A day in the life of the H&W factory

Abby, our Heyland & Whittle factory manager

Every product sold by Heyland and Whittle is made by hand at our factory in Crawley. From candles to soap, we make it, package it and post it out to you, so you know that what you're ordering has been made with care and is of the highest quality. 

But what does a typical day in the Heyland and Whittle factory look like? While some days are busier than others, some things stay the same, so we caught up with our Factory manager Abby to find out exactly what happens on a daily basis.

Abby has been with us for just over 12 years and is the longest serving member of factory staff at the company. She started with us when we were at our Ridgewood site, where she was a home worker. 

Eventually, Abby started to work in the factory part time, which later became full time, before she started running the show and keeping us all in line. It's now her job to keep track of orders, see what products need to be made and keep everyone on target - all of which she's very, very good at!

What do we do every day?

Her day starts between 7:45 and 8am, which is when the factory doors open and people start coming in to begin work. Her first job of the day is to go through the shop and mail orders so she knows what needs to be packed up and shipped out - as well as what products need to be made. 

According to Abby, this can really affect exactly what happens during the day. For example, if there is a big shop order, this can take a full day to get ready, while a lot of online orders can also take a while to sort out. As we try to get all orders turned around as quickly as possible, this means everyone in the factory has got fast, but careful, packing down to a fine art!

Abby said things get even crazier as we head toward Christmas, which for us starts in September, as that's when the big orders start rolling in. As well as more orders for gifts, festive products and shops, we also have to get things ready for our Christmas stands.

Throughout November and December, you can find us in a number of shopping centres and Christmas markets, including Winchester Market where we have a stall for six weeks from Early November. This means we need to create extra products so there is stock to sell at the stalls, which can get incredibly busy as Christmas fever truly hits!

However, things can go wrong and it definitely isn't all plain sailing on HMS H&W. When asking Abby what can really throw a spanner in the works, she says, without a doubt, "stock". 

Not having the right stock at the ready means we aren't able to make the products we need to. For example, not having specific fragrances or oils, running out of wicks and even running low on wax can all cause big problems. This is why Abby keeps such a close eye on what orders we have coming up so we can avoid low stock from causing issues.

Thousands of candles

When it comes to making the products, there are some that are made absolutely every day the factory is open. We hand pour candles, make reed diffusers and hand- roll bath melts every day, meaning everyone in the factory is always busy. 

It's like a massive family, everyone is so brilliant!

Around 1,000 candles are made each day, and the same goes for reed diffusers, as these are two of our most popular products. Soap is made in batches on two days every week, however, sometimes we need to make it three days a week to keep up with demand. Considering all of these products are made, labelled and packaged by hand, you can image how busy things get!

However, Abby says that when big orders come in, people normally take a break from their usual jobs to help out. This means everyone could end up pouring candles one day to ensure we have enough for an order, as this will be a big priority. 

Everyone has a set job within the factory, but all 14 people who work there also know everyone else's jobs too. This means they can jump in and lend a hand when it is needed and we don't have only a couple of people trying to make thousands of candles in a day!

Beautiful fragrances

One thing Abby does really like about working in the factory is the fragrances. She says that the place "smells amazing" no matter what is being made. One of the strongest scents is our shea butter bath melts, as these are made in their own little room, which smells like a bath lover's heaven.

Unfortunately, after a while, the staff stop being able to smell the overall scent of the factory - although others can smell it on them. They do, however, enjoy Heyland and Whittle products at home, so get to enjoy their favourite fragrances when they leave for the day. For Abby, this means making the most of Clementine and Prosecco and Neroli and Rose.

The fact that we also test all the products we make also adds the scent of the factory. A candle is burned from every batch we make in a special area of the factory to ensure they will burn down properly and the fragrance balance is right. Similarly, a reed diffuser from every batch is tested.

As well as adding to the overall factory fragrance, this also means that we know we are sending out the best quality products.

It's all about the team

But it isn't just the fragrances that Abby loves at H&W, she also loves the team she works with. 

Abby said: "Everyone works together. If we've got an order to get out, everyone will down tools to help out. It's like a massive family, everyone is so brilliant."

According to Abby, it is definitely the people she works with that makes the job so enjoyable and have meant she has stayed with Heyland and Whittle as long as she has, which seems like a great reason to us!

Explore our full fragrance range here to try some gorgeous products made by Abby and her team