Starting your own business can be an exciting endeavor, but in order for it to be both successful and sustainable, you need to have a product that people want to buy. Why not make and sell your own candles? Candle making is a great way to turn your waxy works of art into profit–and since they are consumable items, you’ll most likely have repeat customers if they’re happy with your products. Featured here are some simple steps to help you get started with your own candle making business.
Research and Planning
The success of your business is largely determined by a solid plan. If you’ve never made candles before, you will need to learn about the candle making process, and decide which types of candles you would like to make. The best place to start is with a good candle making book. A helpful book will list the supplies required for candle making, as well as explain the actual process. A wealth of information can be found online as well–you can gather tips and advice from a variety of candle makers, and find out the pros and cons of making certain types of candles.
Because you will be marketing your candles yourself, part of your planning should include coming up with a catchy name and logo for your company. You may need to research possible names to see if they are already in use, and be careful to avoid violation of any copyright laws. It’s also important that you check with your state department to find out how to apply for and obtain a seller’s permit and tax identification number–that way your business will be both legit and compliant.
Oh, the Possibilities!
One of the many perks of candle making is that there are many different kinds you can create–the possibilities really are endless! Candles made from paraffin wax are probably the most common, but you can also make your candles from beeswax or soy if you’d like to market a more eco-friendly type of candle. You can make your candles in almost any color imaginable by adding candle colorant, and you can come up with your own custom fragrances using blends of essential oils to make your candles truly one-of-a-kind. Along with the different materials used to make candles, you can also make a number of different candle products including molded candles, jar candles, floating candles, and travel candles, just to name a few. Gel candles are another avenue to consider pursuing–non-flammable items can be placed and suspended within the gel creating a stunning visual effect that will delight customers of all ages.
Purchase Your Supplies
The supplies needed for candle making will vary slightly depending on what type or types you decide to make. Generally some of the items you will need to have on hand include your guidebook, wax (or other base material), colorants, fragrances, optional additives, wick, wick clips/holders, a double boiler, a thermometer, pot holders, wooden spoons, molds, and jars or other containers. If you want to be really creative with your “jar candles,” think outside of the box and look for unique glass containers that will really stand out. Fish bowls, vintage jars, or oddly-shaped glass containers can be found at garage sales, flea markets, or craft shops and are a great way to put your own spin on the traditional jar candle.
Designate and Prepare Your Workspace
You will need to have plenty of space to make your candles and since you will need the use of a stove, your workspace will most likely have to be in your kitchen. When making your candles, make sure you have a table top to work on and clear counter-space so that you can make your candles as quickly and efficiently as possible. It’s also important that you keep your supplies organized–a chest of drawers or stackable plastic totes work nicely for storing your supplies and utensils when they aren’t in use.
Not only do you need a good workspace for making candles, you also should have a designated place for handling the actual “business.” A small office space will do, and along with your computer and printer, you should keep your paperwork organized in either accordion-style file folders or in a filing cabinet. It’s also essential that you designate special places within this space to store your labels, packaging, shipping material, and your inventory of jars and containers if you will be using them.
After you’ve made some candles, adorn them with an eye-catching label or tag complete with your company name and/or logo, contact information, and instructions for use. Utilize fully customized packaging to promote brand awareness.
If you have a website, include the web address on your packaging–it’s one of the easiest ways for customers to find you if they want to buy more candles from you in the future.
Places to Sell Your Candles
There are many different venues from which you can sell your handcrafted candles. Arts and crafts shows, farmers markets, and flea markets are great places to market your goods. You may also want to inquire inside some local boutiques and spas–shops such as these might be willing to display your candles and sell them for you on consignment. Another way is to sell your candles online–it allows you to broadcast your items to a much larger audience right from your own home. The only downside to selling your candles online is that your customers won’t be able to smell them first. A quick and easy solution to that problem is to make your own “scratch ‘n sniff” fragrance chart that could be sent to potential customers through the mail. Perhaps the best way to get your candle making business to take off is to sell your candles at multiple locations, both in person and online–keep all bases covered if at all possible.
A candle making business is a great way to do something you enjoy and make money at the same time. The start-up costs are fairly minimal, and with a little planning and know-how, you’ll have profits rolling in before you know it.