January 05, 2012

Time for Your Year Checkup - Candle Business Style

"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

Time for Your Yearly Checkup -
Candle Business Style

Not sure what the proper protocol is on wishing someone a Happy New Year, but, on behalf of the Candlewic Company, we wanted to do just that. For many, 2011 was a better year than the previous few but like anything customers do want it to be better. We at Candlewic look forward to helping you achieve this goal in 2012 and our first issue of the year hopefully kicks this off with your recommendation to do a "Check Up".

Most publications always try to tie the first issue of the year to "resolutions" but that seems too campy. In the medical world, at different milestones in life, they recommend checkups and a business should be no different. The nice thing about these checkups is they can be inexpensive, no referral needed and done quickly depending on the size of your business. The beginning of the year is an excellent time to do this exercise because you probably were very busy and may have seen some of the flaws your business had this past season.

Check Your Wicks

The checkup should encompass all aspects of your business no matter how effective the aspect may appear to you. Some of the important areas to hit include the performance of your candle. During the course of time things always change slightly - maybe you ran into a problem with fragrance throw and you added a little more fragrance, maybe you were not happy with the shade of your candle and you added a little more dye. Whatever the event, it can have an impact on your wick size. If you don't already test burn your candles as a regular routine in your business, now is the time to start. Don't let your customers be the one that brings a wick problem to your attention.

Check Your Pricing

Make sure your pricing to customers is still good. Price increases are a subject no manufacturer wants to talk about but they are necessary. Double check your raw material cost and operating cost. Throughout the year different raw materials and operating cost go up and at the time they can seem insignificant but enough of them can have an impact on your bottom line. In early January, both Fedex and UPS raised their rates an average of 4.9%. Certain fragrances like spice and others have gone up due to raw material issues. If you need help on calculating all of your cost be sure to check out our past issue addressing this issue.

Check Your Components

Weigh a couple of your candles and measure to make sure you are still filling to the same level. Filling a candle a little higher will mean you are using more wax, color and fragrance and it may not seem like a lot. But multiply that over the course of the year and it could be significant.

Make sure you are shipping your orders the most efficient and cost effective way. Both UPS and FEDEX have new programs for residential deliveries. In addition if you receive a number of shipments from UPS be sure to check out "UPS My Choice" this is a level based service UPS offers that lets you select what best suites your needs. There is a level where you can actual schedule the delivery in a 2 hour window (fee associated with many of these service levels). Click here for more information on this program.

Check Your Online Presence

If you rely on wholesale business, you must have a presence on the internet. According to a survey from Foresee results, 33% of shoppers used their devices to access a retailers site.

Other findings of the study include:

  • 30% 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% made online purchases from a mobile phone, up from 2 percent in 2009

With so many candle companies on the internet, it is important to find all of the opportunities which may be available and take advantage of them. Some of the obvious include Ebay, Etsy and others like Craigslist. It is very important to have a website with a cart so when someone does land on your site they can purchase from you. Be sure to use all of the social networks, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and others to drive traffic to your site.

Check Your Connections

Network with your peers despite some being competitors. Many are willing to share information and share their passion on the subject of candle making. No organization has been more effective at doing this then the IGCA. Be sure to check out the information they have provided:

Join the International Guild of Candle Artisans whose commitment is "to instruct and train members; to instruct the public; to encourage cooperation, good will, fellowship and exchange of educational ideas; and to raise and maintain the standards of candle making." This organization is focused on small business and hobbyist candle makers and is the only organization of its kind. www.igca.net.

On the business side be sure to research to see if organizations like Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and other local organizations might be right for you to get good advice.

We hope that 2012 will be an exciting one and you have our assurance we will be here to help you grow your business.

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

CHANDLER'S CORNER

I wanted to personally wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank you for keeping me busy with all of the questions over the holidays.

Are any additives needed to make a wax mottle?

If the proper wax is used no other additives should be used to make a candle mottle and in fact most additives will impede the wax from mottling. Not all waxes will mottle and if it is "blended waxes" chances are that it has been designed to hold the fragrance and not mottle. The best waxes to use for mottled candles would be the 2530 for containers and the 3035H for votives and the 4045H for pillars.

Can the fragrances I purchase from you be used in soaps?

On our fragrance landing page we have several key icons that identify how the fragrances can be used. All of our fragrances can be used in paraffin, soy and palm waxes. Those identifying the red heart icon with hand are safe for soaps. The icon with the triangle with a flame can be used in gel candles.

 


January 2012

Featured Project:

Layered Candles

A layered container allows you to offer 3 fragrances for the price of 1 to your customers. The user gets to have 3 different fragrances during the life of the candle. This candle can also be great when doing fund raisers for High Schools, Sports clubs and other organizations that have distinguishable colors.

Materials

Step 1
Melt wax to 150-160deg F. Preheat container.

Step 2
Pour water in glass container and measure the amount of water your container will hold to figure out how much wax will be needed to make the candle. Once the required amount has been established, put the same amount of wax plus 1/4 of a cup excess in your melt pot.

Step 3
Secure the required length of wick to a wick tab (depending on the height of your container). Place a few drops of wax in the bottom of the container and place your wick tab and attached wick in the wax. Let cool. This will secure your wick to the appropriate location in your container and ensure your wick stays centered as you pour your candle Use wick guidelines as a basis for deciding where to place your wicks.

Step 4
Take 1/3 of the wax in a measuring cup and add 1/8 of a square of your first color of concentrated candle dye. Make sure the wax is hot enough so the dye will dissolve quickly and that you can pour it before it gets too cold.

Step 5
Take the glass container and prop it up at the desired angle. Make sure the container is secure and will not fall over as you pour your wax. Books work well for this, but you must be sure to cover them with aluminum foil or newspaper before pouring your wax to guard against any spills.

Step 6
Carefully pour the wax in the container and let cool.

Step 7
Once wax has completely cooled and hardened, place the container flat on the counter again and prepare to pour the next layer. Prepare your wax as in Step 4 again but this time add 1/8 of a square of your second color of Concentrated Color Squares. Pour this wax into your container.

Step 8
When the second layer of wax has completely cooled and hardened, add your last layer of wax. Once again prepare your wax as in step 4, but use 1/8 of a square of your third color of Concentrated Color Squares. This time do not pour all of the wax into the candle. Keep a small portion of wax to pour over the candle to fill the depression that forms as the candle cools. Make sure you save enough wax to cover the entire top of the candle on your second pour (to ensure a smooth top surface).

Alternatives

Try making these candles using more layers at different angles or use different shapes of containers.

You can also make layered votives or floaters using these same steps!

Layered pillar candles are also a unique addition to any gift or home d├ęcor!

View All

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