Melting wax, mixing different colors and scents, and moulding candles into various shapes can be fun. What’s more fun is that there’s money to be made in it too. To make money with a candle making business, you’ll need colored wax, wicks, candle moulds and a ton of ideas to get started.
What Lights You Up?
Candles have been used for centuries for different reasons such as: timekeeping, ceremonies, relaxation, decoration, and obviously as source of light and heat. There’s a host of candle types you can make depending on your preference.
Tea lights, for example, are perfect for adding warmth to an afternoon of tea and good conversation. Tapers, or the long, thin candles, are perfect as accent for candlelight dinners and cakes for special occasions. Gel candles are often the scented or laced types where the decorative accents are buried in the gel.
And then there are the aromatherapy candles where candles are infused with essential oils giving it that relaxing scent. If you enjoy sculpture, then the figural candles would be of interest as these can be shaped into elegant or intricately detailed figures.
Determine what specific theme or type of candles you’d like to make. This will help you focus and channel your efforts so that you can develop your niche and stand out from your competitors.
Surf the web. There are many sites that can help you better understand the candle-making business and what would best suit your taste. Try experimenting. You might end up with a totally different product which opens up an unlimited and never before tried range of colors, styles, and designs.
How Much Does It Cost?
First, decide whether to use paraffin or natural beeswax; the latter of course will cost a little more.
Depending on the type of materials you use and where you source these, your initial cost can be as low as US$200. The basics are of course: wax, dyes, separators (like petroleum jelly, cooking oil or liquid soap), nylon wick, bamboo sticks (for stirring) and scents. Total cost: about US $140.
And then there are your heating pan and heat source, and moulders amounting to about US$70. The great thing about candles is being able to melt down your initial mistakes and trying out another option without additional cost.
Your biggest investment though will be on learning how to make candles. It’s important to get the basics right in order to produce candles of consistent quality, appearance, performance and cost. You may have to shell out some money for candle-making software if you intend to turn this hobby into a business.
Selling Your Candles
There are many ways to sell your candles but you’ll have to identify your market even before making that first candle. The safest way is to start small. Begin with your friends, and neighbours. Use your Facebook, Blog, or Twitter account to multiply your efforts at no cost at all. If your product meets their expectations, you gain endorsers. Word-of-Mouth is still the most effective way of getting your candles sold.
You can also approach small shop owners and offer your candles on consignment for starters. This will let both you and the owner gauge the saleability of your items, and find out what customers are looking for. Don’t forget to leave your samples and a business card and then do a follow-up after a week or so. Once you close a deal, make sure you deliver.
If you have enough stocks, you can also rent a space in flea markets or craft fairs. Festivalnet.com and UK Craft Fairs.com are good starting points to locate craft shows in the U.S., Canada and the UK. These sites can also hook you up with associations, clubs and guilds that can help you promote your craft.
A great way of attracting customers is to make sure they smell your candle scents. Make sure you have ground coffee around so they can clear their sinuses. It does become difficult to distinguish between scents after smelling several fragrances in a row and ground coffee can help to “reset” the sense of smell in between.
Pricing Your Candles
Do some pencil pushing to find out how much it costs you to make a particular candle, i.e. how much wick and how many ounces of wax, color, scent, etc. you used for one product and calculate the cost of each material per ounce. Include your costs for packaging and delivery. Then add a mark-up of between 3 and 4 times the actual cost if you intend to sell it at retail, or 2 times for wholesale. The revenue you generate from these should make your candle making business a legitimate source of income.
Find out how much similar products cost as you don’t want to under price or over price your candles so no one will buy. There are people though who may be willing pay more for your product as long as it offers something different. How you present your products and its unique qualities versus other candles in the same category also impacts on how much you can price your items.
Making money with a candle making business can be fun and rewarding. How much you make will depend on how attractive your products are, where and when you sell them, who your customers are and how dedicated you are in promoting your creations.
Are you making money in the candle making business or thinking about doing so? Be sure to share your comments, thoughts, ideas below…