Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why The Name La Belle?

After working tirelessly to create the perfect candle, it was time to find a name for my creations.   Sure, I could keep it simple and call them "Bill's Candles" or "Candles by Bill", but what fun would that be?  So the search began or what some like to call, "brainstorming". 

Where should I begin?  First and foremost, I wanted a name for my candles that represented where they came from, Victoria, Texas, or at least the general vicinity.  There were a lot of names that I could think of but none that really represented the historical significance of the area.  I started running through the list of the plentiful historical events that shaped the surrounding area.  As I was generating the list, I remembered the Belle shipwreck which occurred in the late 1600's in Matagorda Bay, just a short distance from Victoria. 

In the late 1600's a French explorer named LaSalle made his way into the Gulf of Mexico in search of the mouth of the Mississippi only to find himself along the middle Texas coast.  On a cold winters day in 1687, one of his ships, Belle, ran aground in the eastern part of Matagorda Bay and began to settle into the muddy bottom.  The ship remained submerged below the muddy waters of the bay for more than 300 years until the wreck was finally discovered by the Texas Historical Commission in 1995.  Once the ships remains were discovered, the Texas Historical Commission began an unprecedented excavation of the ship.  A cofferdam was built around the ship and all the water was pumped out and the excavation began.  Over a million artifacts have been catalogued providing an insight into the life and times of the early explorers. 

Maybe I was onto something here.  A ship wreck, beautiful artifacts, Belle - French for beautiful.  That sounded like the perfect name for my candles.  La Belle (The Beautiful).  Beautiful in appearance, beautiful smell....couldn't be a better match.  And so began, La Belle Artisan Candles.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Can A Man's Man Be A Candle Maker?

Candles.  Who likes them?  Who makes them?  Are they something reserved to be admired by only females in our society?  Can a man's man be a man if he likes the way candles look and smell? 

Let me introduce myself....I'm Bill.  I like candles.  I like the way they look.  I like the way they smell.  And yes, I make them.  Why?  I really can't explain the answer to that question.  But, candles interest me.  And yes, I've toyed with the thought of making them for years.  So what stopped me from trying my hand at candle making?  Maybe it's the thought of some hidden, feminine side of me coming out.  I don't think so!  You see, I consider myself to be a man's man.  I hunt, I fish, I bring home the bacon, I channel surf with the remote while laying on the couch.  Yes, I drive my wife nuts just like any real man does.   You know, like why does she feel the need to remind me every six months that the leaky faucet needs fixing?  Honey, don't worry...I have it on my list of things to do and I will take care it. 

Well, this year, thanks to the thoughtfulness of my wife who makes mental notes of every passing comment I make in order to surprise me with gifts for my birthday and Christmas, I started making candles.  For my birthday, she bought me some candle making supplies and my quest to develop the perfect candle started to take shape. 

How hard could it be?  All you need is a jar, some wax, fragrance oil, a wick and pot to melt the wax and your done.  Well, I've found that it's not that easy.  Although I thought the first candle I made would put any Yankee Candle to shame.  Yes, my wife just smiled and agreed.  Now that I look back on the first candle, I've come to realize my wife's smile was just a simple token of love. 

I started this blog to allow you to follow my quest to make the perfect candle, to allow you to share your thoughts on what makes the perfect candle, and to show that a man's man can be a candle maker.