Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Candles By Victoria - Reason #1

Okay, this is it! You have to start drumming your fingers on the tabletop before you read this post, hehe!

(1) C'mon, is it really a question? We all know her and love guessed it...Miss Victoria herself!! (And the crowd goes wild! Waaaaah!!) I mean, there simply wouldn't be a Candles By Victoria without Victoria! No great candles, no fun videos to watch, no wonderful Pouring Pot community... Okay, I'm making myself too sad, so I have to stop this now...

In the same vein, I'll ask the question - would there have been a Walt Disney World without Walt Disney? Yes, I am a huge Disney maniac, but stay with me on this one. :) Were there amusement parks before Walt? Yep. Did he take the idea and, with his exceptional talent and creativity, make an even better amusement park than the ones in existence at the time? Absolutely! Now, I know that candles aren't as big as an amusement park (or a animated dynasty, for that matter), but then again, I don't visit an amusement park every day like I burn scents in my home. The concept is still there. Victoria is an innovator, and she is constantly creating new ways to offer items that have, indeed, existed before - but on a higher level of quality, to which she has elevated them. Walt was always known to remind people that all that the Walt Disney Company had accomplished could be traced back to a mouse. It's hard to imagine, but a single idea can make a big difference.

Here are just a few ideas that Victoria has about how to run her business, that I think make a big difference to me, as a CBV customer:

Is it good enough that Victoria would stop at offering 100 scents? 200? How about 747 scents and still counting? Without a doubt, we can continue to look forward to her exciting us with new scents with every passing month.

Is it good enough that Victoria would offer just the scents that she has created for purchase? Same jar sizes, just different photos on the front of the jars? (Boy, that sounds boring, doesn't it?). Nope, she allows her customers to create their own combinations, name them, and choose the glitter color that they want them to be. An exciting way to purchase candles, to be sure.

Is it good enough that Victoria would sit back and not interact with her customers? Nope. Check out her youtube channel and watch the cutest snippets into her family's wonderful work ethic and love of life, one another, and her customers. This video is one of my personal favorites:

And, like I mentioned in yesterday's blog entry , Victoria has created an outstanding online community - and the last time that I checked, this lovely lady had contributed over 10,000 comments to discussions since the inception of the Pouring Pot. Pretty amazing, isn't she? Heck, I was able to attend the wonderful CBV meet-up, hosted in the Elliott's home, after being a customer of hers for just a few months! (And, we all agree that were treated like queens!) How's that for a great company owner? :D

I could go on and on, but I believe that you get the idea by now. Victoria, I love you, I love your entire funny and committed family, and I love all that you've brought into my life! Thanks so much for all that you do!

~Hugs to you sweet lady! You mean so much to so many!~

Well, that finally wraps up my top ten list for being a loyal CBV customer! I have so many orders and reviews to write about that I fear my hands will never recover! I hope to see you back here to read about the avalanche of scents that I have accumuluated! In the meantime, I'm going to go watch another one of my favorite CBV videos. The Candleman just cracks me up! :)

That's all for now, folks! Enjoy! :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Candles By Victoria - Reason #2

My goodness, a slight delay? Bwhahahaha! Let's get on with the show, shall we (finally)??!

(2) Victoria's "candle family" is the most wonderful group of people you'll ever have the privilege of meeting and spending time with. And, by "candle family", I mean her actual relatives, employees, as well as her online community. Okay, I know, you're probably thinking that I have named something that "technically" doesn't have anything to do with Victoria's products themselves as my runner up to my top reason for buying from CBV. How can this be? Well, because these people have come to mean a lot to me, and keep me coming back to Victoria's exceptional products. The Pouring Pot community knows a lot about Victoria's scents, but they also know how to be a fantastic support system for one another - and that is a priceless commodity to me.

When I made my first order with CBV, I didn't know much about Victoria's scents - so I chose scents that just "sounded good" to me. Granted, that is when Victoria was only offering around 700 scents rather than 747, so why I didn't have more clarity as to what to purchase is a mystery... :) Anyway, the majority of the scents that I bought didn't agree with my nose. I'm always careful to say that the scent didn't agree with my nose, because Victoria's candles are always wonderful quality - but not all scents are for everyone. So, after I purchased that first order, and found out that the scents weren't good choices for me, I may have thought that CBV wasn't for me. But, (and I'm so glad that I did this) I joined the Pouring Pot message board shortly after my first order arrived, and received suggestions and descriptions of scents that ended up being favorites of mine.

More than likely, you'll meet people that have similar "noses" to your own, and that will give you a number of scents to try that may not have been on your radar. You can see what people are burning every day, and what they think about the scents, and you can also look at many written reviews in a special thread. Round Robins are organized so that if you do order scents that don't agree with your nose, you can swap them with other scents that people found didn't agree with their noses. The message board just provides endless support and fun for your wax addiction - and it keeps me coming back. Before this, if I accidentally bumped into someone while shopping in a candle shop, I considered that the extent of my socializing with regards to candles!

I know that we've all heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child", and I think that this same thought applies to being a CBV customer. "It takes a village to take on Victoria's ginormous scent selection"! My list of scents that I want to try, not to mention the Create A Scent suggestions that have been listed on the message board, keeps growing and growing. If you think about it, it's the same situation as when you go shopping with friends, versus shopping by yourself. Most of the time, when I'm with friends, it's more enjoyable. We divide up in a particular shop, and more than likely, we find things in different areas of the store that we may not have found ourselves. More pairs of eyes the better, right? In the case of CBV, the more noses the better - and it's like shopping with a large group of the warmest friends you can have.

Beyond being one of the nicest groups of enablers on the web, the Pouring Pot is a network of people who care about one another. You can go to the message boards to receive support if you are going through a rough time, or receive congratulations if you have something to celebrate - and so much more. I've simply never developed such a bond with an online group like this before, nor do I believe I can find another group to compare to them - and luckily I don't need to!

I have to share a photo of my first CBV love before I wrap this post up - Amish Quilt - which was in that first order that I mentioned. Isn't it cute? :) A lovely mix of spicy notes that just makes the home smell so cozy in my opinion.


Thanks for reading my long overdue Reason #2 for Choosing Candles By Victoria, and I hope that you will check back for my #1 Reason. In the meantime, if you haven't checked out the Pouring Pot message board ~ what are you waiting for? You'll be so happy that you joined the fun!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Candles By Victoria - Slight Delay

I've decided to delay blogging about my reasons #1 and #2 until I return from the CBV Meet-Up this weekend. I had originally thought that I would complete this series before I went - but considering what my top two reasons are, it makes more sense to me now that I wait to finish when I arrive back home.
Thanks very much for reading, and I'll see you back here for the top two reasons on my list, plus a review of my latest order from Victoria, next week! In the meantime, please check out Victoria's youtube channel for (what I'm sure will be) some fun videos of the meet-up! Now, I need to get packing! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Candles By Victoria - Reason #3

Tally ho, onto the top 3! :)

(3) Without a doubt, Victoria's candles have the best scent throw of any candles available. I've already described how wonderfully accurate CBV scents are, but (as we've all learned the hard way) it doesn't matter how good a candle smells when you purchase it, if the candle's scent does not carry or linger in your home when you burn it. In fact, the frustration of finding a candle that I liked in a store - that had virtually no scent once I lit it in my home, was pretty significant before I found CBV. It was like being on a treasure hunt, where there seemed to be no treasure that could be found. Like going on countless dates and knowing that you'd never meet your right match eventually. Like spreading the peanut butter on one slice of bread, only to find out that they had suddenly stopped making all types of jelly... Well, you get the point - I was peeved! I don't want to think about how much money I spent on the elusive candle that would smell good both at the store and in my home.

In fact, I thought there was something wrong with my nose at one point. Surely all of these candles couldn't be "scent duds" - it had to be me and my faulty sense of smell. And then, videos on youtube started appearing that gave me hope. There were other people out there who couldn't smell their candles either! I remember an absolutely charming lady, who was refreshingly frank in her review of a well-known candle company's latest products for the holidays. She said that she felt that their candles would be nice to keep in case you had a power outage - because they had such a low scent throw that their almost non-existent fragrances would hardly mingle with one another at all.

And then, youtube didn't just convince me that I wasn't suffering from a sub par sniffer - it also introduced me to Candles By Victoria: A candle company who's candles actually scented your home with long-lasting and far-reaching fragrances. (This is super weird, because we have just been discussing how all of us on the CBV message board came to know about Victoria). The point is, I was lucky enough to find a solution to one of my frustrations about being a homemaker, and I'll always feel grateful for finding CBV to help solve the mystery of the non-smelling candles! :)

I can't write a post about Candles By Victoria's wonderful scent throw without posting a picture of one of my best scent throwing candles from lovely "Home Sweet Home" Country Kettle candle in burgundy marble. This wonderful three-wick candle pours the warm cinnamon doughy fragrance into my house like nobody's business.


I feel like a proud mama with her brag book, hehe...


Thanks for reading about my Reason #3, and I'll be back to write about my Reason #2 tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm going to go and make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. For some reason, I have a real craving for one...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Candles By Victoria - Reason #4

We're getting closer to number one! :)
(4) If, indeed, variety is the spice of life, then Victoria has the biggest spice cabinet of them all! I've already mentioned that Victoria offers more than 730 scents. Not enough variety? Okie Dokie. Let's break down the absolutely, magnificent, and truly awe-inspiring catalogue of goodness that Victoria offers:
Scent Options: 743
Glitter Options: 57
Fragrant Options (candles, oils, or scent shots, made of your fragrance choice): 25
Specialty Candle Options: 48
Designer Bowl Design Options: 7
Country Kettle Design Options: 5
Candles Offering Glitter Combinations: 2
So, if I wanted to order my favorite fragrance (choosing 1 of 743 choices), in a candle that offered glitter (1 of 2 choices), and choosing my glitter combination (1 of 57 choices), that would equal a whopping 84, 702 possibilities. I'll give you a moment to absorb that ginormous number...
Or, more simply, if I wanted to order my favorite fragrance (1 of 743 possible), considering all of the types of products that Victoria offers in which you could choose your scent (candles, scoop some scent, crumb melts, diffusers, refresher oils, scent shots, and super tarts - 1 of 25 choices) that would afford me 18,575 possibilities. Yep. That's a whole 'lotta options.
I could give more examples, but I really don't like math that much, and my brain is beginning to swim in numbers...
The point is, if you weren't impressed by the sheer number of scents that Victoria offers (seriously, why wouldn't you be?), then to factor all the other choices that make your order with CBV uniquely your own is just...well, mind-boggling!
Choices...who can have too many of them? :)
Thanks for reading up on my #4 Reason - and I hope that you'll join me again tomorrow to see the first of my top 3 reasons for shopping with CBV! In the meantime, I seriously hope that my brain recovers from "number overload" and I can actually count from 3 backwards to 1...

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Candles By Victoria - Reason #5

Okay, here is where it gets a little I said, I never knew how intertwined my reasons were until doing this list!
(5) I really, really miss my son being in elementary school. Not because I want him to remain small forever (I really am loving every age, and yes, I know sounds super cliche!). But, as crazy as it may sound, I miss walking into a place where you never have to guess what time of the year it is. No matter what the season, the walls were always adorned with hearts, Easter eggs, pumpkins, or Christmas trees to set a festive mood. You could say the same about stores, for a little while, but they are always jumping the gun to the next season, aren't they? It's always bizarre to see the Halloween masks next to the Christmas angels - but it's the nature of the business. That's why I so love that so many things that Victoria does is so festive and fun-loving - bringing that celebratory feeling back to my seasons. Boy, is my blog appropriately named, or what? :D I'll explain a little more...
The easiest example that I can give you is tuning into Victoria's youtube channel. I love seeing the CBV gang as they enjoy summer vacations, hand out candy to hundreds of trick-or-treaters at Halloween, and the Candleman putting up his annual Christmas decorations. They are just a fun-loving group - and if you tune in to their videos, you'll adore them. If you haven't already, here is the link to their channel - it will put a smile on your face:
The next bit of festivity that I enjoy is on Victoria's message board, the Pouring Pot. Even though I do enjoy that Victoria currently has it decorated with adorable snowmen for the winter season, I'm going to tell you about the fun-filled games that are almost always there to give you a fun little boost to your day.
Whether you elect to play the countdown game, candle bingo, chain reaction, or the movie game, it's always a fun time when you log on to the Pouring Pot. Not to mention being able to nominate a fellow board member for Member the of the Month, share photos of your furbabies, try a new recipe from another member, or share with everyone what scent you are burning on that day. It simply brightens my day to visit Victoria's website, and these wonderful people (but, that is a reason for another day! See what I mean about it being tricky?). What I'm trying to focus on today is Victoria's foresight to not only create a message board that could've been solely focused on her products - but to create a place for people to mingle, to get to know her and her family, and other members. Basically Victoria created a little party place on the web. I'm so happy to have found this little slice of heaven. You should check it out as well, you'll be so happy that you joined in on the fun!:
And, finally, the last festive thing that I'd like to mention is the monthly newsletter and new scents that Victoria announces every month. It's not unusual for the scents to be connected to the season (I loved last October's "Monster Mash", "Bite Me", and "Witches Brew" scents!), and everyone waits with baited breath to hear what Victoria has come up with that month. I know that you may say that every candle company tends to do that, so why does this distinguish CBV from all of the rest? Well, it's the manner in which Victoria makes it into a mini-celebration, first with the announcement of the scents in her newsletter, then with choosing customers to review the new scents via youtube - so that everyone's anticipatory delight is at it's best! It's just so fun knowing that there is something new and exciting to look forward to with each month, and that CBV customers get to play a role in the excitement! :)
There will be other reasons that I think of, I'm sure, as to why Victoria's festive efforts brighten my day, but I'm sure that you get the idea by now. I love that she shares this element of fun with all of her customers, and I'll bet that you will too. :)
Thanks for reading up on #5, and I'll hopefully see you back for #4 tomorrow. In the meantime, I'd like to give a shout-out to my buddy Burke, who is the one and only person that I know that says his favorite holiday is April Fool's Day. But, if you knew Burke, it wouldn't surprise you... :)
Boy, I guess I'm no better than Wal-Mart with an April Fool's Day blog photo even before Valentine's Day...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Top Ten Reasons for Choosing Candles By Victoria - Reason #6

Are we there yet? :) No? Okay, onto #6 then!

(6) The other day, a topic came up on Victoria's Pouring Pot message board that really got me thinking about doing this Top Ten Countdown. The question was asked if Victoria's bakery scents were good, because the member that was asking said that she had tried other company's and didn't care for them. Of course, I, along with a lot of other Pouring Pot members, assured her that Victoria's bakery scents were to die for - and that she should try them straight away. (I have to take a minute to shudder at the thought of never having discovered Berry Blackberry Cobbler...).

After I gave my response, which I'll get to in a minute, I thought, "but really, that's only one of the many reasons why I choose to buy from Victoria instead of other companies," hence writing these blog entries. But, to get back to Reason #6, I'll echo that same sentiment here: It's the difference between purchasing a candle where people will say, "That's a nice scent that smells like brownies," versus having a CBV candle burning, and people will say, "When will the brownies be done baking?". Victoria's candles are just the most realistic scents that you can purchase in wax form.

Going back to the Pouring Pot - members write about this phenomenon all the time. A member will be burning a CBV candle, and a family member will be put out because they thought that she was truly baking something. And, from my own experience, it really is common for my son to come home from school and ask, "Are those cookies I smell, or a candle?" And, in my many years of burning candles before I found Victoria, that simply never happened.

There used to be a candle commercial that came on around Christmas time, where the hostess was having guests over, so she took a store-bought apple pie out of the box and placed it on a platter, put an apron on, and lit an apple pie candle that made all of her guests say, "You must have spent all day baking!". Bless their marketing team's hearts, it was a cute commercial - but you have to have the product to back up the claims. Victoria does. 'Nuff said. :)

So, when you purchase Victoria's "Fizzy Pop" scent, you can look forward to actually smelling the carbonation. Her "Chai Tea" scent is so smooth, you really expect the candle to swish around like you're holding a hot mug of the liquid in your hands. The CBV "Salty Sea Air" scent actually has the salt smell that you would detect while splashing in the surf. And, Vic's "Strawberry Danish" scent also has a slightly salty hint to it, but it is what you would find if you rolled out the dough to make the pastry yourself. It was a good idea for a commercial, wasn't it? ;)

And these are just a few of the scents that I've been able to try so far (but, that's another reason for another day...).

So, if you like realistic smelling candles, then Candles By Victoria is definitely where I'd recommend that you shop. But, if you like those candles that give off a little whiff of some manufactured scent every once and awhile - what a crushing bore this blog post must have been for you to read, lol!

Thanks so much if you did choose to read this. :) You guessed it, onto the top 5 Reasons tomorrow with #5. In the meantime, you can amuse yourself by thinking of wacky things that might be made into candle scents - Victoria does have a suggestion thread on her message board! I would just never let my teenage son know about that - I shudder to think of the combinations that he would come up with! "Stale Pizza That My Mom Didn't Find Until the Next Day", "I Don't Think My Sneakers Smell That Bad", and "No, My Bedroom Doesn't Smell Like a Locker Room" come to mind...blech...