Candle Making Newsletter
the En-light-ener, Candlewic's newsletter for the candle making community.
We at Candlewic are quite excited as we enter our third year of publishing
the En-Light-ener. The feedback and comments we receive daily are exciting.
I read the other day that the average email user will get over 2,300
pieces a year and that is expected to grow to over 3,800 in 2004. We
appreciate that you take the time to read our 12 editions of the Newsletter
and 12 editions of the sales flyer.
AND MARKETING CANDLES...REVISITED
reviewing the success of the En-Light-ener we have always
felt that addressing the timely issues is what is most important
to our readers. With retail sales virtually flat we felt
it may be an important time to bring back one of our most
successful articles that involved Selling and Marketing candles.
This article was the first in a series of three, which was
published in June
of 2001. The issues actually may even be more timely
now then ever. Despite the focus on selling candles I think
even the hobbyist/crafter can benefit by much of the information
contained in this article.
of the most appealing things to us has always been the
ability for a candle company to compete in certain markets,
regardless of their size. Even the smallest candle maker
has the ability to succeed because of their personal attention,
potential for offering a wide range of fragrances and colors,
and their ability to react to small orders in a rapid manner.
starting out it would be best to service local accounts
such as your small gift store, family-owned pharmacies,
furniture stores and even consignment shops. These venues
are always a good starting point since in most instances
you will be dealing directly with the owner. By selecting
local markets, you have the ability to deliver the product,
thus eliminating freight cost (this will be covered later).
You also have the ability to work out arrangements with
the owner to track their inventory level. And finally,
many of these types of business enjoy the fact that the
candles are made locally and they will promote that fact.
may want to look at local craft and art shows. This is
always a good starting point to build local interest in
your products. It also provides a good forum to find what
your potential customer may desire.
well-designed web site is always a good idea too. However,
keep in mind that many candle companies have their own
web site, thus it is hard to get your product in the forefront.
While eBay does not really need an endorsement, many candle
companies find this to be a very successful place when
starting out. Listing costs are very low and many potential
customers can view your products.
good source for selling candles is through fundraisers
with local organizations. This is a "win-win" situation
for both parties since payment typically is received at
the time goods are sold. This lets you start to build a
local following in the community with the fund raising
organization serving as sales representatives. The good
thing is that after the event is over, many people still
will be interested in purchasing your candles.
critical element is not to over extend yourself or take
on orders that are well beyond your production capability.
While it is always very appealing to have your product
accepted into mass retailers, it can hurt a growing or
small company. In many instances it is very difficult for
smaller companies to have the same purchasing power as
the larger ones when purchasing the waxes, scents and colors.
your material costs under control.
It comes as a shock to many candle companies that when making a highly
scented candle, the scent can cost more than the wax itself. Selecting
the percentage of scent used and where you purchase your scents is critical
in controlling cost. The determination on how much scent to use is almost
always a personal preference decision. During this determination process,
you should keep in mind that scents do have a point of diminishing return.
This means you could probably get the same scent throw with 6% as you
would with the 8% scents. However, this difference will make a sizeable
impact on the cost of the finished candles. You should go through this
process with each fragrance you use. As you probably have found, certain
fragrances by nature are stronger than others, i.e. cinnamon, mulberry
and French vanilla all have a tendency to have a stronger impact.
3-wick candle using F-Wax natural
purchasing waxes, you have two options—blended waxes
or straight paraffins (see March
2001 edition for further information). You should select
the one that works better for you at the most efficient
price. As a small candle company you may also want to explore
candles that the larger companies are not as effective
in making, i.e. natural
candles and other specialty type candles. We discussed
how to make F-Wax candles in the May/June
you have selected your wax, one of the key aspects is shipping.
It is important that you control this aspect as much as
possible. Undoubtedly, the price per pound for shipping
wax is much higher than most other products. Therefore,
it is important that you look at each pricing level when
making that determination. You may have to purchase more
up front but you will save both on the discounts offered
on the wax and the shipping. For example 200 pounds of
wax shipped at one time is approximately 16% less than
if you were to get 2 shipments of 100 pounds each. If you
are able to take 500 pounds it is 45% less for shipping
than if you took 5 shipments of 100 pounds!
summarize some of the points identified, it is imperative
that you review all costs--both direct and indirect costs.
Some of your indirect costs will include items such as
inner/master cartons, labeling requirements, skids and
utilities. While individually they are not a lot they can
add up over a number of candles.
sure to visit the Super
Sales section on Candlewic.com to get all the latest
specials. Right now you can get Chunks at just $1.50 per
pound and some great fragrances as low as $8.50!
Fun...Wax Art Crystals
of the easiest candles to make would have to be the "Wax
Art Crystals" candles. Wax art crystals, or granulated
wax, is a wax that has been formed into tiny
beads slightly larger than sand. The product is available
in a myriad of colors and even several scents. What
makes this so easy is that the wax does not have
to be melted. It can be easily poured into any "candle
safe" container. For anyone who has seen "Sand
Art" the concept is identical except when you
are finished you have a candle that can be burned.
you have selected the proper container take a completed
wick assembly (one with a base) and place into
the glass container. The best wick for this application
is going to be something like a 34-40
best way to get started is to select several colors
and gently pour into the glass container with a spoon
or other dispensing tool. You can take multiple colors
and layer them in the glass to the desired height.
For ultimate effects such as waves, you can take
a long, narrow pointer such as a knitting needle
and slide down the side of the glass container. This
will create "waves" in the wax. This is
a project any age child or adult can enjoy. This
is a great project for cub scouts, girl scouts, and
camping trips. The candles can even be used as wedding
true advantage to wax art crystals is that they may
also be melted and poured to make votives, pillars
and even small containers. The wax art crystals are
easy to handle and can be melted in any type of double
boiler. The colors are slightly more concentrated,
so white wax art crystals should be added to any
color to lessen the intensity. What is nice is you
can mix, match and melt the crystals to get any color
shade you desire. The wax art crystals should be
considered by any candle company that is interested
in trying to learn how to pour and make candles.
For each 5-pound bag of granulated
wax you order, we’ll send you 3 free glass
containers like this one.
the last issue of the En-Light-ener I focused
on easier ways to make votives. In this issue,
I would like to offer a few tips on making pillars
of the simplest tricks I can offer on making pillars
when using aluminum molds or tin molds is to feed
the wick through the bottom of the mold and secure
on top with wick bar (M-321).
Secure the bottom with a rubber plug (M-114)…now
the secret is to leave a lot of extra wick at the
bottom of the mold. By doing this you can automatically "wick" the
mold for your next pour when you pull the finished
candle out of the mold. This procedure should work
with all aluminum molds, tin molds and polyurethane
(including taper molds). This little trick can
save you time by making it unnecessary to feed
the wick through the hole for each and every pour.
second option would be to use pillar
pins for the 2", 3" and 4" round
aluminum molds. These pins are available for aluminum
molds up to 6-1/2" in height. The pins slide
up through the bottom of the pillar mold and the
round mold can then rest on the pin. These pins
have proven to be a true time saver when used.
using aluminum molds and you wish to reduce or
eliminate the air bubbles the mold should be preheated
and the wax should be poured at around 180-185
making pillars, the best wax I would recommend
is the CBL-141.
For mottling pillars I would recommend you use
we visit again, I look forward to addressing any
questions or comments you may have. Just visit my
section of Candlewic.com and click on the “send
me your questions” link.