July 01, 2006

Is It That Close?

Is It That Close?

Is 165 days a lot or a little?  Historically the Candle market has always been a winter holiday with the Christmas holiday season being the height of industry.  So sitting here today as many of us are immersed in a heat wave an important decision may have to be made--is 165 days enough?

Deadlines always seem to impact individuals in different capacities.  There are those who devote full attention the task as soon as a project is handed to them and it is completed well before the due date (like me, I am sure that is the case with everyone reading this newsletter). 

The other type of person is always waiting until the last minute and trying to accomplish the task within the time constraints.  Many people thrive in this environment but without doubt it can add stress to your everyday life and in most instances will not work with Candle making.

Candle making should be one task that you are always looking and planning well in advance. As we know, traditional holiday buying kicks off on Friday, November 24 which is only 128 days away or if you really want to tighten your deadline only 90 working days. (Do you have any vacations planned between now and then?)

However, if you are selling to these retailers they are going to want the product in their stores before that time so they can begin merchandising the product, setting pricing and cross marketing programs. For smaller retailers this may only be a couple of days, but the larger stores going through distribution centers this can be a much longer process.

The question each and every Candle maker has to make is when to start producing candles. The answer is going to depend on your customer base, production capabilities and your forecast.  Whatever date is appropriate, now is the time to start planning your needs and determining if you are going to add any new scents, color, or types of candles.  It would be very helpful to spend some time with a calendar and develop a strategic plan with dates. You may want your worksheet to consider the following:

Date your customer needs the product. If possible this should include estimated quantities because this will impact production time.  You will also have to account for any type of re-order program. 

How long is the transit time between you and your customers? If you are shipping closer to the Holiday you may want to allow more time as the number of packages increase and delays can develop. 

Production Time. This is where estimated quantities and forecasting are most important. If you can make 200 candles a day and your customers want 4,000 then that will be a full 20 working days. Be sure to check with your staff regarding their vacation plans. Going to a second shift or working weekends can help meet these deadlines but will add cost to the process in different ways.

Supplier time lines. Be sure to check lead times with ALL of your suppliers. It will not help if your wax supplier can ship in 2 days if one of your fragrances will take to take 2-3 weeks.  Be sure to account for the transit time between you and your supplier.

Product Line. If you are learning to make some different types of candles, now is the time to start testing and developing. If you traditionally make containers and want to add pillars or votives then you must begin selecting the proper wax and wick. If you are thinking about trying a different wax, Soy, one-pour or mottling, now is the time to start that process. Start identifying fragrances so you can see how they perform in your wax formulation. Show them to friends and neighbors and get their thoughts.

If you mark your calendar with these key dates taking all of the above into account and building some cushion for unexpected delays you will be surprised by how soon you need to start your process.

 

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

CHANDLER'S CORNER

It seems that my candles have recently started developing air bubbles what is causing this? 

One of the things that I always stress in candle making is that temperatures affect the outcome of your candle making. (My October 2005 message stressed the importance of all three temperatures).  As the summer months are upon us humidity plays a critical role in the appearance of the candle.  Pre-heating your container with dry heat is always the best way to prevent this from occurring.

 


July 2006

PROJECT:
Candle Making Made
Fun...Wax Art Crystals

With camps in full swing we can't think of a better crafting project than wax art crystals. These are one of the easiest candles to make. 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.

Once 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 zinc.

The 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 favors.

The 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.


Candle Terms

In many instances we at Candlewic eat, sleep and breathe candle making and assume everyone knows all of the terms that are associated with the industry. In each issue we will try to introduce some of the terms that may not always be part of the standard candle making world.

Mottling 
In general this is a candle that appears to be “white washed” and/or clouding.  Yankee Candle made this look very famous.  Not all waxes will mottle so for best results a wax designed to mottle should be used.

Pre-Wick Assembly
Is a complete unit of a waxed wick with the base cut to a specific height

View All

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