Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Read the disclosure for more info. This post was originally published August 27, 2020 and has been updated February 16, 2021.
Are you passionate about candles and making money?
Starting a scented candle business from the comfort of your home can be a great way to supplement your income with the chance of turning your side gig into a full-time job.
And it’s much easier than you might think. You can get started for less than $100 and a couple of hours of time.
In this post, I’ll teach you the most common types of candles, how to make candles to sell, how you can start a candle business from home, tips to selling candles online, and much more. Keep reading to learn how to start your candle business today!
Best Types of Candles to Sell
While there are many different types of candles you can make, there are two main competitors in today's market: soy and paraffin wax. Below, I’ll give some brief information about each and help you decide which is better for your business. I'll also explore several other types of candles you can make to sell.
Soy candles have become more and more popular as of recent and for good reason.
Some of the benefits of soy candles include:
- They are longer lasting
- They produce significantly less soot
- They are derived from natural sources (soybeans)
But soy candles also have a few drawbacks including:
- They are more expensive to produce
- They have less scent
Soy candles are a great option if your goal is to attract an environmentally friendly or natural audience. These candles also a good option for luxury candle makers as they are higher quality.
Paraffin candles are still popular because of their affordability and strong scent.
Some of the benefits of paraffin candles include:
- They are inexpensive to produce
- They can give off strong scents
However, the drawbacks of paraffin candles include:
- They are not natural and produce more soot
- They have significantly less burning times
Paraffin candles are a great option for those producing affordable candles or heavily scented candles because of their low cost and high fragrance.
Some popular paraffin candle companies include Yankee Candle and Bath and Body Works.
Decorative candles can be a great option to sell from home because there is a large market for them. Decorative candles can be composed of various types of waxes for whatever suits your audience. Decorative candles have a stronger focus on the exterior of the candle rather than the scents. These candles might have a more unique container.
If you're looking to make a candle with holistic healing benefits, aromatherapy candles make for a perfect candidate. These candles will contain certain essential oils to provide the healing affects people seek.
There are many types of aromatherapy candles. Between lavender, eucalyptus, and camomile, there are plenty of options to get started.
Similar to decorative candles, scented aromatherapy candles can be made of many different kinds of wax.
Related: Best Crafts to Make and Sell
But the type of candles you can make go beyond that. Now there are more options including several blends of various waxes.
You can opt for a paraffin and soy blended wax, beeswax, and much more.
Choosing the right wax will depend on your target market and how you plan on selling your candles. We’ll get to more on that below!
How to Make Candles to Sell in 2021
While many might leave candle making up to the “experts”, it’s actually quite simple.
The materials you’ll need to get started making candles will typically cost less than $100 making it an awesome opportunity for those with a little extra cash. You can opt to purchase your candle supplies together in a simple kit or separately for more control and customization. Check out my list of candle making supplies here!
What Materials You’ll Need
- Candles Containers or Jars
- Wick Stickers
- Melting pot
- Oil Fragrance
- Caution Labels
1. Measure Your Wax
You’ll need to measure your wax to fit the container you plan to put it in. Keep in mind that you’ll also be adding fragrance oil, so you’ll want to reduce the amount of wax by a few ounces to fit the container.
For example, if creating candles with a 16-ounce container, you’ll likely need around 13-14 ounces of wax with an additional 1-2 ounces of fragrance. This will ensure your candle does not overflow the container.
2. Melt Wax
Depending on the type of wax you have chosen, you’ll need to melt it in a double boiler. Do not place the wax directly on an open flame.
For paraffin waxes, you’ll want to heat it to around 185° F before adding fragrance.
For soy waxes, this temperature varies slightly. When purchasing wax, you should have instructions on what temperature is right for melting.
3. Add Fragrance
Once your wax has reached its melting point, you’ll want to add the fragrance oil and stir until completely dissolved.
4. Add Dye (Optional)
If you plan to add color to your candles, this is the time. Depending on the type of dye you purchased, you’ll need to mix it in appropriately until completely dissolved.
5. Attach Wick
Before pouring your wax into the container, you need to ensure the wick is secured to it. This can be completed beforehand to save time if needed.
6. Let Wax Cool
Before pouring your wax into the container, you need to let it cool to ensure a proper pour.
Typically it should be around 135° F when pouring.
7. Pour Wax
Next, pour the wax into the container. There is no specific method of doing so, but try to pour in the center of the container.
8. Secure Wick
Once the wax is poured, ensure the wick is located upright. There are several tools available to help you with this.
9. Let Cool
Once your wick is secured in the correct position, you’ll need to let your candle cool. It can take anywhere from a few hours to overnight depending on the size and container you used.
10. Trim Wick
Now that your candle has cooled, trim the wick(s) so that only .25 inches are above the wax. You can find my favorite wick trimmer here!
11. Light your Candle
That’s it! You’re good to go ahead and light your candle to fill your room with your favorite scent.
Need some help? Check out the video below to better understand how to make candles.
How to Start a Candle Making Business
Now that you understand how to make your candles, you’ll have to do some work to monetize your efforts.
But starting a candle business is easier than you might think. Below will guide you through the process of starting and growing a successful candle business.
Define Your Target Audience
There are many different types of candles. And each has their own target market. Before getting started with your candle business, you’ll need to define who your target audience is.
Some common examples include:
- Eco-friendly candles
- Luxury candles
- Strong scented candles
- Affordable candles
You’ll probably notice that the way you market these types of candles varies. For example, you won’t market an eco-friendly candle line the same way as a luxury candle line.
Decide Your Candle Company Name
Coming up with a name for your business can be one of the most challenging pieces for aspiring entrepreneurs but it is also extremely critical.
There are no guidelines to determine a name for your candle business. It can be quite literally anything.
With that said, many candle companies will have the word “candle” in their name. For example, Yankee Candle, Pretty Honest Candles, and Harlem Candle Company all use the word “candle” in their name.
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Source Materials and Candle Making Equipment
Now that you’ve determined your target audience, you’ll need to find a supplier for your materials. There are many different candle material supplies, so it’s best to do some research to find one that suits your needs.
When sourcing materials you should inquire about their offerings to get a better understanding of how you might expand your operations down the road.
Determine Price Points
You’ll need to decide on a price point for your candles before you start promoting and producing them.
If you’re targeting an audience that is in the market for a luxury candle, it’s common to charge $40 or much more for each candle.
If you’re targeting an eco-friendly audience, they might be willing to pay a standard rate of anywhere from $15 to $25 if you convey the environmental benefits of your product.
For those targeting people looking to get the cheapest candles possible, you’ll want to set your price point below $15 per candle.
Examine Distribution Channels
After setting prices for your candles, you’ll need to determine where and how you will sell them.
Keep in mind your audience when examining different distribution channels.
For example, people looking for luxury candles might want to shop online or a high-end retailer. Whereas those looking for an affordable candle might want to shop at a supercenter or e-commerce sites like Amazon.
Some of the most common distribution channels for your candle business are:
- A Company Website
- E-commerce Websites (Amazon, Etsy, eBay)
- Flea Market & Farmers Markets
- Retail Stores
Purchase Domain Name and Website
For many candle businesses, you'll want to purchase a domain name for your business enabling you to create a website to sell your candles in the future. (More on this below!)
You can purchase your domain name through NameCheap for less than $9 per year.
Define Your Operations
Once you’ve determined where you will sell your candles, you’ll need to have a plan on how your business will operate.
Will you be the one fulfilling orders? How will you ship your candles? Is there a specific way you plan to make your candles?
All of these questions need to be sorted out before you start your business.
Form Your Business Legally
You’ll need to register your business with the state and country you plan to operate in.
This process is outlined in this article from the SBA.
At this point, you’ll need to have a name for your candle business and some of the vital components to continue such as the structure of your business, location of the business, and tax information.
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Make Candles Satisfying Your Target Audience
Now that you’ve defined your target audience, it’s time to start producing your initial product line.
You can get started by selecting a handful of scents before expanding your product line later.
When making your candles, always keep your target audience in mind.
What scents would they like? What waxes should you use? How much fragrance should be added? What should your candles look like?
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Marketing Your Candle Business
There are thousands of candle makers around the world.
What makes your candles stand out?
You’ll need to identify opportunities to set yourself apart from the competition to acquire new customers.
You’ll also need to consider the mediums in which you will advertise and promote your candle business.
There are many different channels available, but you’ll need to match your target audience with the correct channel.
For example, those producing luxury candles might advertise in high-end magazines or websites. Those producing more affordable candles might choose to advertise in more mass-market channels like television and radio.
But don’t let this scare you. You’ll want to test several channels to see which one suits your audience.
Below are some of the best marketing channels to get started:
- Social media marketing
- Pay per click advertising
- Flyers or direct mail advertising
If your business is growing, you might want to examine the costs of larger channels like television or radio.
Mastering the Art of Candle Making
As you’ve probably found, making candles is quite easy. But there’s a leap from becoming a traditional candle maker to a master. To master the craft, you’ll need to better understand:
- What scent pairings work well together and how to craft unique scents
- How to properly wick a candle for less soot while maximizing the wax pool
- How to color your candles to match scents and colors
Tips to Making Money Selling Candles from Home
Candle making has been around for years and there is no lack of competition in the market. Some might even consider it to be overcrowded. Below are some tips to help your business thrive.
Connect with your Customer
The one thing successful companies do is understanding their customers from the inside out.
What do they want, exactly?
You should make your candles exactly to their wants. You want to form long term relationships with your customers to keep them coming back years down the road.
Maintain Consistent Quality
If you’re a smaller producer, getting your quality consistent can be more difficult due to your processes. Making candles in smaller batches can make it easier to have mistakes.
To combat this, put together a list of procedures to ensure you can produce the same candle over and over.
Produce the Best Candles Possible
Because there is so much competition, you need to set your business apart. This means not skimping on areas in order to lower your costs.
First impressions matter. Creating a high-quality candle is essential to maintaining relationships with your customers.
Become a Better Salesperson
As with any business, sales is vital to its success. To grow your business, you’ll need to become a better salesperson.
Talking with people and connecting with businesses will help ensure that your business can grow.
Promotion, Promotion, Promotion
Marketing will be essential when first starting your candle business. With no eyes, comes no sales. Getting your candles in front of new potential customers is required to grow your business.
You’ll want to analyze various marketing channels and identify which ones outperform others.
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People love local businesses and will do more to support them when compared to corporate operations.
Be sure to make note that your business is locally owned and operated to bolster your sales and connect with your community.
How to Sell Candles Online
For most candlemakers, selling their products online is the most viable and sustainable option.
Instead of working with brick and motor retail stores, you can instantly gain access to millions of potential customers online.
There are several avenues to selling candles online each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Here are some of my favorites.
Create a Company Website (Step by Step)
My favorite way of selling candles online is through a company website. These can be easier than you think to get started.
- You can purchase a domain name through Namecheap to get started for less than $10 per year.
- Then you can use SiteGround to host your websites files. SiteGround even has an easy method to use WordPress to build your website. This will cost less than $100 per year.
- You can then download or purchase a WordPress theme so eliminate as much design work as you can. These templates can often be purchased for less than $100.
- Depending on the theme you're using, you might need to purchase the Woocommerce WordPress plugin. This allows you to have a “store” on your website. You'll need to include some basic business information to get started. For example, your business address and banking information.
- List products in WordPress for sale. You'll need to include a title, description, images, and prices for each item.
- Fulfill orders as they come in.
Partner with Ecommerce Sites
The second best option to sell candles online is to sell your candles through ecommerce websites like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.
This is the simplest way to sell your candles, however you'll also pay fees for each sale you make, cutting into your profits.
If you're looking for the fastest way to get up and running selling candles, selling on Etsy is your best bet.
Sell Through Other Retailers Websites
The last option to sell candles online is through other retailers websites. This will take the most work to get started and is likely to have lower margins than other avenues.
There can be one major benefit, however. Depending on the retailer, you have the potential to sell many more candles this way. If the retailer you partner with has a massive following, you might sell hundreds of candles each day or more.
How Much Does it Cost to Make Candles to Sell?
Despite what you may think, making candles can be extremely affordable. If you haven't checked out my list of candle making supplies, you can find it here. Most of the items will cost less than $30 to get started.
If you're looking to turn your hobby into a business, you can plan to invest a couple of hundred dollars to get started. This is a small investment when analyzing your potential return.
Why is Selling Candles from Home a Good Idea?
Selling candles from home has a few benefits. Outside of your ability to make money and turn your hobby into a full-time business, making homemade candles can be an excellent creative outlet.
Another awesome reason to make homemade candles is that anyone can do it! It doesn't require a massive investment of money or knowledge to get started.
Selling candles from home is all about trial and error for beginners. When you first get started, you'll learn what's working and where you need to improve. Over time, you'll become a better and more efficient candle maker.
How Much Money Can I Make Selling Candles from Home?
Selling candles comes with an almost unlimited income potential and a great way to flip your money. Because candles are extremely common, the market is vast. By selling candles online, you can tap into this large market to maximize your sales.
Depending on your profit margin, it can be easy to make a few hundred dollars per month. Let's do some math to better understand your earning potential.
It's common for a complete candle to cost anywhere from $2 to around $5. This, of course, will depend on numerous factors. For beginners, this is a good baseline to start with. As you begin purchasing materials in bulk, these costs can be reduced drastically.
If you sell your candles for $20 each, that's a profit of $15 per candle (assuming a $5 cost).
Final Thoughts on How to Make Candles at Home to Sell
Making and selling candles from home is a great way to diversify your income while satisfying your creative desires.
To get started, you’ll want to understand the process of how to make scented candles and make a few test candles to get an idea of what fragrances, waxes, and colors you prefer.
Once you’ve nailed the craft of candle making, it’s time to turn your side hustle into a business. You’ll need to decide on a name for your candle company and on how you will market your products. Then you can register your business with local government offices.
Now that you have all the details of your business worked out, it’s time to start selling! List your items for sale via the channels you’ve selected and start pleasing customers with your scents.
Have you ever tried making candles at home? Comment your experience below!