Why We Hand-Make Our Cement Vessels
At Citrus & Cane, we talk a lot about how we hand-make our candle vessels, but we haven't spoken as much about the why. In 2020, the world was hit hard by COVID-19, and the impact was felt across all industries. However, it hit the glass-making industry particularly hard, causing shortages in supplies, especially in the glass candle jar market. As soon as our suppliers restocked, the jars sold out almost immediately. Every candle maker was stalking their suppliers, waiting for the vessels to restock. I specifically remember checking the site four times a day to make sure I didn't miss the restock.
The constant restocking and fear of missing out led to a slew of problems, the biggest of which became a cash flow problem. I was so fearful of running out of supplies that I was ordering 10 times more than I needed and sitting on inventory out of fear. This created a non-sustainable way of operating the business, and after months of struggling with this, we made it our mission to find a solution. That's why we began hand-making our vessels.
Hand-making our vessels was a big learning curve for us. It took a lot of time, effort, and patience to understand the art of jar making inside and out. Even after two years of making our vessels by hand, we still learn little tips and tricks that blow our minds. But the moral of the story is that our vessels are not only stunning and handmade, but the story behind them shows how we overcame our biggest obstacle by taking control over our supply chain and eliminating the middle-man.
Hand-making our vessels allows us to have control over our supply chain, which in turn, provides us with accessible cash flow to operate the business well. We can make as many vessels as we need, and we're not reliant on outside suppliers to restock. We can also create vessels that are unique and one-of-a-kind, which sets us apart from other candle makers who use mass-produced vessels.
One of the biggest benefits of hand-making our vessels is the ability to be eco-friendly. We use cement as our primary material, which is a sustainable material that doesn't harm the environment. Unlike glass jars, which are made from non-renewable resources, cement is made from readily available materials like limestone, clay, and sand. It's also a durable material that can withstand high temperatures, which is essential for candle-making vessels.
Hand-making our vessels also allows us to customize our vessels to fit our brand and style. We can create vessels in different sizes, shapes, and colors, which gives our customers more options to choose from. We also add unique details to our vessels, like gold leafing and hand-painted designs, to create a truly unique and luxurious product.
Lastly, hand-making our vessels allows us to support other small businesses in our community. We source all of our materials locally, from the cement to the gold leafing, which supports other small businesses in the area. By working with other small businesses, we can create a network of support and help each other succeed.
In conclusion, hand-making our vessels wasn't just a decision we made because of the glass shortage. It's become a fundamental part of our brand and business model. Hand-making our vessels allows us to be eco-friendly, customizable, and supportive of other small businesses. It's also allowed us to take control over our supply chain and provide accessible cash flow to operate the business well. We're proud of our vessels, and we hope you love them as much as we do.