Everyone wants to work for themselves. If you put some time and effort into it, you have a chance. You can start candle making business as a side hustle and then turn it into a full-time job.
Making stuff at home and selling it is realistic. Many people go from their first few sales to quitting their day jobs and making more than they ever did before faster than they thought possible. Even if it takes you longer to start making a lot of money than you had hoped, it is worth it.
Have you ever thought about making candles? There is a market for homemade candles, and if you can become a well-known candle maker, you can make a full-time living at it.
Candle-making is not easy to master, but it is easy to learn, so you can get started right away. It may not take long to make your first sale, which can boost your confidence enough to help you keep going and make a lot more.
How To Start A Candle Making Business?
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to start a candle making business.
1. Learn To Make Candles
If you do not already know how to make candles, this is the point where you learn how to make them. Watch some videos, signup for a class, make a few dozen candles and give them out to your friends and family. Ask your friends and family for feedback and make any necessary adjustments.
Our Candle Making Calculator can help you learn to make candles.
2. Write A Business Plan
Most people overlook this step of starting a business but this is one of the most important steps to starting and running a successful business. As your business grows this step becomes even more important if you ever want to see financing or apply for a loan from the small business administration you will need a business plan.
What To Put In A Candle Making Business Plan
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Analysis
- Management / Legal Structure
- Product Description
- Marketing Plan
- Financial Projections
Not only is it smart to have a business plan but as someone that is selling candles doing the market analysis and marketing plan can help you really hit the ground running when it comes to promoting your business.
3. Get Required Licenses and Insurance
Meet all of the legal requirements in your city or state and obtain any necessary business insurance that can help protect your assets. While liability insurance is not always required, it is a must for any small business owner.
4. Establish Your Brand
Think of a name that is easy to remember have a logo made that suits your brand and make sure the name is available legally and on social media. Make a product that is going to stand out in the marketplace and gain a following.
Are you going to use the best ingredients? Ornate candle containers? Catchy and cool candle names people will want to show off and share?
5. Start Producing Your Product Line
You want to create an inventory of products before you start promoting your business because candles need to cure before they can be burned properly. You do not want to be creating candles and sending them out the same day you get an order because depending on how you tested your candles they might not burn properly.
6. Launch Your Online Candle Store
You can start listing products on eBay, Etsy, Shopify, WordPress or create a site with Wix or another website building service. Where ever you choose to launch your store this is the point you start listing products and finish the site.
7. Establish Social Media Presence
Create your Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook accounts. Start producing content that will advertise your brand and your product. It can take time to gain a following, just try to make genuinely helpful content or take aesthetically pleasing photos that people want to like and share.
As your social media following begins to grow, the traffic to your online candle shop will begin to grow.
Candle Making Profitability
Is Candle-Making Profitable? Candle making is profitable with profit margins between 50% and 80%. The profit you earn is dependent on what price tier you want to list your candles and how many supplies you order at once. If you order a lot of supplies from a wholesaler, you can get big discounts which increase your profit margins.
Yes, you can sell candles for a lot more than it costs to make them. You can spend a few dollars on materials to make a candle that sells for $10 to more than $30. You can sell your candles for more and more as you become better known.
You can learn more about candle-making profitability by using our custom Candle Making Profit Calculator.
There is also plenty of free information about how to get your business started. You won’t have to take a course; there is plenty of information online for free. You can find a community of candle makers to learn how to make and market candles from.
There is also no huge startup cost for you to risk losing. With some home-based businesses, you have to buy equipment that you might never make enough to pay for. Candle making requires only basic materials and a bit of space to work on them.
People use candles (7 out of 10 people use them) and are becoming more interested in buying hand-made goods, buying local, and supporting small businesses. Not enough people are into making candles for there to be too many suppliers. In most places, there won’t be any shortage of customers.
How Much Can You Sell Candles For? You can sell candles for anywhere from $10 to $30 each depending on the size and the container. It depends on the market you are trying to meet and the quality of the candles you are making. Ornate candle containers with quality essential oils will cost more to produce and demand a premium price.
Anywhere from less than $10 to more than $20. You can choose to focus on cheaper, mid-priced, or higher-end candles.
While you can sometimes make more money selling lower-end candles that take less time to make, your candles need to be different from cheap mass-market candles bought in stores. Higher-end candles are probably a better idea for most people.
Your customers need to notice the difference between what you are selling and what they can buy for $5 or $8 in stores. Low-end candles cost less than $9, mid-priced candles $9 to $14, and high-end candles $15 to more than $20 or $30.
Figure out who your customers are and what they think is a fair price. If you are making higher-end candles, which is usually the best idea, use different packaging and different materials.
Learn To Budget
You want to make sure you are getting paid, but you also want to make sure you are leaving money in the business. If you spend $500 on supplies to make 200 candles then once all those candles are sold and you pay yourself you should have $500 or more left in your account to order more supplies.
Keeping a bit extra will help allow you to create new products such as wax melts or design new styles and fragrances for the different seasons. Always leave a little bit extra in the business for future expansion and to help deal with rising prices for materials or difficulty getting materials
Make Your Business Distinctive
Your brand needs to stand out for people to buy your products. You might stand out by using unusual scents, using distinctive packaging that makes people notice your candles, or giving some of your profits to charity. Make your candles a special product that people can only buy from you and can’t find elsewhere.
Pick a good name for your business, and make sure the name isn’t taken. Use colors that fit together. These things matter and affect your sales.
How To Make Your Candle Business Stand Out
- Unusual Scents
- Distinctive Packaging
- Give To Charity
- Unique Products
- Good Business Name
When picking a website name, make sure it ends in .com – not .net or anything else. If it ends in anything other than .com, it is harder for people to remember. Using a .com address increases traffic to your website, which increases sales.
Don’t Pay Yourself Too Little
It is easy for people who get into part-time home-based businesses to pay themselves too little. This is not a good idea even in the short run. If you pay yourself too little, you may end up giving up on your business.
If you make a reasonable amount of money on it right from the start, this will motivate you to keep going. You may be able to turn a part-time business into something you do full-time if you feel motivated. To feel motivated, you may need to make money, so don’t pay yourself too little.
If you want to underpay yourself in the very short run because you are learning how to make candles faster, then that might be ok. However, you should not continue to pay yourself very little after you get faster at making candles.
Once you can make candles fast, pay yourself a fair wage. Think hourly. Don’t you deserve a reasonably good hourly wage for your time?
Don’t Start With A Huge Number Of Different Products
Keep things simple in the short run. Don’t have dozens of different kinds of candles for customers to try. Make a few good ones and make sure you can sell all of them.
In the long run, you might diversify what you offer – but make sure that at least most of what you offer sells. Don’t waste your time making candles that no one wants to buy.
Especially in the short run, you should aim for one price range and not many different ranges. Keep things simple. Starting out with some candles that cost $5 and others that cost $30 isn’t the right way to go.
Candle Business Startup Costs
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Candle Business? You can start a candle making business for as little as $500, however, if you are buying supplies in bulk the price can be as high as $1000 or more. The price ultimately comes down to how many of the legal requirements you will be doing yourself or if you will pay for a service.
Sometimes, it costs almost nothing to start a candle making business. You might be able to make your first candles with stuff you already have, plus a few small purchases.
However, if you want to get a business going, you may have to spend more than a little, possibly over $1000. You do not have to spend that much right away and can take things slow and spend a little at a time.
You need candle molds, wicks, and wax to make candles. If you don’t have these things already, these are your bare minimum initial expenses. As well as these things, you might buy a lot more before you start making money:
- A website. You probably won’t be able to get the address you want for free. Look around and find a good address that doesn’t cost a great deal. A business with a better website address makes more money.
- Labels. You will need attractive labels if you want people to buy your candles.
- Dyes and fragrance oils
- Different molds for different types of candles
- Different types of wax, such as beeswax, paraffin, ext
If you insist, you can start making money without much of an investment. Start selling candles right away, and then buy more materials with the money you make from selling.
You can make more money if you make candles that are shaped like different things. You could make a candle shaped like an animal, a Christmas tree, or countless other things.
The more distinctive your candles are, the easier they are to sell. However, it can cost money to buy the materials needed to make unique candles. There is no simple answer to what the minimum startup cost is, because it depends on how distinctive your candles have to be before people will buy them.
You might also buy measuring instruments right from the start. A scale, a thermometer, and a measuring tape can help you.
Some people start with a bare minimum of equipment; others buy more than a few things before the business pays for them. You might spend less than $200 to start your business or spend more than $2000.
Many people pay for these small startup costs out of their savings. Other people look for grants or even borrow money, but you should probably not go into debt to get started.
Make sure you can sell candles before you spend thousands of dollars. Use up a lot of your savings only after it seems very likely that you can make your money back.
You Can Save Money If You Buy In Bulk
You might get your candle-making supplies from local stores at the start, or you might order small quantities online. After you are past the early learning state, you should try to start making money. Start buying your materials in bulk – it is much cheaper that way.
Online stores such as Candlechem and Candle Making Supplies give you discounts if you buy supplies in bulk. You can get lots of different molds, containers, waxes, wicks, and containers from these stores.
Know Your Local Competition
Since other local candlemakers have a head start over you, you should aim to make better candles than they do. Making candles that are the same or almost as good isn’t enough.
You might also make candles that are different rather than straightforwardly better. Don’t make candles that are the same as what the local competition offers. The first thing to keep in mind is that your candles have to stand out – give your customers something they can’t get anywhere else.
Learn New Tricks Online Or Join An Organization
Candle cauldron is one of the best free websites to learn about making candles. There is also the national candle association which has plenty of information for free online and is an organization you can join.
Even after you start making and selling candles, keep learning more. You can learn much through practice, but you can also learn much from others. If you don’t know any other candle makers in person, discuss how to make candles with people online.
Do I Need A License To Sell Candles Online? You do not need a license to sell candles online. However, you may be required to have a vendor’s license to operate and sell locally. In addition, you still need to meet some legal candle making standards even if you do not need a license.
Usually, you do not need a license to sell candles. There is no “candle sellers license” required to sell candles online.
In some places, you might need some sort of a vendor’s license for tax purposes. Find out what the local laws are and whether or not you can start selling a product without having to do anything first.
While you do not need a candle maker’s license, candles can be a health and safety hazard, so there are some laws to watch out for.
Any candles you sell have to meet National Candle Association standards to be legal. These standards have to do with fire safety, labeling, and not emitting dangerous fumes when the candles burn.
Obey All Trademark/Copyright Laws
Don’t sell candles under a name that another company uses or use packaging almost identical to that of another company. Make sure your company’s name is not taken.
It takes a lot of time and effort to develop candle designs, and another company will take it seriously if you copy them. Use other company’s ideas as general inspiration only.
If you accidentally break copyright laws, you probably won’t be in serious trouble. They will probably only send you a cease and desist letter and not press charges. You don’t have to be paranoid, but be careful.
List The Terms And Conditions If You Sell Candles Online
If you are selling candles over the internet, have a terms and conditions page. It should mention that prices can change at any time, that you are not liable if anything goes wrong, and that your products are copyrighted.
Again, look up the laws in your state/country. You might have to do a few things differently in your area to remain within the law.
Sell Candle Supplies As Well As Candles
As well as selling candles, you can make money selling supplies to other candle makers. This is, in some ways, even better because you do not have to make anything yourself.
Opening a brick-and-mortar candle supplies store is a financial risk, and you might not make any money if you open an online store. However, you might make more money with candle supplies than you ever made from candles. You might start with candles and move into candle supplies later on.
If you are selling candle supplies, the first things to offer are:
- Different kinds of wax
- Different fragrances
- Books and guides
You might also sell scales, thermometers, and whatever else you think of. You might even write a candle-making guide and sell it.
Start by selling candles and then move on to selling supplies later on. Once you have a website that people regularly buy your homemade candles from, add candle-making supplies.
Do I Need Insurance To Sell Candles? You are not legally required to have insurance to sell candles, however, insurance can protect you and your business financially should one of your candles malfunction and cause an injury or destroy someone’s property.
While you are not legally required to have insurance as a candle seller, it can protect you from trouble. Merely having a warning label on your candles is not always enough.
If someone makes a mistake and starts a fire, they might find a way to argue it was your fault. You could end up in court. This scenario may sound far-fetched, but people do sue each other when they get the opportunity, and a court might take their case seriously.
Insurance companies do cover candle makers. You will have to pay something like $500 or $1000 per year. This can save you from a much greater loss.
Different people have different amounts of risk tolerance. If you are just starting out and not willing to spend $1000 on insurance, perhaps you can sell candles without it assume nothing bad will happen. Once your business gets going, you are better off with insurance.
Corporate Structure Requirements
Do I Need To Start An LLC To Sell Candles? You should start an LLC for your candle business because an LLC will protect you and your personal assets from lawsuits should someone sue your company due to a candle that has caused an injury or damage to property.
However, you are not required to start an LLC (limited liability company), but it has some advantages. You might start an LLC after you are past the very early stages, and you have more of a business than a hobby.
Your candle-making business may seem more professional and credible if you start an LLC. You will have to worry about taxes, and you can pay a lot less if you start an LLC.
The biggest advantage of an LLC is that it protects you from being sued. “Limited Liability” means you don’t lose as much if your business fails or runs into legal problems.
You may be protected from losing your house, car, or savings if you start an LLC. Even if you can’t pay a debt, your personal possessions might be safe if you start an LLC. The only disadvantage is a small fee, which can be up to $500 but can be less than $50.
If you want to start selling candles before you spend much money, don’t worry about the LLC just yet. Start an LLC after it is clear that you are going to be making at least a part-time income for a long time.
Where can I sell candles?
You should have your own website even if you are fairly new to the business. Being able to process online sales is easy if you use a platform such as Etsy or eBay.
You can also sell candles out of your house or sell them at farmers’ markets. Selling locally often works better than selling online. If there are any craft fairs nearby, you can grow your candle business startup there.
Etsy.com is another great choice. It is an online marketplace for small business owners. For a small 3.5% cut of your profits, you can show your candles to a lot of potential customers.
In conclusion, there are several things you must consider when planning to start a candle making business. You want to separate your business assets from your personal assets and get some liability protection, in addition, you want to ensure your products in the event of a mishap with one of your products.
In addition, making your candles and testing them to make sure you have the best and safest product possible is a huge part of running a candle business. You should make and test a few dozen candles minimum before selling them to anyone else.
You want to expose your candles to any kind of extreme situation at home that you can think a customer may do, just so you know how the candle reacts and that it remains safe. Try burning one for 20 hours straight without trimming the wick, try lighting it and extinguishing it 35 minutes at a time.
These are not ideal burning practices but still, you need to make sure the candle is reasonably safe because some of your customers may use your candles in this way.