October 01, 2013

Holiday Season Checklist

Holiday Season Checklist

There is no doubt the fall season is the busiest for most candle makers. Many candle makers are fully immersed in their candles for the holiday season. However, there is still time to make sure you have an extremely successful holiday season.

It is now that you want to do your final checklist to make sure you are ready for the final months of the year. Do you have all of your winter fragrances picked out? Glassware ready? Labels on order? And many of the other small details needed to make your finished candle complete. You also don't want to over purchase and have excess inventory at the end of year.

As we have written in past issues of the Enlightener, candle makers need to be experts in a myriad of functions especially organization and planning. At first glance you would think the candle would only have a couple of ingredients; i.e. wax, fragrance and wick. But by now you have realized that so much more is needed. Your label, burning instructions, shrink wrap, UV absorbers, bag, box and other items are smaller but essential.

One of the first steps we would suggest, if you have not already done so, would be to develop a complete list of all of your components that go into your product, commonly called a Bill of Materials. It may seem like a simple item but the truth is a well constructed and utilized Bill of Materials can be the key to the success of your business. The Bill of Materials (BOM) can serve multiple uses such as helping in determining your cost, tracking inventory, and determining when to place orders. The best way to get started would be to list on a spreadsheet everything required to sell your candle from start to finish. This would include the smallest of items.

The BOM can be as extensive or simple as you would like. At minimum you should have the cost of the material, how many units go into the candle, your current inventory of the item, and the lead time. Some other suggestions for information to include would be your vendor, secondary vendor, and total cost of the inventory on hand (this will change with each candle made). As you learn to use each column you will want to add additional ones as a good tool to run your business, craft, or hobby.

The first column of cost will help you track all of your cost in order to determine what you may be able to sell the candle for. By tracking this on a regular basis you can determine if you can run a special on a candle and still make a profit. Maybe your supplier ran a special on one of your components or you picked up the material and saved on shipping.

The second column should list how much inventory of the item you have. This will help you plan how many candles you can make in the upcoming days/weeks. While there are other columns you may find important to your needs, one that should not be over looked is lead times.

While most of the items may be something your supplier has in stock, inevitably something you require will have an extended lead time. Nothing is more frustrating than having a nearly finished candle and being out of inventory of your label. It would be a very important exercise to call your vendors and inquire the lead time on each item.

The more critical information you add to the sheet and keep up to date the more effective a business tool the BOM can become. Most of the accounting software available will have a module that should include a bill of materials. By using this you can almost tell immediately what you need to sell your candles for. However, as with any use of the computer the information provided is only as good as what is being entered. Be sure to develop a system of checks and balances as you rely more on your computer.

Creative Marketing
Many fragrances are sold for holiday specific times but with creative efforts you can extend the life of your candle scent by renaming the candle. If you have a candle scent with hints of pine and other scents called "Essence of Christmas". Maybe rename it after Christmas to "Midnight Woods". This can be done with most holiday specific fragrances.

There are several holidays coming up that use traditionally unscented candles but with some creative marketing you might be able to get customers to use scented. Every carved pumpkin needs a candle. Why not enhance the experience and put in a scented Pumpkin Pie candle?

On Christmas Eve, many homes and downtowns line up luminaries. Instead of the white tea light or votive, why not enhance the experience with Jack Frost, Egg Nog or Pine Needle?

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

CHANDLER'S CORNER

How do I keep my wick centered in the candle?

For votives you have several options: the wick pin is an excellent way to ensure the wick is centered in the candle. An added feature of using the wick pin is that it allows you to use other wicks such as cotton, flat braided and round wicks in the candle.

With jars and container candles, it is a littler trickier but the Glue Dots are an excellent way to keep them in the center of the container at the bottom. To ensure they are straight throughout the candle secure the wick on top of the container with a wick bar or other securing bar.

With pillars the Pillars pin are the best way to proceed as well. The one drawback to the pillar pins is they are limited to round aluminum molds. The pins should also speed up your candle production.

It is very important for the safety of the burning candle and performance that the wick is centered in the entire candle. When the wick is not centered it can waiver over to the sides of the glass container making for intense heat in a confined area.


October 2013

Featured Project:
Tealights

While they may seem a little small they really are a necessity for any candle maker who wants people to try their candles for a nominal cost. Tea lights are a great way to use up extra wax, create little "calling cards", or offer prospective customers a chance to sample your scents before purchasing a larger candle. What is nice is you can make tea lights without using a mold.

Below you will find the instructions for using our tea light mold that ensures perfectly straight wicks, but alternative techniques follow.

Ingredients

Step 1
Spray your mold with mold release.

Step 2
Prepare wax with color and fragrance to suit. Pour wax into the mold so that all cavities are filled. There is a lip that holds overflow wax.

Step 3
Remove pins and pop the tea lights out of the mold. Clean any overly rough edges with your fingers.

Step 4
Insert a pre-assembled wick assembly into the hole in the candle and place into a tea light cup. You will notice that tea light cups have a small circular indentation on the bottom. This indentation is 15mm and is designed to match our 15x3mm wick tabs.

Alternative Methods
When pouring batches of wax, keep a few tea light cups on hand to pour excess wax directly into the cups. This is also the method used for pouring tea lights when using container wax. If you currently use a M-63-P votive pin for your votives, it will fit into the tea light cups as well. Simply place the pin in the tea light cup and pour a votive or pillar wax into the pin/cup set up. After it cools remove the wax/pin from the cup, flip the candle over and put back into the tea light cup. This will result in a beautiful recessed top.

 

Join Us Online


 

 

 

 

Find Us on Facebook

 

 

Candlewic on Twitter

 

 

View All

Related News

 

On Behalf of the Candlewic Staff We Wanted to Thank Everyone

December 02, 2013
2013 En-Light-Eners

What another exciting year it has been and we wanted to sincerely thank each and every customer for their support this past year. We are now entering our 44th year in business helping candle makers of all sizes. We have many exciting announcements in store for 2014 and we will be making them in the upcoming months but the one thing you can always count on from us is to continue to deliver quality products at the most competitive prices. Our staff is here to help you with all of your needs if is picking a great fragrance, guidance on a wax or narrowing down your wick selection we are here to help.

Read More
 

Choosing the Right Wax

November 01, 2013
2013 En-Light-Eners

On behalf of the Candlewic Company we hope everyone enjoys this year's "Black Thanksgiving". The growing trend has been for more and more retailers to now open on Thanksgiving Day and begin their extraordinary offers. While opening Thanksgiving is not necessarily new the number of retailers doing this is definitely growing. No longer do they seem satisfied with opening up at Midnight, 5 AM and other odd hours on Black Friday they feel picking up the extra day might get them in the "black" faster. Should be an interesting trend to watch in the future now what is going to be interesting question is anyone ever going to open Christmas morning?

Read More
 

Choosing the Right Wax

September 02, 2013
2013 En-Light-Eners

September is always associated with back to school as students head back to the classroom at all levels. For some students going back to school is just routine and the classes merely change. For others it is a completely new school, new studying techniques or grading system. As a candle maker we recommend treating September as "Back to Candle Making". It is a great time to reacquaint yourself with all of the waxes available and if you act quickly time to test the various waxes.

Read More