Candle-making like many functional crafts can be a low cost or no cost start-up business venture that is also a fun business idea as a small family run enterprise. Candle making is said to have originated independently in many countries. As early as 3000 B.C., archaeological finds the east African people of kmt (Egypt) making beeswax candles.
Candles can be created and promoted as natural or can be customized for individuals as gift items or for birthdays. In addition to the aroma-therapy (scent) options, national holidays and religious and heritage festivities offer an array of marketing opportunities: Judaica, Christmas/Easter, Kwanzaa, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, etc.).
The Candle Craftsman
Designate a space for candle-making. Candle making takes up a small amount of space compared to the potential for profit. If you have a back room, a garage, an unused walk-in closet, kitchen-area, pantry room, cottage house, a basement or a shed then you have enough space for making candles.
The candle craftsman melts down wax in pots and has the option of adding colors and scents to be reshaped into imaginative molds and shapes. Large box shaped or small floating candles or votives can be customized as family unique expressions.
When sales begin to come in consider securing vendor sources or core vendors for wax, dyes, scents, and molds. Readily available candle wax in the U.S. includes soy and paraffin bases. There are others, such as beeswax or gel, depending on local resources. As to adding scents, many candle supply dealers have pre-formulated aromatherapy waxes. Adding fragrance to wax creations may be a regulated market activity. Check local and federal laws for applicable rules and regulations.
Financing the Candle Business
The candle business can be created with no financial investment if the list of tools (wax, molds, wicks, and pans) is currently in the possession of the new candle-maker or can be secured by donations from family and friends.
If all the tools cannot be secured without costs, the largest expense will be specialty molds as some of them can run as high as $20 each. Remember, molds can sometimes be found among existing resources, e.g., kitchenware items such as miniature banking pans and small containers from pre-packaged goods, especially glass packaging.
Local, National, and Global Candle Making Sales
In today’s conservation-conscious global economy green is the new black. Candle-making can truly be marketed as a functional craft that is an alternative use to electricity-based light sources in the lives of high-energy consuming populations.
It is a word-of-mouth, reputation-based business. Initial candle orders can be obtained from individual sells through gift shops or art and craft or expo shows. Orders can also be obtained through wholesaling the candles to local shops and franchise outlets. In considering accepting new orders, remember to maintain family production projects to manageable levels.
This type of family business can become a micro-multinational through online sales that tap into global markets. This can be done by purchasing, developing, and marketing an on-line candle business website with payment purchasing options, security, and web-management oversight and updates.
Additional online sales can be obtained by joining trading venues for domestic sales and international import/export sales. On-line trading communities include eBay (pay required) and Craigslist (no pay required). A growing list of on-line bartering and trading communities are also developing, such as Caretotrade.com.
Disclaimer: Check local and federal laws for applicable safety and trade rules and regulations regarding candle-making and interstate and import/export sales. This article is for informational purposes only and creates no attorney-client relationship. It should not be used as a substitute for tax or legal advice.