Meet & Greet: Getting to know a Linnea’s Lights vendor with Bixby & Ball

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One of the best parts of this business has been in getting to know our wonderful retailers across the country and around the world. We wanted to introduce you to some of our friends in this new blog feature, called “Meet & Greet”, which we’re kicking off here with California’s own Bixby & Ball.

Before we share our fun Q & A, first a bit of background:
Bixby & Ball is a result of the friendship and shared vision between the two founders, Melissa Anderson and Betsy Bracken, which began with their mutual passion for entrepreneurship, design, and improving the most sacred of living spaces—the home. Backed with ingenuity, determination, and a love for all things coastal classic, they have hand-selected their favorite elements of coastal living to create a one-stop shopping experience in the heart of Solana Beach’s charming Cedros Avenue Design District. Shoppers will find unique home décor and accessories, custom furniture, antiques and art, designer bedding and pillows, one-of-a-kind jewelry, luxurious bath and body products, fragrance and a variety of meaningful gifts for any special occasion. In addition to the thoughtful selection of products that Bixby & Ball has to offer in the store and online, they also offer full-scale customized interior design services and in-home styling.

Here we chat with Betsy.
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1. Where did the name Bixby & Ball come from?
Bixby & Ball are two family names that hold significant meaning for each of us. The Bixby family, on Melissa’s side, developed a large part of California near Big Sur and the Ball family, on mine, produced the original mason jar out of Muncie, Indiana. Both of us have been deeply impacted by the incredible spirit of entrepreneurship in our families and felt inspired to create something of our own to honor the value of hard work and giving back to the community, which have been instilled in the two of us for generations.

2. What was the design aesthetic you had in mind for your store?
We wanted to offer a coastal design aesthetic without spelling it out in seashells and anchors — think Coastal Living Magazine with a nod to the nautical. Here we are near the beach and yet before we opened, there really wasn’t anywhere offering this aesthetic, so we definitely felt there was a niche we could fill. And our location is unique in that we’re housed in the first cottage built on Cedros Avenue in the 1920′s, so we wanted to create an experience for our customers that felt less like visiting a store and more like coming home.

3. What’s your inspiration for the merchandise you sell?
We’re always inspired by the stories behind the products — we want to know who creates them, where they’re made and what makes them special. After all, if we don’t feel connected to the items we sell, how can we expect our customers to feel compelled to purchase them? We don’t want to fill our store with a bunch of stuff — we really strive to curate a thoughtful and cohesive collection of items we would put in our own homes (or already have!).

4. Are there any expansion plans on the horizon?
We’ve expanded about as much as we can in our quaint little cottage — we’ve expanded into the small storefront next door and moved our office space to open up more room for retail. Of course we’ve talked about opening up another location and you never know, you may see a Bixby & Ball pop up somewhere down the road, but right now we’re really focusing on growing our e-commerce and interior design services, while continuing to provide exceptional service to our brick and mortar customers.

5. How do you buy for your store, keeping your customers’ needs in mind?
Before we opened, we talked a lot about who our ideal customer would be and identified Diane Keaton’s character, Erica Barry, from the movie Something’s Gotta Give as our dream customer, so during our first buying trip to NYC we shopped for Erica. About a year ago (and again this past weekend!), Diane Keaton came into the store to shop and WOW, that was most definitely a full circle moment. But now that we’ve established a loyal customer base, we’ll think about specific customers as we’re buying and say to each other, “Do you think so-and-so would buy that?” And it’s so much fun when that specific customer comes in and goes straight for that item.

6. What are some of your favorite pieces in store right now?
Our antique European pine hutch, all of our colorful John Robsahw pillows and the new Linnea’s Lights Heirloom Tomato Candle — we can’t get enough of that scent!!

Image courtesy of Bixby & Ball

Image courtesy of Bixby & Ball

7. What drew you to Linnea’s Lights?
First and foremost, we absolutely LOVE the scents and packaging (especially the little box of matches enclosed with each candle!) and how the candles liquify as they burn so you get an even burn all the way down to the base of the wick. But we also were drawn to the line after discovering that it was created by a mother and daughter who take such great pride in the quality of their product. And certainly the Indiana connection makes Linnea’s Lights extra near and dear.

8. When it comes to candles, which scents do you tend to burn at work vs. at home? Do you differentiate between using a scent that has maybe more of a motivational kick for day and more of a wind-down essence to relax on weekends or evenings?
We each have our favorites and tend to burn those same scents at work and home, but for both of us it’s always Pumpkin from Labor Day to Thanksgiving!

9. What’s your favorite part about having your own store?
Oh so many things, but hearing customers say that it’s their favorite shop…it doesn’t get much better than that.

10. Favorite vacation destination?
Melissa’s is Mammoth, CA and mine is Leland, MI — both have very special meaning to our families and are the only places we feel we can truly unplug from it all.

11. Favorite neighborhood lunch spot?
Claire’s on Cedros for a casual working lunch and Las Olas on the beach if we’re in the mood to play hooky on a Friday afternoon and have a few margaritas.

Okay, time for the lightning round:
8 a.m. or 8 p.m.? 8 p.m.
Beach or mountains? Both
Beer or Wine? Wine
Cats or dogs? Dogs

Thanks so much for speaking with us, Betsy! And to our readers, we hope you enjoyed this peek at a wonderful boutique. Check out Bixby & Ball online or next time you’re in California!

Postcard: Linnea’s Lights in Naples, Florida

Image courtesy of Chrissy Greene

Image courtesy of Chrissy Greene

It’s so nice hearing from friend’s on the road and I just had to share this nice shot captured by a member of the Linnea’s Lights family. Chrissy was in Naples, Florida and snapped this photo of our candles at Jett Thompson Antiques. What a beautiful shop and of course we love the display! How fun to see our candles (and new, larger triple wicks) out in the wild.

Where have you spotted Linnea’s Lights candles lately?

Visiting terrain in Westport, Connecticut

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of visiting one of my favorite shops, terrain, in Westport, Connecticut.

The reason for my visit was to help celebrate the Heirloom Tomato Festival and Made in America Marketplace, which was a blast. We featured some of our special candle blends exclusively for terrain: Heirloom Tomato, Patchouli and Vintage Saddle.

I wanted to share some of my snapshots from the day with you and if you were unable to attend, you can still try one of our exclusive terrain candles at home! Pick up our Vintage Saddle candle here. It was a lovely store with a great staff, and I really had a wonderful time meeting some of our fans!

New Arrival! Our Private Pour for terrain in Hydrangea

Image courtesy of terrain

We are thrilled to let you know about our newest creation, a private Linnea’s Lights pour of Hydrangea in two colors of a custom clay pot (blue & purple). We created a letterpressed seeded cover to plant inside the vessel once the candle is finished and this special candle is now available exclusively at terrain.

Inspired by the early summer garden and poured especially for terrain, this candle boasts the scent of hydrangeas in bloom, mingled with fragrant lily of the valley and fresh, green notes. Nestled in a pretty clay pot, each candle includes a paper tag studded with wildflower seeds to plant once the wax has burned through. Combining natural soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks, and pure scents, Linnea’s Lights clean-burning candles are carefully hand-poured in small batches.

Get yours here now!

Brand New Scents for Valentine’s Day & Spring: Part 2

Well we hope the suspense hasn’t been too painful! We’re back again with the latest installment of our romantic new scents, and this time we’re thrilled to introduce you to our cupid-approved Rose candle.

In ancient mythology, Roses were associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love, Isis, the goddess of motherhood and magic, and Eros, also known as Cupid. In modern days, the Rose is a time-honored way to say “I love you” when words just aren’t enough. Warm, inviting, and intoxicating all in one, this timeless blend is inspired by the endless bouquets of roses that our loved ones shower upon us. Close your eyes and be swept off your feet. Romance. Love. Seduction. What do Roses mean to you?

Plus, shop the Rose candle, now available at Terrain!

Newly Minted: Linnea’s Lights on One Kings Lane This Friday!

image courtesy of One Kings Lane

We’re thrilled to be back on One Kings Lane where tomorrow, Friday, June 17th, we introduce a VERY special Garden Mint scent that you’ll only find on their site, alongside some of our other exciting and limited edition scents. TGIF indeed!

In case you’re not already familiar, One Kings Lane is one of the top daily sales site for specialty home and living, featuring designer decor, furniture, and gifts at up to 70% off retail. Membership is free, and provides easy (dangerously easy!) access to established as well as emerging brands. I’m actually quite obsessed with it at the moment, and I think you will see why.

Make sure you’re signed up and add some of these wonderful small batch candles to your cart quick! Plus, shop around Friday’s sale to check out more top-notch goods from renown names like Phaidon, Lawrence of of LaBrea, Dransfield & Ross, Fino Lino and Ferguson Copeland.

These exclusive limited edition scents are only available to One Kings Lane ~ hand poured, small batch soy candles with a mindfulness towards the environment. Don’t miss your chance to shop this special collection at an event better price (original 9 oz. candle retails for $30; one-time One Kings Lane discount retails for $19):

Garden Mint

Black Currant Cassis

Gardenia

Black Vanilla

Orange Amber

Citrus Yuzu

Lavender Citrus Bamboo

Floral Linden

(Full scent inspirations and descriptions will be available on One Kings Lane tomorrow)

Happy shopping!