Hard to believe that summer is just around the corner. The
summer months are always a challenge on several fronts. First
it can create havoc in the manufacturing process between
the heat and the humidity. The second is the candle market
itself seems to go on vacation. Since people spend more time
outside, on vacation and leave the windows open more often
the tendency from most consumers are to burn less candles.
The first issue on the manufacturing side is something that
can be addressed in a couple of ways. If humidity is a factor,
it will be important to pre heat your containers/molds to
take the humidity off the surface. It is a good practice
to always preheat your containers because during the winter
months the “chill” on the glass will have an
impact on the finish of the candle.
Depending if your workspace is air-conditioned or not will
determine if you have to adjust your pouring temperature.
Certain waxes have effects, (mottling etc.) which are caused
by the cooling process. When it becomes too hot the cooling
process takes longer and in some instances you may loose
the effect. By reducing your pouring temperature it may allow
the workspace to remain hot and still get the desired effect.
The second issue of candle sales declining during the summer
months is a more difficult challenge unless you are in a
resort town. We have written in the past how important it
is to continue to increase the awareness of candles as a
year round item. See
past issues of the Enlightener. While Candles are not
always in the consumers’ minds during the summer there
are ways to continue to promote them in the upcoming months.
are many camps that take place in the summer contact some
of these and offer to teach a lesson on candle making. If
the age group is too young to handle hot wax consider offering
to teach a class using Wax Art Crystals (see
past issue of the Enlightener) or making beeswax candles
with beeswax sheets. While these products may not be part
of your standard product line, by offering these products
it is a way to continually remind consumers that candles
are a great item.
The summer months are also a time that many festivals and
carnivals are held. If you have never done one of these events
it may be a great time to try. In addition to offering summer
fragrances you may want to take some of your unsold candles
and sell at a greatly reduce price that will get the customers
attention. This will allow you to sell inventory that normally
would sit until the fall and a potential long term customer
will get a chance to try your candles at a reduced price.
making candles that are suitable for outside use. If you
pour into tin buckets or something similar, colors are not
really important and you might be able to use scrap wax.
You can scent these heavily with a citronella or other outdoor
scents. One important note is that the buckets should be
seamless and even though the candles are burned outside the
same precautions should be used by the end user.
If your workspace and cash flow allows, summer can also
be a great time to get head for the fall season. It seems
when fall comes there is just not enough time in the day
to get everything done. Just think if you could have done
some of those candles in June and July the other things you
could get done during the fall season.
If you don’t like anything identified yet, one final
thought might be if you have not yet tried, make decorative
Soap part of your line. While lighting a candle may be furthest
thing in many consumers’ minds during the summer months,
you can bet they will be taking a shower sometime in the
While it sure is tempting to take advantage of the nice
weather that summer brings, if you are serious about candle
making you should not just let your business take a vacation.
One question that I get asked quite often ever since “one
pours” were introduced is Why
would I want a wax that needs to be topped off?
Many candle makers use low shrink or one pours, but there
are other options available. All paraffin waxes shrink
so one pours have additives such as petrolatum and soy
to help reduce the shrinkage. These make very nice candles
but creating different looks is not possible with these
waxes. You cannot make mottled candles, achieve vibrant
colors and in some instances you do not get the scent throw
you may get with a paraffin-based wax. While the low shrinkage
waxes are good to use, be sure you at least look at some
of the other paraffin based products.
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 crafting world.
Topping Off or Back Filling
Most waxes have some level of shrinkage associated when using.
As the candle hardens it will shrink and additional wax will
need to be added to level off the top. These is commonly referred
to as Topping Off or back filling. Note: Most Soy waxes and
some container blends have additives that help reduce the shrinkage.
These dyes have been developed for use in cut n carve. They are
pigments ground into wax. They are only suitable for overdipping
and cut n carve applications. They will not fade or blead.
The amount of fragrance being added to the wax. In most instance
this is measure in percent.
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