November 01, 2008

Think Outside the (Candle) Box

Think Outside the
(Candle) Box

While doing some recent research, I came across a list of the most annoying “Business Cliches” used in today’s business environment. Number one on this list was "Think outside the Box". After reading enough business journals and speaking with various business people, I would have to agree with this conclusion. It would appear odd to start this article with such an overused/annoying phrase and I will avoid the temptation to do it, but the reference can be used.

There is no doubt that the candle market is very much caught up in the current declining retail environment. Methods used previously may not work as efficiently as in the past.  The good news is that there are some ideas that candle makers can do to respond to the changing buying patterns.

The number of consumers moving to larger homes or putting on additions has virtually ceased to exist. Instead consumers are looking for much smaller and less expensive ways to make changes in their lives.  One of them is re-decorating the home on a much smaller scale, maybe 1 room at a time. Now is the perfect time of the year to provide decorating ideas using candles.  The great news is that in many instances you can get free publicity this time of year with newspapers and other news agencies because they are looking for holiday-related subjects.

Free Publicity

  1. Write an article on different ways to incorporate your candles into the home decor. One of the ways we have always promoted is to use candles in the fireplace instead of a fire. Other suggestions include scenting the luminaries used outside if entertaining any evening. Be creative and use suggestions that your customers have made on how they used your candles.

  2. Write an article on the safe way to burn a candle.

  3. Editors like stories on timely subjects.  No doubt candles will be a big part of the upcoming holidays. Use this to your advantage and send out a press release highlighting your business and how this is the time of year is a special time.

The key right now is to get your company’s name out to as many people as possible take advantage that this is the time of year more candles are purchased.

Since the topic of cliches is the theme of this issue, it only seems appropriate to use industry specific annoying cliches.  Not sure if anyone over the age of 10 actually uses the first one below but we will go ahead and include it this article.

"None of your Beeswax"
The interest in candles made of natural materials continues to grow in popularity.  Candles made with Beeswax, Soy or Palm are a great addition to any candle line. When making candles using these raw materials bee (had to use this pun) sure to really highlight the materials used in your marketing campaign as well as the labels used. A recent issue of our Enlightner did highlight how to make a candle even more green using 100% recycled glass.

Rolled Beeswax candles are also rapidly becoming of interest because of the ease to make and the fact they are made of 100% beeswax.  These sheets come in a multiple of colors and you will be surprised how easy they are to use. 

"Whole ball of Wax"
(Really had to stretch to use this one phrase.) You may try making unique or custom candles not normally found on retail shelves.   Make extra large candles like 5" x 9", 6" x 6" or even 8" x 8".   Finding unusual size round molds like 5" and 8" diameter may be easier than you think.  Aluminum tubing, acrylic and PVC all make for great molds and most of these materials can be found at the home improvement centers.  Once you have the material all you need to make a base for the molds.   The base can be made using the Miracle Mold Material. This material can also be used to make your own custom mold of any shape or design.  Be sure to check this month's project on other great ideas using this material. 

In most instances Candy, Chocolate and soap molds are all great to use in candles. Soap molds come in some very unique shapes like Frogs and ducks.

Candy molds are great to use for making holiday decorations with beeswax.  This project is quite simple in that you take wick (unwaxed) and make a loop dropping both open ends in the mold and then pouring beeswax into the cavity.  

"Burning the Candle at Both Ends" 
Based on most economic predictions this Holiday Season is going to be very weak. In order to succeed it will take a lot more effort and work than probably past year. Instead of doing 1 Craft/ Festival a week it may be necessary to find that extra show during the weekend or evening. Making more candles and offering them at a greater discount than you have in the past may be what helps you. Many candles are definitely going to be purchased in the upcoming weeks and it is going to be essential to identify what is going to be most successful for your specific business. As with many retailers the key is going to be selling at the right price. 

In Conclusion
We all know the candle market will always be viable the key is finding what is going to work best for your customer base.No matter what direction you decide to go a quality product is what brings back your customers.

Our editor has indicated we have used our allotment of annoying phrases. So let’s hit the ground running (Is that a cliche?) this holiday season.

 

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

CHANDLER'S CORNER

In this issue I have included 2 questions in that they are closely related in today’s market conditions.

1) I see you have been running soy on sale for several weeks does this mean the price of soy coming down? 

To the benefit of all of us the price of Soy wax has been declining.   There are several contributing factors to this decrease;

  • The worldwide demand for Soy bean change rapidly due the slowing economy worldwide.
  • The forecast for growth in Soybean was much higher earlier the year thus the futures traded at a higher rate.
  • As the price of crude oil declines the demand for alternative fuels lost some of its momentum.

Can I mix soy wax with paraffin wax?

Yes, you can. With today’s market it may be beneficial if you are making paraffin candles to include a soy component. Soy is best used in containers and how much you use will depend on what you are trying to achieve. The more you put in the more you can market as a natural-based candle.  By adding soy keep in mind that this will change the candle and wick testing, fragrance throw and coloring may need to be adjusted. 

November 2008

Project:
Custom Molds Our NEW Miracle Mold Material (M3)

Have you noticed an item in your home that you thought would make a unique candle and/or soap mold? But, then you realized that making the mold was a difficult and costly endeavor? This was truly the case until Miracle Mold Material (M3) came along.

We have selected a flower to use for this project, but you can use any similar object. The best project to get started with should be simple, until you learn how to work with the material.

The first step is to take equal part of the material (again, start with something small and only use a small portion of the material). One is an ivory color and the other is yellow. Mix them together thoroughly by hand. You will know they are mixed together thoroughly when the material is a consistent yellow with no streaks. You will have to work fast because the material will start to set in about 5 minutes.

The next step is to take the material and form around the flower. Make sure you apply pressure throughout the object and have some level of thickness of the material around the object.  Depending on what the object is, leave the bottom of the object open so you can pour the wax/soap base into the complete mold. The thicker the molding material is, the more durable the mold will be in the future. 

Once you have the material uniformly covered (leaving the bottom open) take the bottom of the mold/top of the candle and gently flatten out so the mold will rest flat.

Let the product set, which is generally 30-40 minutes, and then remove your object from the material.  You now have your finished mold, and you can take the wax and pour into the mold. 

FEATURES

  • Make all of your own custom candle and soap molds that are great for weddings, baby showers and other special events.
  • Make your own embeds.
  • Easy to mix by hand.
  • No waste of materials - only mold to the level of the desired thickness of the mold.
  • Very fast set-up time; no need to wait over night to use.
  • Can be used with wax, soap, candy chocolate.

 




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