (and I am sorry for not taking better control of my previous blogs!)

American Scent Trip candles!

 
Take a journey with your nose through the USA!  I'm
creating, based upon my own, personal travels, a series of candles that takes you on a journey through each state with your nose! 
 
As Helen Keller put it so perfectly , " Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived."
Currently ready are:
Oregon (made with pure essential oils of Douglas fir, sage & coffee with a helping of organic hazelnut and marionberry flavor oils)
Washington (made with pure essential oils of Douglas fir, lavender, & lilac with a generous helping of organic apple flavor oil)
California (nothing reminds me more of California than a fresh, warm, just of the tree, juicy orange- plus, I've added essential oils of Redwood cedar & eucalyptus along with organic strawberry and grape flavor oils)
Pennsylvania (we used to live near Hershey, Pa so I was awakened by the smell of warm chocolate wafting through my window each morning.  Thus, this yummy candle contains: organic chocolate flavor oil along with organic oils of: honeysuckle, cinnamon, and molasses)
South Dakota (after long, hot drives across South Dakota, a stop at Wall Drug for a strawberry shake or some local sassparilla is just the ticket.  Add the essential oils of spruce, pine, and sage from the forests and you've got an amazing scentsation!)
 
Each state comes with a more descriptive story and some interesting facts or recipes from/about the state.
 
Some fun tidbits-
Our American Scent Trip candles have been featured on USA Love List and are one of the founder's favorite items of all time!
The cast of the t.v. show, GRIMM, adore my AST-Oregon candles and wrote a special note to Vance Family Soy Candles to let us know!
The first lady of Oregon is a fan of our AST-Oregon candles!
 
I hope you, too, enjoy our new candle line and they transport you on a trip throughout the beautiful country of America!  - Amy

Custom Wedding Favor options are here!

Planning a wedding or special occassion?   Check out our custom candles for weddings & events!  People love these adorable candles personalized with your names and sentiments and will cherish
them (unlike many favors that end up in the trash :))  Not only are they adorable, smell great (custom scents available too!), and fun, but they are an earth friendly option that will portray your sustainable values.  Please use our contact form or call us to start your special candles for your special day!
-Amy

Better Living Show

Enjoyed our time at the Better Living Show this weekend -

American Scent Trip candles now available!

I am having so much fun making my American Scent Trip candles!  I've lived, or visited, almost every state in the USA and am now creating a candle series that takes you on a "scent trip" through the states!  Each candle is scented with the real deal (of course!) so it really smells like the real deal!  For instance, American Scent Trip- Washington is made using pure fir essential oil (Douglas Fir is the state tree!), organic apple flavor oil, and a hint of organic lavender & lilac oil.  It smells AMAZING and, coupled with my story on the label, it takes you on a scent journey through the state of Washington.  So far, I've created Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania and California.  More coming soon!
 

Some questions about soy candles......

Ever wonder why your soy candle looks like it has frosting on the top?  What about the bubble on the sides of the glass?  What about all those companies that say "soot free"?    Well, here are some answers!
1) Why DO soy candles start to change color and get a white "frosting" as they age? 
Answer:  This is actually a GOOD thing.  This is proof that the candle is made with real vegetable oils and not petroleum or synthetics.  It is just a natural occurance that doesn't affect the quality of the candle in the least bit.
2) What's up with the weird look on the sides of the glass? 
Answer:  This is the oil separating from the sides of the glass.  This is more common during the cold months.  It is perfectly normal and doesn't affect the quality of the candle.
3) So many companies claim their candles are "soot free" and  "smoke free", why don't Vance Family Soy Candles claim that?
ANSWER: Because  then we wouldn't be telling the truth.  In order to burn a candle, SOMETHING MUST BE BURNED.  When burning something, SOOT WILL HAPPEN.  Although soy candles (and especially our candles since we don't use petroleum in our scents either), and cottom wicks, let off  LESS soot than petroleum candles (parraffin), we don't claim things that aren't true.
 
Have any other questions?  We'd love to answer them!

The Mayor had our candle on his desk at his going away party!

I've just got to share this because I am so honored!  At the Portland Mayor's going away extravaganza, with thousands in the audience and him on the stage receiving awards, he had a Vance Family Soy Candle on his desk!  On the right of his desk you will see our Keep Portland Weird candle.  Out of all of the things he could have put on his desk, he chose my handiwork!  I think it is totally cool!   

buying local, corporations and "the good old days"

As I was making one of my favorite foods with my children- Thai salad rolls with fresh mint & carrots from the garden along with rice paper rolls and bean threads from Thailand- after just getting home from some vintage shopping..I thought I should clarify how I stand on some things....
*Since I am passionate in my business about buying local & American, I wanted to clarify that I am not totally against buying from other countries.  What I am against is unfair wages and working conditions and the use of large amounts of fuel to ship items that could be made and bought local  with fair wages and treatment.  I, of course, also want to support and stimulate the American economy with my purchases but if there are items that cannot be grown in America then, as long as it can be purchased with good conscience, then sometimes foreign materials are necessary.  I can't imagine having to give up mangoes or salad rolls but I would, if they could not be ethically bought! 
*With regard to the vintage look and feel of my products.......I encourage buying vintage and enjoy the look NOT BECAUSE I MISS THE GOOD OLD DAYS.  The good old days do not exist!  Many people have lost their lives and given up more than we can imagine to gain freedoms that didn't exist in the "good old days".  I don't EVER want to go back there!  Plus, the "good old days" had no modern medicine, had dark ages, diseases we don't even have to think about anymore, slavery, oppression, dirty water, no modern amenities, I could go on and on and on!  There was nothing good about that!!!    However, in our new found freedoms (I am referring to the majority of us in America, not the many still oppressed  in other parts of the world that still need help) we slipped into habits of excess and waste, not being thoughtful of the future or the consequences of our actions.  This is why I like vintage.  Why buy something new when there is already one made with character & history?  Why fill land fills with plastic bottles and use non-renewable resources when there are perfectly good, and a whole lot more charming, glass jars to be used?  Why throw out and buy new when something can be fixed?  Why do we need everything to be shiny and new?  Plus, these shiny and new items are usually made in a foreign country (possibly unethically) boosting their economy but not ours, and shipped thousands of miles wasting precious resources.
*How do I feel about corporations?  I often hear people talking negatively about the corporations and acting as if these corporations aren't run by actual people.  But they are.  REAL people invest sweat & tears to create these corporations.  REAL people with feelings.  However, where many corporations go wrong, is when greed takes over and money becomes more important than values.  This is where we need to take a stand.  I don't believe putting down companies or viewing hard work as a negative is a healthy attitude.  Corporations are successful because CUSTOMERS BUY FROM THEM.  Money speaks.  If a corporation outsources everything oversees so they can make more money, customers should stop buying!!!!  If we are all willing to pay a little more for American made items & fair trade items and maybe just buy a little less if need be, then corporations will listen.  If their "made in china" items don't sell but their "made in america" items do, which ones do you think they will continue to carry?   We cannot simply blame the companies.  WE need to take a stand and make a difference!  We don't necessarily want these corporations to go out of business.  After all, they DO create thousands of jobs for AMERICANS and most were started by hard working, AMERICAN individuals and were once small businesses themselves.  We just need to get them to sell American items and fair trade items and items without plastic or toxins (fragrance, artificial colors, etc.) by not buying the stuff we know we shouldn't!!!   Many people talk the talk but don't walk the walk.  Next time you go out shopping, if you end up at a big box store, I encourage you to be aware as to what you are buying.  Be willing to shell out a little more for the good stuff.  Have you noticed that shelves in big stores have become a little bit more eco-friendly?  That items typically found in specialty stores can now be found?  This is because of supply and demand.  Let's walk the walk!  Let's buy local.  Let's write big box stores and corporations and let them know we won't be buying there until they sell American made and fair trade items and get rid of toxins.  Let's buy fragrance & dye free.  Let's pay a little extra and buy a little less (if need be to stay in budget). Let's shop the small businesses that make a committment to buying local and sustainable and show the big corporations that we can't be bought!  Let's put our money where it counts and watch the difference!
Thanks for your time!  I don't know everything and am continuing to learn so would love your imput!
Sincerely, Amy

truth in advertising

Ugh.  I saw some candles today that clearly stated, " pure essential oils in 
soy wax" that was labeled as an aromatherapy candle and had some nice verbiage on the back about the benefits of the essentials oils supposedly in the candles.  I opened the box and bam!  synthetic fragrance filled my lungs and eyes.  Evidently there must be some essential oils in there somewhere but there was also lots of sickening, overpowering, synthetic fragrance also.   Where is the truth in advertising?  Who is regulating this?  Obviously no one.  How sad.  By all outward accounts, these candles appeared to be 100% natural, plant based candles with JUST essential oils.  What kind of aromatherapy is it if it kills you?  I was sad to see this (I see it a lot but usually the labels say "with essential oils" or "essential oil blend", still deceiving but, I now know these deceiving terms and look for them).  Of course, I can tell right away by smelling a candle whether it is real or not.  Can you?  I would love to here if others can tell, or if they think that maybe they are just allergic to certain flowers or the scent is to strong and that is what is bothering them rather than thinking that a company is deceiving them. 

Exclusive Strawberry Lemonade Candle Set.

I am excited to announce that Isabella Catalog ( www.isabellacatalog.com) will be selling my Strawberry Lemonade candles!  This candle is made with organic strawberry flavor oil & organic lemon essential oil and smells AMAZING!  It transports you to a warm front porch, surrounded by friends and beauty, sipping refreshing & fulfilling, natural lemonade with fresh strawberries.  Each candle is made in a re-usable, sturdy, 8 ounce glass that can be filled (after your candle burns out) with the lemonade you make from the included "secret" lemonade recipe!  YUMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!
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