Bug Out 2015 Updates

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Bug Out is a plant-derived blend of essential oils and botanicals that critters just hate.  Unlike a pesticide which kills bugs, Bug Out is highly disagreeable to buggies – they just prefer to steer clear of areas where Bug Out is present.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (the Act) to regulate all products related to insect and pest mitigation.  Since Bug Out is not an insecticide, it is exempt from the Act.  To maintain our exempt status, Bug Out has to comply with strict formulation, labeling and disclosure requirements.  In addition, individual states actually charge us fees to sell exempt products within their boundaries.  The associated costs make the economics of selling in certain states very difficult.

We do not love rules, but we prefer to follow them.  So, for now we are only able to offer Bug Out in these select states: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida Hawaii & Maine. Our team is working daily to make Bug Out available in more states.

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Essential Oils for Winter, Part 2

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If you haven’t read the first part of this blog series, please click here to read more about warming essential oils!

Along with wanting to feel warm and cozy, in winter,  it is also important to stay uplifted!  For help with this we turn to our citrus allies, our friends the orange and grapefruit (with a dash of clove for a little extra warmth)!

Citrus essential oils evoke feelings of balance and positivity, they know how  to recharge and uplift you when you need it most!  Bergamot oil comes from the rind of Citrus bergamia, which is an orange sized fruit but usually colored like a lemon. Bergamot and Orange are featured in our Indian Summer Clean Air room spray!

Neroli oil transitions us from citrus fruits to flowers as it comes from the orange blossoms themselves and is a delicious scent wonderful for calming and uplifting spirits.  Neroli always reminds us of another joyful and uplifting friend:  Jasmine.  This lovely flower is known to evoke joyful creation and delicate beauty.

Stay tuned for our next post on more essential oil love during Wintertime and thank you for reading.

Essential Oils for Winter, Part 1

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The temperatures have been blustery here in Vermont. We love winter because it toughens us up, keeps us grateful, and gives us an extreme contrast to balance the seasons.

We’ve found some pretty magical ways to cope with this intensely cold weather through the use and enjoyment of our essential oil candles!  We find they truly help us create these feelings we thirst for each cold season; feelings of warmth and comfort; feelings of inspiration.  Essential oils, along with the finer things in winter life:  snuggles with loved ones, toasty fires, cozy teas, thoughtful books and yummy soups, always provide sustenance and make us smile!

For warmth, we recommend oils of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.  Along with smelling delicious, like a hot mug of Chai, these spices have been prized throughout the ages for their warming, fiery elements!  Sandalwood is another warming essential oil that is easy to love!  Characterized by rich, mellow, smoky notes, sandalwood easily conjures a strong sense of compassion.

Stay tuned for the next post with more essential oils for winter and cheers to staying cozy!

The Creative Sheep

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January has arrived, a new year is here. Many of you may already be aware that January brings forth the year of the elegant, yet timid Sheep. Sheep are associated with the goat and/or ram in the Chinese zodiac. Sheep are gentle, in tune with nature and full of sympathy.

In 2015 the sheep marks pure creativity. The last Sheep year was 2003 and the element was water. In this Sheep year of 2015, the element is wood. Wood is fuel for those creative fires to burn bright; or rather to build them into existence. This year calls for more time spent in and with nature.

Since we at WOW tend to view the world through the lens of pure botanicals, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the essential oils that best complement the Year of the Sheep. In the Hindu (Sanskrit) tradition, the sacral chakra is a power center located between the belly button and the groin. It is linked with our creative fire and intertwines creativity, sexuality and the birth of our creative endeavors. Essential oils that activate and sustain our sacral chakra include Patchouli, Sandalwood, Jasmine, Neroli and other citrus oils.

Patchouli is intense, expansive and layered. If it were an art piece hung in a gallery, it would be sexy, earthy and hard to ignore. If it speaks to you, you want its colors and aromas to follow you everywhere. Truth be told, Patchouli can be the ‘great divider’ with passionate fans and staunch opponents. Love it or hate it, you just can’t ignore it!

So this year, we vow to stoke our creative fires, get outside even more and find the sacred place and/or part of mama nature that calls to us, further open our hearts and get inspired. Join us —let’s CREATE! 🙂

 

Another Great Year Ends & A New Begins

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“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”  ~Albert Einstein

To celebrate the end of year, our team of rugged waxers took a retreat to Stone Hut nestled on the top of Mount Mansfield. We reveled in the winter wonderland here in Vermont, enjoyed skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, and had fun trying out snowskating. We love living in the green mountains and all of the opportunities we have to continue fostering our connection to nature and the great outdoors!

At the end of each year, we reflect on the things that we accomplished throughout the year and what we strive to achieve in the year to come. This year we underwent a lot of awesome changes; from new faces, to improved packaging and an updated website. We are grateful to all of you who followed us through these transformations and to all of you who joined us along the way. Our amazing and experienced team grew and brought in new positive momentum. Although our look is new, we maintain the same very high quality ingredients and rigorous standards to bring you the best pure aromatherapy experience― because you deserve to burn a better candle!

Coming into the New Year we’re excited for what the future will bring! We know that hard work pays off― so we’ll continue being busy like bees crafting delicious, new and exciting products to enhance the candle culture and communicate the power of pure aromatherapy. We are so grateful to share this journey with you!

Darkness is My Friend

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This time of year I always like to reflect upon the shortness of days and slowness of the season. It’s important not to get too stressed with the holiday bustle and to remember that nature is subtly telling us (especially here in Vermont) to slow down, snuggle up, learn, ponder, and plot!

Understandly, short, cold, dark days can bum folks out and make it harder to find motivation or maintain a positive outlook on life. When we notice this shift, it is important to think about that cycle nature passes through year after year. This cycle of renewal and continual flow brings strength, longevity and balance. Ebbs and flows are necessary for maintaining the balance of life. Without the dropping seeds in Fall, certain plants wouldn’t come back the next Spring to grace us with their beauty and wellness. Feeling cold and tired are signs that our bodies are being pulled into this natural current. Too often, we forget or overlook nature’s patterns in our busy schedules and the fast-paced, technologically driven lives we live.

One of my favorite things about winter (besides fluffy snow of course) is the darkness. Please don’t get me wrong— because sunshine is most excellent with its warmth and Vitamin D! But on long nights, you can burn more candles in the dark. Candle light is alluring, warming and inspiring.

Think of darkness as a returning friend who comes to remind us that it is important to slow down, light a candle and reflect on life. To be humble, thankful, and gracious and learn from everything (and one) that crosses your path!

Charlie and The Candle Factory

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The other day, a business associate (Charlie) happened to be in our neck of the woods (which is definitely a neck of the woods!).  Naturally, I invited him to stop by the candle factory.  “Well, I have some bad news…” he replied.  “My wife and I actually have a ‘fragrance-free household.’ We are so sensitive to scents that we only receive magazines that offer a fragrance-free version, we only use certain fragrance-free skincare products, and so on.  Scented products give us migraines (or worse) and if we go into a store that sells Brand X candles, we instantly have to leave.”

Me too, Charlie! Me too!  The claims that are so often repeated by other brands (‘naturally scented’ or ‘pure aromatherapy’) end up leaving sensitive people wary of ALL scents, and understandably so.

So rather than talk about it, I said “Charlie, we’re different. But all I’m asking is that you come to the factory. If you can’t come in the door or if at any point find that you’re experiencing any irritation/sensitization, the tour will be over.”

Charlie tentatively got out of his car. We came through the entrance and he trailed behind, slowly waiting for the assault on his senses that occurs while flipping through magazines in the waiting room at the dentist’s office, or walking down the cleaning products aisle at the grocery store.  After a minute or two, I asked him how he was doing. “Fine?” he answered incredulously.  “I can smell a fragrant aroma, but it’s not like I expected…”

I could tell he was having a hard time processing the fact that he was surrounded by thousands of candles, drums of essential oils and indeed, a present and very real aroma; yet he couldn’t identify any of the usual negative effects.  Headache? No. Watery eyes? No.  Respiratory irritation? No.  And then, a smile of enlightenment appeared.  These candles are unlike any others he’d experienced.  And then he started having fun!  Charlie eagerly smelled each of our 30+ candle aromas and happily exclaimed things like “These are so clean!” and “It really smells like the plant!”.

For the next hour, we had the pleasure of explaining the differences between synthetic fragrances and unadulterated and completely intact pure botanical essences.  I showed him our small essential oil distilling apparatus (for fun, not for actually meeting our supply needs!). I showed him a 55-gallon drum of Lavender essential oil and explained the premium we pay for our ingredients, as opposed to synthetic fragrances.blankcandles2

We talked about “unscented” conventional products that actually contain synthetic fragrances to mask other chemical scents. We talked about “trade secrets” and the lack of labeling when it comes to mainstream personal care and cleaning products. We discussed intentionally vague words like “parfum” or “fragrance” that can mean any combination of petrochemical and phthalate-laden toxic ingredients.

We talked about health. We talked about the need for labeling requirements. We talked about how revolutionary it is to create truly authentic products in a world where chemicals are the norm. So, I’d like to take a moment to give thanks to the plant world; thanks to plant-based purity and thanks those who stick to their guns to create products with integrity.  There are some real heroes out there (Dr. Bronner’s, Urban Moonshine, Badger, Pangea, Weleda, Mountain Rose Herbs and more!)

And to all those who are chemically-sensitive, be proud of your bodies’ recognition of poison.  Just because the majority of the population is slowly becoming chemically desensitized doesn’t mean that the products on store shelves are safe.

To continue reading about this topic:

Dr. Aviva Romm recently wrote a great article about body burden and ways to reduce our exposure to toxins. (“Body burden refers to the total amount of toxic chemicals in your body at a given time, or the amount of a single chemical, for example, arsenic, lead, mercury, or PCB, to name just a few.”)  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7689/5-tips-to-reduce-your-exposure-to-toxins-and-lose-a-few-pounds-in-the-process.html

http://www.safecosmetics.org/downloads/NotTooPretty_report.pdf

February 2013 report from Women’s Voices for the Earth about how fragrance allergens harm public health: http://www.womensvoices.org/science/reports/secret-scents/

We’ve also written about our dedication to essential oils on our website:

http://www.wayoutwax.com/approach/why_essential_oils.html

http://www.wayoutwax.com/approach/aromatherapy.html

We’re 20!

ImageHappy 20th birthday to us!  Way Out Wax was founded in 1992 with a vision to produce handcrafted works of art while utilizing socially and environmentally responsible business practices.  This means we’ve been in the biz for 20 years and we are celebrating!

Our products are a reflection of our beautiful, natural surroundings and the lifestyles of those who make them; embracing good health and maintaining the balance with nature.  We firmly believe in the “Triple Bottom Line” (People, Planet…then, Profit) and strive to create an alternative working atmosphere where creativity, flexibility and respect are given top priority.  It is our goal to build lasting friendships with our customers, our community!

It all began selling tie-dyed t-shirts at rock concerts.  Making a tie-dyed candle was a natural and profitable progression.  So in 1992, Jim Rossiter and a some dear friends began making candles under the name Way Out Wax.  The Kaleidoscopes and other Tie-Dyed candles grew steadily in popularity and had made quite a name for themselves by 1995 when Jim became increasingly aware that colorful candles aren’t in harmony with a healthy lifestyle.  Candle dyes, though beautiful, are unfortunately highly toxic and are proven to release a number of known toxins and carcinogens into the air while a candle is burning.  A company full of people who pride themselves on recycling, carpooling, eating organic food, and being environmentally conscious felt the need to apply principles of healthy living to every aspect of their lives, including the candles they make!

So, the Kaleidoscopes were bid a fond farewell and a new plan was hatched.  Working in conjunction with a certified aromatherapist, Way Out Wax decided to pursue all-natural aromatherapy candles.  Already skilled in the mechanics of candle making (thanks to the Kaleidoscope-days), we now could concentrate on sourcing pure botanical essential oils and the finest, all-natural wax blends. The results were what you see now.  We launched a line of single scent aromatherapy candles along with a line of synergy blends created by our friend and mentor, certified aromatherapist Wendy Dorsey. (The header image of this post is a picture of some of the first aromatherapy candles!)

Today, Way Out Wax still remains more committed than ever to providing an environmentally friendly candle in an increasingly toxic world!  We stick to scenting all of our products with 100% pure essential oils.  We use only unbleached cotton or hemp wicks with a paper core and refuse to add any candle dyes or synthetics.  We strive to reduce our ecological footprint while providing an affordable, practical, and uncompromised aromatherapy experience.

We have a lot of fun enjoying delicious aromas while proving that candles can be both beautiful and natural.  We thank you for reading and hope you enjoy our products as much as we do.  We are excited to keep the positive vibes flowing and this anniversary is a great inspiration for all of our future endeavors!

We invite you to come celebrate this anniversary with us!  “Like” us on Facebook to participate in our daily giveaways !  Visit our web site, fill up your cart with delicious goodies and enter “soy” in the coupon code box at check out and celebrate with us while saving 20% on your non-GMO soy wax candles!

If walls had ears…

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They’d have heard their fair share of music and laughter from our crew over the last 16 years!

Today we shut the door to the old factory on Harrel Street for the last time.

Moving often brings a nostalgic, bittersweet mix of emotions and a decade and a half in one space is a long time.   While we are so excited for all that the future holds, we feel it is important to stop and reflect.

A constantly evolving (and sometimes revolving) set of folks have spent months or years at Harrel Street and, together, we became part of a funky and fragrant mythology.   Over the years, we’ve employed glass blowers, carpenters, crafters, painters, storytellers, skydivers, comedians, inventors and many damn fine candlemakers.  Not always, but sometimes (more often than the national average!), there is just the right mix of music, world views, life experiences and timing to produce a sort of alchemical environment.  I am honored to say that we experienced this phenomenon in multiple manifestations.   You know who you are!

So, today, we are thinking back on all the fine folks that have been along for the ride.   With a pitcher of hot wax in hand, we’ve probed the mysteries of the universe and all grown up a little along the way.  It is with a grateful heart that we think of all you Waxers, both past and present!  Please know that today we sang a song and danced a dance in your honor.

Hey diddle diddle
to the people in the middle
we got HOT WAX
and it’s cookin’ on the griddle
Got the guitar strummin’
the drummer drummin’
the people all hummin’
and the vibe was lovin’
on and on and on
’til the breakadawn

(- Michael Franti)

It’s official.  We’ve packed up our aromatic carnival and headed north. Come visit us at our lovely new digs.  We’ve got lots of memories to create!