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June 01, 2008

Fall Candle Season Starts Now


Fall Candle Season Starts Now

For many the end of school will soon be upon us, if not already. Others are packing bags to leave for a vacation or putting the final preparations together. With all of these exciting happenings, the winter holidays are probably the furthest thing from most everyone’s mind.

However, if you are in the candle market the winter holidays are always the golden time of year. According to the National Candle Association, 35 percent of the candles sold occur during the Christmas/Holiday Season. With that kind of emphasis you definetely want to do everything to ensure you are as prepared as possible. You don’t miss any opportunities.

Fall Marketing Plans

The next couple of months are a little slow in the candle market, but it’s a great time to plan and strategize how to maximum this season. It can also be a great time to jump on growing your business on Holidays other than the big winter ones. Halloween is rapidly growing as a decorating holiday and candles can be a very natural expansion of the event. Thanksgiving also represents a great time for making candles which can be marketed as a “thank you” for hosting the dinner.

BeeswaxWhile you don’t have to rush out and pour candles this week, the upcoming weeks/months are an excellent time to begin planning for the Fall/Winter season. Right now most magazines have already prepared their stories and are currently selling advertising space for the Holiday Season. If you plan on running a print ad now is that time to submit copy and identify what products you will feature.

If you plan on having a special holiday section on your website be sure to begin planning now. Those that have worked on websites will tell you it always takes longer then you think, between getting pictures, testing the functionality and even getting exposure all take time and should be well into the works by the end of the summer.

Use your slower time of the year to make sales calls. For some retailers the summer can be a slow time and they may be more willing to talk with you. They may not be ready to commit during this time, but taking the time now may pay off when they begin their fall season. Be sure to leave samples and follow-up before summer is over.

With the continued changes in raw materials it might be a good time to revisit your pricing structure. Be sure to check out our past issues on this subject. As these articles identified, be sure to look at all costs, many carriers and suppliers have now added fuel surcharges, steel surcharges and other similar increases. Many suppliers run specials during the summer months and it might be a good time to stock up on some extra materials you know you will need, but don’t go overboard and clutter your work space. This may help defer some of the cost on any future price increases.


Review Production Tasks

The upcoming weeks should be a time that you review your production as well. By putting all of this information on a spread sheet with strategic dates, you will be surprised how early this process should start. On the production side you need to review the following key processes:

  • Date your customer needs the product. If possible, this should include estimated quantities because this will impact production time. You will also have to account for any type of re-order program.

  • The transit time between you and your customers.If you are shipping closer to the Holiday you may want to allow more time, as the number of packages increase, delays can develop.

  • Production time. This is where estimated quantities and forecasting are most important. If you can make 200 candles a day and your customers want 4,000 that would be 20 full working days. Be sure to check with your staff regarding their vacation plans. Going to a second shift or working weekends can help meet these deadlines but will add cost to the process in other ways.

  • Supplier time lines. Be sure to check lead times with ALL of your suppliers. It will not help if your wax supplier can ship in two days if one of your fragrances will take to take two to three weeks. And be sure to account for the transit time between you and your supplier.

  • Product line. If you are learning to make new types of candles, now is the time to start testing and developing. If you traditionally make containers and want to add pillars or votives then you must begin selecting the proper wax and wick. If you are thinking about trying a different wax, Soy, one-pour or mottling, now is the time to start that process. Start identifying fragrances so you can see how they perform in your wax formulation. Show them to friends and neighbors and get their thoughts.

It is amazing that, even though many of us are in the middle of huge heat wave right now, it will be just a few short months before all of our attention turns back to the Fall/Holiday Season. Use the upcoming weeks wisely, and it can help this time go much smoother and efficiently.

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What's all the Buzzzz?

On behalf of the Candlewic Company we truly wish to thank everyone for their comments on the last Newsletter. I have to say we probably received more comments on May’s issue than ever before. We always enjoy reading these because it helps determine what many of the candle producers are feeling. We thank you and are glad that you are reading our newsletter.

One question that I get asked quite often, ever since one-pours were introduced, is “Why would I want a wax that needs to be topped off?”

Pillar Wax Kit Many candle makers use low shrink or one-pours, but there are other options available. All paraffin waxes shrink, so one-pours have additives such as petrolatum and Soy to help reduce the shrinkage. These make very nice candles, but creating different looks is not possible with these waxes. You can’t make mottled candles, achieve vibrant colors and in some instances you do not get the scent throw you may get with a paraffin-based wax. While the low shrinkage waxes are good to use, be sure you at least look at some of the other paraffin based products.



June 2008

Beyond Ordinary


A candle floating in the punch bowl, sink or small pool can make for a unique lighting effect in any area. Making a floater in the shape of a rose can make it extraordinary. The rose is also the "official flower" for June.

This candle can be made easily using the M-22 Rose floater. You start by sliding unwaxed wick material through the bottom of the mold. You will need a long, pointed object to force the wick through the hole. Once the wick is passed through the bottom of the mold, secure it on top of the mold with a wick bar. If you don’t have a wick bar, a popsicle stick will work.

Helpful Hint

Leave extra lengths of wick at the bottom of the mold so when you remove your candle from the mold, it will be automatically wicked for your next pour.

You then secure the mold together with rubber bands. Take your paraffin wax CBL-141, which can be scented and/or colored and pour at around 180 to 185 °F. Top off the candle. When the candle has properly solidified, remove it from the mold. This floating candle will add a very nice accent to any party.

Extra Touch

Pour a number of these roses in red. After about four or five pours, pour one in white. The dye, which can accumulate on the mold, will bleed into the white wax and create a lovely pink color. Other flowers available in polyurethane molds for floaters include Daisy and Poinsettia.


Quick Facts

Votive PinVotive Pins can be used with a variety of molds besides the standard M-63 votive cup. You can use them with all the other votive cups we offer. If you use them with tea light cups, you can pop the cooled wax out of the tea light cup, flip it over and have a nice smooth top. You can do the same with octagon votives and square votives as well.

The pin’s circular part makes a very unique impression that serves as the candle’s top when you pull the wax and pin from these other molds.

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