Candles are a passion for many people. There is something inherently satisfying about using your hands to craft a beautiful and deliciously scented candle but pursuing it as a business is an entirely different matter. Is the candle business a good business for you?
Candle making is a great business for people with entrepreneurial traits. Here are the characteristics that make a great candle business owner:
No matter how good you are at your job, entrepreneurs must take it to the next level. As an entrepreneur, you must be better than your competitors to make your business stand out.
The key thing that all these factors have in common is that none of them have anything to do with talent or luck. Plenty of our other articles can help you make better candles, but this one will show you what it’s like to be a candle business owner, so you can decide if a candle business is right for you.
Successful Candle Business Owners are Passionate
According to Harvard Business Review, “Passion is the fuel that entrepreneurs need to keep going.” These words are backed by solid research, which shows that passion predicts the success of a venture.
When I started my candle business, I thought about how easy it would be to make candles in the comfort of my own kitchen while wearing pajamas. I figured I would get up every day, walk the dog, work for a few hours, and take the rest of the day off.
Boy, was I wrong!
While I could probably take some afternoons off now, I still work plenty of hours, as I am constantly building my business.
A Day in the Life of a Candle Business Owner
In case you are wondering what life as the owner of a candle business is like, here is a sample of my typical day:
- 06:00 a.m.—Wake up, drink coffee, read and respond to emails on my business account
- 07:00 a.m.—Walk dog, exercise, shower, breakfast
- 08:00 a.m.—Make morning candle batches
- 12:00 p.m.—Lunch while checking and responding to emails and logging sales from my online marketplace
- 12:30 p.m.—Checking curing of candle batches in shed, burn tests of new recipes
- 02:00 p.m.—Order fulfillment
- 04:00 p.m.—Go to post office to mail packages, pick up wholesale supplies.
- 05:30 p.m.—Marketing product via social media, traditional outlets, blogging
- 07:00 p.m.—New candle design brainstorming
As you can see above, my days start as early as 06:00 a.m. and they don’t end until 08:00 p.m. or even later. This is weekdays. On the weekends, I manage to put in a few hours too.
Passion Keeps You Going
Especially when you start a new business, be prepared to put in a lot of grueling hours. Candles are a growing industry worth $3.54 billion and predicted to double over the next few years. Once you put your candles out there, you will be shocked at how quickly they fly off the shelves if you do your legwork right.
If you want some inspiration to get going, Angela Duckworth’s book Grit shows why the common denominator for high achievers of all types is passion and perseverance.
Owning a candle business is no different. If you want to succeed, you must develop a deep reservoir of passion, which will keep you going through the inevitable tough times ahead and allow you to advance to the top of your field.
Successful Candle Business Owners are Self-Directed
When you own your own business, there’s no one telling you what to do. For most of us, this is why we choose to start our own businesses in the first place, because we want to lead our own enterprises.
Trying to figure out what to do and when to do it is more than a matter of working hard, you also must develop good organizational skills to direct your efforts and grow your business.
Planning and Productivity
I love a good planner. For years, I lugged one of these around with me, shuffling through it, looking for notes, and using it to plan my daily schedule.
But now that the machine in my pocket is more powerful than the computer used to send astronauts to the moon, I use my smartphone to help me plan my days, weeks, and months. Here are some planning apps you can use as a candle business owner:
- Trello allows you to integrate boards, lists, and cards and take your ideas from the brainstorming phase all the way to execution. When I have an idea for a new candle design, I immediately put it into Trello. A few weeks later, I am boxing it up and sending it out to a customer. That’s the power of Trello.
- Fantastical is the best calendar app around. It works across your devices for seamless calendar integration, so no matter what device you are using, you won’t miss a meeting and can easily add new events.
- Ok, I admit it. I am an unrepentant list person, which is why I use the award-winning app any.do. The simple list options in this app have helped me declutter my life and my schedule.
Productivity and self-direction go together. Without them, your candle business will never reach its potential.
Successful Candle Business Owners are Detail-Oriented
Yet another characteristic of successful entrepreneurs and business owners is they are detail oriented. For candle business owners, this is especially a priority since you will need to precisely measure the ingredients for all the candle recipes in your product line.
Even being slightly off on measuring your wax, fragrant oils, or using the wrong wick can greatly throw off your candle’s effectiveness. Then you will be dealing with product returns and lost customers.
Teaching Yourself to Be More Detail-Oriented
As is the case with all the other skills on this list, you can teach yourself to be more detail oriented.
Lifehack put together this great guide on how to be more detail oriented in your work. Here are the seven habits Kimberly Zhang of Under30CEO recommends doing every day to enhance your ability to notice and focus on details.
- Walk places you normally would not
- Read regularly
- Take frequent breaks
- Put your phone away (unless you are using it to be productive)
- Play games like “I Spy”
- Compliment others often
- Break goals into smaller pieces
These all seem like routine activities, but they are all geared towards getting you in the present moment so you can better understand what is going on around you. This is the frame of mind you need to be in for the extremely detail-oriented job of running a candle business.
Speaking of being present, meditation is one of the best rituals that can get you there. It has scientifically proven benefits of helping you become more aware of yourself and your surroundings.
You might not have seen it on the sample daily schedule I wrote above, but I always manage to work it in somehow. I meditate every single day, even if I only have ten minutes. If there is one daily practice, I am confident has helped me become a more successful candle business owner, it is incorporating daily meditation into my life, even if only for a few minutes,
Successful Candle Business Owners are Creative
The last characteristic a candle business owner needs is creativity. Creativity is necessary because candle-making is even more of an art than a science. Just about every aspect of running a candle business requires creativity, and here is a list of just some of the creative things you will need to do:
- Name your business
- Create your business website
- Develop your marketing plan and materials
- Plan your product line and recipes
- Figure out your competitive niche
- Design your logo
- Find ways to make your business stand out
Train Your Brain to Be More Creative
Bas Korsten wrote this article in which he suggests ways you can actively train your brain to be more creative. And Korsten knows a little something about creativity, especially in his role as the Global Chief Creative Officer at Wunderman Thompson.
One of his recommendations is that you should connect with different kinds of people to stimulate your creativity. According to his theory, being around a diverse group helps your brain challenge stereotypes, giving you access to “more complex forms of thought,” including creativity.
Small Business Trends has a list of 20 apps to help you find your inspiration and develop your creativity. You should try them all, but my personal favorite is Curator, which helps you form online collages and mood boards in your smartphone.
I use this often especially when I am trying to develop a new candle. Collecting different images of the mood that I want to evoke helps me plan the visual and scent aspects of my prospective candle.
I want to start my own candle business. Now what?
First, look at the articles on this website, many of which are focused on the business aspects of candle making. Also learn the craft by reading our other articles. Next start thinking about business names and the types of candles you want to sell!
Do I need to consult a lawyer to start a candle making business?
You don’t need a lawyer to start a business. Many resources online can help you navigate the process of obtaining licenses and forming business entities. Legal Zoom is a good starting point for inexpensive business legal advice.
Looking to start your own candle making business, check out my startup documents here
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
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.