It seems that every year the Holiday Season approaches before we know it and the launch of new
products you anticipated is just not quite ready for this year's season.
The good news is there are lots of little extras that you can add to your
line pretty quickly and, in many instances, using current products or excess
inventory. Nothing can help a business more then being able to convert "dead
a sellable item.
One of the big holiday traditions for downtowns and neighbor hoods is to line the streets with
Luminaries. (See the Project to the right on helpful hints on making this
even more successful).
One of the great things about the candles used in
this application is they do not necessarily have to be white or a specific
color. They can almost be any color because they are placed in the bag. What
better way to use wax that may be colored but does not meet your color specifications
or a custom order canceled at the last minute.
Some other helpful hints would be contact the coordinator of the event and ask (in exchange
for a discounted price) can you apply a label on the bag advertising your
company. Be sure to check with various downtown districts and Neighborhood
Civic Associations to promote this idea. Many downtown events are in early
December and will provide for some last minute advertising.
Add Holiday Ornaments
No doubt candles are a big part of the holiday season, another big item for the Holiday Season
is ornaments and wall hangings. Some candle molds and soap molds make for
excellent ornaments using a beeswax or even a natural wax like the CSP.
make an ornament with any wax take any un-waxed wick (again using excess
inventory can be employed) and make a "loop" and
drop it in the mold and pour the wax into the mold. When the wax hardens
the wick will be embedded in the wax and can be hung from a tree or even
near windows so the warmth of the sun may help throw either the beeswax
or, if using another wax, add some holiday fragrance. A note of caution:
when using paraffin you should use at least a 141 F melt point wax. One of the
better molds to use for this application would be the M-172
Variety Tray Mold.
Add Soap on a Rope
You can apply the same process using the melt and pour soap base if you wanted to make soap
on a rope. For best results, a thin rope should be used for this
application. Any of the soap
3d molds would make for a great soap on a rope
on the subject of soap making, some unique bars of melt and pour soap matching
your candle line can always bring in new customers expand your product line.
Another great addition to any line would be tarts. Tarts can easily be made using the M-112
mold and do not require any type of wick. This size is perfect for letting customers test
your fragrance without purchasing a candle which many people may initially
be reluctant without knowing how the product can perform.
The tarts can be
placed in a potpourri burner and a great way to "throw" fragrance without
actually lighting a candle. What is nice with tarts is they don’t use a lot of wax so when
you pour your jars and have extra wax left over you can merely pour the wax
into the mold. The tarts are actually a great sampler to take with you to
retailers to show all of your scents and not carry around a large case of
containers and/or pillars. To get even more unique try out the floater
molds to make
tarts, no wick is needed for these.
Add Fire Starters
If you do a great deal of outdoor shows and craft shows, fire starters are always a nice little
impulse purchase to offer. They can be made easily by taking some sawdust,
placing it in a paper/cardboard cup (large ketchup holders work very well),
and pouring wax into the cup. Use any wick. In fact many times larger
wicks work best. The user can then place this in the fireplace under their
paper and wood. Again what makes this a great is that you can use
excess wax for the application.
of the easiest way to improve the candle line all of the time is to add new
fragrances. We have also written in the past that you can even do that with your existing fragrances.
If you have a very good Pine Needle fragrance rename it "Warm
Holiday Memories". If you have a basic Apple Pie candle maybe add some Sugar
cookie and call it "Fresh Baked
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Consumers are always
looking for something new so it is always beneficial to update your line.
Add Gift Baskets
Another way to add value to your product is to prepare custom gift baskets. Take several candles
and add a tea, hand poured soap, bath salts and other items to the gift basket.
Many of these extra items can easily be found on Ebay, Amazon and other consumer
sites. Or, if the volume is large enough, you can purchase many of these
at wholesale outlets.
Add Emergency Candles
One other candle that can be added easily to most candle lines is an emergency candle. One of
the best emergency candle can be a tin. In the tin you can use almost any
of your excess wax because you are selling the functionality of
the product and not the scent/color.
Add Fancy Wicks
One final suggestion to add a nice touch to your pillar candle line is to make a pillar with
extra wick at the top of the candle (bottom of the mold in most applications)
and when you take the candle out tie some decorative beads onto the wick.
All of the above are nice easy add onto any lines and drive additional sales over and beyond
your standard candle buyers. If you do these be sure to market them as an “impulse” item
and since in many instances the raw materials may be extras or using old stock
price them to sell.
How can I keep my
One of the recurring questions we get throughout the month in various forms
is with all of the price increases on raw materials how can I keep my
cost down. During these times it can be difficult to control the major
materials like wax but it might be a good time to look at some of the
other things involved in the purchasing process.
This month's question is in response to the overwhelming request on how to efficiently procure supplies at the best price.
Whether you realize it or not, procurement costs money. Every time you are ordering supplies, you are using valuable time that could be spent making and selling candles. The more often you order, the higher your yearly cost of goods will be. When approaching your business by following the 6 P's, you will save yourself plenty of money. The 6P's are "Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance."
There are many tricks to applying the 6 P's. By increasing your average order
size and decreasing the amount of times you order, you save money on
many levels. Shipping becomes cheaper for consolidated orders. When you look back at what supplies
you have ordered the previous year, you can learn to consolidate your orders. It is cheaper to
ship the same yearly amount of supplies in 10 shipments than shipping the same supplies over
20 shipments. This also allows you to take advantage of bulk discounts and helps ensure you have
enough supplies on hand to fulfill any possible order that comes through your door.
How do you pay for the new strategy of larger shipments but fewer orders? Take a good look at when your credit card statement is due and learn to order the day after. This gives you the full 30 days to make and sell your candles before the bill is due. This is a form of floating your money with no penalty. I also strongly recommend a credit card that earns you airline miles so all your purchases build points for free plane tickets toward a well-deserved vacation.