The Brooklyn Cafe visits ScentsAbility

Lately

There are times we need our people more than others. I know it’s hard enough for those of us that can express ourselves clearly to say when we are in need, but how do we perceive the needs of someone else, who maybe can’t themselves say “I need you”? We just try, and we let them know we see them, even though they can’t tell us themselves.

We have a beautiful tribe at Scentsability. We have fun together, work hard together, and explore new areas and push our comfort zones together. These shiny times are fun, but what’s most important is that we sit with each other through it all. And there are no exceptions to that. It’s like having that friend you know you can always call, or that feeling after a long day and you finally crawl into bed. We are each other’s acceptance, escape and home, all in one. And lately, in the middle of our beautiful times together, we’ve been going through challenging things too. Our young adults, like the rest of us, face hard life changing transitions and pain. And the only thing we know to do with these things is to simply be with them. To let each other know “I’m your tribe.”

About a month ago, Kim’s dad passed away. This is something we were preparing for, as her father was older and had been struggling with health problems for some time. But it doesn’t matter. It never matters when you “see it coming.” Losing a parent is hard, and we’re doing our best to love Kim, who maybe can’t always say “this is really hard.” During this transition, Kim has moved from the home she shared with her dad for the last 32 years of her life, and into a new chapter at our founder, Bonnie’s, home — the beginning of what will one day be our girls’ home. Kim is slowly getting comfortable there, spending days working on Scentsability projects and adjusting. We’re doing our best to spend fun times together, and spent last Sunday all taking branding photos together. Kim got her hair and makeup and done for the day and she told us all, “I look good.” You do, girl. She’s also going on dates with her guy. She and Billy went to Toojay’s the day before. Billy told me they split the cheesecake for dessert so no one “went overboard.” And we are talking about it, whenever she wants. To the best of our ability, we let her know she is seen and heard. The first moment we had alone on Sunday Kim let me know “my dad died.” I let her know that my mom also died some time ago, and that it is scary and hard when our parent leaves us (what I was actually saying was “I see you.”). Two of our girls, Lexi and Jessica, have also been dealing with difficult health problems. They have both been in and out of the hospital and packing doctor and physical therapy visits into their days. Lex has been dealing with knee issues from a procedure she had earlier this year. She was in a wheelchair for some time, and then a walker, and now walking with a pirate’s limp. This hasn’t been an easy period for our dance loving girl, and there’s been times of frustration and impatience. Jessica has been going through very painful periods due to an infection, which has left her feeling restless and anxious, and often unable to sleep. 

And we’ve all been there. Those period where you’d just do anything for some good rest. We know this will pass, and we know bright beautiful days continue to be around the corner. But through these things, we do what we know: we sit together. We have seen it on posters and all over Instagram before, but it’s true: everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Take it from this group, that together is the kindest, purest hearts I’ve known. Please keep being kind. Go on a date with your guy or girl, or mom or friend, talk about the things that are maybe uncomfortable, but you know you’ll feel better finally getting out. Dance with a pirate’s limp. Split the cheesecake. Just keep saying “I see you.”

 

Five Ways to Use Essential Oils

Whether it’s relaxation, help with allergies, or soft ways to bring in fresh or soothing scents into your home, the uses of essential oils are endless. They allow you to disconnect in the middle of the day, add energy to busy work days, or unwind when you really need to relax. For us, products incorporating essential oils were an easy extension of our candle line because they are another way to add scent into your everyday life, which we think only makes life better. Even better, essential oils have benefits for mind and body, and we want to help spread these positive effects to our customers. It’s nice that there are many ways to incorporate essential oils in your life. Here are a few ideas.

1. Apply directly to your skin

            The simplest way to use essential oils is to apply them directly on your skin. It absorbs quickly, but make sure to mix the essential oil with a carrier oil, like almond or sunflower oil (the rule of thumb is 12 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil). Placing a citrus scented essential oil on your wrist when that 2:30pm feeling is creeping in at work is a great way to get a boost of energy for the afternoon.

2. Diffuser

            This is probably the most popular option, and is nice because you turn your diffuser on, and it will emit the essential oil mist for the time you set it to. A room or atmosphere can be completely changed with a diffuser!

3. Using in a bath

            At the end of a manic Monday, an essential oil bath of lavender oil, mixed in with Epsom salt is a soothing way to decompress for the day. The oil will absorb into your skin from the water, and inhaling and relaxing in the water gives you an opportunity to relax. Remember that the oil is not dispersed and diluted in the water; it is at full strength, so go slowly, one drop at a time. 
Use up to eight drops of your chosen essential oil or blend. You’ll want to keep the bathroom door closed too ensure that the aroma does not disperse.

4. Inhalation and Steam
Sprinkle a few drops of an aromatherapy oil onto a handkerchief or tissue, and inhale as required.
 This can help with everything from stress and anxiety, to sinus issues and allergies. You can achieve the same effect by inhaling steam mixed with essential oils. To do this, cover your head with a large towel, close your eyes, put your face above the steaming water mixed with oil and inhale deeply.

5. Jewelry

            Saving the best for last, we also love adding essential oils to jewelry, and add them to the bracelets and necklaces we sell. This way, your oil literally travels with you, as it’s kept in either beads of a bracelet, necklace or earrings. It’s a great way to allow the essential oils to be with you throughout the day, and can be that perfect pause you need in the middle of the work day.

Our Time at the NCA Convention

Our Time at the NCA Convention

We kicked off the summer with an event we’ve been looking forward to for a long time: The National Candle Association’s annual conference!

We didn’t have to go far — the conferencewas right in our backyard in Weston, Florida. We were really lucky the NCA decided to host so close, and it gave us the  opportunity to reveal our Glow in the Glades candle to each attendee of the conference. Master perfumer Kari Ariente of Symrise helped us perfectly capture the notes of the Florida everglades and photographer Steve Romero provided a beautiful west Florida sunset to include in our packaging. We’re really proud of that scent, and we’re happy each person got to take a little bit of the glades back home.

The conference was action-packed, and most importantly, we got to connect with many people who mean so much to us. To start, we hosted tours at the shop on Tuesday. In two groups, people got to come get a tour of the shop and see us in action. It was awesome to open the doors to our happy place to so many people. And we made sure the place was decked out, NCA style.

 

We got to work and hand-painted a welcome banner that we hung in the entrance  to our parking lot that said “Welcome NCA.” We were really proud of it! Team ScentsAbility was so excited, wearing our best ScentsAbility shirts and ready to mingle. Chef Joanne made an amazing spread for our guests and Anais’ Aunt made a custom cake. How amazing is that cake??

The first group really got the true ScentsAbility experience and even poured candles with us. They were so impressed by our factory and the level of knowledge our team had about candles. The second tour was also impressed and really felt the happy feeling that everyone says they feel when they come to ScentsAbility.

We’re so grateful that several members of the NCA raised money that sponsored not only our attendance, but room cost. With that sponsorship, we were able to stay at Bonaventure and be just steps away from all the events throughout the week. Our great friend, Symrise, sponsored our booth for the week.

After a delicious breakfast on the second day of the conference, Bonnie presented our updates and progress since last year’s convention to a group. She got to dive in deep about our Work, Live, Play model and gave a short intro for those who were new and did not hear Bonnie speak the previous year, and had the opportunity to thank some of our amazing donators: International Group, Anchor Hocking, Symrise and Cosmo Fragrance, Boehm Label, Wick-it and Wood Wick Intl.

Denise spoke about the unique perspective of a parent to a person with intellectual disabilities, and how vital a place like Scentsability is for Lexi. Then Lexi took the main stage and brought the house down with her engaging smile, her heartfelt words and love for ScentsAbility. There was not a dry eye in the audience. 

Some of our young adults learned more about colors and trends in an afternoon breakout session, and we spent the rest of the afternoon connecting with friends old and new, and selling candles.

The final day of the NCA was busy, and filled with gratitude. The NCA has opened  so many doors for us, and provided some of our deepest connection. During the final day, Orchidia Fragrance told us that they were given the green light to offer us free scents. We’re so grateful for the donation, and we’re working with them now, as they guide us on trends and consistency, and we can’t wait to see what we  create with them. More to come on that! 

That evening it was party time. It was really important to us that we acknowledge  some of the people that have made our great growth possible. These people are our team! Andreas Steiner from Symrise, who sponsored our booth and actually flew from Europe to be with our kids; Eileen Hendrick from Symrise, who is our angel and handled all the fundraising to sponsor our trip; and, William Muench, one of our biggest mentors and frequent visitor to our store. The party was awesome, and more importantly, we were really grateful to recognize some of the people that are important to us. one of our biggest mentors and frequent visitor to our store. The party was awesome, and more importantly, we were really grateful to recognize some of the people that are important to us.

100 Men Who Care

100 Men Who Care

There’s a very special organization that’s helping non-profits in all across South Florida. They are 100 Men Who Care. This group of business leaders has banded together to support small non-profits in South Florida. They hold meetings every quarter and vote for a non-profit to receive a donation of up to $10,000 based upon attendance.

The organizations leaders are Joseph Costello, Paul Sallarulo, Margaux Fiori and Mara Kelly. The last meeting was held in May at the Capital Grille in Fort Lauderdale. The group allows three charities to speak in front of the entire organization, then they vote for one of the non-profits to receive this quarters donation. John Becker, IT Director at ScentsAbility made a heartfelt speech to the entire audience and discussed the effects that ScentsAbility has had on every individual with special needs that has passed through the doors of the candle shoppe. He spoke about ScentsAbility’s honorary membership into the National Candle Association, and it’s many achievements over the last decade. When the voting was over, ScentsAbility came out on top!

The ScentsAbility team would like to say thank you to all of the members of 100 Men Who Care for their generous support.100 Men Who Care is there to help non-profits survive, and give hope to those that are searching for funding to continue their mission. What their organization does is much needed in the community, and can single-handedly change the direction of a non-profit.

ScentsAbility will be using the funds received from 100 Men Who Care to develop a ScentsAbility flashcard app that will teach our special young adults how to read, learn and recognize the different scents they sell. It will be designed to be fun and engaging with multiple levels of achievement. ScentsAbility will always strive to spread the word about 100 Men Who Care so that other non-profits can have the hope that support is nearby.

Thank you for allowing us to be part of 100 Men Who Care!

A new scent at the NCA Expo!

A new scent at the NCA Expo!

It’s been a whirlwind at ScentsAbility since we attended last years NCA(National Candle Association) Expo. We’ve made so many important partnerships, and met incredible people along the way. The support we received since 2017 has been overwhelming.

Being invited back to this years Expo was the most important event on ScentsAbility’s to-do list, and we wanted to make it special. We flew up to New Jersey with team members Jessica and Lexy to meet with executives from Symrise the worldwide fragrance manufacturer, where they took a tour of the factory and learned all about fragrances. They also met with Wick-It who provides our candle wicks to see how wicks are made!

This years Expo was in South Florida and the theme was the Everglades. The team worked with Symrise to create a new candle scent. ScentsAbility had a Master Perfumer assigned to their account, and she created a truly remarkable scent called “Glow in the Glades.” The special young adults at ScentsAbility worked diligently to pour 350 of these amazing new candles to be included in the swag bags for every attendee at the Expo!

 

 

Coral Springs Festival of the Arts

Coral Springs Festival of the Arts

Another year gone by and another year at the Coral Springs Festival of the Arts. A great outdoor event celebrating the arts. Full of food, fun and entertainment. The ScentsAbility team looks forward to this event every year. It usually takes place around St. Patrick’s day which makes it extra fun year after year.

As always ScentsAbility is one of the busiest booths at the festival. The Make Your Own Magic Wax Candles are always a hit with kids. Some return year after year to make a candle again and again.

ScentsAbility is proud of all the products they make. All of which were named by the special young adults at ScentsAbility. ScentRocks air freshener, ScentSnaps wax melts, ScentsAbility Hanitizer scented hand sanitizer, ScentMe scented roll-on.

This year we had a very special visit from the young lady that’s on our banner. We took her picture 6 years ago! Today she is all grown up. That’s her picture to her left.  It was another great weekend at the ScentsAbility booth! Thanks to all those that came out for a great weekend of family fun!

Coral Springs Festival of the Arts

The team had another great year at the Coral Springs Festival of the Arts. It was an early morning rise for Michael, Billy, Shaun and Kim. They’ve proven that they’re becoming experts at setting up the tent and tables for every ScentsAbility event.

Everyone works together as a team to put up the tent then Michael is in charge of setting up Essential Oils, while Kim lays out the candle tins. On the other side of the booth Billy and Shaun setup the table for making your own magic wax candles!

What a team!

The team saw “The Rodeo Clowns” perform and also “Roll the Stones” a tribute band to the Rolling Stones! You guys are lucky!

The team sold their new signature wood wick soy candles, Happy Hands hand sanitizer, Essential Oils, Scent Rocks air fresheners, Scent Silk body lotion, and make your own magic wax candles! We’ll see you next year!

Miami Dolphin James Pruitt visits ScentsAbility!

ScentsAbility received a very special visit from retired Miami Dolphins wide receiver James Pruitt. Mr. Pruitt was a natural with the team. He discussed what it was like to be different and how we have to hold our chins up every day. The team took him for a tour of the shop and showed him everything they do to keep the shop running. Then Mr. Pruitt gave each member an “I C.A.R.E” button and autographed everyone’s shirts. Mr Pruitt is a class act!

 

Bright Horizons Magic Candles

Bright Horizons Magic Candles

It was a very special day for ScentsAbility. We visited the Bright Horizons school for special education, some with severe disabilities. The candle making process was modified with automatic pouring machines that assisted those that don’t have the ability to hold a scoop with their hands. The student presses the color they want to use. The tablet they use speaks the command that the student selects. Team ScentsAbility helped each and every student make a magic wax candle to bring home for Valentine’s Day! Great job team! Thank you to the staff at Bright Horizons for all of the incredible work you do for individuals with special needs.