Introduction of JÖL Brand and CANDLES!
First about JÖL (or JOL). A part of our deeper branding for the always possible brick & mortar retail aspect of our business. As we have called out before, JOL has many meanings and all of them are good. Nordic in origin, it means party, gathering or celebration. It is also South African slang for, “You’re the bomb!” All of this is why we love this word. Add in that “J” and “L” are used to spell it.
Making items that were not designed for being put on the body has been in our mind for years. There are things we are tinkering with or tossing into our planning meetings that we would be interested in making but would not make sense to be branded under the J&L Pogonotrophics or J+L Apothecary names. Part of that was behind finding a sensible retail operations name. Now that we are starting to introduce the first products that are not for bath, body or the beard; JOL was the logical name to use.
Why make candles?
We have asked ourselves that every time someone has inquired about them. Although I have made candles for personal use many times, I never thought about making that a part of our offerings. Over the years, we have had many requests for many of our scents in candle form and we have politely replied that it is not our thing.
With a belief that you should never slam the door on any viable good idea, the specter of candle making has been tossed around before being bat away. There has been seemingly logical reasons to not do it. It can be viewed as a over done category. Making candles will not help us fight the stigma of being a “craft maker” or this being a “hobby” for us. When you have customer after customer request something and willing to throw their hard earned cash at you for something and you tell them no; it makes us look like idiots.
Much of what goes into soap making translates well to candle making. Much of what we do falls into the soap making category – although we do not make our soaps 100% from scratch. Making candles means working with many of the same ingredients and tools along with similar production behaviors.
So, now our answer to why make candles is, “Why not?”
How to make Candles work with our existing offerings
We are well known for our fragrances in nearly all our products. That is what lead to the request for candles from the public. Especially from those who love our scents but do not wish to “wear” them. This is exactly how and why they work with our core business. At start, most of our candle scents will be the same if not very similar to existing beard oil and soap fragrances. Not all our scents will work well as candle fragrances as we currently formulate them. Since we use organic essential oils, they are very costly to use in the quantity needed for candles. We will work to find ways to emulate those scents, or find a complimentary similar scent.
Our Candle Philosophy
Make them well and sell them at a fair price. Pretty much our overall philosophy. It is also make them as distinctively J&L as we can. There is a lot of room for true innovation and originality, so we need to just place a few little twists here and there to differentiate us from the majority of what is already out there.
Packaging needed to be simple in form and function, not be glitzy or grandiose but not be pedestrian or bland. One of our bottle suppliers sells tins, and of those tins were little paint cans. The use of these as candle containers is not original, but we knew they suited our concept perfectly. The cans are shiny. They will pair with a modern decor or an industrial decor. They can be displayed in a home to stand out, or masked within other decor. The can allows the candle to be self contained and safer. The can will not shatter under the heat or in shipping. With us doing most of our business through shipping, it is important to cut losses caused by damage.
The labeling is simple, to the point and permits the paint can to literally shine. Why hide it with large stickers that border on being gaudy? We know it’s a paint can, you know it is a paint can, it does not need to look like one! The branding we are going with is the most reserved and sedate we have conceived. We are sure you will love it!
We sought new “homey” scents to use. Fragrances that would not be awesome for wearing, but you would love to smell in your home. Straight up food and overly floral scents are not on the idea board for now, if ever. Some of our new fragrances may not be 100% original to start with. The primary objective in scents was to offer up warmth and relaxation. We wanted to set a mood and help others embrace it.
Another part of our philosophy for candles is to bring a level of sophistication that are other products openly reject. J&L Pogonotrophics is steeped in a specific aesthetic that goes back to Victorian days. J+L Apothecary is all about vibrant generic-ness of 80s meets 2000s. JOL will be held back, reserved, a little shy at first; once you open it up it will be warm, friendly and have something real to say. Honestly, much like me.
When will Candles be available, and how much will they be?
We hope to have our first few scents available by Halloween. We have 6-7 scents established, and a couple more we are sorting out. The candles will be $19.99 at launch for a 16 ounce candle in a paint can. Can opener included! Compare this to other same size and container candles out there that are $30 or more! A couple scents that we hope to introduce are most costly to produce, those candles will have a higher price.
For the remainder of 2020, candles will be excluded from any discount plans. There are some hidden costs associated with start-up of this line that we must cover before we can offer discounts.
What more can we expect from JÖL?
After the holidays, we hope to introduce our line of scented air freshener sprays in matching scents to our candles. This has been another item that has long been worked on and we feel the time is right to do it. In time, we may add other sizes and styles of candles based upon the response.
Other things we have considered fall into the food & drink category. Mainly, aromatic bitters. It has been budding hobby of mine and when the time is right I will look into the regulatory aspects of trying to make them.
The great thing about JOL is that it gives us a new column to work with that is not limited to a well defined image. JOL can be anything we want that doesn’t fit in with our bath, body & beard products. Furniture, linens, lighting…. honestly, anything.
Look forward to seeing the candles in the store soon. We also hope to have scent samples available to add-in to orders we receive.
Thank you very much, John