If you’ve been by the shoppe or pursued the website enough, you’ll have probably seen my small selection of charcoal incense cones.
They're kind of the best.
I love them so much & I know that those who’ve had the opportunity to try them out have also enjoyed. They’re perfect for those nights you when you get home late from work and don’t have the time to light up a pile of candles before company arrives, those times where it's smelling a bit too green (I think we know what I'm talking about here) or like whatever you made for dinner last night (nobody likes the smell of salmon the next morning) or those moments where you just want that instant gratification of a space that’s beautifully fragranced.
Personally I love taking them up out the cabin - when we’re opening things up and want to eliminate the stale, slightly musty smell. They're also great for when it’s too warm inside to light any candles and for those times where it’s a rainy day and we’re stuck inside with a pile of stinky dogs.
I’ve been trying to get my line of incense cones off the ground for years now & it’s that project where I’m just too damn stubborn to quit trying or to walk away from the work that we’ve put into them.
While they’re in the shoppe and online, I haven’t been able to roll them out to our stockist partners or even promote them as I haven’t been able to find the unscented charcoal cones that need to produce them. We buy raw, fragrance free cones in bulk and then hand dip and cure in our exclusive Farmer's Son Co. fragrance blends.
There have been a pile of starts and stops as suppliers have closed or switched their offerings to only sell pre-dipped cones which has all been a bit of a thorn in my side.
As we were running out of cones earlier this year, I thought my problems were solved when I'd finally found a new manufacturer overseas who said they’d be able to produce our raw cones to spec.
So we sent in our order, made a wire transfer and then received regular updates via email and phone about our order until our order was scheduled to arrive.
In place of a couple of gigantic boxes filled to the brim with enough materials to last me the year, I ended up with an envelope with 25 cones.
25 little cones. That's it. That's all.
They looked great, but basically I ended up getting taken for a ride and scammed out of my time, energy and the value of our purchase order.
I’ve never had this happen my 15 years of buying, sourcing and product development. I generally know my shit. It’s what I’ve done professionally since I was 23 and while not perfect, I like to think that I'm pretty good at what I do.
I know how to find manufacturers and trading partners around the world - understanding how to vet them. The questions to ask and how to go about finding their credentials. Ordering samples, understanding quality and what it takes to bring an idea to life.
So, this hasn’t been a great feeling.
Dozens of late night phone calls and emails. Lots of false promises and then just a pile of nothing.
It’s not a pile of money, but it’s enough of a hit that it's just really disappointing and leaves me without those funds to invest in new ideas.
I’ve bootstrapped this little brand from the very beginning, investing my own funds as I had them and have always been very careful with my resources. Trying to ensure that whether I’m investing my funds or I’m trying to collect money, that everything is accounted. Even if that’s meant driving two hours to collect a couple hundred bucks owed by a (now former) store who'd ghosted and refused to answer calls, emails or DMs. It’s the principal of it all.
But I'm persistent.
That and I'm sitting on thousands of little incense tins that I designed and had crafted this past year in anticipation of a wider role out and bigger mission. I could offer them as tins for pre-rolls, but that's pushing it. Not that you can't use them for that once you've finished your batch of cones...
So it’s been back to the drawing board and I’ve now just placed an order with my fifth supplier.
Conversations have been had. Investigations have into the supplier's background have gone well. An order has been placed and and everything has finally gone into production, for real I hope. All to eventually make their way to my lab where we’ll dip and cure each cone, before counting out and placing in our little green tins, readying them to ship out to you and our stockist partners.
Sometimes things are an adventure. Sometimes a project or an idea comes together quickly. Sometimes it’s four years of development, a pile of testing and a few more gray whiskers in the beard.
Either way, I just keep rolling. These cones are too dang good to give up on. That and I'm just too dang stubborn.
I'll keep posted & let you know this all comes together.