In any retail business, your inventory is what makes you profit. So when you’re considering starting your own candle making business, what do you need to build up that inventory? What can you use to help jump start your new business?
The candle making business supplies you need to get started are:
- Containers and Molds
- Fragrances and Dyes
- Candle Making Equipment
There are many choices when it comes to creating your own line of candles, so read on to find out more about what types of wax you can use and in what types of containers. You will also find out more about what needs to go on your labels—both aesthetically and legally.
The most important supply in the creation of your candles is your wax. There are several types to choose from, and each one is different and can change the fragrance or look of your candle.
Beeswax is one of the most popular, but also one of the most expensive. It is the oldest type of candlewax used and comes in several forms, including slabs or pre-rolled sheets. It will come with a very light natural scent, so note that if you choose to use beeswax. Furthermore, it also helps to create a firmer candle, so it is easily mixed with other types of wax. The natural creation of this wax means it also cleans the air when you burn it.
Gel wax, on the other hand, is transparent and not natural. Not technically wax, it is a mixture of mineral oil and resin, which gives it a transparent quality. If you’re looking to make decorative candles, gel wax is your best bet, but should only be used for containers and votives. Firmer gel does exist if you wish to use it to make pillar candles.
Palm wax is made from natural palm oil and is very firm in its construction. It is great as a mixture with another softer wax. When hardened this wax can create a feathering effect, so know that before you use it.
Paraffin wax is one of the most popular and still most used candle waxes, but it is not a natural wax. Because it is a by-product of the crude oil refinement process, some more environmentally conscious consumers might shy away from it, so note that before deciding to use paraffin wax in your creations. It can be extremely hot and create a glossy finish.
Soy Wax is similar to the other natural waxes but is more affordable than something like beeswax. Made from soybean oil, you can use this wax as a natural substitute to paraffin. Note that due to its creation, you may have to add more colorant to your candles to get the color you want.
Which type is best? It comes down to what kind of candles you are making and whether you want an environmentally conscious brand. Pillar candles are best without an exterior container, which means you need a firmer wax. Container candles—what you will see in most online and on store shelves—rely on that container to keep their form, so you can use any wax type you want. Votives or tealights also fall into that category. Because they are small; and therefore, do not need too much wax to even be affected by the advantages or disadvantages of different types. Taper candles, much like your pillar candle, will also need a stronger wax.
Your wick is the next most important part of your candle. Since it will not burn without this wick. Be sure to pick something that works best with your candle wax type. They should be both the right kind and the right size, work well with fragrance; and work well with your dye type. After choosing your wax type, consider looking into your wicks to see which works best.
Wood wicks work best with more natural waxes, while zinc core—the most common wick type—works best in any sort of candle. Paper core wicks burn hot and should only be used in large container candles. Find a wick that burns consistently and promotes an even melting pool in your candle. The longer the burn time, the better, and your wicks should not produce soot or smoke.
Regardless of what type of wick you use, make sure you use wick metal bases in your candles. For container candles, they will keep your wick in place as the candle dries and is burned. Be sure to use either glue dots or some sort of candle safe adhesive to place it on the bottom of your candle’s container before pouring your wax.
Containers and Molds
One thing to remember is the standards for containers set up by ASTM International. All glass candle containers must be checked for their strength and durability, and there are certain standards in place for both transparent and non-transparent soda-lime-silicate glass. Make sure the containers you use follow all these standards before you start selling your candles.
If you are making standalone candles, you are going to need your own molds as well. Make sure you pick a mold that is seamless for the best look.
Fragrances and Dyes
When it comes to fragrances, you have several options. You can either go with your standard candle fragrances or use essential oils for a more natural candle. For many candles, the rule of thumb is one ounce of oil to a pound of candle wax, but most waxes will give you a recommended maximum for fragrance oil.
Whatever type of fragrance you use, this is your time to shine—try to get creative with your scents, but also provide some standard options. The more choices you have, the more likely your customers will become repeat customers.
When it comes to dyes, you can look for either dye blocks or liquid dye. Note that dyes aren’t required to make your candles, but they do add more interest to them—if you’re looking to cut costs at the start of your candle making journey, it would be with your dyes.
Your labelling system doesn’t have to be high tech, but it is necessary. You can create your labels online and print them out on special label paper before placing them on your candles. Make sure you are following the ASTM International standards with your labels and marking them with the proper information, like fire safety warnings with the word “WARNING” in large block capital letters. You should also list on your labels’ information about your business, candle ingredients, the weight, the type of wax, the candle scent, and your contact information.
Candle Making Equipment
While it comes down to personal preference for most things, there are some pieces of equipment that you will need to create your candles. While not necessary, a scale may come in handy as you measure out your ingredients. You will also need some sort of heat source and way to melt your wax. A thermometer can also help to keep you safe—consider something small like a candy thermometer.
Having a container in which to pour your heated wax where you can add fragrance and dye is also advisable—you can keep those fragrances and dyes free of your double boiler, so your batches are not cross contaminated by certain smells or colors.
You should also make sure to have a wood or silicone spoon to stir your wax for the best results. A pair of scissors will be needed to cut wicks, and make sure to protect your workspace with something like newspaper. Clothespins are great tools to hold the wicks in place as your wax naturally cools.
As you start your candle making business, your inventory is your most important asset. Make sure you have the best supplies and are working from the best suppliers so you can make the best product—not just for you, but for your customers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to market a candle?
There are so many ways to get the word out about your candle brand, but social media tends to be both the outlet with the most reach and can be very inexpensive, if not free. Choose one or two social media websites to post on, make sure you have a consistent post schedule, and stick to your branding as you create content and hype about your candles. Also make sure you are reaching out to your target demographic with the right social media website.
Do I have to have a physical store to sell my handmade candles?
No, a storefront is not required for you to sell your handmade candles. If you are creating your product in your home, you should have your own website or a seller website through a third party like Ebay or Etsy. As long as you have a way to sell your candles online, you do not need a storefront to do so.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
Please note that the contents of this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Any action taken based on the information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Additionally, all images used in this blog are generated under the CC0 license of Creative Commons, which means they are free to use for any purpose without attribution.
Meet Shawn Chun: Entrepreneur and Candle Business Fan.
I’m a happy individual who happens to be an entrepreneur. I have owned several types of businesses in my life from a coffee shop to an import and export business to an online review business plus a few more and now I create online candle business resources for those interested in starting new ventures. It’s demanding work but I love it. I do it for those passionate about their business and their goals. That’s why when I meet a candle business owner at a craft fair, farmers market, retail location or anywhere else I see myself. I know how hard the struggle is to obtain and retain clients, finding good employees all while trying to stay competitive. That’s why I created Candle Business Boss: I want to help candle business owners like you build a thriving business that brings you endless joy and supports your ideal lifestyle.