Getting Your Candle Making
For many when they first started making candles, it was probably envisioned that the hardest decision to be made was whether to use Apple Crisp or Hot Apple Crisp fragrance, which craft show to do, or what type of packaging they may need to use when shipping to their customers. Unfortunately, to survive in today’s business climate, there is much more to consider. You need a successful plan if you are going to survive in the marketplace. The consumer landscape and how they shop has been changing radically in the past 8+ years. Today it is important to stay on top of the latest technology, marketing and social networks to ensure your business will succeed and grow.
There has been much written on these subject, in general, but we would like to identify how you can use these techniques in your candle business. Even if all you do is craft shows, using these marketing and new marketing schemes can make the craft shows you currently do even more successful.
Select a domain name
Use your business name (SuzieSuperCandles.com) or a local domain like DoylestownsBestCandles. Either approach has advantages (SEO for the local name and brand recognition for your company name website). Be sure to run your proposed domain name by several friends to make sure it reflects you and/or your company name. If you use the website GoDaddy, it will identify if your name is available and if it is not will give you suggestions of names with similar “themes” that are available.
Design Your Site
Find a web company to help you and save yourself the learning curve. You already have to learn how to make candles, why spend your time learning how to make web sites?
But if you have to be frugal, there are plenty of low cost or free website templates available. Check out GoDaddy or WordPress or Etsy as starting points.
When designing your website be sure to include the ability for your customers to view your site from handheld devices.According to a survey from Foresee results, 33 of shoppers used their devises to access a retailers site.
Other findings of the study include:
- 30 percent used a mobile phone to research products on the Internet, look up prices, find store locations and so forth, compared with 11 percent in 2009.
- 11 percent made online purchases from a mobile phone, up from 2 percent in 2009.
This should be an important feature of any web design.
If you have the resources and inventory to do ecommerce, give it a shot. It may not be your core business, but it could provide supplemental income from returning customers. Use eBay, Etsy and the other ecommerce systems to your advantage. These sites can also help you determine what customers are looking for in terms of fragrances and styles. Have a show that got canceled? Then offer those candles at discounted prices on those site.
Use email marketing, Facebook, phone and local ads to promote your business. Be sure to get people to sign up to your Facebook. This way you can post which shows you are going to be at. When posting be sure to include some action for the reader to take such as "We will be at the Greater Town Craft Show stop by the booth and get a free votive of our most popular fragrance." This can help track the results of these efforts and you now have a "friend" who may share this with others. Be sure to get listed on Google Places to be found on search engines.
With these simple online marketing steps in place, you'll be setting off in the right direction. But don't stop once these things have been started. Continue to expand your website, Facebook page, email marketing, and store with new products and information. It's a great way to keep customers interested in your business and builds your business into one that will last through the years.
The Three F's or Frequently Forgotten Facts
We all have so many things on our proverbial plate. We are remembering wax formulas, customer requests, fair and flea market dates, – it is too much sometimes. This month I have a handy little document you can download that reminds us of some of the information we should know, but sometimes forget when a full batch of wax is ready to be poured and we have to think quick. Click here to download it and keep it nearby when things get hectic.
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To Each Their Own
Aluminum molds for making freestanding candles are a great investment as an inexpensive way to extend your line of candles.
Jars have become so popular in recent years, that many candle makers have forgotten that pillar candles add a real touch of beauty to any home’s décor.
Pillar candles offer extremely vibrant colors due to the fact there is no glass blocking the true color of the candle as seen with the naked eye. The profit margin on pillar candles may be higher as well because the price of the glass is removed from the cost of raw materials. Aluminum does not rust, so you can enjoy your molds for many years.
Selecting your mold can be fun. Candlewic offers many shapes and sizes depending on which pillar would best complement your existing line of candles. There are round molds, octagon molds, square molds plus many other unique shapes in our designer series of polycarbonate molds.
There are two wicking techniques that are most commonly employed when using aluminum molds. You can use the traditional method or the pillar pin method. Both techniques work well depending on the volume of candles produced or the amount of labor available.
The traditional method involves the mold, raw wicking on a spool, a wick bar, and a rubber plug. This method is best for lower volume production, or in the instance when you want to leave a little length of wick on the candle to attach a bead or a tag. You simply thread the wick through the mold and place a rubber plug into the small hole to hold the wick in place. Place a wick bar across the large opening of the mold and wrap the wick around the bar and pour the wax. After the wax has cooled, the finished product will have the wick nicely centered down the middle of the candle.
The pillar pin method involves a round mold, a pillar pin, and a pre-wick assembly. This method is better suited for the small to large production run. Basically, you are making a candle with no wick and inserting a wick after it cools. There are 2 ways to use the pin. You can either stick the disc part of the pin down into the mold or stick the pin up through the mold from the outside bottom. Pour the wax and let cool. When you are done, you will have a candle with a hole through the center core and no wick. Take a wick assembly and insert up through the hole and you are done. The wick will be perfectly centered.
When using aluminum molds, there are a few tips and techniques that will help you regardless of the method you use.
1. Take good care of your molds. Do not use them for any other use such as a penholder or thermometer holder because you may scratch the inside, which will be apparent on the finished candle.
2. By heating or cooling the mold, you can achieve different aesthetic qualities to the finished mold. Cold molds give a primitive appearance, while warm molds may give a good gloss.
3. Keep molds level unless a desired layered appearance is trying to be obtained. By resting the mold on various angles, some neat stripes can be achieved.
4. Take careful note on the pour temperatures. By adjusting the temperature, you can control the shrinkage. Pouring too hot produces more shrinkage and may involve more “topping off”, while pouring too cool may not give you enough shrinkage therefore making it difficult to de-mold.
5. For making perfect bottoms on your pillars, Candlewic highly recommends using a heated base leveler level pillars every time.