September 01, 2008

Adding On

Adding On

It seems that every year the Holiday Season approaches before we know it and the launch of new products you anticipated is just not quite ready for this year's season. The good news is there are lots of little extras that you can add to your line pretty quickly and, in many instances, using current products or excess inventory. Nothing can help a business more then being able to convert "dead inventory" into a sellable item.

Add Luminaries

One of the big holiday traditions for downtowns and neighbor hoods is to line the streets with Luminaries. (See the Project to the right on helpful hints on making this even more successful).

One of the great things about the candles used in this application is they do not necessarily have to be white or a specific color. They can almost be any color because they are placed in the bag. What better way to use wax that may be colored but does not meet your color specifications or a custom order canceled at the last minute.

Some other helpful hints would be contact the coordinator of the event and ask (in exchange for a discounted price) can you apply a label on the bag advertising your company. Be sure to check with various downtown districts and Neighborhood Civic Associations to promote this idea. Many downtown events are in early December and will provide for some last minute advertising.

Add Holiday Ornaments

No doubt candles are a big part of the holiday season, another big item for the Holiday Season is ornaments and wall hangings. Some candle molds and soap molds make for excellent ornaments using a beeswax or even a natural wax like the CSP.

To make an ornament with any wax take any un-waxed wick (again using excess inventory can be employed) and make a "loop" and drop it in the mold and pour the wax into the mold. When the wax hardens the wick will be embedded in the wax and can be hung from a tree or even near windows so the warmth of the sun may help throw either the beeswax or, if using another wax, add some holiday fragrance. A note of caution: when using paraffin you should use at least a 141 F melt point wax. One of the better molds to use for this application would be the M-172 Variety Tray Mold.

Add Soap on a Rope

You can apply the same process using the melt and pour soap base if you wanted to make soap on a rope. For best results, a thin rope should be used for this application. Any of the soap 3d molds would make for a great soap on a rope gift. While on the subject of soap making, some unique bars of melt and pour soap matching your candle line can always bring in new customers expand your product line.

Add Tarts

Another great addition to any line would be tarts. Tarts can easily be made using the M-112 mold and do not require any type of wick. This size is perfect for letting customers test your fragrance without purchasing a candle which many people may initially be reluctant without knowing how the product can perform.

The tarts can be placed in a potpourri burner and a great way to "throw" fragrance without actually lighting a candle. What is nice with tarts is they don’t use a lot of wax so when you pour your jars and have extra wax left over you can merely pour the wax into the mold. The tarts are actually a great sampler to take with you to retailers to show all of your scents and not carry around a large case of containers and/or pillars. To get even more unique try out the floater molds to make tarts, no wick is needed for these.

Add Fire Starters

If you do a great deal of outdoor shows and craft shows, fire starters are always a nice little impulse purchase to offer. They can be made easily by taking some sawdust, placing it in a paper/cardboard cup (large ketchup holders work very well), and pouring wax into the cup. Use any wick. In fact many times larger wicks work best. The user can then place this in the fireplace under their paper and wood. Again what makes this a great is that you can use excess wax for the application.

Add Fragrances

One of the easiest way to improve the candle line all of the time is to add new fragrances. We have also written in the past that you can even do that with your existing fragrances. If you have a very good Pine Needle fragrance rename it "Warm Holiday Memories". If you have a basic Apple Pie candle maybe add some Sugar cookie and call it "Fresh Baked Sweets". The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Consumers are always looking for something new so it is always beneficial to update your line.

Add Gift Baskets

Another way to add value to your product is to prepare custom gift baskets. Take several candles and add a tea, hand poured soap, bath salts and other items to the gift basket. Many of these extra items can easily be found on Ebay, Amazon and other consumer sites. Or, if the volume is large enough, you can purchase many of these at wholesale outlets.

Add Emergency Candles

One other candle that can be added easily to most candle lines is an emergency candle. One of the best emergency candle can be a tin. In the tin you can use almost any of your excess wax because you are selling the functionality of the product and not the scent/color.

Add Fancy Wicks

One final suggestion to add a nice touch to your pillar candle line is to make a pillar with extra wick at the top of the candle (bottom of the mold in most applications) and when you take the candle out tie some decorative beads onto the wick.

All of the above are nice easy add onto any lines and drive additional sales over and beyond your standard candle buyers. If you do these be sure to market them as an “impulse” item and since in many instances the raw materials may be extras or using old stock price them to sell.

 

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

CHANDLER'S CORNER

How can I keep my
prices competitive?

One of the recurring questions we get throughout the month in various forms is with all of the price increases on raw materials how can I keep my cost down. During these times it can be difficult to control the major materials like wax but it might be a good time to look at some of the other things involved in the purchasing process.

This month's question is in response to the overwhelming request on how to efficiently procure supplies at the best price.

Whether you realize it or not, procurement costs money. Every time you are ordering supplies, you are using valuable time that could be spent making and selling candles. The more often you order, the higher your yearly cost of goods will be. When approaching your business by following the 6 P's, you will save yourself plenty of money. The 6P's are "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance."

There are many tricks to applying the 6 P's. By increasing your average order size and decreasing the amount of times you order, you save money on many levels. Shipping becomes cheaper for consolidated orders. When you look back at what supplies you have ordered the previous year, you can learn to consolidate your orders. It is cheaper to ship the same yearly amount of supplies in 10 shipments than shipping the same supplies over 20 shipments. This also allows you to take advantage of bulk discounts and helps ensure you have enough supplies on hand to fulfill any possible order that comes through your door.

How do you pay for the new strategy of larger shipments but fewer orders? Take a good look at when your credit card statement is due and learn to order the day after. This gives you the full 30 days to make and sell your candles before the bill is due. This is a form of floating your money with no penalty. I also strongly recommend a credit card that earns you airline miles so all your purchases build points for free plane tickets toward a well-deserved vacation.


September 2008

Project:
Luminaries

For our avid readers this project is one you may have seen in the past but we feel this application for candle makers can be used in so many ways it is hard not to include it annually as the Holidays approach.

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.

Instructions

Step 1
Select a votive to use. For making this project you can use one that you made or a standard 15-hour votive.

Step 2
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 3
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. You can use up all of your scrap wax to make these candles.

Secret #4
If you are making these for your own use, you 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 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.

 

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