Bekah lives in Seattle, WA. working as a music publicist as well as running a boutique candle company, The Dank Crystal. A truly hilarious and wonderful person, it was great having a chance to catch up with her. I’ll let Bekah do what Bekah does best, talk about cool stuff.
Bekah Zietz, smiling with coffee.
Bekah! Hi. Tell me a little bit about yourself, would you?
Hey, hey! My name is Bekah and by day I work in the Publicity & International departments of Sub Pop Records and by night/weekends I run a boutique candle company called The Dank Crystal.
Let’s talk about The Dank Crystal. What inspired you to start this company?
I never set out to start/create a company; it just happened slowly and organically. On July 4th, 2014 at a friend’s BBQ a discussion about the legalization of Marijuana in Washington sparked an idea: hipster boutique’s need marijuana licenses so customers can buy Pendleton blankets, marijuana, hand thrown pottery, and of course candles all in one spot, we tossed out many possible names for this hypothetical place and landed on The Dank Crystal. Later that year, my good friend, Zack Bolton of Porchlight Coffee in Seattle took me under his wick and taught me the craft of candle making. Once I produced my first hand poured candle I was hooked, and since that day I have continued to hone my craft to keep my candle game strong.
How has it been going?
Growing year by year!
How were you producing your candles at the beginning? Has your process changed over time at all?
It’s comical to think back to the days of when I was making them in my kitchen and handwriting labels. I would literally boil water in a pot that I got from Goodwill and wait for the soy wax chips to melt down in a metal pitcher right on my stove. After a few months of production I realized I needed to step up my label and production game and commissioned Porchlight Zack create a logo and sticker for my jars, which I use to this day. I also realized that in order to fulfill inventory quicker I needed to purchase a wax melter. Without that 65 pound beast, the act of making candles would be as painful as watching paint melt. Now I put on some good tunes and multi task as I melt down them chips.
Are you focused more on Seattle, or utilizing the Internet to get those candles in homes all over the country?
Because this is my side hustle, I’m able to sit back a bit and choose to work with folks both locally & nationally that are doing things that I respect and admire. I rely heavily on social media to help spread the #dankvibes gospel, both for my own internet store as well as wholesale accounts. It’s important to me that my messaging depicts a cohesive identity. I want my consumers to feel like they’re traveling with me and sharing my life experiences. That’s why, when I travel for work (which I do a fair amount) or go on vacation or to a show, I share it all on social media. I want my customers to get a sense of who I am as a person. There are only so many photos I can post of the candle making process and my products, so I try to mix in photos of bands, records, travel, friends, food, and other products that I enjoy. I give my followers a sneak peek into who I am as a person, helping cement a brand identity.I also try to infuse music into all that I do, curating a Spotify playlist to listen to while burning.
What do you see as the pros and cons of these two different approaches?
I don’t think there is any, my local community is really important, but as a company owner I want to connect with anyone who's interested in testing out/trying my candles. Dank Crystal is for anyone who’ll have us!
You work in publicity and promotion. How have you applied this knowledge to The Dank Crystal?
Yes, doy! I’m lucky because even though I’m mostly marketing records, I’m able to apply trends and ideas to the candle game as well. What I didn't expect was the role that Dank Crystal would play in helping me better understand and relate to our artists. I’ve found that self-promotion is only as weird as you make it. When I first started, I’d always talk about my company in a sarcastic tone. I’d say things like, “Oh yeah, I just listen to music, get stoned and make weird things.” The reality was that I was proud of myself for building something from the ground up, and having this experience has really helped me relate to our newer artists who are just starting out. I wasn’t entirely sure how to appropriately talk about my product without sounding like I was bragging or pushing something that people didn’t want.
Let’s talk about coffee. How big of a role does it have in your day to day existence?
I LOVE COFFEE! Without it I would probably be a non functioning zombie.
What do you look for in a cup of coffee?
I’m a big fan of a almond milk latte.Though I mocked it at the time, I recently had a Latte w/ oat milk and have to say it was GOOOOOOOOOODDDD.
Do you have a preferred brew method?
I wish I was more of a coffee snob, but as long as it’s hot and sweet I don’t care how it’s brewed.
As long as it orbits Planet Earth I’m game.
Thank you, Bekah! Hope we can party on triangles sooner than later.
Rock on Chicago and rock on a party on triangles.