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How to Start a Scented Candle Business From Home
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.
In this post, I’ll teach you how you can make your own scented candles at home, ways you could sell them to make money, and tips to growing your candle business! 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.
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.
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 Scented Candles at Home
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.
What Materials You’ll Need
- Candles Containers or Jars
- Wick Stickers
- Melting pot
- Oil Fragrance
- Dye (Optional)
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.
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.
Determine Initial Product Line
After defining your target audience, you’ll want to determine your product line. This includes everything from the looks and feel of your candles to the packaging they might come in.
Your initial product line might only contain 10 scents. There is no need to produce excessive scents when starting your business. You may want to take into account the season in which you plan on launching your candle business.
For example, if you plan to launch in the fall, you’ll probably want to have some scents including apples, cinnamon, pumpkin, and other fall scents.
Below is a list of common scents for every season.
Spring and Summer Scents:
Packaging and Labels
To create labels for your candle containers, you can partner with a local graphic designer to have them designed. You can also opt to partner with a local marketing and design agency to have your labels professionally designed.
If you’re looking to lower your costs, you can find label templates online and design your own labels.
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
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.
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?
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.
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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.
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.
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!