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November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving & Resources for Candle Makers

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November 2017
On behalf of the Candlewic Company, we truly hope all of our friends have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. It seems that the holiday itself is being overshadowed more and more by the events following the actual holiday: What will be the Black Friday sales? Cyber Monday Sales? Who will be open or closed for Thanksgiving? We only hope you take time to enjoy the holiday and spend time with family. After Thanksgiving, things definitely pick up in the candle world. We hope some of the information below will provide some last-minute assistance with your process.
Resources for Candle Makers
The term "candle making" can take on many meanings for our readers. For the beginner, candle making is taking a milk carton or extra container and pouring wax in it to make their own candle. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the large manufacturer that produces thousands of candles a day and employs thousands of people. Most candle companies are somewhere in between, and business needs vary greatly.

Candlewic, as our tagline indicates, has been offering a complete line of candle making supplies, such as waxes, containers, wicks and molds for over 47 years. By specializing in these products, we can provide the optimal experience, prices and value to our customers. However, as companies and individuals take their candle-making passion to the next level, their needs change, and they require additional expertise.

There are many solid companies that offer these additional services, but we thought we would share with you a couple that have offered assistance to candle makers over the years. Normally, after you have made your candles, you need labels to identify your products and also to provide instructions for burning them. For those who are just starting out and are in need of a very small production run of labels, we have found Avery.com to be an excellent resource. Using this site allows you to print as few or as many labels as you need. There is a "Design and Print Option" that lets you develop and create your own labels and print them as needed. This provides a great opportunity for candle makers to customize their candles for use at specific events such as weddings, showers and graduations. The site also allows you to import photos, logos and other images to make your own professional-looking labels without a huge investment.

Once you have your candles labeled, the next step many people require is packaging. Because there are so many different sizes of candles, getting custom packaging can be difficult. There is a company called Nashville Wraps that offers a wide range of packaging options for candle makers. They offer everything from cello bags to small-scale shrink wrap systems. Packaging should be an extension of your candle. You may have the best candle in the world, but if you do not present it properly and in an appealing way, the customer may not even pick it up. Nashville Wraps offers a wide range of pricing and packaging options. You spend a great deal of time creating your candles, so be sure to showcase them with the best packaging options available.

Once you have your product line established, the next big investment should be a website that reflects all that you can do. If you can customize your site, be sure to highlight what separates your business from the competition, and take advantage of delivering exactly what your customers want. If you aren’t quite ready for a full-blown website, look to eBay, which gives you the opportunity to test-market your candles and provides an opportunity for feedback. However, because of the sheer size of eBay, small companies may have difficulty being noticed. Other sites such as Etsy, Amazon and Craigslist provide options for you to sell your candles at any pace, and to any extent, you desire.
There are many other services and products you will need to help your business grow. Be sure to find resources that can help you create a plan for growing your business. Banks are a great example. Many local banks cater to smaller businesses, providing services bigger banks may not be in a position to offer. Ask some local businesses which bank they use, and find one that can help YOU. Many banks now partner with credit-card processors that can offer great fees and functionality to benefit your business. As the number of credit-card transactions you process increases, look around and find a credit-card provider that might be able to better serve you. The one that seemed best when you started your business may not be the best option once your volume increases. Credit-card fees vary across the board, and the processing time from when you receive the credit-card payment to the time it transfers to the bank will also vary. These qualities can affect your business.

Even the landscape of shipping has changed. As your shipping volume increases, be sure to check with both FedEX and UPS. Depending on the type of product you sell, the volume of sales you have, and the location of your customer base, you may be able to secure a better rate. Both offer great products that can meet your customers’ needs, such as residential delivery and scheduled drop-offs. UPS has a service that lets the customer schedule drop-offs within a particular time frame. The U.S. Postal Service also can be a viable option, especially for lighter items that you could ship in flat rate boxes.

No matter what the service and/or product is that you require, be sure to spend time deciding whether it is a good fit for your company. In today's business environment, finding vendors that can help you grow is extremely important. A good business should be able to provide resources and/or services beyond a buy/sell relationship. If you’re reading this, you know that Candlewic takes pride in offering this free newsletter and other resources to help you grow your business.
CHANDLER'S CORNER
Make Sense of Your Scents
Hi. I'm Chandler.Hi, folks! I get a lot of questions about scent load, especially with terms like double-scented or triple-scented candles floating around the industry. The whole scent philosophy is sort of nebulous and vague for many reasons, making it hard for everyone to figure out, whether you're a beginner or seasoned pro.

For one thing, there is no standard placed on the industry. There are infinite amounts of scents and strengths in the marketplace. I use a gas station as a good analogy. Every time you put gas in your car, you know exactly what strength you are using and how much it costs. They all work for different people, regardless of which strength you purchase. Fragrances are a little different in that some fragrances, such as cinnamon or balsam, are extremely strong regardless of how much you use. When you get to the florals, you’ll find they’re not quite as strong. And, if you use fragrances in soy wax, you just don't get the same fragrance boost that you would with paraffin. The key is always testing the fragrances to find what specific load will work for you. In general, most candle makers will use the guideline of 5-10% fragrance, which is about 1-2 ounces of fragrance per pound of wax.

Remember that too much of a good thing is not always wise, and fragrance has a point of diminishing returns. Your wax can only hold so much fragrance (like a sponge). Additives can be used to help your candles hold more fragrance, or you can purchase pre-blended waxes with additives already inside. Once you start going too heavy with a fragrance, you risk ending up with a poorly burning or unattractive candle, adding too much to your cost, using more additives, or even making the candle smell too pungent.
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