Saturday, December 3, 2011

Candles: Analysis, News, and Very Odd Questions

It's about half-past midnight, and it looks like I'll get to bed earlier than I have since the week started.


I spent this evening working with my son-in-law, working out what it will take to get Spiral Light Candle through next year. Dropping data and formulas into about a thousand spreadsheet cells is detailed, nitpicking, fussy, work. But we've got a good planning tool to show for our efforts.


Seeing Spiral Light Candle's name in a newspaper wasn't all that unexpected. My guess is that doing a short article about new local or regional companies is routine for most papers: particularly when there's something colorful about the outfit.

A fairly steady stream of articles, often in newspapers or magazines that aren't all that close to North Dakota: that's not something I'd counted on. And, of course, it's good news for me.

The latest article is in a magazine back in North Dakota:
"RRV:Unique innovation keeps candles burning"
Prairie Business (published in Grand Forks, North Dakota) (December 1, 2011)

"Driving through Arkansas, Aaron and Sara McWilliams stopped at a winery and noticed wax taking shape around bottles. As the family continued their travels, Aaron McWilliams started to hypothesize about how to control the flow of wax to make the wax take any shape it would need to take...."
The Prairie Business article is a quick read: a little under 500 words long.

Back to how I spent this evening.

Very Odd Questions

My wife and I have been getting more involved in Spiral Light Candle, as the operation grew. I didn't expect to spend so much of a week on this analysis job: mostly because I had no notion of just how much I didn't know about candles and how they're made.

An example:

A few hours ago, my son-in-law and I were working on part of the spreadsheet that handled raw materials. The conversation had us saying things like:
"How many feet of wick in a pound?"
That sounded funnier, at the time. Maybe it's the hour. After midnight 'funny' has a higher threshold for me.

Asking how many feet of wick there are in a pound actually makes sense, by the way.

Obligatory Self-Promotion

Before wrapping this post up, I'd better mention Spiral Light Candle's website. ( Also Spiral Light Candle Corp. Storefront, our presence on

That's it, I'm done for the day. Or, rather, I'm done for Friday. I'll pick up Saturday's tasks in - about eight hours, probably.

Vaguely-related posts:In the news:

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