Branding Tips for Handmade Entrepreneurs, from Whiskey Bottom Candle Company

Indie Business Network members are some of the most creative people in the world. Not only do they design and produce amazing products, but they also have creative ways to showcase and market them. From very cool logos to fun-to-watch videos (like the one below), there is never a dull moment when it comes to our members and the handmade products they want to share with you.

whiskey bottom candle company
Our members inspire on many levels, and Jason and Shelby Scarlatta, owners of Whiskey Bottom Candle Company in Frederick, Maryland, are no exception. After working as a pipe fitter for twenty years, Jason suffered an injury and was told by his doctor that he needed to find a new profession. And so, he did. I asked this husband and wife entrepreneurial team to share a bit about their products and to offer some of their best branding tips as well.

Q1 TELL US ABOUT WHISKEY BOTTOM CANDLE COMPANY

The company’s name is the namesake of the historic Whiskey Bottom Road in Maryland. Once we selected the name of our company, we knew we also had to play on the words “whiskey bottom” and offer our candles in recycled whiskey, wine and other spirit bottles. Our entire branding concept is driven by our name, from our tag line “Recapturing Old Spirits,” to the old whiskey label feel of our product label design (a concept brought to life by our friends at Octavo Designs), to our selection of popular whiskey and liquor bottle candles which we call “Special Reserve,” and our selection of drink themed fragrance names like Tequila Sunrise, Cherry Bomb, Spiced Rum, Mango Tango and Blackberry Moonshine.

Our soy candles are available in a wide range of pleasing scents that are hand-poured into recycled wine, whiskey and liquor bottles collected from local businesses. We offer wholesale and fundraising opportunities as well custom candles for weddings, bridal showers and other special events. Our candles are sold on our website, at local events and in seven (and counting) retail locations.

All of our candles are handmade by us especially for our customers. Whiskey Bottom Candle Company is dedicated to our community and our environment; providing donations and participating in fundraising and other community activities. Our application for inclusion in the Maryland Green Registry was recently approved because of our commitment to reducing our environmental footprint.

Q2 WHAT ARE YOUR BEST SELLING PRODUCTS?

Our best selling products are our “Special Reserve” candles. These candles are poured into recycled popular whiskey and liquor bottles, and range in size from 18 ounces to 28 ounces. The Special Reserve candles have been a very popular gift item for both men and women. We can make you a really cool soy candle out of your favorite liquor bottle.

We use all recycled glass bottles from local bars and restaurants. Each week, our company keeps from 500 to 1,000 pounds of glass out of the landfills.

Q3 WHAT BUSINESS SUCCESS TIP CAN YOU SHARE THAT YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOU STARTED WHISKEY BOTTOM CANDLE COMPANY?

Partner with a team that thinks creatively, and can deliver what you need, within your budget.

One of the best branding tips we can offer is to encourage you to establish a working relationship with a web and print firm that shares your vision, goals, believes in you and your product, and has roots in your community. It is also important for the team you work with to think creatively to deliver what you are looking for within your budget. Finding such a company will help ensure that your ideas are brought to life in the form of your end product design and product label. You will end up with a professional looking product package and custom print material.

We were blessed to start working very early on in our development and planning with a local web and print firm, Octavo Designs. (It’s important for handmade entrepreneurs to leverage local connections.) They have been instrumental in bringing our ideas and concepts to life on our website, in our printed materials and on our labels. They share our vision and have helped us capture the feel we are looking for on a limited budget. Because of them, our branding is consistent, organized, and high end. We are very pleased.



Find an experienced business owner who is willing to mentor you and answer your most pressing business questions.



Jason and Shelby Scarlatta, Whiskey Bottom Candle Company

Q4 WHAT SORTS OF THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?

We enjoy visiting downtown Frederick Maryland supporting other local businesses and spending time with family and friends.

Q5 WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE SOMEONE WHO IS STARTING OUT TODAY?

Research the market and the competition, learn what your competition has done that works and what they’ve done that hasn’t worked.

Develop a business plan and learn the concepts ou will need to embrace for business growth and product branding.

Think outside to box to create the look and feel of your product label, company logo and printed materials to create a cohesive package within your budget.

Whenever possible, select scalable options that will meet your needs now and grow with you to meet your needs in the future.

Find an experienced business owner who is willing to mentor you and answer your most pressing business questions.

Q6 WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS GOING WHEN THE MOST CHALLENGING TIMES COME YOUR WAY?

The great people we’ve met along the way, our love of the products we create and provide to our customers, the contributions we are able to give to our community and the environmental difference we make as well as the encouragement of our family and friends keep us going when challenges come our way.

Q7 WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE INDIE BUSINESS NETWORK?

There are so many things we love about being a member of the Indie Business Network, including all of the information that is readily available to members … the videos and Success Calls are so helpful. One of the most valuable aspects is the access to great product liability insurance coverage at an unbeatable price.


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The best product liability insurance, mentoring and coaching for creative and handmade entrepreneurs is at Indie Business Network. Click here to grow your business and live the life of your dreams today!
  • http://thenovastudio.com/ The Nova Studio

    That video is so fantastic! We love their concept…and that they are doing such great work with recycling :)

    • http://www.donnamaria.com/ Donna Maria Coles Johnson

      It is awesome on so many levels, Lori! Thanks for swinging by and applauding them with us!