Welcome to the En-light-ener, Candlewic's
newsletter for the candle making community. We'd like to thank you for
your continued interest in this newsletter. If you have any suggestions
for topics you would like to have us write about, please send them.
Marketing Traditional Candles
in Not-So-Traditional Venues.
Some candle makers create candles that are truly
unique and so different, that they can command a higher
price and sell them successfully through smaller venues.
Other candle makers are successful by creating economies
of volume and distribute their candles through large distribution
networks. Others find a niche and successfully create candles
that may only be desired by members of that niche. No matter
how you are currently selling your candles, there is always
that question in the back of your mind, “Who else
would want to buy one of my candles?”
|What's your piece of the candle
It is commonly held knowledge that the United States candle
market is estimated to be roughly 2 billion dollars annually.
Take a minute and do the math to see what percentage of the
2 billion represents your share of candle sales… It
is reasonable to assume that you may want more than your
current share. In order to obtain more share of the candle
market, you must do a little research and figure out ways
to create new avenues.
According to the National Candle Association, candles are
sold principally in three types of retail outlets: department
stores; specialty (gift) shops; and mass merchandisers, including
drug store chains, supermarkets, and discount stores. Sometimes
these avenues are highly competitive and take time to develop
the relationships necessary to enter this type of selling
network. Future issues of the Enlightener will address tactics
for these areas – this article pertains to the alternatives.
One good way to develop new store venues is to get out and
visit stores that you may not normally frequent. Stop by
a mall or shopping center and see what stores have candle
sections and which do not. Look for clues to success in the
stores that do have candles and ask employees in stores that
do not have candles, “why?” Sometimes the answer
is as simple as it was just never presented before. Some
of the more obscure stores that do well are pet shops, cigar
stores, bakeries, and coffee shops. Be creative with the
fragrance names and try to match them to the store’s
theme. For example, the pet shop would appreciate a strong
fragrance that hides pet odor while the bakery would want
more food types of scents.
Another suggestion is to start signing up for catalogs from
mail order companies. Take particular note of the overall “feel” of
the catalog. Design fragrances or types of candles so the
finished candle compliments the catalog. A camping catalog
would do well with nature scents such as fir or balsam, while
a car parts catalog would do well with car themed candles.
Good places to find catalogs are magazines and web searches.
The greatest aspect of making candles is the fact that it
is quite easy to make a prototype to present to prospective
retailers. Many retailers brand all of their items with the
store logo, so a candle could easily fit that description.
It is rather easy to obtain the image from their website
and make a candle using their logo or their store colors.
For added value, create a custom store display concept that
fits their store. It may cost you a few dollars up front,
but it ensures that space in their store is reserved for
your line of candles.
Another good way to sell candles is to contact companies
that sell extremely expensive products or services that require
extensive customer relationships for future sales. Good examples
are realtors, lawyers, car dealers, landscapers, and equipment
sellers. Create a candle that these companies can give away
as a gift with purchase.
Adding utility to the candles does well for the candle maker.
Try to put an added value such as making it easy to light
or putting on a protective bottom to help eliminate damage
to furniture due to heat. A fireproof lid made of glass or
metal makes it easier to extinguish. Customers get familiar
with the little value added features and will come back asking
Many candle makers have great success using online auctions
and directories. One good example is the Ebay auction website.
They allow you to set up a “storefront” so customers
can find you once they become loyal to your products. This
is an inexpensive way to have your own website without laying
out the large amounts of capital that are necessary for traditional
website design and hosting. By becoming a member of different
directories, you can increase awareness of your candle website
by taking advantage of group marketing efforts. The directory
website is able to combine all the members keywords and offerings
into one easy to find location on the web.
A final route to take is to create fundraisers or theme
specific candles. This is an excellent way to sell candles
during other times of the year aside from the busy holiday
season. Some communities have an annual celebration that
may be a good venue, while others may need a way to earn
money for a particular community project. By keeping active
in the community and joining clubs in your area, you can
effectively network with other businesses and organizations
that may want to purchase candles.
Polyurethane Molds and Techniques.
Candle makers are always asking me for ways to make new
and exciting candles that are easy to produce, yet look exquisite.
One way to easily achieve this is to use polyurethane
rubber molds. These easy to use molds help the candle
maker create unique brand extensions of their existing line
in order to help separate themselves form the competition.
- Use a few rubber bands around the mold to seal the sides
together. Some people use hose clamps, but they can be
cumbersome and difficult to gauge tightness. Rubber bands
break down over time, so keep a few extra on hand.
- Leave extra wick at the bottom of the mold. This extra
length can be used to tie beads or information cards to
the candle, which sometimes are difficult to label. This
extra wick can also be used as the wick for the next candle.
By removing the candle and pulling the extra wick through,
the candle is ready for the second pour without having
to re-wick it.
- Keep your molds clean to avoid any discoloration of
the candles when changing colors. If you leave a little
red wax left in the mold, and then change to yellow, you
may get orange spots in the yellow candles. Keep them clean!
fun with color bleed. One example is the M-22
Rose Floater. By pouring a deep red a few times, then
switching to a hot pour of uncolored white, will result
in a really uniquely colored candle. The left over red
in the mold gives a neat pink striped affect to the white
is easy to make a natural candle that can be enjoyed
for those special dinner occasions, to give as gifts,
or to have as a decorative show piece. These natural
lemons look great as an added value product when
displayed with your other candles. They are fun to
make and act a wonderful conversation piece. These
candles may be natural and easily mistaken as the
real thing, but please don’t eat them!
All Natural Pillar Blend
Polyurethane Lemon Mold
Wick Holder Bar
Lemon Essential Oil
(hemp wick is optional)
Candle Holder (optional)
Melt the natural CSP-1 wax on a double boiler to about 165 degrees.
Add EVO-13 yellow dye after the wax is up to temperature and
Prepare the M-272 mold by inserting the wick through the bottom
of the mold using a thin wire or very dull, oversized sewing
needle. Be sure to leave an extra length of wick, so it pulls
through when the candle is removed and is ready for the next
time you make a lemon. Use the M-321 wick bar to hold the wick
centered over the top of the mold. Place a few rubber bands around
the mold to hold the mold tightly together.
Add roughly 1 to 3 percent of essential oil to the wax just before
pouring, and pour at 150 to 170 degrees. Some candle makers prefer
different pour temperatures. Higher temperatures may give easier
release but may cause more shrinkage. The perfect balance is
Top off if necessary. You may need to experiment a little to determine
the optimal timing and temperature for the second pour depending
on the ambient temperature of the room and initial pouring temperature
of the first pour.
Place the candle on an appropriate candle holder, light the candle
molds are simple to use, make beautiful candles,
and last a very long time. Many candle makers prefer
them due to the fact they do not require heating
and they make a unique candle that is entirely different
than the common jar candle. Often the candles made
with polyurethane molds are added to themed baskets
as the perfect complement to soaps and lotions or
sold with an inexpensive iron candle holder as a
When ordering prewick
assemblies, you will notice they have
2 numbers that tell you the size of the tab.
The first number is the diameter of the tab.
The standard 20mm is the size of a nickel
and is suitable for most applications. The
15mm tab is the size of a dime and fits right
into the circular impression at the bottom
of a tea light cup. The second number is
the length of the neck in millimeters and
tells the candle when it is time to extinguish
itself. The standard is 3 mm, but you can
have your candle extinguish earlier in the
event you do not want the jar to get quite
so hot, or if you have embeds in the candles.
We recommend always using the 9mm neck for
making gel candles.
in most jars or unsure what is needed
6 or 20 x 9
preferred by customers using Gel or embeds
or jars that have small bottoms (champagne
3 or 32 x 3
centers itself in the bottom of a M-63