Small Business Saturday or Here's to the Tiny Tims

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, a day to celebrate and support small businesses and to help local businesses that decide to create unique products to compete against the giant box stores.

This holiday season we created four new types of Mason Jar Candles that will compliment your décor. These include a series of candles painted in Silver, Copper and Gold to light up your mantle like you Christmas Tree. Our fourth candle is a green candle that is distressed by hand to show the deep red color underneath.  We also used new organic scents like Elderberry and Pine Cones to bring the smells of the season to your home.

We do everything in our studio here in NYC by hand and even though we do not have a store front yet, you can buy our candles next weekend, Friday December 5th through Sunday the 7th at the St. John the Divines Craft Show. If you are too eager to cross off the names on your list you can always go to PasParTou in Brooklyn, who shares our passion for unique décor and design. If you are really too busy to get out, you can always shop online on our site and this Saturday, November 29th and use the code sbs to get FREE SHIPPING.

Brooklyn Bazaar

Our booth at Brooklyn Bazaar

Our booth at Brooklyn Bazaar

Hey There,

Greg and I wanted to share with you our experience from the BK Bazaar, which I must say that it  was wonderful and of course exhausting. We would not have had been able to make it happen without the enormous help of our friend Toon who drove with us to Brooklyn with a car full of trunks, crates candles and other props. I felt I was driving to Morocco and instead of Brooklyn. 

For those that are not aware of the BK Bazaar, it is located in Greenpoint at 165 Banker St, and it is open Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm-1am. This is what the place looks like on the outside...

_1090922.jpg
_1090917.jpg
BkBazaar
BK Bazaar

The first day I was so anxious as I did not know what to expect. I hoped that people would like my booth the way it was designed, as well as my candles. With full confidence I must say that our booth was one of the best decorated booths there, people would approach it and say out loud that they never ever had seen such a thing before. The coordinator of the BK bazaar came to us and congratulated us, confirming once again, how cool our booth was.

Here are some of the photos

Me at the booth

Me at the booth

Many of our friends came to support us and I really thank them and appreciate the time they took to come and see us. A big thanks to all of them.

Toon printed our Ooh La La sign from his Uptown Fine Art printing studio. He did a stunning job.

People were impressed with our vintage teacup and trinkets. We used our vintage suitcases to display them and I also used some of the vintage gloves and hats of Aunt Agnes. We used lot of vintage props, old perfumes of Aunt Agnes, her gloves, a vintage makeup bag that Greg bought for me. This part of the booth truly represented the old and the vintage.

Vintage teacup candle
vintage teacup candle

On the other part of the table we had vintage mason jars or balls. They were placed at the crates our cousin Marie gave us, during our trip to Pennsylvania. Here we also used as a props some of Greg old cameras, a vintage lantern that we bought in Albania and some old spoons. Some of the mason jars I painted and some I left them as they were, with their original color. People loved them, loved the display and also the smell of the candles too.

Unique vintage mason jars and crocks candles

Unique vintage mason jars and crocks candles

Vintage mason jar candles
_1090941.jpg

We also brought some painted mason jars. People were surprised when I was telling them that I paint them and distress them by hand, one by one so no two come out to be the same. I remember one young guy came to me and said: I am so gay for candles. His girlfriend was laughing next to him. He bought one of the mason jars. The mason jars were placed on the top of the vintage toolbox and old army suitcase we bought from Greg’s friend Adam who owned a vintage store in Rhode Island. On top of the toolbox we also placed our water pitcher and bowl that was filled with lavender we bought it in Pennsylvania.

_1090892.jpg
Hand Painted mason jars candles
Hand painted mason jar candles

The Polaroid Transfers from Expired Film Studios added to the whole theme. The Polaroids are hand transferred to all different types of cool paper. Everything from watercolor paper to rice paper. Most of the images were from Paris. Here are some of his photos.

_1090931.jpg
expired film studios

As you can see we used lots of props to decorate our booth, and the outcome was just great. People were coming in our booth taking lots of pictures and buying our candles.

Some of the vintage candles and trinkets are marked as sold out on my site. I sold them at the bazaar. Soon I will upload new ones, so stay in touch. Here is a sneak peak at two of them.

More candles for Spring....

Almost a month ago I wrote about the beauty of mixing different colors of Annie Sloan chalk paint and how the paint turns the Mason jar into something completely different. The results were encouraging. I mixed Provence with Country Grey in my big Mason jar, which I used to plant my flowers in, and it looks great on my table.

Yesterday I did apply the same technique again on our small Mason jar candles. I love the outcome. The first layer was Provence and the second one Country Grey. Then I distressed them and applied a dark wax.

I did pour Honeysuckle and Jasmine scented candle in this jar. The combination of them both is just perfect for the spring.

Let me know what do you think? What colors would you like in the spring? Just type the color you associate March and /or April.

 

 

 

 

Talking about colors…

Spring and summer are on the way (hopefully sooner rather than later) so I am trying to think of bright colors when I choose the colors I want to paint my jars. The Annie Sloan chalk paint colors are just amazing and you can do so much with them alone or by mixing them with each other.

The Shabby chic, that chalk paint creates, has made our place so unique. Unique because the old, is now turned into this brand new French cottage style piece of furniture.

If you really like the French style, retro chic, you will be amazed with the potential of this paint. We are experimenting with our furniture, jars and photo frames and the results are stunning.

Today I experimented with some of the colors we bought recently. I painted this jar with the Provence color first. I let it dry and then I applied a coat of Country Grey Paint. After that coat dried, I took sand paper and distressed it slightly, letting the Provence color show through. The last step, I apply Annie Sloan Dark Wax. It gives that dirty, old vintage, rustic look. No two jars will come out exactly the same. It is so fun to work with the paint and can’t wait to try mixing two or even three colors with each other.

 
 

A little bit about the color….

The colors of the Annie Sloan chalk paint are a beautiful pastel color, inspired from European furniture of the 1700′s. Chalk Paint is very safe to work with, it is water based and with extremely low VOC’s. There is virtually no odor to chalk paint. It is safe not only to you but also the environment. Initially, Annie Sloan designed the Chalk Paint to use it on furniture only, but nowadays people are using it to paint their floors, and walls. You can easily create a natural and soft patina.

Articles to read about chalk paint:

http://www.chalkpaint.com/

http://www.findingsilverpennies.com/

 

 

A little bit about us…

Eni and Greg

Eni and Greg

We are Eni and Greg, a couple living in NYC. Originally I come from Albania. I have lived in Spain, Madrid for about 11 years and I studied in UK for about 4 years. Madrid and NYC are my love and it would be hard for me to separate them from each other. There are times when I want to escape NYC to Madrid and once there I want to come back again to NYC. Greg and I met in NYC, the city that both of us greatly love for its past, creativity, design and uniqueness.

However, we also love to travel all around the world. One of our favorite countries is France. It is beautiful country with an astonishing Rivera. A dear friend of mine and I traveled from Madrid to London in a classic mini cooper (at that time mini cooper owned by Rover) up the French Rivera. We would stop in different cities in France and each time the views were just breathtaking.

Last year Greg and I decided to go to Paris and meet also my best friend, Gilu (his real name Gilles) who took us in this hidden antique market that was not very well known to tourists. We were in heaven. What to buy first and bring to NY? It was a hard decision. We ended up buying French linen in this beautiful small boutique where this old grandmother was showing us her delicate collection. We left the place thinking the next time we go to Paris we need to buy more of antiques instead of just French cheese.

Why did we start our business…

Like my grandmother, I love flowers, perfumes, creams and scented candles. NYC unlike any other city in the world offers a great range of them. My favorite gifts from Greg and his family were always the candles they used to buy me. Once while shopping for candles, Greg suggested to me that I should stop buying them and try to make them myself. It is very easy to do. The minute he said that, I searched about tutorials on how to make them. There is plenty of information on how to do it out there, but as everything it requires patience, love and passion. We built around us a philosophy that our candles have to be unique, original and Eco-friendly so people do not need to worry about the effects they may have on their health. So to deliver this philosophy to people who love candles as much as I do, we search for vintage teacups, unique pieces that you will find it hard to find elsewhere. We also are continuously adding new and modern cups and mason jars to our collection.

We paint the mason jars by hand with Annie Sloan Chalk paint, distress and wax them with clear and dark wax to give that rustic look. The beauty of our business is that all our containers from vintage teacups to more contemporary ones can be re-used afterwards. In this case we all will be more responsible for the treatment and care of our environment.

Where do we find inspiration…

We have always been interested in antique pieces. What we have noticed recently with home décor is that people are incorporating the old, antique, vintage items and materials, mixing them with contemporary ones. And that’s where design becomes unique. That’s where your apartment becomes different by bringing and well incorporating the old with the new. We hope that with our vintage teacups and vintage looking mason jars can bring that old look to your modern style apartment, restaurant and vice versa with the modern containers to bring that new look to an antique home.

 
Vintage Teacups

Vintage Teacups

 

What we especially love to bring to you is the story behind that vintage tea cup, where it comes from, how old it is, why is so important for us. For example, I bought the other day such a delicate hand painted Japanese teacup. I was holding in my hand and it looked so breakable. The teacup is painted by an artist last century and it is now in my studio in NYC.

Mason Jars painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Mason Jars painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

We are also inspired by Annie Sloan Chalk paint look when we painted our furniture. Also Greg has hand painted the frames of his photos and the end result is just great. So, we thought to try and apply it in our mason jars. Once dried, we distress them and apply either clear or dark wax. The look is unique and not two will come out the same. We use many different colors from Provence, French linen to Paris grey and so on. In the future we will be creating our own unique chalk paint colors.

I am also inspired by the scents of flowers. In Albania I had a beautiful garden created by my father who really took a special care to flowers. I remember our whole house smelled so nicely as the scent of rose bushes, lemons, oranges and mandarin trees mixed with each other that would attract all the butterflies. I miss that much simpler time, especially here in NYC. I am not afraid to mix different types of floral fragrances that will make people feel they are part of the Alhambra garden in Spain or in fields of lavender in Provence France and mandarin trees at my father’s garden in Tirana.

What is our favorite thing to collect…

We also collect antique trunks, luggage, French linen, vintage burlap, teacups, and industrial style furniture. We have been collecting these things throughout the years we have been together. They have been a good resource to take pictures of our products.