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February 20, 2017

Candle Making Trends

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February 2017
Candle Making Trends
It was interesting reading the other day that, after 80 years, Monopoly is dropping the thimble as a game piece. It is hard to imagine that, even though the game has been as successful as it has been, a change was necessary.  
Unfortunately, the reality is that, no matter how successful anything is, changes will always need to be undertaken to continue to meet consumer demands. For some industries like technology, it seems that if it's not updated annually, it becomes obsolete. True iconic games like Monopoly only have to be tweaked occasionally to continue to keep consumer interest. 
The good news overall is that the candle-making industry is somewhere in between these two. But, as a candle maker, you should understand the importance of trends. That may not always mean that you should copy the latest trend. It might mean starting trends, keeping up with trends, recycling old trends, and anticipating what may be the next big trend next year.

It is not uncommon for candle makers to try every stage of the trend cycle throughout their careers to determine where the best niche may be found. Regardless of where the candle maker finds himself or herself on the trend curve, it is important to understand a few concepts about trend phenomena.

There are two main places to find candle trends – inside and outside of the industry. These two places are a great start. They sound obvious and are a bit broad, but sometimes simple is smarter. Inside the industry, you can look at what other candle makers are doing and try to come up with something slightly more forward or original. Whether you're at a huge, international tradeshow or small-town fair or in a retail store that sells your candles, it never hurts to take a walk around to see what is going on in your marketplace.

Observe more than just other candle makers. Try to gauge the pulse of the other craft or gift items that surround your candles. Look at what other successful items are doing in your selling atmosphere, and see if there are any lessons you can learn to integrate into your candles. If you see a hot gift item, try to figure out a way to appeal to the same customer with your candle.

There are several giftware, craft, and hobby magazines available to the trade. Sign up for a few, if for no other reason than to page through them quickly over lunch. It is amazing how a few minutes spent perusing an industry magazine can help you become fairly caught up.

Outside the industry is even broader. You can find inspiration in so many forms, so we'll just mention a few. One very good place to explore is the interior design industry. There are countless magazines, websites, TV shows, and retails stores dedicated to home interior design. Be sure to visit a few different types of these media to get a bird's eye view of the entire industry and not just one faction. Another potential source of inspiration is the fashion industry. People often wear clothes that are a reflection of their personalities. Monitoring fashion will help you tap that side of today's culture.

Another place to look is the auto industry. It sounds a bit silly, but the second decision a person makes after deciding what make and model of car to drive is the color. There may not be a lot of value in mimicking vehicle colors, but you can gain an understanding of the types of colors people are buying. As always, be sure to look at the kinds of stores and magazines that appeal to consumers who adopt technology and gadgets when they first hit the stores (these people are called "early adopters"). Today's new item may be tomorrow's big thing. These are just a few examples, but they provide a good model of how to think in an entirely new way outside of the gift industry.

One current color trend: Candle makers are using earth tones in their candles, reflecting our culture's increasing awareness of and appreciation for our natural surroundings. This is something that today's consumer may be thinking about, more so than those in some previous decades. View all of our Dye, Colors & Pigments.

It also is important to keep up with various trends in fragrance. However, if you have a great seller, do not eliminate it from your line just to accommodate what possibly may be the next trend. Ironically, certain fragrances can withstand generations. Supporting this fact is that Chanel No. 5 has been a favorite for more than 95 years. They're not in the same "league," but fragrances like our Cinnamon S-9 has been in our line for more than 35 years, and it is still one of our top-selling fragrances. Many fragrances will come and go. The key is to find the ones that will be your staples. View all 300+ Candle and Soap Scents.

In terms of overall candle trends, pillar candles made with aluminum and designer polycarbonate molds seem to be doing well. These are good options for candle makers who are looking to expand outside of the traditional container candle. They are used in many formal interiors, where they could sit on a mantle for years as a decorative piece and may never be burned. (This is the reason UV light absorber is such an important additive.)
PROJECT:
Eye on You
Travel Tin
Materials
Step 1
Melt either Palm 2 or Palm 3 wax in a double boiler to about 180 ⁰F (for this project, we have selected cool water).  Add your fragrance and color, then pour wax into your votive mold (it's best to use a votive pin) to a level of about 1½" to 1¾" (exact height will depend on how far you fill the tin).
Step 2
Remove your votive candle from the mold, and remove the votive pin. Insert your selected wick (RRD-34, RRD-37 are good starting points), and place the completed votive in the center of the tin container.
Step 3
Begin melting your Soy 125 wax to about 150 ⁰F, and add your fragrance. (For this project we have selected Clean Cotton. Since it is a travel container, you're hoping this scent will help no matter where the customer is staying.)
Step 4
Carefully pour your soy wax into the tin, around the votive, up to the level of the votive or slightly below.
Suggestions: After some practice, it might be easier to pour the soy and then place the votive in the tin. However, you will need to have some idea how much soy to pour so that it will not cover the top of the votive when you insert it in the tin. For an additional effect, you may want to pour the palm wax at a higher temperature so the colors from the votive create streaking effects.
VIEW PROJECT
QUICK FACTS:
Anatomy of a Candle Jar
Who would have guessed there is so much involved with a jar?
When calling our tech support to discuss jar candles, the following information may be helpful in facilitating the discussion. Please remember to measure the "body" of the jar when asked about the diameter of the candle.
CHANDLER'S CORNER
I have never made a candle. Should I start with a kit or purchase the materials separately?
Hi. I'm Chandler.One of the most frequent questions I receive is: "I have never made a candle. Should I start with a kit or purchase the materials separately?" The best answer we can provide is it depends on where you're going to take your "candle making" experience. If you know it is a one-time deal, then a kit is sometimes the best starting point. For the most part, kits have everything you need, and you do not have to piece meal the items. In addition, you do not have to purchase extra material that you may not need. For example, when purchasing rolls of wick, the 8-ounce roll is generally the smallest we have available. This will make quite a few candles, and, if you know you are not making any more candles, then you will have surplus material.
A kit generally has enough material to make exactly what the kit contains. The downside to using a kit is that the fragrances and colors have already been selected. Our kits always feature popular fragrance/color combinations, but having someone else limit those choices for you can remove some of the customization many people like to have when making homemade crafts. View all Kits.

Purchasing individual items will allow you to choose the exact colors and fragrances you need. However, you then must also select the proper wax, wicks and other items you will need to make the candles you desire. View all candle making supplies.
Fall Soy Candle Making Kit
One of our best-selling kits right now is the Soy Fall Kit. View Fall Kit.

 

If you're only making a few candles, then we would recommend purchasing the kits and maybe adding a couple of small bottles of the specific fragrances you want. No matter which approach you take, you'll have a fun and rewarding experience.
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