Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's
newsletter for the candle making community. We'd like to thank you for
your continued interest in this newsletter. If you have any suggestions
for topics you would like to have us write about, please send them.
How Much Is Enough?
Every candle maker has struggled with the difficult
decision on deciding how many different candles and accessories
to offer in his or her product line. In fact, research
by the National Candle Association suggests that larger
U.S. candle manufacturers will typically offer between
1,000 and 2,000 varieties in their candle lines. If you
have ever wrestled with this decision in your operation
or if your business is currently growing, this article
may be just for you.
We have all been there at some point – customers asking
for more and more types of new scents while you have a few
on the shelf that haven’t sold since you started making
candles (but luckily you used UV absorber and they are still
sellable). Although having a wide assortment of fragrances
is a great way to attract and maintain customers, there is
a threshold that every candle maker hits where they spend
more time juggling fragrances and less time doing what they
enjoy – creating new and unique candles.
There are other options available besides juggling 100’s
of fragrances. One option is to break out of the container
philosophy and branch into other types of candles. By offering
more styles of candles that use your current fragrances,
you can attract new customers with minimal equipment
investment. Some other options are freestanding pillar candles,
votives, tea lights, tapers, novelty molded candles, and
floating candles just to name a few. Often there are times
where one type of wax can do multiple types of products.
Candle makers are finding value in adding other types of
products that compliment candles as well. Candleholders,
accessories, and other scented pleasures are a great way
to bundle products and share common themes. Gift baskets
with assorted themes work great in creating extra value to
your customers. A mixture of same-scent candles, lotions,
and soaps can create exciting baskets. By offering attractive,
well made gift certificates, you can please your current
customers and gain others. Just be sure to create your gift
certificate in such a fashion that somebody would be proud
to give as a gift.
|Hand poured soaps are a natural
compliment to any line of candles.
Another excellent and easy way to build a new customer base
is to offer hand poured soaps. Melt and pour soaps are actually
very easy to produce and easily mesh into your current product
line. The best part about soap is that often times you can
use the same scent as your current candles and soap does
not require nearly as much fragrance per pound as candles
require. Just be sure to verify the scent you are using is “skin
Chandler’s section of the website to see how incredibly
easy it is to make soap. In the event you happen to be at
a festival or craft show with multiple candle makers, soap
can be a great way to differentiate your booth from the rest
of the vendors who may not offer more than one or two types
Candle makers are finding the power of branding their candles
as well. Branding your candles works for you in many ways.
Although many experts argue the true meaning of the term “brand”,
the basic benefits of a branded candle can easily be boiled
down to the term “recognition”. Once your customers
start to recognize your logo or name, they start to attribute
that recognition to certain qualities that your candles possess.
Keep in mind, this can work for, or against you, depending
on your candle and the way it burns. Some brands are known
for their excellent burn, some for their low price, and some
for their creativity. You can create multiple brands that
target each of these consumers as opposed to trying the “one
candle fits all” approach. With careful monitoring
of your brands, you can add and remove an entire line of
candles quite easily based on the profit each brand produces.
You can also remove the brand and liquidate slow moving candles
at reduced prices without harming your existing price structure.
How Does Chandler Figure Out Tough Challenges?
New products and technologies are introduced on a regular
basis. Once in a while a candle maker will run into a challenge
during a late night pouring session, or while I am off traveling
the world on weekends looking for new and exciting products.
These are the times when you need answers most, but there
is nobody awake you can call. There is good news. Most times
the answer is in your very own hands, and you do not even
realize it. There are two factors to concentrate on – temperature
It is amazing how pouring and heating temperatures can dramatically
affect the appearance of your candle. Check all your ingredients
and make sure you are following the manufacturers suggestions
on temperatures. Some additives need higher temperatures
to fully incorporate, while others may have restrictions
on how hot they can be heated.
The other things to note are the variables. Try removing
different ingredients one at a time in order to see if the
undesired aspect is affected. Let’s take a basic candle
with fragrance and color and suppose you are unhappy with
a certain characteristic of that candle. The next step is
to make the candle other ways but leaving out the ingredients
one at a time. You would make one candle with just wax, one
candle with just wax and fragrance, and one candle with just
wax and color. After each candle has cooled, inspect the
new candles and see which one loses or gains the undesirable
characteristic. By doing this, you can narrow down which
ingredient is causing the problem and take the corrective
action that is needed. Sometimes it is as simple as decreasing
fragrance, using some additional additives, or changing your
By taking very detailed notes on your experiences, you will
have reference material to fall back on in the event you
ever run into a similar situation. After running into the
same challenge repeatedly, it starts to become embedded into
your brain and earns you one more notch in your belt of experience.
These late night lessons are sometimes uninvited, but by
using the process of elimination, you can get yourself out
of almost any bind.
Holiday Ornaments & Soap-on-a-Wick.
Whether you are a candle maker, a soap maker, or
both, it is not too late to create the perfect holiday
gift this year. This wonderful project makes great
holiday ornaments or "soap on a rope." Either
way you make it, you will be confident that your
gift is special. It is easy, fast, and makes a wonderful
compliment to your candles and soaps.
Pick 1 Mold:
or yellow) or Melt & Pour
Safe Fragrance or
Natural Essential Oil
(most any size)
Heat bees wax or soap base to desired temperature. A good starting
point for the beeswax is around 150 F, but you can adjust temperature
for desired results.
Cut a 6 or 8 inch piece of wick. Lay both ends of the wick on the
side of the mold near the top of the figure. Loop the wick so it
does not interfere with any of the other ornaments. Some people
prefer a little gap between the ends, while others prefer to have
them close together – the choice is yours.
Just before pouring, add fragrance or essential
oil to the melted wax/soap. We recommend using skin
safe fragrances for either project. This will ensure
the mold is safe for soap use after pouring wax previously,
although we recommend avoiding alternating between
soap and candles with the same mold.
This is the fun part! Give that special somebody a gift that will
surely warm their heart. Although a safe project, some ingredients
can stain or damage certain surfaces or furniture. Be sure to
label the item properly. Also let recipients know it should not
be ignited while hanging on the tree!
When making pillars, a
single 50-pound case of wax will yield approximately:
|Dimension (diam x
||Qty of candles
|3 x 3
|3 x 6
|6 x 3
|2 x 3
|2 x 6
|3 x 3 x 3
|3 x 3 x 4
|3 x 3 x 5