May 01, 2001

Selling and Marketing Candles

 
 

"The En-Light-ener" May 2001
Candle Making Newsletter

Welcome to the fourth edition of "The Enlightener" Candlewic's monthly newsletter for the candle making community. We continue to get positive feedback from many of you and we appreciate these comments.

It is hard to believe, but summer will soon be here and next thing you know we will all be in our "Christmas Rush" mode. Now is always the best time to make sure you are prepared for this heavy production period. You may wish to check your inventory of molds, accessories and get all of your formulas in line. Should you require any assistance on these please do not hesitate to contact any of our Customer Service Representatives.

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PRODUCT INFO
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And don't miss our BLOWOUT SALE on CG-1 Candle Gel--just $1.25 per pound! It starts today! You'll find information about this at the top of our home page: 
http://www.candlewic.com

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SELLING AND MARKETING CANDLES
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This is the first part of a three-part series on selling and marketing candles. We will continue this discussion in the next two months' newsletters.

These days candle makers are faced with a myriad of factors in producing candles in a production environment. These factors apply to any type of burning candle including paraffin wax, gels and natural waxes. The purpose of this article is to examine this in three distinct processes or channels. This should not be viewed as a business plan or model, but more from the perspective of guidance on producing candles that are high quality and safe.

The first issue you face is with the raw materials, ensuring that the cost, quality and availability of the materials used to make your candle are consistent. The second issue is the capability of selling the finished product at a competitive price and how to select your proper market. The final step--which is the topic of this first article--is consumer acceptance and safe use of your candle.

For many reasons, it is critical that we not assume candle users know the proper way to burn a candle. It is critical that each and every candle that you sell has a set of burning instructions on the candle. This is viewed as so important that the National Candle Association and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are in the process of developing standards which all candle burning instructions must meet.

The candle burning instructions must have critical performance information such as the "wick must be trimmed to 1/4," "never leave debris in the candle" and "burn time associated with each candle" (generally this is four hours). The candle burning instructions must also identify safety measures such as "never leave a burning candle unattended," "candle must be placed on heat resistant surface" and "keep young children and pets away from burning candles." The candle burning instructions must also be placed in an area where they may be read very easily by the consumer. The most common method is placing the candle burning instructions on the bottom of the candle. Any unique feature which encourages the consumer to read the instructions for burning the candle is recommended. 

However, even the best candle burning instructions will not assist if the candle is not produced using the correct components and products. While there are a plethora of issues here, you can start by ensuring that you are using
1. the proper wick size for each application,
2. the correct sustainer base (jars, containers and tins), if applicable,
3. the proper combination of waxes (including gel and natural) with fragrances, and 
4. no flammable products in the burning area of the candle.

After this, you will want to ensure that you have a detailed knowledge of how your candle will perform under different scenarios.

It is imperative that every candle you manufacture meets all of the safety criteria you have developed. If you require any assistance on this please do not hesitate to contact any of our Representatives. Remember safety must always come first.

Don't miss our next edition (in next month's newsletter) which will cover how to produce your candle at a competitive price and how to select the proper market.

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SELECTING THE PROPER SUSTAINER BASE
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These days, a great deal of effort goes into selecting the proper sustainer base when making container candles and votives. We define container candles to include tins, ceramic pieces and any candle which is self-contained. In the industry, there are seven standard types of sustainer bases used. While the standards within these seven can change slightly, they are always defined by the width of the sustainer base and the height of its neck. (The neck is the piece in the middle of the sustainer base where the wick is inserted and crimped onto.) 

15 x 3 mm -- is a sustainer base which is about the size of a dime and has a neck height of 3 mm. This sustainer base is generally used in tea lights and small unscented votives.
15 x 6 mm -- is the same as above except the neck on this sustainer base is 6 mm high. This base is very popular to use in votives and small diameter containers for paraffin wax candles. It is used with gels but we would recommend a sustainer base with a 9 mm neck.
15 x 9 mm -- is the same sustainer base as above except the neck is 9 mm high. This sustainer base is very popular for use with gels and paraffin candles.
20 x 3 mm -- is a sustainer base about the size of a nickel with a neck height of 3 mm. This sustainer base is used extensively in votives and containers.
20 x 6 mm -- is the same as above except the neck is 6 mm high. It is used in paraffin candle containers and gel candles. We would recommend the 9 mm neck for gel candles.
20 x 9 mm -- is the same base as above except the neck is 9mm high. This base is very popular for gel candles.
33 x 3 mm -- is new to the marketplace and is great for votives. The diameter of this sustainer base ensures the wick will be centered in the bottom of the cup.

The Candlewic Company is one of the world's largest manufacturers of pre-wick assemblies. We can take any Atkins and Pearce or WEDO product, cut it to any desired length, and place any of the above bases on it. Let us help you select the proper wick and base for your application.


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FAQ
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We have been hearing a lot about the NST2 treatment, what exactly is this for? 

The NST2 treatment is recommended for candles made with a large percentage of stearic acid and/or an above average amount of color and fragrance. This specialty treatment protects the wick against acids and other chemicals found in these additives. WEDO now has a second such treatment called the STP treatment, exactly the same as the NST2 and used on other types of wicks.


What is the difference between Vybar 103 and Vybar 260? 

Generally, the Vybar 103 is used for Pillars and votives. The melt point on the Vybar 103 is much higher (160 degrees F) which can also assist in hardening the wax formula and increasing the "vibrancy" of the color. The Vybar 260 has a melt point of 128 degrees F and does not raise the melt point as much, which is desirable in container blends. 

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FAST FACTS
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Thanks to your continued interest and feedback, Candlewic is pleased to announce that we have begun efforts to upgrade our website. Look for an all-new order on-line system to be in place sometime this summer. 

Also, we would like to announce that we are the authorized distributor of Honeywell products for the mid-west.

 

 

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