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129 – A Different Kind of Candle with Klaus Haagen of Austrian Atelier
Episode 12925th September 2017 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
00:00:00 00:40:33

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Starting out as a mechanical engineer in Austria, Klaus Haagen had no idea that he would one day be applying his expertise from manufacturing metal and steel products to creating contemporary candles. Klaus has an eye for geometric shapes, colors and textures. He was influenced by Europe’s visionary artistry and quality craftsmanship and in 2006 devoted himself solely to designing one-of-a-kind candles in the United States. He works in his own studio (atelier), which combines the quality control of his handmade candles and the opportunity to create candle art using shapes, sizes and jewel-tone colors. Klaus is inspired by customers who appreciate stepping out of the accelerating comet of life into an oasis of atmosphere, art and candlelight.

The Austrian Atelier Story

Why Klaus decided to leave his professional corporate position. [4:54] Why the Austrian Atelier candles are different. [8:17] Understanding the meaning behind the name. [9:55] No social media for Klaus! He sells his candles solely through trade shows. [19:28] Behind the scenes broken down by roles. [31:21]

Candle Flickering Moments

Production vs. sales. How Klaus handles the volume. [21:58] How to keep up with orders as you grow. [26:00] Cash flow challenges. Klaus has the answer. [28:10]

Business Building Insights

Advice on deciding on a business name. [11:28] Make sure people understand what your product is! [12:11] A way to demonstrate what your product does. [14:40] Trade show booth display suggestions. [18:19] Advice for creatives on business growth. [23:00]

Success Trait

Persistence – Feedback – Adjustment [13:22] If you believe in your product you need to give it time to grow. [34:10]

Productivity/Lifestyle Tool

Quickbooks – Manage payroll, inventory, sales and other needs of a small business. The software’s features include marketing tools, merchant services, product and supplies, training solutions.

Contact Links

Website
If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe and leave a review in Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. That helps us spread the word to more makers just like you. Thanks! Sue

Transcripts

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Gift biz unwrapped episode 129.

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It would be good to get out of this corporate business

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and to start something new.

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Hi, this is John Lee,

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Dumas of entrepreneur on fire,

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and you're listening to gift to biz unwrapped,

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and now it's time to light it.

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Hi there.

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It's Sue and thank you for joining me on the gift

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biz unwrapped podcast.

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If you're a gifter Baker Haftar or maker,

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and you own a brick and mortar shop sell online or

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are just getting started here is where you'll find insights and

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advice to develop and grow your business.

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And if you want even more gift biz motivation,

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I'd like to invite you to join our private Facebook group

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called gift biz breeze.

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Pursuing your dreams should be fun,

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exciting, and rewarding,

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not stressful and scary.

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When you join the breeze.

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It's like sitting in the park with friends who bring you

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all the support and the answers that you need.

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You'll have access to a group of amazing creators along with

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tools and resources that can catapult your business,

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grow to join the group,

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just the over to gift biz,

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breeze.com. I look forward to seeing you over there,

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but for now,

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let's get onto the show.

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I am so excited to introduce you to Claus Haagen of

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Austrian. I tell ya,

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starting out as a mechanical engineer in Austria,

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plus he had no idea that he would one day be

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applying his expertise from manufacturing metal and steel products to creating

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contemporary candles with an eye for geometric shapes,

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colors, and textures,

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and influenced by Europe's visionary artistry and quality craftsmanship by 2006,

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cos devoted himself solely to designing one of a kind candles

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in the United States.

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He works out of his own studio,

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which combined the quality control of his handmade candles and the

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opportunity to create candle art using shapes sizes and colors plus

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is inspired by his customers who appreciate stepping out of the

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accelerating comet of light into an Oasis of atmosphere.

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Art candlelight.

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Welcome to the show.

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Klaus. Thank you.

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I am so thrilled to have you,

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and this is so appropriate because you make candles and we're

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going to talk about your motivational candle today.

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If you were to share with our listeners a little bit

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more about you,

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but in a creative way,

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by describing yourself through a motivational candle,

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what color would your candle be?

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And what would be the quote on your candle?

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If people look up my website,

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all of my candles are flat candles,

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so they'll be different in the way how they're made.

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And like my motivation with kettle would be around Kendall.

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The reason of around can list it symbolized for me,

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infinity, which goes round and round.

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So this is something and the Carla depends a little bit

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on my more,

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the primary Carlos red blue.

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So what's your color for today?

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What's your mood today?

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But they,

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it would be more blue,

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I would say because it's gray outside and it would be

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nice to have a blue sky.

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So around candle would be today day for me would be

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the blue sky outside.

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Okay, perfect.

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And how about a quote on that candle?

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Like dare to dream is for me a nice quotes.

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I like a lot Einstein.

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And like he said in German fantasies speak to,

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which means in English,

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imagination is more important than knowledge.

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Knowledge is limited.

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You can know a lot,

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but you never know everything.

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And I think to know more,

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you have to use your imagination.

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It's like everywhere.

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And the thing is,

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people are too it in life.

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I think you miss out on it.

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I think this is why I like his quote so much.

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Yeah. I love that.

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Quote imagination is more important than knowledge.

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I agree.

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It gives us a little cause for thought there.

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I think so you have an interesting story here.

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Klaus. Talk to us a little bit about,

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were you born in Austria?

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Yes. I was born in Austria and I lived for over

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30 years in Austria before I came over to us,

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the reasons that I came over here,

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I'm married to an American woman.

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So my wife got homesick and son,

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we decided said it's time for her to come back her

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with the U S so we're here now for over 20

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years in the United States.

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Wow. So you were the wonderful supportive husband and agreed to

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come over here.

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Yes. Let's say it this way.

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You say hesitantly.

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So talk about Austrian.

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I'll tell ya.

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And you're going to have to share with us the definition

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of I'll tell ya too,

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but talk a little bit about how the business got started.

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Yes. Started out here in the U S in the corporate

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business. Like what you mentioned before.

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I'm an mechanical engineer and like 12 years ago or something.

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I was introduced in Europe by a friend of mine,

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two candles in geometric shapes.

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And it caught my eye,

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especially like in Austria,

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we burn a lot of candles.

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The winter is long and it gets stuck like at four

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in the evening.

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So you tend to burn like everyday a candle to symbolize

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the booms and the sunlight.

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So I was always fascinated as a kid by candle candle,

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light, eating by candlelight when there was a storm and there

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was no electricity,

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you would burn lights,

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you would go hiking up in the mountains.

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There was no electricity in the mountains and the hats.

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So it was always can light.

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And when I saw those candles and it was at this

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time when I was thinking about it would be good to

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get out of this corporate business and to start something new.

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I don't know.

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It started to grow in my mind,

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said this would perhaps like something.

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I never saw something this before.

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And like,

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for me,

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candles, I like Sam.

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So what you had been burning in terms of candles when

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you were a child were just the traditional shapes.

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And then all of a sudden you ran into some friends

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or acquaintances in Europe and you saw an idea of,

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no, it doesn't have to be the traditional shape candle anymore.

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Exactly. Like so candles,

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it was not what I'm making right now.

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They were three dimensional,

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but it was also geometric shapes.

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That's pretty cool at that front really nicely.

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So that I started to go on the internet,

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read a little bit about this.

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I looked at shows for candle manufacturers.

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And so it got started since it took me like a

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year. And after a year I made my first candle.

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When I had a little bit of an idea how it

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could look like and how to get started.

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And this was the beginning of the Austin Natalie's and Stick

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with the product for a minute.

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Did you have to try and make a candle?

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And then you saw the result and then switched it up

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a little bit and kept testing it too.

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You got to the perfect look and shape and texture and

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all that.

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Yeah. Like for me,

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it was important.

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It has had to be a hundred percent natural.

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So this was the first thing.

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So I got the parm VAX,

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which by the way,

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it's from sustainable farms,

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APAR mix.

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What we using it Bruins extremely clean.

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You can put the gas on top of it.

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It went black knit.

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The next step was to find the right Vic.

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We get our big from a company,

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Kentucky. It's a hundred percent cotton.

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It's only caught in there.

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And the first thing was,

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we'll do find out how can I make a candle?

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And it still will burn clean and without tripping.

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So this took me a lot of trial and error because

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the first mode for the maid was quite primitive.

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I put some metal together and it was a simple shape

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in there.

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It was not about the shape.

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It was only about making see the functionality.

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So this was an interesting time for me because there was

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nothing out there where I could read.

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You have to use this and this.

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Like if you make some round candles,

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staple candles or below candles,

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there's some information out there that will tell you use this

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week. You decide.

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So it was trial and error at the beginning for me

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to make my first candles.

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But your candles now are so unique,

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which makes them so special.

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Explain a little bit for our listeners,

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what your candles look like.

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If you can imagine like a free SPE it's round,

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it's only like three,

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eight of an inch sick.

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So it's like,

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let like a plate or something.

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You go this origins and they have rectangles like the geometric

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shapes triangles,

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but everything it's like,

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it would cut a sheet of paper and you cut it

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out. So it's a two dimensional at the sickness.

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It's only three eight of an inch it's really seen.

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And most people have the impression and it will drip all

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over the place because the vex doesn't stay in there,

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but it burns really well.

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The Vic has enough heat that it,

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the vex can evaporate.

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If there's no draft send the candles I make,

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we burn down without stripping.

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Beautiful. They're so interesting.

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What's cool is that then when they burn their shape changes

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because the wax where the WIC is starts to burn down,

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they're very interesting and gift biz listeners.

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I encourage you to go over and look on the website

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and see what they look like.

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And this is a perfect example of a way to take

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a product that everyone can relate to candles,

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but switch it up.

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So you're different.

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Nobody else's candles are like Klaus's.

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And so not only the shapes,

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the size,

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the texture of the candle as well.

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So it sets him apart in his industry of candles to

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be different.

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This is what I call when I start talking about unique

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selling powers.

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This is one of his,

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because his product looks so different.

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Let's move on to talking about your name.

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And so we're still going back 20 years or so when

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you're developing and getting the product out to the market,

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how did you decide on the name of the company?

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I'm from Austria and the candles are contemporary European looking.

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My wife and I tried to find the name and send

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Austrian. He is in Europe,

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used for studio.

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So I'll tell ya is in studio.

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Yeah. It's like where it derives from the French.

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And it has two meetings.

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It's attic.

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So before artists would live mostly in the attic,

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it was the cheapest room.

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There were a big windows,

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a lot of sun.

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So a lot of painters started out in Europe having the

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studio in an attic and did up paintings there.

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And also the meaning is it's the studio of an artist

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until he,

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so a lot of studios over there in Europe called heartedly.

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And I sought,

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it's quite common in the U S comment.

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She lived for 10 years in Austria.

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So send when we had the name incorporated and all of

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a sudden,

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I got this question,

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what does it mean that the startups it's,

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well-known also over here that us,

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but it's nice people ask and people say,

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okay. Yeah.

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Makes sense.

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Yeah, it makes sense.

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And it kind of creates a vision of the European type

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artists de attic,

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the older buildings that of course Europe has that we don't

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have here.

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Once people understand it,

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it adds depth to the company.

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I believe.

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Would you hindsight say that it's a good idea to have

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a less common known word in your name?

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Or In hindsight,

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I would have caught it differently because like,

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it doesn't relate to the product I'm making.

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So if somebody goes on the internet or something,

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it doesn't tell them.

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And it's a pretty long name and like everything nowadays,

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it's internet driven.

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So if somebody Googles you or like,

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Austin is an email,

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my email,

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it it's in there.

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It's a lot to write.

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So it's better keep it short and really points to your

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product. So if it would have to redo it,

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this would be one of the things I would do a

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little bit differently.

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Really good advice.

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All right.

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So you've got the name,

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do you've now created the product.

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What did you do to get people to notice it?

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For the first time I went to a trade show.

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This was over the first time,

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but the data went to one of those retail shows Like

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a consumer show.

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Yeah. Like a small one,

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like a Christmas show to go there.

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And it was a mixed success at the beginning because people

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were quite critically about it.

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Doesn't look like a candle.

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Like I had one customer walked by four or five times

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and said,

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they asked me,

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are those wooden plates?

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Because it doesn't look like a candle.

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Everybody's thoughts is perhaps something round tent it's flat,

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it's perhaps a plate or something.

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So, because I didn't,

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couldn't burn the candles at the show.

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So this was an interesting experience for me at the beginning,

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you go,

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there is really makes things,

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you have the idea.

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People have to know the same boat,

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you know?

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So you can't make the assumption because you know,

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it's a candle sets your customers or potential customers.

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We know the same.

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So you have to make it are presented in ways.

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So they understand what it is.

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So this was for me,

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the first experience when I went out to shows,

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yeah, I missed the Mark.

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Well, or you could just say it was a learning,

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right? Exactly.

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Cause you never know until you get there,

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what the response is going to be.

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It's a learning experience.

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I think like if you start a business,

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it's sorts about persistence that you really go out there and

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present something and send,

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you have to tweak it and to see,

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and like I did the New York show LA for the

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last 10 years.

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And the first three,

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four shows I did in New York burnt two goods.

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People walked by,

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looked at it and said,

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okay, it looks nice.

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It's interesting.

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But I didn't get too many sales out of it.

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And I think after two years to 30 years,

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I could see it for speaking up.

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There was more interest.

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There were more sales in there.

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People have to get used to the thing.

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It's not instant gratification,

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which a lot of people are looking for.

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I think you have to give yourself a little bit of

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time and you have to plan it out and to say,

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okay, doesn't go overnight.

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If it does.

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It's great.

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But with certain products,

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it will take a while before people start to accept it.

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And before people are willing to look at it and give

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it a try.

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So this was my experience with my product.

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It shows now I don't recall.

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I'm thinking of your booth and I don't know that you

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do this.

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I know you can't burn them at the show,

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but do you bring any candles that have been used so

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people can see how it changes as it's burning?

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Yeah. I'll do a half burn cent per stair.

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And also to the last couple of years now I have

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porn videos.

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So people can really see how it burns down.

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It's a time-lapse video.

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When people see how it goes down and send,

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it takes different shapes or does that whoo.

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It's on a different level,

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like before.

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Okay. It's different.

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But send,

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when you burn it again,

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it adds another dimension to the candle experience.

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Right? For sure.

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What other things have you learned because you are a trade

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show pro.

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Now what other things,

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or maybe some advice for people who are doing trade shows,

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what do you see that you need to be doing?

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Especially if someone's just starting out,

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what advice would you give them in terms of working the

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show or preparing for the show or anything like that?

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It's important that you try to get potential customers to your

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boots before the show starts to mailings and introduce a product

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yourself. So you have a customer coming to your booth because

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like a lot of my customers,

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they know what they would like to purchase.

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So they've walked the floor,

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but sometimes they don't watch.

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What's really out there they're vendors.

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They go there,

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they make the purchase and send the more or less runs

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through there.

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So if you don't create an interest beforehand,

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sometimes a trade show can be really disappointing.

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So they don't have enough direction.

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There not enough sales in my mind that Rachel is not

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anymore is selling tool by itself or it's a selling tool,

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but it's more a marketing tool.

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It's like,

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you go there and you never know if a show was

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good during the show,

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you have to wait a couple of months after.

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And to see what's coming out of the show,

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it's like either you invest in catalogs ads or something.

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And the thing,

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if you go to trade show,

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you have to look at nowadays,

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it's an advertising tool.

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You go there,

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you make sales.

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It's great.

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If make a lot of sales,

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if not,

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you're out in front of people and you have to see

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what comes afterwards.

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Like it's the same broken the show beforehand.

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It's important.

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Let's work in the shows that after the show is over,

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you have contact information,

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you have to follow up and you have to get business

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out of this information you've got at the show.

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Wonderful. Yeah,

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that's really good information.

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So just in summary,

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in terms of communication and working with customers at the booth,

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just to summarize what Claus said is first communicate with people

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before a show,

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to make sure to put eyes on your booth.

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Maybe you send something that shows the booth number or what

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you're going to be doing at the booth.

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Come see the video of the candles burning and see how

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they change shape or something enticing to get them in.

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Then when you're at the show,

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it's not all about just the sales that you make at

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the show.

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Yes, it's great.

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If you're able to cover your costs,

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but there's a lot more to it.

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Sometimes it's just exposure initially,

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especially if your product is new and different,

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like classes is so success of a show is not determined

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just right at the show.

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And I would say,

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cause that's the same thing with me because my products,

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when I'm out at shows are expensive,

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our systems are a thousand dollars.

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So we'll get calls now from someone who saw us at

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a show two years ago,

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even. So you can't just take the sales at the show

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and the third is follow up.

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Once you've get cards from shows,

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make sure to follow up in some manner with everyone who

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stopped by your booth.

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Lots of times people get distracted at shows.

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And so sometimes there are people fully intended to come back

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to your booth and then just didn't get a chance.

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And all of a sudden then the show is over.

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And if you don't make contact with them,

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they may not have your information.

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So really good points there.

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I really appreciate all of that information Klaus in terms of

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displays, do you have any advice about displays at trade shows?

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Yeah. I think it's important that you have nice lights.

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So your product is really highlighted on your booze and said,

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you've spent some time displaying your item,

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especially here in the us.

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I think it's a lot about packaging and how you present

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your product.

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It's really important.

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So you said,

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show your customer how they can show it to their customers.

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And then they get an idea how they can sell it

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in the stores.

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I think this is extremely important here.

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Perfect. So besides trade shows,

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then what else are you doing to promote your product?

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Unfortunately, this is the main area of how I get my

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customers through trade shows.

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I don't do anything on the social media,

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which is a mistake in my mind.

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I think you are pretty good.

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Facebook, Twitter,

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Instagram, like we in this lucky position to be a small

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company. We only two people here and that trade shows keeps

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me busy year round.

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So it's not something set.

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I have a lot of time to go out,

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But trade shows are supporting the business.

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Then it sounds like They do.

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Yeah, like I'm doing it for the last 10 years.

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I have a customer base.

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And even like at the last ratio,

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I haven't seen quite a few of my customers.

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And now the last week I got six,

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seven all the same from customers.

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I didn't see at the trade show.

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So, which is nice.

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You know,

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they always can follow up with the customers I have and

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say, do you need candles after the show?

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So I have a certain base,

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especially for me in the fall,

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I'm extremely busy.

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I don't have a weekend off because it's the season when

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most people burn candles or buy candles.

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Right. I know you're busy because that's why we've had so

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much trouble scheduling this interview because you're always out at shows

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and then you come back Candles.

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Yeah, exactly.

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Yeah. Which is good.

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Absolutely. You don't want to be sitting twiddling your thumbs over

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there. That's for sure.

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How many shows are you doing This year at the four,

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but I will go back to two because it seems like

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the customers that I have,

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they're mostly on the East coast or West coast and the

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buyers I find most of them go to New York.

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So for me,

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the New York show it's for my product.

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It does the best.

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So I will stick and I will do perhaps local shows

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like, yeah,

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rarely if there's a Christmas show.

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So this is something what I'll do from time to time.

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But it depends bit like sometimes I'm too busy and they

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don't have time to work up a smaller show.

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So I stick with Metro,

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Rachel, where now I get enough business to keep me busy.

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And also since your sales are all coming from shows,

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if you're a little light,

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then you just go find a show to go to.

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It sounds like I could say,

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this is something which I haven't done,

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but it's like,

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if there's something here locally is,

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and I'll try to do something,

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but like the last year didn't do it the year before

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I did not so years ago.

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And it's always nice to go out and to talk to

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the end customer.

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Like if I go to trade show,

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it's always the store owners who buy the candles.

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And it's nice to hear,

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to see how the retail customer reacts to the candles of

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what they think about it.

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So it would be good to do it more a saying,

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right? So close,

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you have a similar situation.

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Like a lot of our listeners would have,

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and that is if you make your own product,

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the more you sell,

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the more work you're creating for yourself.

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So how do you manage on the production and being able

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to level out the sales that are coming in with the

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time it takes to produce the product?

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The only way I can do it,

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I have to make more modes.

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If I get more discipline,

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you have to imagine if I make a candle,

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I have 20,

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30 modes for a shape at least to make it efficiently.

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So if we get more orders in send,

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I'll try to add on to my mode count so I

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can get it out a little bit faster.

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I always try to find new ways to make it better

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and have turning tables here.

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So it's easy to poor.

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I always try to tweak it to make it a little

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bit faster,

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a bit more efficient.

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So this is something what comes out of my mechanical engineer,

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nature, settle,

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try to do it a little bit differently.

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And they have ideas to make it really more efficient,

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easier, but it costs quite a bit more money.

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So stick with the simpler solution set then.

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Yeah, there you go.

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It's an issue.

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I think it's,

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if you're really successful and at some point the thing you

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have to decide how you'd like to do it because it

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means either you step completely out and have somebody else making

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your product,

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which I don't want to do.

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So I really like what we talked before I go to

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the trade shows and I don't do any additional advertisement.

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It keeps me busy.

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The thing it would do more send,

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I think it would have this situation.

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Like right now I have a 1800,

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2000 square foot where I can make the candles.

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I have storage units where I store my candle boxes,

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my raw material and stuff like this.

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But if it would grow,

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send, it would mean I would need to expand.

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And I think like for me,

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I'm 54.

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I'm not so anxious anymore to have a big company at

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this stage in my life.

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So I don't want to increase because I think then you

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get in a completely different area.

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You not anymore.

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And artists,

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you send a manufacturer and you really have to try to

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get the product as much as possible.

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The secret takes out the fun for the money and it's

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great. And you should go for it and try to make

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it bigger and more.

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But if it can make you living and you enjoy what

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you're doing,

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I think only try to tweak it.

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So you can really make a little bit more increased the

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volume, what you can make,

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but still do it in a environment which is better for

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inspiring your mind.

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I think if it gets too big and you have so

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many other things to think about,

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and I think the back ends,

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it gets a bit lost.

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I mean,

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I agree with you.

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And I've talked with other people who have virtually grown themselves

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out of the passion of their business.

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Just like you're saying,

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because they get so big that their role ends up having

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to be something different.

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And part of the value of having your own business is

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that you want to do what you love.

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And nothing says that you have to get bigger and grow

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and grow and grow and every year be making more money

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and all of that,

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because you may start building something that you don't even like

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anymore, in fact,

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that you could resent.

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So that's a really,

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really important learning and I'm glad you brought it up.

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Klaus's that as business owners,

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we can define the size of our business and we can

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be successful year over year,

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over year,

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based on whatever goals you have,

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like you're saying,

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as long as it's covering your costs,

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you're making a living you're comfortable and you love what you're

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doing. That's success.

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Exactly. I think some people consider success only how much money

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you make is that it has to be millions.

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But I think there's also,

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this success is more like a quality of life.

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It's for me,

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something which is important.

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And it has to come back into the business life.

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And some people are saying can appreciate it.

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Some people down it's everybody's own minds,

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what he would like to achieve in life or what his

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goal is.

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And there's nothing right or wrong.

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There's only differences like with every single life.

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Right? I totally agree with you.

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Let's talk about a challenge that you've had Klaus,

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whether it's production or something,

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as you were growing or working within the business.

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Can you share with us some struggle that you had and

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what you did to overcome it?

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When I started out 11 years ago,

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like I had one mode and respond mode,

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you can make two candles.

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So test,

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you can't make money with this.

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The first mode I had,

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it was a custom made one.

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It was pretty expensive.

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So the next thing,

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what I was doing,

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I was designing my own little molds,

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cheap and dirty,

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and I make my molds not by myself.

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So I caught that really,

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whatever it takes,

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make my mode at the beginning,

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I really had to start to get my mode count up

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or started out with one.

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And now I have five,

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600 modes here to make the candles and I can get

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some quantity out if it's two accounts and they would like

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to have a hundred cans or something.

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Now I can make it,

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like I started out if somebody would told me,

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okay, he needs a hundred candles.

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And I said,

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Ooh, okay,

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it's great.

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I like the order,

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but how can they achieve it also at the beginning,

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like in my mind,

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how I started it,

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I didn't think about the sales only sold about the product

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or what that would like to achieve,

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how to look like and send on the sales side.

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I didn't put too much salt into it.

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And two went out there in my case,

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I wasn't too unhappy,

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said it started out slow and that really could build up.

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And that could find ways to overcome this deficiency.

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So it worked out at the end.

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It's nice then,

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because otherwise,

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if I would have done it,

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like before I would have spent quite a bit of money

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on molds.

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And so it's for me,

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way more efficient to do it on mail.

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Sure. And then you're in control because if you do get

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an order in for a certain shape,

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or maybe who knows,

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maybe you'll even want to do a different shape.

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Now you're in control of the mold.

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So you're able to create whatever you want.

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Right? Exactly.

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So it can make a new shape and I can make

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only one mold that I can put it out to the

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show and tells them it would be ready in six months.

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So I can gauge the interest before we invest time and

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money in 2030 molds.

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Yeah. You're in control.

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I think the more you can control within your business and

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not have to rely on others,

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the better,

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especially for a situation like this.

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The other thing is like with every business,

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if you start out there,

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it's always the cash flow.

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I think at the beginning,

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it's hard.

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If you go to shows,

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shows are expensive and they're getting more and more expensive to

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spend the money.

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And that here again and again,

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when I go to shows people go to the first time

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and they're so disappointed because they spent a lot of money

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and they don't get the sales,

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what they hoped they would get there.

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And they take out sometimes loans to get to the shows.

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And I dunno like I'm European.

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I have first I have the money before I can spend

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it. So it's for me,

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important, always set.

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You really put the money.

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So to save up beforehand that you have a certain amount

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of money,

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you know,

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you can live off of it and you can sustain your

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business for certain while before it has to make money and

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give it back to you.

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So less stressful and less risky too,

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because you're not putting out money that you really need to

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be living on.

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Yeah. Those are things like most people go out and they

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take out a loan or something it's even more stressful to

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get back and to try to pay back your loan and

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to make your living.

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I'm not the type for this.

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When I started my business,

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I had a certain amount set aside and said,

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this is the capital,

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but the half.

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And if it works,

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it works.

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If not,

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and I have to rethink what I'm doing,

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but I think it's important that,

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you know,

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success doesn't come overnight.

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It's quite rare.

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So it's people really go out there and send,

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it will take off right away.

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I think it's persistence and longevity,

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which makes the success.

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And I would suggest gift listeners too.

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I mean,

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what Klaus is talking about is perfect to go out to

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a show and especially your first one that's market research that

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seen the receptivity of your product,

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getting feedback.

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Maybe you have to tweak your product.

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Maybe you need to look at your pricing,

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that type of thing,

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but you don't always need to go to a big show

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either. You could go to a local craft fair,

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which is way less expensive than investments in a big show.

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And just to get feedback.

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But your point specifically about,

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especially in the first show,

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don't feel like you're going to walk away with thousands and

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thousands of orders or even hundred.

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And if you do,

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that's great,

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but go with the intent of learning about how people are

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reacting to your product and just be capturing a ton of

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information and getting leads out,

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getting exposure for your product.

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The other thing,

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because I'm so glad you talked about this and I agree

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with you.

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I run my businesses the same way is if I don't

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have the money,

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I don't buy it.

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And it's just much easier.

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You can sleep well at night,

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you might grow slower or you've been talking about slow and

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steady growth up to a point that you like that you

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feel comfortable with way better than being stressed out about.

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Can you pay that charge card bill or something?

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It's not worth it.

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You want your energy focused on your business and growth,

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not on how are you going to pay the bills.

Speaker:

Cause then you also start to look desperate to a customer.

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Yeah. And then you'll be tempted to lower your pricing too,

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which is that's no good either.

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So, all right.

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Let's carry on a little bit here and talk about,

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you've mentioned that there are two of you in the business,

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right? Yes.

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Can you share with us the roles that each of you

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play Say a second personal,

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she does the packaging because the boxing app,

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it's extremely important.

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In our case,

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it's a lot to museum stores and the candles are fragile.

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They can break.

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So we have nice boxes.

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They are sturdy boxes in this case.

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So she does mostly this side of the business.

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So I'll make the candles and to the shows that do

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the sales.

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And she does the other end.

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It takes a long time,

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a lot of people and the estimates,

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this ends of business,

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making something like pouring a candle,

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it goes quick,

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but then taking it out and send,

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having it put in a box and folding the box,

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stamping the box,

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all of this takes a lot of time.

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So she is in charge of the set.

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She also,

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she makes candles.

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If you have too many orders in-house so she be able

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to cross train.

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She can key in orders.

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She can call customers.

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But mostly what she does is getting the candles ready to

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be shipped to the customer.

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Perfect. That's great.

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Just to understand a little back of the house and how

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things are set up there is there as you get into,

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and you think about the full running of your business,

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cause there's also bookkeeping and website,

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all that crazy stuff,

Speaker:

but is there some type of an application or tool that

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you use?

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So you stay organized within your business?

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I don't have any tools or something like I have to

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do like accounting.

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I use QuickBooks.

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I think this is quite industry standards that most people it's

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for the same for the accounting,

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with QuickBooks,

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that's an easy,

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you only give your information to your accountant and he does

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the taxes.

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But otherwise like with website or something,

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I have a,

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an acquaintance.

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She, if I need something for the website,

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I'll give it to her.

Speaker:

Like at the beginning I try to do the website,

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but you spend so much time doing it.

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And it's,

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there's so much change in it.

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It's better.

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You have somebody who knows what they're doing and they can

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do it in a couple of hours instead of you doing

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it. And it takes a couple of weeks to research the

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things, stick,

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what you can do really well.

Speaker:

And the rest try to find an affordable way to find

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somebody who can do it for you.

Speaker:

This is how I organized my business around this.

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I think I tried to do as much as they can,

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but that try to stick to the core business and everything

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what's surrounding.

Speaker:

I try to find somebody who can help me with it.

Speaker:

Totally agree with you.

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That's a great way to do it.

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Any final advice for people who are listening today and they're

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getting excited,

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they want to get started.

Speaker:

You've already given us a lot of tips,

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but any final thoughts and advice for someone who's just starting

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out or has maybe gotten their toe wet,

Speaker:

have a little bit,

Speaker:

started a business,

Speaker:

but it hasn't really gotten traction yet.

Speaker:

What advice would you have For me?

Speaker:

It's like the same in my case,

Speaker:

persistency, persistency,

Speaker:

persistency. If you like what you're doing,

Speaker:

if you believe in your product,

Speaker:

give it a chance,

Speaker:

be smart about it.

Speaker:

Don't run up debt to it.

Speaker:

But otherwise go out there,

Speaker:

talk to customers,

Speaker:

see what they like or dislike with the product and send,

Speaker:

give it some time.

Speaker:

If it's something completely new,

Speaker:

people have to get used to it.

Speaker:

And it takes a while to get into the market.

Speaker:

It takes a while to find a customer base like with

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the candles they're contemporary.

Speaker:

So it's a niche product.

Speaker:

So it's took five,

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six years for,

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I said,

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okay, now the business is a stage where I think I

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can live with it.

Speaker:

I would like to grow a little bit more,

Speaker:

but it's completely fine for me.

Speaker:

So I think it's the same.

Speaker:

If you have something,

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give it some time.

Speaker:

If we have the financial means,

Speaker:

try to get out there.

Speaker:

And the thing you have to spend time on the business.

Speaker:

Like at the beginning,

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I reinvested all the money back into the business.

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So I didn't take anything out.

Speaker:

Like what said I had a certain amount of money set

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aside and this was my business money living money.

Speaker:

And so this came back,

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whatever made in the business.

Speaker:

I put back in the business to grow it,

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to get to a point where I can say,

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now I can take money out and I can live comfortably.

Speaker:

And I have enough money to pay for the shows for

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the raw material for boxes,

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whatever I need.

Speaker:

So there is always money in the bank account of the

Speaker:

business, but also I can pull money out for the daily

Speaker:

needs a half So slow and steady growth.

Speaker:

And then also don't stop too soon.

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You know,

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it might take some time.

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Don't get over anxious in this day and age where we

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expect everything in half a second.

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That's not necessarily how it's gonna go,

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how it's gonna play out.

Speaker:

So now I'm going to ask you close to dare to

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dream. I'd like to present you with a virtual gift.

Speaker:

It's a magical box containing unlimited possibilities for your future.

Speaker:

So this is your dream or your goal of almost unreachable

Speaker:

Heights that you would wish to obtain.

Speaker:

Please accept this gift and open it in our presence.

Speaker:

What is inside your box?

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Paul and mailbox would be a teleportation device.

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Oh, where are you going?

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I'm from Austria.

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My family still live over there.

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So it would be nice.

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The second to be here in the U S the next

Speaker:

second, to be able to there for a birthday party or

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something like my daughter goes to college in Scotland.

Speaker:

So it would be nice to have this device and to

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go there.

Speaker:

My other daughter,

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she's in Austin,

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Texas, so it's spread out and the like to driver for

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me, it's something later on.

Speaker:

I really would like to see the world.

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It would be really nice to go to different cultures,

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to explore the world.

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This is what my dream would be.

Speaker:

It's so nice to meet different people,

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to get different ideas,

Speaker:

different aspect of life,

Speaker:

Right. And to actually be there and be there with them

Speaker:

and be able to see the world,

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because there's so much out there,

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like you said,

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and you know,

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more than anyone being from Austria.

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And then coming here,

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there's so much in the world that it offers us.

Speaker:

So I love that dream.

Speaker:

That's fabulous.

Speaker:

And I know for now you're using the current device that

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we have,

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which is Skype,

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right? We were talking about that before that you Skype all

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the time.

Speaker:

Cause that's one way to stay connected.

Speaker:

Exactly. Now Skype is a good way to get connected or

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stay connected with my belief.

Speaker:

We didn't have that 20 years ago,

Speaker:

even. So we're halfway there to your dream clouds.

Speaker:

So I think the best way for people to get in

Speaker:

touch with you would probably be to go and look at

Speaker:

your website,

Speaker:

right? Yes.

Speaker:

It's the best way to go to the website.

Speaker:

There is a contact form on there.

Speaker:

I feel like the notes I'm seeing shoot me an email.

Speaker:

It's the easiest way.

Speaker:

Like I tell my customers,

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you can call here.

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It's fine.

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But most of the time it will go to voicemail because

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we are busy.

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When we're making candles,

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we can stop and say,

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no, I have to take a phone call,

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but we'll call back.

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And this is the way to get a hold of us.

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We, our website sending us an email and we'll answer our

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emails. There's no doubt about this.

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Perfect. We'll give biz listeners,

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you know,

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as always,

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there'll be in show notes page.

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So I'll have links over there and lots of detail of

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the conversation,

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because Klaus,

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you have shared with us such really solid business building tips

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that I want people to listen to this a couple of

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times, specially if you're just starting out,

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because really important points were brought up and discussed here that

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I think we can all remember as we're moving forward.

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So Klaus,

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I'm a candle lover,

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just like you,

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as you know,

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because this is the theme of the show,

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right? So I just want to thank you once again for

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being here for sharing all of your wisdom,

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giving us a little peak behind the scenes of your business

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and may your candle always burn bright.

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That's a wrap listeners.

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Thank you for joining in today.

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And I have a question for you.

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Is there an industry or some topic that you're challenged with

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within your business?

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That could be good for guidance for me on who you

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want to see me interviewing on this show.

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If you have any thoughts on that or you just want

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to reach out for me for any reason,

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feel free to email me Sue at gift biz,

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unwrapped.com today's show is sponsored by the ribbon print company,

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check out the rivets company.com

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for more information after you listened to the show,

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if you like what you're hearing,

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make sure to jump over and subscribe to the show on

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iTunes. That way you'll automatically get the newest episodes when they

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go live.

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And thank you to those who have already left a rating

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and review by subscribing rating and reviewing help to increase the

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visibility of unwrap.

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It's a great way to pay it forward,