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How to Start a Candle Business

How to Start a Candle Business

Are you someone who finds solace in the warm glow of a candle's flame? Do you possess a passion for creativity and a desire to share your unique scents with the world? If so, starting a candle business might be the perfect venture for you. In today's bustling marketplace, there is an ever-growing demand for high-quality, artisanal candles that bring ambiance, relaxation, and a touch of luxury to our homes. The best part? You can embark on this exciting journey right from the comfort of your own home. In this guide, we will take you through the essential steps to help you launch your very own candle business and turn your passion into a thriving enterprise.

Why should you start a candle business?

According to Statista, candles are expected to keep on being one of the most beloved products among shoppers, a comforting and fun item whosemarket size was forecast to reach over 14 billion U.S. dollars worldwide by 2030.

There are all kinds of business ideas that people can consider starting, but the appeal of the candle business is that it has so many different approaches. 

  • High Demand: Candles have become more than just a source of light; they have evolved into a symbol of relaxation, ambiance, and self-care. In recent years, the demand for artisanal, handcrafted candles has skyrocketed. People are increasingly seeking unique scents, aesthetically pleasing designs, and eco-friendly options. This growing consumer interest provides a promising market for aspiring candle makers.
  • Low Cost: Starting a candle business can be relatively affordable compared to other ventures. With a modest investment in equipment and supplies, you can kickstart your candle-making journey. Additionally, operating from home eliminates the need for expensive commercial space, reducing overhead costs significantly. This makes candle making an accessible and cost-effective option for budding entrepreneurs.
  • Suitable for Small Businesses: Candle making is a craft that can be pursued on a small scale, making it an ideal choice for those looking to start a home-based business. Whether you're an individual looking for a side hustle or a stay-at-home parent seeking flexible work hours, a candle business can offer the perfect blend of creativity and entrepreneurship. You have the freedom to scale your operations gradually and cater to a niche market, providing personalized products that larger manufacturers may overlook.
  • Creativity and Customization: Candle making allows for a vast array of creative options in terms of scents, colors, shapes, and sizes. This means you can create a unique product that stands out in the market.
  • E-commerce Growth: Apart from selling candles in boutique stores, the rise of e-commerce has made online candle sales an increasingly popular trend. It is easier than ever to reach customers around the country or even globally through online platforms and social media marketing, helping to gain high profits.

 

Types of candles you can sell

You will find that there are several types of candles that you can sell and a great advantage is that most of them can be made at home.The following are the most commonly sold:

 

Soy candles

These are probably the most popular of the bunch at this point. They have a very clean burn and they last longer than many other types of candles. If you decide to go for soil candles, they are in high demand.

 

Vegan Candles

There is no doubt that a large group of people is very concerned about the type of materials used to create the candles they buy. This is why vegan candles can be a great niche in themselves. Environmentally friendly products are very popular.

 

Scented candles

Aromatherapy has become a huge thing and people love the idea of various scents for their homes. The use of these candles has skyrocketed now that people are looking for a more relaxing way of life.

 

Decorative candles

This can be anything ranging from candles that are decorating a living room and are not meant to be lit, to candles that are used for birthday cakes with specific shapes, or special events and celebrations.

Combining candles on side tables will add depth and texture to your space.

Steps to start a candle business

There are many steps that you need to take into consideration when starting a candle business. With that said, there are six essential steps that are going to be extremely helpful in this process.

 

Step 1: Find your niche

When you are looking to become a successful candle business owner, you need to be able to come up with a great way to make your product stand out from the crowd.

One approach could be focusing on crafting candles exclusively for birthday parties, offering a range of special party candles in various shapes and vibrant colors. It's just one idea to help your candle business stand out from the crowd. Another way to add a unique touch to your handmade candles is by considering eco-friendly materials, which you can conveniently purchase at low costs from platforms like AliExpress.

 

Step 2: Find out your target audience

Understanding the audience that is buying your candles is very important. Once you have defined your niche, you need to consider what your target audience wants. What they expect from your service, how old they are, their budget to buy, etc.

Once you have that, the process of approaching that audience is much easier because you know the best way to promote your candles to a specific group of potential buyers.

 

Step 3: Make a business plan

 

Making a business plan is always an essential part of any business proposal and you really need to consider this to be the next step after you define your niche and audience. There are a few important steps to consider when you make your plan.

Choose your business name

This is going to be crucial for your business success and it will help your brand power grow faster. It is always a good idea to consider a name that will immediately let people know what it is you are selling.

Set the costs

To successfully manage your business, it's important to have a clear understanding of your costs and how they relate to your expected revenue. This will also help you determine the appropriate pricing for your products. Let's start by setting the costs for the first three months, taking into account basic candle supplies and equipment.

  • Wax: A great option for startups is affordable soy wax, which has no scent and a low melting point. Beeswax is another choice that comes from sustainable honey farming practices. It has a natural scent and a high melting point. Palm wax, on the other hand, is thicker than other waxes and offers better sustainability compared to soy.
  • Fragnance: Fragrances are another important component, adding delightful scents to your candles. You can explore a wide range of fragrance oils or essential oils to create captivating aromas.
  • Containers: It's crucial to ensure they are heat safe. Ceramic, glass, and tin jars are excellent options to consider.
  • Wicks:  Both cotton and wood wicks are excellent choices as they perform admirably. Wooden wicks are not only eco-friendly, but they also offer the advantage of being easy to light. Cotton wicks are known for burning hot, which results in a faster and more consistent melt pool formation. If you're looking for an alternative, you may consider metal wicks. These wicks are constructed with tin cores and provide a unique option for candle making.

Set your product price

Once you've identified your target market, it's important to establish a price that is reasonable and appealing to your intended audience. Take a look at the price range of candles on platforms like Etsy, where most candles fall between $10 and $30. When determining the price of your product, be sure to factor in the cost of your supplies, shipping fees, and packaging expenses. It's also crucial to consider what price range would be acceptable and attractive to your specific target audience. By carefully considering these factors, you can find the sweet spot that aligns with your costs and resonates with your customers' expectations.

 

The common price of candles on Etsy
Image source: Etsy

 

Create your brand identity

  • Design a visual identity

Apply your visual branding, such as logo, colors, and typography uniformly across all materials, including digital content, packaging, signage, and merchandise. Use templates where possible to maintain design consistency.

Your logo is going to be the face of your business and it is essential for you to ensure that you can come up with something appealing. The logo is the face of the brand, so make sure that yours really stands out. It will be a very important aspect of your marketing strategy. 

When you're just starting your business, a cost-effective option is to create your brand logo on circle stickers using a label printer right from the comfort of your home. This approach allows you to save on expenses that would otherwise be spent on ordering customized labels in bulk quantities. By utilizing a label printer for your sticker needs, you can easily add a professional touch to your products without straining your budget.

By embracing eco-friendly packaging, such as honeycomb packaging papers instead of plastic wraps, businesses not only contribute positively to the planet and society but also position themselves competitively for future economic trends centered around sustainability. This approach can also set the brand's responsible identity apart from the competitors.

SEE ALSO: Sustainable Packaging Solutions For Small Businesses

 

  • Develop yourbrand story

A compelling story can captivate an audience, evoke emotions, and create a memorable experience that resonates deeply with customers.

Tell a story that embodies your values and mission, engages your audience, and gives your brand a human touch. Align all content like blogs, videos, and podcasts with your brand story and values.

SEE ALSO: How to create a brand identity?

 

Get your paperwork done

When you're starting a small candle business, there are a few basic paperwork tasks you need to take care of. You'll need to register your business with the government by getting the necessary licenses and permits. This helps make your business official. Taking care of these basic paperwork tasks will help your small candle business get off to a good start:

  • Research permit and licensure requirements: Check the specific permit and licensure requirements for small businesses in your state and local area. It's important to comply with any regulations and obtain the necessary permits or licenses to operate your candle business legally.
  • Choose the right business structure: There are various business structures to choose from, including sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), S Corporations, and C Corporations. Take the time to explore and understand each option, considering factors like liability, taxation, and management structure. You may want to consult with a professional to determine the most suitable business structure for your specific needs.
  • Apply for a resale permit: To become tax exempt on the items you purchase for your business, it's essential to apply for a resale permit. This allows you to avoid paying sales tax when buying supplies or materials.

 

Step 4: Make candles

Here's a basic overview of how to make container candles:

1. Confirm materials needed

  • You will require various supplies for the candle-making process:
  • Wax (paraffin, soy, beeswax, etc.)
  • Wicks
  • Containers (jars, tins, etc.)
  • Fragrance oils (if making scented candles)
  • Dye (if adding color)
  • Double boiler or a heat source to melt the wax
  • Thermometer
  • Pouring pitcher or pot
  • Stirring utensil
  • Wick holders or chopsticks to keep wicks centered
  • Scale (for measuring wax and fragrance oil)
  • Safety equipment (gloves, apron)

 

2. Prepare wax typeand containers

Choose your wax type based on preference and properties, and attach wicks to the bottom of your containers using a wick sticker or a drop of melted wax.

3. Melting the wax

Measure the appropriate amount of wax using a scale. You’ll need enough to fill your container(s).

Melt the wax in a double boiler or a similar setup, ensuring that direct heat isn't applied to the container with wax. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. Each type of wax has an optimal melting point.

4.Adding color and fragrance

Once melted, allow the wax to cool slightly if it’s above the recommended temperature for adding fragrance oil (typically around 180°F- 185°for many waxes).

Add dye if desired. This can be in the form of liquid dye, dye blocks, or dye chips. Add fragrance oil according to the manufacturer's instructions, which is usually 1 ounce per pound of wax, depending on the desired strength.

5. Pouring the wax

Cool the wax down to the pouring temperature recommended by the wax manufacturer (often between 135°F and 145°F).

Slowly pour the wax into the container, avoiding splashes and bubbles. Leave a small amount of wax in the pouring pitcher for topping off later if necessary.

6. Securing the wick

After pouring, ensure the wick is centered. You can use a wick holder, chopsticks, or pens laid across the container's opening to keep the wick straight.

7. Cooling and Curing

Allow the candle to cool at room temperature. Avoid moving the candle until it has fully solidified.Once the candle has cooled completely (this could take several hours), trim the wick to about 1/4 inch above the wax surface.

It's often recommended to let your candles cure for a few days to two weeks, depending on the wax type, to achieve the best scent throw and burn quality.

Step 5: Where to sell

Finding the best platforms to sell your products and services is going to be essential. Amazon, Shopify, and Etsy are all perfect examples of the kind of platforms that are available. These platforms each have their own unique systems and policies, but they are reliable and trusted choices for showcasing and selling your candles online.

But don't forget about the offline world too! Offline channels can be a great way to reach customers in your local community. Think about partnering with local gift stores or participating in farmer's markets. These offline channels provide a wonderful opportunity to connect directly with customers, showcase your candles in person, and create meaningful relationships within your community.

Selling candles is a shipping-friendly decision, but you should make sure that you provide proper packaging to avoid any issues due to the fragility of some candles. This is especially important when selling online.

 

Step 6: Implement marketing plans

To market your product effectively, you'll need to employ a blend of online and offline methods. Here's how you can approach each:

Online Marketing Methods

  • Content Marketing

There are many ways to market your products, but one of the most effective in modern times is content marketing for organic growth. This is done by posting interesting content on a blog dedicated to topics related to candles. You can also use social media to reach your audience or appear on podcasts, etc. Some people also opt to look for influencers that can showcase and recommend their products.

When it's time to promote your product, it's important to showcase what makes it special and unforgettable for customers. Find your unique selling point and make it shine! It could be the captivating scent, the long-lasting burning time, or even the heartfelt story behind your brand.

Let's take an example from a best-selling candle on Etsy. This particular brand knows how to grab attention by offering a one-of-a-kind candle that fills the air with the delightful aroma of fresh coffee.

Best selling candles on Etsy

Image source: Etsy

  • Social Media Marketing: Use multi-platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest to engage with your audience and promote your product. If applicable, sell your product through online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or Shopify.

  • Email Marketing: Build an email list and send out newsletters, promotional offers, and personalized content to nurture leads and retain customers.

 

Offline Marketing Methods

  • Networking Events: Attend trade shows, conferences, and local business events to meet potential customers and distributors face-to-face.

Image source: National Candle Association

  • Print Materials: Create brochures, flyers, catalogs, and business cards to distribute during events or in relevant locations. Use a thermal label printer to print the contents you need, and customize your templates, such as barcodes or QR codes on the print materials for detailed products info.

  • Advertising: Invest in traditional advertising channels like TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and billboards if they make sense for your target audience. Generating publicity through press releases, local news stories, or community involvement can also aid in boosting sales.

To maximize the impact of your marketing efforts, integrate your online and offline strategies. For instance, use QR codes on print materials to direct people to your website or promote your social media channels at in-person events. The key is to provide a seamless experience for customers, regardless of where they encounter your product.

 

Wrap up

Like any other business venture, a candle business is going to require some hard work and dedication to start seeing results, but it is an excellent choice for a business venture that has a lot of growth potential.

Starting a candle business is an exciting venture that combines creativity with entrepreneurship. Turn your passion for candle making into a profitable enterprise and create a brand that lights up not just spaces but also hearts. Optimize your markrting plans, connect with your community, and let your business flourish one flame at a time with printing materials from Munbyn!

 

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