10. March 2010 00:49
It seems in today's market one segment of the market which can go over looked is the Free standing or "pillar market". It seems everyone has different containers, tins and glassware and nothing can compliment the line then a nice pillar candle. Pillars are a logical progression because these types of candles are easy to make, smell great, and are relatively easy to maintain multiple brands using different labels. Every candle maker is faced with the challenge of creating more revenue for various reasons whether it is at the crafting level to fuel their hobby, or a manufacturer that needs to pay next week's payroll.
One way to bring in new customers and increase sales is to offer new and unique candles that are not offered by you competition. This can easily be achieved by learning how to make freestanding or pillar candles using a variety of mold techniques. According to the National Candle Association, candle users say they most frequently burn candles in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%). One may assume that aesthetics are important in the living room and creating beautifully unique pillars that burn cleanly could be a great way to increase sales. The following tips and tricks should help you with increasing your freestanding candle offering.
- Aluminum molds are heat resistant, durable, and leave no ugly seams in the finished candle. Finished candles are professional looking and have an extremely smooth finish.
- Pillar Pins are a great way to increase production while maintaining perfectly straight wicks. Once mastered they are a necessity for making pillars efficiently.
- If you are using rubber plugs to seal the wick hole, place molds on two parallel strips of wood or other material that allows you to keep molds level.
- Adjust pouring temperature to achieve different effects. If candles are not de-molding easily, try raising pour temperature a bit.
- Leave an extra few feet of wick coming from the bottom of the mold. This way fresh wick comes up through the wick hole when you remove the finished candle, thus eliminating the need to push wick through the tiny hole for the next candle.
- You can carefully trim the mold down the sides or where needed with a sharp razor blade.
- Rub a very small amount of petrolatum on the seam to help smooth seams. While you are rubbing the petrolatum on the seam, use the opportunity to verify you have the mold correctly lined up.
- Use picture wire or a D-string from a mandolin to help you wick the mold the same way you would thread a needle.
- Be sure to use the correct wax designed for free standing candles. If you use the wrong wax or incorrect temperature, it can be tricky getting the mold cleaned out.
- Do not pour wax into the mold if it is over 200 degrees or damage to the mold may occur.
In addition to the above types of molds we recently wrote about how easy custom size molds can be created. Making custom molds can increase your presence even more because those types of shapes/sizes will probably not be made by the larger candle producers.
One of the key points to stress is that you must continually update and reinvent your own line.
10. March 2010 00:30
Many camps are finalizing there programs for the summer and coordinators are always looking for new and exciting activities for the kids to try. Offer to teach a class on candle making and use this time to send home information about your company. Even if the candles are not something you may sell it provides an opportunity to get your products in potential customer’s hands. The beeswax sheets and granulated wax are great projects for the children to do. The free publicity you get from this can pay dividends later and normally the time commitment is not overwhelming.
BASKETS, SOAP AND HOLDERS
Use the slower months to explore new extensions to your lines. Check out opportunities with other local businesses to see if gift baskets that include their products and your candles. This gives you partners that will help market your product as well as their own.
Use this time to see if possibly making soaps will fit into your product mix. Many of the fragrances you use for candles can be used in soap and the steps of melting, pouring and molding are similar. Cross marketing your candles with holders gives the consumers ideas on how to use and display there candle.
While the weather may be great outside and your phones might not be ringing, the summer can be a great opportunity to find new business. It will take extra work but in the current economic climate it will be necessary to survive during these times.