The Twelve Tips of Candle Making
Yet another year comes to a rapid close. For the Candlewic Company it represents our 41st year in business, and we could not have gotten here without
the support of all our customers. Yes, it is 41 years, and we always like to say as much as things have changed the basic premise of making candles has
not changed all that much. You still melt wax, add fragrance, and place the wick in the candle. (candle makers do wish it was quite that easy). Consumers
generally burn candles the same and, in reality, burn candles even more often than in the past.
But despite these factors it is extremely important that your business continually change to meet today's business climate. We have written on this
subject quite often and these changes can be little things like adding new fragrances, choosing new glassware, or even new labels. It could be a larger
scale change like possibly developing a new line of soy candles, pillars, or a new addition to your line. It could even be bigger than that if you are a
retailer now thinking of going into a wholesale side or just launching your first website.
In business today, it is important that you continually adapt to the new business models that are developing and that applies to Candlewic as well.
It has been an exciting year for us at Candlewic. We have expanded our line of soy waxes to include most of the Eco-Soya brands. We have continually
offered more of the Libbey Glassware line and will be expanding more in 2012. Our fragrance selection will continue to reflect the current trends in the
home fragrance market.
Chandler is always available to answer your specific questions on candle making and we launched a whole new series of videos on many of our products.
We can't thank our customers enough for all of the support over the years.
The one newsletter we always seem to get the most comments on is our holiday issue. So we have made a tradition of repeating it each year for our new readers.
We apologize for those that have seen it before but may be worth reading as a refresher on some of the topics.
12. Drummers Drumming (Can’t resist this one)
As the number of shopping days dwindles, it's imperative to finish strong. Be sure to "drum" up as much business as possible before the holiday. Offer incentives to help reduce inventory.
11. Pipers Piping
Most companies fiscal year will be ending shortly. Be sure to get your tax information together so when it comes time to pay the piper (had to reach on this one) you will be prepared.
10. Evaluating Your Inventory
Evaluating your inventory is a very important year end exercise for any size business. Reducing inventory can be very important because it can generate cash flow for the new year and not be taking up valuable space in your warehouse. You didn’t make any money on candles sitting in your warehouse or shelf. Holiday candles are difficult to sell after January 1st unless deeply discounted. Excessive inventory takes up space and hinders your ability to purchase new products.
9. Donate to Charity
If it appears certain candles will not sell, consider donating them to an appropriate charity. This will go to a good cause and can help with your tax deductions. If they have no value, be sure to get them off your books so you do not have a tax liability on items that have no "market" value. Check with your accountant for all true tax questions.
When it appears selling at full value will not happen, offer deep discounts because generating the sale in most instances is better than having the inventory for another 9-10 months.
7. Donate to Your Community
Think about giving away the candles directly to the community. Take 20-30 candles with a nice bow to your church, spouses work or neighborhood holiday party. Give them to individuals that may not necessarily know that you make candles. They would be very appreciative of this gesture and may be more inclined to purchase your candles in the future.
6. Geese a Laying
While the information is fresh, look over your holiday sales and determine which items were big sellers (Golden Rings) and which are ugly ducklings (in this instances non-sellers). This will help determine which products you will want to drop from your product line.
5. Golden Rings
While you are looking over sales data, don’t just look at sales but also gross profit (see the May 2007 issue on pricing). You may have several items that the profit is better than others. Examine ways to sell more of the higher margin products in 2011.
4. Calling Birds
Reach out to all of your customers and let them know some of your plans for the upcoming year. It might be new fragrances, new containers or even types of candle. Most people start the New Year with a lot of optimism, and if you can put ideas and concepts in their process early enough, you will have an advantage over your competition.
3. Change Candle Names
If a candle is a holiday specific fragrance rename so you can extend the selling season until the end of winter. A Christmas Cheer might turn to Winter Delight.
2. Be More Efficient
Since there may be some slow days, look at your operation and see if there is any way to make it more efficient. Any new equipment you might need. Year end is always great for budgeting and planning so you can kick the New Year off right. While the inclination is to wind down the year we have always been an advocate of taking this slow time to examine the entire business.
1. True Love
Most consumers love candles. Be sure to use this in your marketing plan for 2011. Candles can serve many functions; room freshner, accessory and even function as lighting. Be sure to incorporate all of these as you plan for new products in 2010. Most important be sure your passion and love for the business still burns.
On behalf of the Candlewic Company we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to working with you in 2012.
We have done a great
deal in other areas to keep in touch with our customers. Be sure to check us out on Facebook,
Twitter and Ebay.
I personally wanted to thank everyone for trusting me enough to send me all of your inquiries. I truly enjoy reading each and every
email in that it shows how many people share the same passion as I do for the "art and business of candle making".
I do like to point out that when I may be off duty we do have several other resources that may be of assistance:
When I pour my soy wax I get a crusting on top of my candle or it looks like my color bleeds why is this happening?
Soy has many positive attributes but one thing that it is not quite as effective at is holding fragrance. In most instances when this occurs you
have put more fragrance in the wax then it can hold. The bleeding is actually the fragrance oil bleeding which pulls the color with it.
There are several things you can do to try and correct this:
- Pouring at a lower temperature can capture the fragrance in the wax before it has time to bleed out.
- Use an additive to help hold the fragrance in the wax Palm Stearic (all natural) at 10-20% depending on how much fragrance you want to add.
- The least popular is try reducing the fragrance load.
A similar related question is can I add paraffin wax to my soy?
The answer on this is definetely yes at any chosen percentage and will depend on how you want to market the candle. Many companies are using
something like a 51% Soy and 49% but any percentage will work.