Making candles can be a fun hobby but at times it can be a complicated business.
We’ve polled experienced candle makers to find out what advice they would pass on to themselves if they were starting over from the very beginning. We’ve come up with 5 lessons from experienced candle makers.
Let’s take a look at what they had to say.
1. Perfect your process
Pick one wax, one container, no color, and master that before introducing new variables. I would have saved myself thousands of hours and money.
Testing is important. As in: it will take months before you have one size, one fragrance down. Sticking to one vessel to begin with is key!
The advice I want to make to new candle makers, who want to get into this business, would be to have patience, have a strong will to learn everything about candle making, and be ready to spend tons of hours for candle developing.
Before moving in to several different types of candles and wax and fragrance oil combinations take the time to master at least one candle. One candle with the same wick, wax, and fragrance oil combination. Make it, test it, share it with friends and ask them for feedback.
You might make a few dozen or more candles when trying to get the formula for a new candle product line just right and that is okay, give some to your friends, share them with your family, and then ask them for feedback.
It might cost you the materials it takes for a few dozen candles, however, that is less than the cost than launching your business with a faulty product.
2. Use quality materials
I wish I’d spent less time trying to perfect my technique with low-grade materials. Even the best candles I came out with using the Michaels supplies look and burn kind of amateurish compared to the ones made with “the good stuff” from a true candlemaking supplier.
Get your supplies from a quality candle supply wholesaler. Not only will it save you time and money, but you will be getting better materials than you can find at Michaels, Walmart or Hobby Lobby.
Some of the best suppliers are CandleScience, CandleWic, Aztec, and California Candle Supply. You can look at a list of some quality candle suppliers here.
3. Treat it like a real business
Everyone should treat the candle business like starting any other business. We all need the experience to become any business owner unless you have the capital to hire the best in the industry who you can trust.
Due to the fact that so many people make their own candles and make candles as a hobby, sometimes it gets lost that when you start selling candles it is still a real business.
Selling candles is no different than a woodworker selling handmade furniture or a metal worker selling custom-made metal pieces. When you start selling candles you are operating a business and that includes everything that comes with it.
4. Stay health-conscious
Ventilation is important. Even if you think turning on your ac or fan is enough – it is not.
When you are making candles you will be breathing in fragrance oils all day. This can trigger already underlying health problems in those that have respiratory issues and cause difficulty breathing.
You can overcome this by using a mask if you have health problems. It also helps to keep a fan on somewhere in the room or keeping a window open so that air can circulate.
5. Know the competition
Be prepared to burn lots of candles including some famous name-brand candles! Probably less than 3% of candle makers will survive and come out on top. Be the one that comes out on top!
This was actually my first step when considering the candle business. I bought at least two dozen candles from various companies all with some of the most popular fragrances.
I was trying to see how they burned, how the wicks reacted, what they were made of, how the labels were laid out. I wanted to compare their fragrances to the fragrance oils I could get from candle supply wholesalers.
You need to know what makes the popular brands so popular, and how you can work that in to your own product line.
In conclusion, most of the advice hit the same areas. Practice your craft and master it. Take your business seriously. Use quality materials when making your candles.
You would see these same pieces advice shared across most types of business.
There are somethings in business that remain true no matter what you are making. People want properly made products that are made using quality ingredients, and if you want to stay in business making those products you better look after your business.
Learn about how much taxes to hold back, what you need to do to write a business plan, how to market your business and what kind of insurance to buy.
If you want to learn more about running a candle making business check out our article we wrote about how to start and run a candle making business.