November 01, 2005

Special Holiday Edition

Special Holiday Edition.
What better time than the upcoming holidays to experience the excitement of candle making. For those who make candles for a living this time of year is exciting as your product is very much in demand. If you are just learning to make candles, there is not a better gift than one that is hand-poured and can be shared with friends, relatives and co-workers.

The winter holidays generate more demand for candles than any other time of year. Candle companies are featured in business, local and trend sections of newspapers more than any other time of the year. Magazine articles and television shows feature decorating homes for the holidays using candles. Since you have signed up for our newsletter it is obvious you have some interest in candle making so we intend to find something to excite you.

If you are a candle company, now is the time to get your name out to your current and future customer base. In addition to the short-term benefits of this exposure it should translate to future business as well. Because of all of this excitement, be sure to send press releases to the local media outlets letting them know what you do and highlight new products. Outline your attributes such as, hand-poured, heavily fragranced, blending of your own fragrance combinations and I am sure there are many more, which make your candles different than the standard products found in grocery stores and other retail shelves.

If you are featured in the press, be sure to use the highlights of the article on your website, sales flyer and other marketing materials. You may also want to use the opportunity to contact local retailers letting them know your candles were featured.

Another suggestion may be to contact your local business center and possibly donate luminaries (see this month’s project) for their use. Be sure to place your label on each bag so that your name can be prominently displayed especially in “downtown” districts.

Use this time of year to give candles as gifts to teachers, neighbors, troop leaders and coaches. They will appreciate the gesture and may help with one of the strongest marketing techniques--word of mouth.

If you have always wanted to make candles and have not done so yet now is the perfect time to begin this exciting craft. Not only will you have fun making candles but you will also have excellent gifts, centerpieces or room decorations.

If you have never made candles before we offer excellent resources from Chandler (learn the basics now) to our sponsored site Lets Make Candles and even several good beginner books. You will want to start off fairly simple by limiting your production to container candles with a couple of popular holiday fragrances. Kits are always a good starting point as well. We have two of the best-selling kits with our CI-46 or Pouring pot kit found on www.clcs.com – our crafters’ web site.

If you don’t have time to learn to make hand-poured candles, there is even the opportunity for you to get into the wonderful world of candle making.

Rolled beeswax candles are making a quite resurgence. These candles are easy to make and create wonderful looking pillars, votives, tapers and even holiday ornaments. Beeswax sheets are available in 8½" x 16" dimensions and are 100% natural. For most applications you warm the sheets with a blow dryer, place the wick on the wax and roll until the desired diameter is achieved. These sheets are great projects for boy scouts, girl scouts, school groups and holiday festivals. Help your kids make these and they make a wonderful gift for their teacher.

If we have not piqued your interest yet then how about trying wax art crystals to make candles. This process of candle making is as simple as taking granulated wax and pouring into the container and then inserting a wick. We have even simplified the process further by offering three selections of granulated wax that are even scented for the holidays. This product is also very well suited for group projects and easy to make candles with no melting required.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to leap into this fun, exciting and dynamic industry. If you have not read about us yet, our company was started as a Cub Scout project making candles in the Binder basement so we all have to start somewhere.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

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

How can I sell more candles?

As candle makers become proficient at their trade and exhaust their friends as potential customers I am always asked how to sell more candles. We have covered this topic on a couple of occasions (July 2005, March 2003) but the holidays do offer a few more opportunities in addition to general peak interest. During the holiday season, churches, civic associations and schools have Bazaars and Craft shows. These events typically are inexpensive to get an exhibit table and will have neighbors and friends walking around. Be sure to highlight that you are a “neighbor” or that your product is all hand-made to gain special attention.

Many schools and groups engage in holiday festival activities. Offer to teach them to make candles. Then offer coupons for discounts on your candles.

Many downtown districts have a store that is closed for the winter, e.g. ice cream shops, surf shops and swimming pool companies. Contact the owner of these shops and see if you could possibly sublease the building for 1-2 months and set up a small candle shop.

Develop relationships with floral shops to possibly develop a consignment relationship to include candles with particular flowers or arrangements.
No marketing suggestion would be complete without mentioning Ebay as a source to sell candles. One suggestion is rather than just sell your candles make it a complete package, i.e. in a gift basket, maybe include soap and/or candle holders.

 


November 2005

PROJECT:
Luminaries

Ever drive around your town on Christmas Eve and see all of the driveways or shops in a small downtown glowing with magnificence? These spectacular sites generally start with candles. Even if you are not a candle maker you can get your entire neighborhood involved.

Step One
Select a votive to use. For making this project you can use one that you made or a standard 15-hour votive.

Step Two
Fill the bag with enough sand to prevent the bag from blowing away in the evening. Place the votive in the bag and light. Naturally these should only be used in outdoor displays.

Step Three
Line along driveway or sidewalk. IMPORTANT NOTE: Even though it is outside extreme caution should be used.

Secret #1
Cut designs into the bag or add decorations to the outside of the bag. Snowflakes, stars and candy canes always add a special holiday touch. As identified in the feature article you may even want to think about donating these to your local business if you can place your label on the outside of the bag.

Secret #2
If you are expecting guests, try scenting them so your guests will be surprised with the pleasant smell of Bayberry, Christmas Cheer or some other wonderful holiday fragrance.

Secret #3
Since the votive is not seen the color is not important so you can use up all of your scrap wax to make these candles.

Secret #4
If you are making these for your own use may want to use soup cans, pet food (if metal) or other metal containers.

Secret #5
If you have snow on the ground, make a large snowball and hollow out the middle then put a candle in the in it. Make sure to keep these candles away from shrubs, trees and other flammable objects.



Fast Fact...

Ancient Egyptians recognized the value of beeswax as a preservative, and early Romans fashioned coins from beeswax to pay their taxes. Invention of the candle dates back to about 400 B.C., but the idea to use beeswax to form candles didn't emerge until the Middle Ages. Source: http://www.wisegeek.com

Editor Note: Boy weren’t the good old days great. If only I could pay my taxes with beeswax now.

Free Shipping in Nov. at our Crafter's Site!

At Soap Expressions/ Country Lane Candle Supply, you can get free shipping on your web order during the month of November when you place an order of $40 or more. Just get your promo code here and start your holiday shopping early! There's something for every crafter on your list!

 

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