Now that you’ve made some homemade candles and perfected your scented candle technique, you might want to take your art to a new level. But is selling scented candles a good business? What are the best tips and tricks to ensure the success of your scented candle business?
Selling scented candles can be a profitable homemade business due to its low cost of sales and equipment. Focusing on these areas can help a scented candle business succeed:
- Quality Products
- Creative Designs
- Industry Standards
- Licensing and Insurance
Is the Scented Candle Business for You?
If you like making candles, you should seriously consider starting your own scented candle business. That’s because, at $9 billion and growing, the candle manufacturing industry doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. In fact, it’s growing at a rate of 6.3% annually.
Not only is the candle industry rapidly growing, but it also has low barriers to entry. Let’s face it, if you’ve made more than a couple of candles, you know that it doesn’t take much technical expertise to become proficient at candle-making. I had only been making candles for a few months when I started my candle business.
A homemade candle business comes with low fixed and variable costs. You won’t have to make a huge capital investment to get started; in fact, you can get all the equipment you need for less than $100. And the cost of sales for each candle you make will be around 25%. There is hardly better profit potential that exists.
The first way you can increase your chance of success in homemade scented candle making is by making a quality product. Scented candles are trickier to make than non-scented candles, primarily because you must choose a wax with a good scent throw, measure your ingredients carefully, and mix the wax and fragrance together at exactly the right temperature.
Scent throw refers to how much a candle can permeate the air with its scent. A candle with good scent throw has a strong-smelling scent while a candle with poor scent throw hardly has any aroma at all.
Furthermore, hot throw refers to a candle’s ability to exude scent as it burns, while cold throw describes the faint smell a candle has when it is unlit. To candle enthusiasts, both types of scent throw are important.
Best Waxes for Scent Throw
Expert candle makers can get decent scent throw from any candle wax, but to multiply your chances of having a successful scented candle business, use waxes that are naturally good at throwing scent.
Paraffin, hands-down, has the best scent throw of any wax as well as a short curing time of only 24-48 hours. If you use paraffin in your scented candles, you will be able to make and get them to your customers quickly, without having to keep a large on-hand inventory of candles at various stages in the curing process. For comparison, soy candles can take two weeks to cure properly.
If you want to make all-natural candles, which many customers prefer, you can opt for coconut wax instead of paraffin. Coconut wax has the best scent throw of the all-natural candle waxes, although it can be pricy at more than $5 per pound.
But the quality of coconut wax can’t be beaten, and your customers will be willing to pay a premium for high-quality products.
Carefully Adding the Fragrance
When mixing the fragrant oils with your wax, you need to make sure you are mixing them in the right amounts and at the proper temperature, which for most waxes is around 185 degrees Fahrenheit (85 degrees Celsius).
It is easy to calculate the amount of fragrance you need to mix with your wax using an online fragrant oil calculator, but first, you need to know the maximum fragrance load of the candle wax you’re using.
While there are charts online that show general fragrance loads for certain types of wax, due to the differing wax formulations, you need to know the fragrance load for the wax you are using. The best way to get that is from the candle wax manufacturer. As a candle business owner, it is important that you avoid guesswork and find the most accurate information.
As mentioned, scented candles are a viable home-based business for almost anyone, but to make your candle designs stand apart from all the other ones out there, you are going to have to incorporate some creativity in your candle designs.
Scrolling through the home-crafted scented candle businesses on Etsy and Shopify, you can’t help but notice the overwhelming tendency of candle makers to make scented candles from container candles.
In other words, candle makers are ignoring the significant customer segment that wants candles crafted from creative shapes that also smell good.
Don’t be afraid to make your scented candles from freestanding designs, such as pillar candles and molded candles. Always leaving your scented candles in jars is kind of like putting Baby in a corner, you don’t want to do it.
Molded candles are as easy as container candles to make. Instead of pouring your candle wax into a container like a glass jar, you pour it into a mold that is usually silicone-based. Molds come in all shapes and sizes, from bubble candles to honeycomb-shaped molds, which are popular for use with beeswax candles.
Speaking of beeswax candles, you can make great scented candles with nothing more than beeswax and a wick. Beeswax has a great natural honey smell and is stiff enough to be effective for use in pillar and molded candles.
You’ve heard me raving about tomato-scented candles before, and staying on cutting-edge trends like this can differentiate your scented candles from the candlemakers whose scent portfolio doesn’t go beyond pine and lavender.
You can also make candles from innovative smells that don’t smell very good, at least not in the traditional sense. Stinky Candle Company has done a great job at this with its offerings that include a French Fries Candle, a Bacon Candle, and even a Fart Candle.
While it may seem unbelievable, if you market them correctly, unusual scents like these keep your candle products flying out the door, but also propel you to the top of the relevant search results.
Is the scented candle business the business to be in?
If you want your scented candle business to be a truly professional enterprise, you need to make sure that you know and you are following international candle industry standards as you are designing, producing, and packaging your candles.
These standards were mostly created with the goal of keeping consumers safe, and what could be more important than that?
The National Candle Association publishes and updates this handy ATSM Industry Standards reference. Make sure you are familiar with it as you make your candles.
Proper Candle Labeling
Another important safety resource is this Candle Labeling Guide, which shows you how to label your candles for sale with the appropriate safety warnings. You can even download the labels with the relevant pictograms straight from the site.
Business Licensing and Insurance
Lots of homemade candle businesses operate without the proper business licensing and insurance, but this is a bad idea. For one thing, the costs of both are low, especially considering what you could lose by opting out.
While online marketplaces might let you sell your products without obtaining a business license, depending on where you live, operating a business without a license might be illegal.
There have been cases of municipalities shutting down unlicensed businesses, even lemonade stands. Businesses can be registered in most municipalities for prices ranging from $15 to $400. You can find out more information about business licensing requirements at your Town Hall or municipality’s website.
You can also consult a lawyer or online legal resource if you have questions about whether your scented candle business requires a license.
Liability insurance can cost about as much as four cups of coffee per month. In other words, given the fact you or your business could be sued if something goes wrong, liability insurance is a slight expense you can ill afford not to pay.
Simply Business is one of many companies offering liability insurance to candle businesses. Before you say no to liability insurance, check them out to see how cheap the rates can be and make sure you compare these rates with other companies.
1. Where is the ideal home placement for scented candles?
To optimize scented candles, burn them in the vicinity of fabrics like curtains and drapes, ensuring your candle isn’t close enough to pose a fire hazard. Fabrics retain the aroma of your candles, helping their scent last long after the candle itself is gone.
2. Are candles ok for bedroom use?
I will use candles in every single room of the house but the bedroom. It’s too easy to fall asleep in a bedroom and forget you have a lit candle. Try to keep your candles confined to rooms that don’t double as sleeping spaces.
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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.