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February 18, 2016

Customized Candles for Events

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February 2016
If Punxsutawney Phil is right (unfortunately, according to Stormfax.com, he is only correct 39 percent of the time), we should be experiencing an early spring. The spring season can be a great one for candle makers who wish to market to all of the life events that occur during this time. Spring offers proms, graduations for high school and college students, confirmations, college formals and weddings. All of these events make for great opportunities to offer your candles.

What can truly enhance customers' desire for your product is your ability to customize the product for the event or the individual. In today's business environment, customization is bigger than ever, and even the largest of companies now customize their products. M&M's will customize their candy for you, Nike lets customers pick the colors and designs on their sneakers, and Shutterfly has made it simple to customize an individual mug, pillow, coaster and pretty much any household item.

Candles easily can be customized by color, fragrance, label or container and match the specific event. What makes customization great is that it is difficult for large companies to fully customize smaller runs. This offers you a great opportunity to sell more candles.

For weddings, many brides are looking to offer favors of candles that match their wedding colors or that have a customized label on the jar featuring information that is personalized to the wedding couple. As we have written about in the past, making custom labels is easy at Avery.com. You can import personalized pictures, stock pictures, prints and many others things right onto the label, and labels can be printed on your own printer in pretty much any quantity.

For baby showers, you certainly can use the same method of a having a custom label identifying the event, but you can further differentiate these products by making the candles in baby food jars.

For graduations, make layered candles in the school colors and have an organization or group sell them to the school. Layered candles are great, because you can offer multiple fragrances in the same candle. Layered candles can be made in both pillars and containers. As with wedding candles, if you wish, you can print a specialized label and apply it to the containers as well.
One of the most unique ways to customize candles is by using the Versagel and pouring it into containers that enhance the event. Champagne glasses, tumblers and even shot glasses are great for wedding and college formulas.

The key is always developing products and using the "strength"of the product, which, in this case, is translucency. Candles poured into champagne glasses with prom themes will always be popular. In beach towns, scenes of the beach with fish and coral are always a good impulse buy for visitors. While there are many similarities between making gel candles and paraffin candles, there is enough of a difference that you should do your research to make sure you are using all of the right products.
First choose the right gel.
The selection of the proper gel is limited to three different densities. The determination of the proper gel for your application will be dependent upon the type of gel candle you will be making and how much fragrance will be used.

The low density generally is suited for gel candles with 0-3 percent fragrance loads. Generally, the low density can be poured at lower temperatures, ideally 195⁰F – 205⁰F.

The medium density generally is suited for candles with 3-5 percent fragrance. This density is a good gel for embedding many of the wax inserts. This particular gel is quickly becoming the most popular gel. High Density is best suited when embedding heavier wax inserts and higher scent loads.

After choosing the right gel, it is important to review all of the other components to make a safe candle. These safety precautions include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Must use fragrances which are non-polar. If unsure, check with your fragrance supplier.
  • Fragrances must have a flash point higher than 170 ⁰F.
  • Proper wick selection is critical. In some instances, you may want to undersize your wick. This can create a unique "glowing" effect as the candle burns. It is important to test wicks in all your containers.
  • A wick assembly should have a wick base that has a 9mm neck.
  • Depending upon density, do not exceed the recommended percent usage for fragrance.
  • Always have instructions for burning.
  • Make sure gel embeds are not flammable; it can be surprising at times what objects are flammable.
Versagel is still a unique product and can create candles that no other product in the marketplace can replicate. The Versagel is a great product when you are customizing candles as well. If you are interested in checking out something new, then it just might be the right time to look at this exciting product.

No matter what the event might be, there definitely is something you, as a candle maker, can do to customize your product for the event to help commemorate it and offer recipients of your product something that helps them remember the event year after year.
CHANDLER'S CORNER
I do not like the fragrance throw with my 100-percent soy wax candle. Can I mix it with paraffin wax?
Hi. I'm Chandler. Yes, you can. The adding of paraffin wax should help improve the fragrance throw of the candle both hot and cold. If making container candles, the CBL-125 is probably going to be your best choice because of the consistency of this wax; it is soft and has very little shrinkage.

With today's market, it may be beneficial if you are making paraffin candles to include a soy component. Right now, soy is more cost effective then paraffin, so adding some soy to the blend can help drive down the cost. Keep in mind that this will change the candle and wick testing as well as fragrance throw, and coloring may need to be adjusted.
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