April 01, 2004

Candle Making Trends

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 friends.

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 phenomena.

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.

Inside 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.

As 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 in color 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).

CHANDLERS CORNER

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

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 a sampler 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 flag.


April 2004

PROJECT:
Taper Candles
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.

Ingredients
High melt point wax
(>140 mp) or beeswax
Flat braid wick
Polyurethane taper mold
Mold release
Picture wire
Color and fragrance to suit
Additives to suit
Wick bar
Base former (optional)

Instructions

Step 1
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.

Step 2
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.

Step 3
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.

Step 4
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.

 
Quick Facts:

Temperature

Temperature 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.

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This story goes back to 1380 in the city of Carthusia on the island of Capri off the coast of Italy. Legend has it, the father prior of the Carthusian monastery of St. Giacomo missed the news that Queen Giovanna of Anjou would be paying a visit to the island. In a last-minute frenzy, he created an arrangement of the island's most beautiful flowers in her honor. The water wasn't changed for three days, and when the flowers were thrown away, the prior noticed that the water had acquired an exquisite aroma. He took the scented water to the local alchemist, who identified the scent's sources. Thus was born the first perfume of Capri.

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What About Me? Why Color Is Important?

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Many of us in the Candle Industry spend a great deal of time selecting, sniffing and discussing fragrances because it seems to be what we intuitively feel captures the consumers attention and draws them to our products. However it will surprise many of you to know that the single most important feature that attracts consumers to a candle is it’s most obvious characteristic…it’s COLOR, which creates visual stimuli and evokes emotions in the beholder.

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The Trend Continues!

October 01, 2004
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The long awaited "busy season" is finally hitting the candle making industry and one wax that continues to gain in popularity is the palm wax. More and more candle makers are adding natural waxes to compliment their existing line of paraffin candles. The aesthetic beauty of this amazing wax offers an exciting twist to the pastel colors achieved from many natural waxes. A fine crystalline structure adorns the finished palm candle and continues to prove itself to both the professional candle maker and the hobbyist. Over the last few decades we have introduced many developments to the candle world, but none have impacted the industry as the explosion of natural waxes within the last 5 years. We have been receiving phone calls and emails requesting information about our palm wax, so we figured it is time to reach into our knowledge base and share some more information on the mystifying palm waxes.

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