Stop by and visit us at the First World Candle
Congress and Trade Show in Orlando, FL on April 20-23, 2004. We’ll
be in Booth # 224. Be sure to drop by and meet some of your Candlewic
We are proud to announce that our highly
anticipated catalog has been printed and mailed to all of
our customers. We are more than happy to include a free 80
page full-color catalog in with your order.
We have several big announcements that
will be in the next few newsletters. Please be sure to keep
your eyes open for some spectacular events here at Candlewic.
We have some exciting things going on that will allow us
to service our customers in a truly unprecedented way. This
month we would like to introduce the preliminary stages of
our ultimate guide
to candle making website, which launched this week. It
is packed with information. We are continually adding information,
so please ask
Chandler if you have topics you would like to read about.
Next month we have an even larger announcement, so stay tuned…
Candle Making Trends
Every successful candle maker knows the value of trends.
It may not always mean copying the latest trend. It might
mean starting trends, keeping up with trends, recycling old
trends, and knowing what may be the next big trend next year.
It is not uncommon to try every stage of the trend cycle
throughout a typical candle making career, and figure out
where the best niche may be found. Regardless of where the
candle maker finds himself or herself on the trend curve,
it is important to understand a few concepts about the trend
There are two main places to find candle trends – inside
and outside of the industry. These two places are a great
start. They sound obvious and a bit broad, but sometimes
simple is smarter.
the industry you can look at what other candle makers are
doing and try to come up with something slightly more forward
or original. Whether you are at a huge international tradeshow,
a small town fair, or in a retail store that sells your candles,
it never hurts to take a walk around and see what is going
on in your marketplace. Ingest more than just the other candle
makers and try to get a pulse of all the other craft or gift
items that surround your candles. Look at what other successful
items are doing in your selling atmosphere and see if there
are any lessons that can be learned or integrated into your
candles. If you see a hot gift item, try to figure out a
way to appeal to the same person using your candle. There
are several giftware, craft, and hobby magazines available
to the trade. Sign up for a few, if for nothing else other
than to page through it quickly over lunch. It is amazing
how a few minutes perusing an industry magazine can get you
fairly caught up.
Outside the industry is even broader. You can find inspiration
in so many forms, so we’ll just mention a few. One
very good place is to search in the interior design industry.
There are countless magazines, websites, TV shows, and retails
stores dedicated to home interior design. Be sure to frequent
a few different types in order to get a good bird’s
eye of the entire industry and not just one faction. Another
unsuspecting place is the fashion industry. People often
wear clothes as a reflection of their personality and monitoring
fashion will help tap that side of today’s culture.
Another place to look is the auto industry. It sound’s
a bit silly but the 2nd decision a person makes after deciding
what car to drive, is the color.
There may not be a lot of value in mimicking the colors but
you can get a pulse of the types of colors people are buying.
As always, be sure to look at the types of stores and magazines
that appeal to the types of consumers that adopt technology
and gadgets when they first hit the stores (these people
are called “early adopters”). Today’s new
item may be tomorrow’s big thing. These are just a
few examples but they exhibit a good model on how to think
in an entirely new way outside of the gift industry.
of the time of this article was written in 2004, natural
trends seem to be developing in some parts of the industry.
Candle makers are using earth tone colors in their candles
to reflect some of the increasing awareness for our natural
surroundings that today’s consumer may be thinking
about more so than decades past (It took years of an owl
telling us not to pollute but thankfully over time it actually
sank in). Candlewic has added new earth tone colors available
blocks and liquid
dyes to reflect these preferences. Another trend is natural
waxes. Although they perform differently than traditional
paraffin, some candle makers are finding value in offering
them along side their paraffin
waxes as a complement to their offering. Pillar candles
made with aluminum
molds and designer
polycarbonate molds seem to be doing well for candle
makers looking to expand outside of the traditional container
candle. They are used in many formal interiors where they
could sit on a mantle for years as a decorative piece, and
may never get burned (henceforth the reason why UV
light absorber is so important).
What's all the Buzzzz?
Every month I get a fair amount of questions asking about beeswax
sheets. Whether you are a large manufacturer, or a
home hobbyist, it is truly amazing to sit down with kids,
friends, family, and coworkers to roll and burn candles
made with sheets as a way to enjoy each other’s company,
or to make candles that can be sold for profit. For those
of you unfamiliar with the concept of the beeswax sheets
they are exactly what they sound like – sheets of
beeswax, but they come in a variety of patterns and colors.
Typically a square
braid wick is used for rolling beeswax and the type
of wick depends on the size of the finished candle. I recommend
you get a roll of a small, a medium, and a large wick to
start (4/0, 1/0, and #2). We have books available
that show the many wonderful things you can do with beeswax
sheets. I recommend BK-3, BK-4, and
BK-5 to get started. Not sure which to try? I suggest getting
pack of mixed colors and textures. You do not have
a choice of color or style, but it is usually a good sampling
across the board and it comes with a free book. For those
of you who are patriotic, we have a small kit that comes
complete with instructions and wick for making a great red,
white, and blue pillar that looks like the American
Using Polyurethane Molds
This month’s project is an easy way for making
simple taper candles by using polyurethane molds.
These candles are a timeless favorite over the decades
and the easy to use polyurethane molds allows the
candle maker to make this candle on a small scale
with out the need for equipment such as dipping
rings that make many tapers at one time.
melt point wax
(>140 mp) or beeswax
Color and fragrance to
Prepare your wax with color and fragrance as you normally would
for any other candle. Remember that it helps to add color and
additives at a slightly elevated temperature for uniform dispersion.
Let the wax cool in order to add your fragrance right before
achieving the pouring temperature.
Cut a piece of wire a little larger than twice the length of your
mold and bend it completely in half. Insert the folded end of
the wire through the hole in the mold, and use it to pull the
wick through the taper mold. Leave an extra long length of wick
so when you remove one candle it pulls enough wick through the
hole so it is ready to be poured again without the use of the
wire next time.
Wrap the wick around the wick bar so it holds snug and give the
inside of the mold a quick light spray of mold release. Pour
the wax slowly into the mold. Keep an eye on the mold and top
off as necessary.
Use the base former to achieve a fluted end that looks very professional
and aids you customer in the placement of their candle in a candle
holder. Be sure the taper is burnt in a suitable candleholder.
is your friend (and sometimes your enemy),
so learn to control it to your advantage.
When making candles, sometimes the ambient
temperature becomes a factor. This is simply
the room temperature. If you notice your
candles not coming out right all of a sudden,
be sure to check the ambient temperature.
This is especially important in the summer
and winter. Temperature also makes melted
wax expand and contract. Be sure to use
the shrinkage from elevated temperatures
to your advantage in order to remove candles
from molds without the use of mold release,
or to lower your temperature for less shrinkage.
Some times the rate of cooling is important.
Try cooling palm wax candles more slowly
for increased designs or rapidly cooling
paraffin for a more rustic look. There
is no right or wrong way, so have a little
fun experimenting with temperature. This
includes heating or cooling molds and glassware
for different aesthetics.