10. March 2010 00:52
We are going to make this month's project relatively simple so it will allow you to approach the project from several different angles.
- With summer rapidly approaching many people start to reduce the amount of time spent inside thus burning less candles. This project will allow you to make a candle that your customer can burn outside when enjoying a nice Spring or Summer night on the patio. Citronella candles remain a popular outside candle.
- We featured what to do with small amounts of left over wax you could use the wax from a large container/pillar that did not meet your expectation.
- It can be made 100% natural
Take the wax you have selected and heat up to recommended temperature:
- If using Soy 120 or Soy 125, heat to 125F and add your fragrance. For best results add approximately 1 ounce per pound of wax.
- If using the Container Fill, heat it up to 150F-160F and use the same amount of fragrance.
- If you are using your left overs, follow the recommended pouring temperatures.
Take your wick and feed through the wick assembly. Take needle nose pliers and pinch the clip. Place in the container and secure with Glue Dot. Pour your wax in at the recommended temperatures above.
Due to the size of this container several topping offs will be necessary. .
This project should be easy and makes for a great outdoor candle. If you use the soy wax, you can market it as a very "green candle".
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.
10. March 2010 00:26
Each year there are approximately 2-2.4 million weddings and the top month for weddings is August with about 11% taking place. The month of June is a close second with 9.9% of the weddings occurring. In addition to these weddings there are always engagement parties, showers and the wedding itself. All of these events can and do incorporate candles in some manner. Party favors for the shower or wedding is always a great choice for this market place. The more you can personalize these candles the more opportunities that will exist for you.
Use the summer months to explore all the online opportunities to offer your products for the fall season. There are all of the big names like Ebay, Amazon and Craig’s List. These sites are fairly easy to list and sell items but the competition is fierce so focus on something that makes your candles unique. While you may sell some of your candles at a loss at times during the summer you may find some new solid customers from these sales. If they are purchasing candles during the summer months think how many they may buy in the fall.
One of most well suited portals to sell candles would have to be Etsy. Their marketplace is selling only handmade items. They have lower fees, longer listing periods then Ebay and has an audience which is looking for all homemade products.
If you already have a website use this opportunity to “refresh” the look and add new products. As we have written before research the opportunities available to promote your site such as pay-per-click advertising, e-zine advertising and improving your organic listings.
10. March 2010 00:24
NEW SELLING VENUES
Despite the current economic situation people are still taking vacations or as the new term “Stayvacations”. They just may not be venturing as far as they did in the past. This is a great opportunity if you have a resort area close to you. Approach these retail stores and offer to sell your candles on a consignment basis. The retailer will like the idea in that it is another product they can sell and what helps them is they don’t have to pay for it right away or take a chance it will sell. Again make candles that are suited for the location or time of year and also possibly use special containers that the customer may not find in the traditional retail locations. The 100% recycled glassware is a great option in that none of the large manufacturers are using this type of glassware. Choose fragrances that truly fit the area you wish to sell if in a beach town fragrances like Cottage Breeze , Citrus Breeze or Coconut Lime. If the location is the mountains or lake; Cotton Blossom, Cool water or even Moonlight Path are excellent choices.
Another nontraditional approach would be to contact campground stores and offer either outdoor candles (check out March’s issue for the perfect candle) or was we have written in past issues fire starters are a natural extension of candle companies.
Most wineries have gift stores and are probably looking for complimentary products to offer. The traffic at these stores increase immensely during the summer months. Several years back the state stores in PA (for those not from PA...all wine and spirits are sold at State Stores) introduced a very nice line of candles to complement the store.