For the past 20 years or so, I’ve been a candle collector and frequent shopper of the big name wax brands: Yankee Candle, Bath and Body Works and some Scentsy. In fact, I even sneaked candles onto my wedding registry, but I am a newbie when it comes to the world of online vendor wax. I first read the term vendor wax, or indie wax, last summer as I stumbled upon a wax blog (Lolo Loves Scents). I thought, “Hmm, that sounds interesting, but I wonder how many people are willing to buy products from homemade sources without being able to sample, smell or return them?”
Welp, fast-forward a year and I’ve happily joined the masses of consumers supporting small businesses that make up the online wax community. And that community is thriving! There are hundreds of wax vendors to choose from. Some have Etsy shops, others use website addresses that open and close for restocking their products. The open/closed shop model is the reason buying vendor wax can be a little tricky; however, the Instagram wax community and FB wax groups provide a ton of knowledge and product reviews.
There are pros and cons to buying wax online. I, for one, still get a kick out of walking into a store, smelling and choosing from an array of products before me, which can’t be done with a wax vendor. Another con is the turn-around-time (TAT) for getting your purchase varies from a few days to 6 weeks if your order is filled based on when it was received and when the wax is mixed, poured and ready. Longer wait times are to be expected, especially in cases where the business is a second job for one person supplying and shipping all the product herself.
There are so many positives, though! Purchasing from an online vendor provides a friendlier and more personal experience than shopping in a mass market store. The vendors are friendly and supportive while remaining professional with their customers. In fact, these shop owners tend to BE each others’ best customers.
Utilizing social media allows these vendors the opportunity to get nearly instant feedback from shoppers; therefore, they can produce the trending fragrances that customers want without the delays it would take a store to achieve these results. Also, because of the nature of making wax in small batches, customer feedback can actually be implemented with the next batch. I predict the top candle companies will soon follow the on trend wax vendors. Who knows? Next year we could see a ton of pink sugar, fizzy soda and lush dupes in the candle stores!
I’d love to briefly share my shopping experiences with four online wax vendors. The first two operate on a smaller scale, but they take restock requests, woohoo! The third and fourth have larger operations, but do Facebook page updates.
Wild vine soapery: This was my first ever vendor wax purchase and the owner, the lovely Lindsey, has a large Instagram presence and previews her new scents with pics and descriptions. She mostly produces scentshots (wax cups) but I couldn’t resist featuring this detailed cameo mold in the Strawberry Sugar Milk scent. I’ve melted through a few from her line and enjoy Baby Magic, which was more powdery and complex than I thought it at first sniff. I believe Lavender Soda is a popular current fragrances and I can’t wait to see what Lindsey offers in her next restock on Monday, June 20th!
Southern Sisters Wax: I feel a special affinity to this wax brand because their online shop went live around the time I was discovering vendor wax and because I have a sister who shares my wax love as well. Plus, they have the cutest southern-themed names for their scents and they give scentshot samples:) Right now I’m loving the sweet peach magnolia blend Jolene (big fan of Dolly!) The Southern Sisters are currently running a wax favorites sampler pre-sale. Don’t miss it!
Super Tarts: You can’t help but notice Super Tarts’ vibrantly colored wax when scrolling through photos. It’s usually tri-layered, has graphic artwork, and is named after really fun pop-culture themes. Super Tarts doesn’t update on IG, I think there’s a Facebook page where the vendor posts info. Restocks were random and I wouldn’t have even known about them (not on fb) if another wax blogger, the meltdownblog, didn’t give me a heads up. Fortunately, as of June, Super Tarts went ready-to-ship with weekly additions to a rotating stock of wax. My most recent purchase was from the Hunger Games set, but the half-bam bag I got in Ballgame is the strongest and longest lasting vendor wax I’ve tried so far. I don’t think Super Tarts gives samples with RTS orders, but the previous sample cubes weren’t labeled, so who knows what I was sampling anyway. Like nearly everyone, I’m hoping the Harry Potter scents make a comeback to the rotation.
*Update: ST offers discounted (ugly) clamshells. This is a fabulous idea and a way to try scents from a release you may have missed out on. Even better, updates are now occasionally posted on Instagram, yay!
Vintage Chic Scents: Ah, the most recognizable flower-shaped wax of them all. If you’ve experienced the madness that is a VCS restock, then you know it’s one of the most sought after vendors around. After missing out twice, I lucked out last restock because I happened to check the site right when it was opening. Since the owner, Kirby, doesn’t seem to open during evening hours, the entire stock seems to sell-out in 20 minutes, and my library coworkers frown upon constantly refreshing a Web page on my phone all day, it’s likely I won’t get in on another restock any time soon. Buuut, that won’t stop me from trying in tomorrow’s restock, Fri. June 17th. I mean, come on, the wax is so beautiful and the vintage and old-fashioned themes are my cup of tea. I’ve tried two scents so far, but even after curing the wax for 3 weeks the throw didn’t seem very strong, just hit or miss. One of my favorites is, No Woman, No Cry. I’m not sure of the exact fragrance (descriptions can be hard to find on the site) it’s a tropical coconut blend that may have pineapple liqueur, sandalwood and something like dill? If anyone knows what’s in that scent, let me know.
Update: got my wishlist in the restock!
Whew! Hopefully, that wasn’t too long-winded, the excitement of a vendor wax newbie and all! Thanks for reading and for all the wax tips and recommendations I’ve received from the generous wax community:) Which great vendors should I try next?
P.S. Fear not Yankee fandles, up next are two all-time favorite and under-appreciated Yankee candles…