If you’re tired of the nine-to-five office life or are simply looking for a profitable hobby, you might want to consider starting a candle business. In this guide, we discuss not only the benefits of starting your own candle business, but also take you step-by-step through getting started. We’ve also compiled tons of resources for you so you don’t have to spend time sourcing suppliers or searching for answers to your most burning candle-making questions. Let’s jump right in.
Why You Should Start Your Own Candle Business
Starting your own candle business might seem daunting at first, but there are quite a few benefits to taking the plunge.
Be Your Own Boss
By starting your own business, especially a candle business, you grant yourself the privilege of being your own boss and working from home. During the pandemic, plenty of people took advantage of the extra time spent at home to start up new hobbies, even turning them into full-time gigs. Running your own business allows you to work at your own pace, create your own schedule, and dedicate your time to something you’re passionate about.
Accessible to Start
Candle-making is easy to learn thanks to all the great resources on the Internet. Finding and purchasing materials is simple, and you only need a few basic pieces of equipment at the beginning. A low startup cost means your candle business could be profitable within the first few months of candle-making!
The candle-making community is one of the most supportive out there. Many makers host in-person candle-making workshops where they share their knowledge and techniques. Some makers even have robust YouTube channels that include guides on getting started, how to design candle labels, packaging tips, and more. Memory Box Candle Co. on YouTube has a fantastic series on Candle Making for Beginners that’s a great place to start.
According to Verified Market Research, the candle industry was valued at $7.15 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $13.38 billion by 2028. Since more people are spending time at home and also investing time in self-care, the candle market is benefitting and growing accordingly. Consumers want to make their homes smell good and feel comfortable, and candles are an easy way to do so. People are always looking for fun new scents to try and interesting brands to support, so there is definitely space for your unique candle business.
How to Start a Candle Business
Now that we’ve explained why, let’s get into the how of starting a candle business. In this section, we’ll get granular about product and brand development, packaging design, label requirements, and more.
1. Choose Your Target Audience
When creating any business, the first thing you need to determine is your target audience. Who do you want to sell candles to? A better question to ask yourself might be: “What do I want in a candle?”
Christoff Visscher created Cantrip Candles out of a desire to improve his at-home tabletop gaming experiences. Having hosted game nights for some time, he wanted to elevate the ambiance and make the sessions even more immersive for himself and his friends. When he couldn’t find the exact products he was looking for, he started making his own adventure-themed candles. Lo and behold, many others like him were looking for that exact product, and he had finally created it. He now owns and operates a store in Los Angeles dedicated to selling these magical candles.
2. Create Your Product
Once you’ve decided on your audience, it’s time to create your product. To begin, you’ll need to decide on the type of wax you want to use, the kind of wick needed for your candle size, the fragrances, and the container you’ll use. You can really lean into your creativity here as there are so many different ways to make a candle: just check out Porch’s candle-making guide to see for yourself. Experiment with different fragrance oil blends to see what you like the best, and utilize different types of containers until you find the perfect look. You can’t spend too much time in this stage, as creating a high-quality candle is vital to success.
Christoff with Cantrip Candles has this bit of advice to share: “Specifically for beginners, I’d stress the importance of consistency over quantity. Nobody likes a poor-performing product, regardless of how pretty it is. Moreover, a candle that underperforms will result in a one-time customer. Instead, work to make sure that the customer has the same experience every time. The scent fills the room just like last time, the strength is the same, and the burn is even and clean.”
Ashley Alese with Olive + Pine Candle Co. agrees. She says, “If you are serious about starting your own candle business you need to test your product, and then after you’ve tested, test again. If you ask any full-time candlemaker they will probably say that they are always testing. This is because every time you add a new fragrance or vessel to your candle line you have to test it to make sure it is passing the burn test.”
We’ve checked out a few reputable suppliers that carry everything you need to get started. Check out the list below to find the perfect supplier for your candle business.
- CandleScience is one of the leading carriers of candle-making supplies and expertise. CandleScience provides fragrances, wax, vessels, and excellent resources. They also use recyclable packaging to ship their products, so they make an excellent partner for companies with a focus on eco-friendliness.
- Sixteen Seventeen, a luxury candle supply company, prides themselves on offering unique vessels, high-quality wax, wicks, and more. They’re the perfect partner for companies who want to create high-end, boutique candles.
- Lone Star Candle Supply is a family-owned Texas company that carries candle-making equipment, fragrances, wax, wicks, dyes, and more. They even provide soap-making supplies!
- The Flaming Candle carries such a high variety of fragrances that you’re sure to create some fantastic blends with their offerings.
3. Develop Your Brand
Developing your brand goes hand in hand with choosing your target audience and developing your product; the brand simply ties it all together. Are you committed to sustainability? Opt for recycled or eco-friendly packaging to reinforce this principle. Do you want your candles to bring happiness and joy to people’s lives? Incorporate bright colors and fun fonts into your branding.
Hiring a graphic designer is one way to brand your candle business, but you can also use free tools like Canva to design your labels, packaging, and more. Especially for a startup, using as many free resources as possible will help you be more profitable in the beginning.
Design a Logo
A logo can be as simple as your business name in a stylized typeface (a wordmark), or it can be a unique illustration. A logo can not only create uniformity across your products, but it can also perpetuate brand recognition the more your business grows.
Choose Fonts and Color Palettes
When it comes to branding, consistency is key. Consider using only 1-2 distinct typefaces across all your product designs, website pages, social media accounts, etc. where you can help it. A good rule of thumb is to use a serif font as your heading text, such as product names, page titles, etc., and a sans serif font for all the rest.
As far as color goes, stick to a similar principle, using about 3-5 colors to create your brand palette. Decide early on what your primary brand colors and secondary brand colors will be and used them accordingly. Adobe has a fantastic color palette generator if you’re a bit stuck on this step!
Of course, plenty of brands utilize a completely monochromatic color palette, like black or white, and are wildly successful. The goal is to choose what feels right for you and your brand.
Candle Label Design
With your colors and logo chosen, you are ready to design your candle label.
The main requirements of a candle label are:
- The Statement of Identity – Although it goes without saying, your label should prominently declare that the product is a candle.
- Company Name, Logo, and Contact Information – According to the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, products must include the name and place of business of the product’s manufacturer. Including your company name and logo also increases your brand awareness and lets customers know who you are as a business.
- Candle Scent – Clearly identify the scent notes on your candle so customers know what to expect when they burn your product.
- Wax Type – Like listing the ingredients on a food label, you’ll need to indicate what type of wax you used for your candle. Many consumers are particular about the types of candles they burn, so making this information clear to them is key.
- Net Weight – Include the weight of the candle in both ounces and grams. Note this should be the weight of the candle without the container.
- Warnings – You’ll need to include fire safety warnings since candles are considered a fire hazard. These warnings include “burn within sight,” “keep away from children and pets,” and “keep away from flammable objects.” Most candlemakers include these warning labels on the bottom of the candle.
4. Select a Platform For Your Candle Business
Once you’ve completely developed and branded your candle, you’re ready to get out there and sell it. Some companies rely solely on local markets and trade shows to sell their candles, but with the ease of creating e-commerce shops, many companies sell their candles online as well. Platforms like Etsy, Shopify, and Squarespace are just a few e-commerce platforms that can help get your candle business off the ground. You may also be able to partner with local or boutique retailers that would be happy to carry your candle line within their shop.
5. Market Your Candle Business
Finally, consider how you’ll market your new candle business. You can create compelling content in the form of blogs that draws traffic to your website, you can pay for ads, participate in fairs and markets, and curate a popular social media page.
Ashley with Olive + Pine Candle Co. says, “Take advantage of social media. Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are all great places to get your product noticed, even without purchasing ads. It’s also a great place to connect with fellow makers. However, I am a firm believer that word of mouth is still the best way to get your product out there.” Meaning if you create a great product that customers love, those customers will, in turn, tell their friends and family about your candles, or give them out as gifts.
We hope this post encouraged you to pursue your dream of starting a candle business and equipped you with the tools to get started. If you have any questions about label or packaging design along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re here to help, and eager to watch you succeed. Good luck!
P.S. Use code CANDLES at checkout for $25 off your first order with us. We’re rooting for you!
You might also like:
- How to Package and Ship Candles
- Printing Your Own Labels vs. Professional Label Printing
- How to Start an Online Business: From Product to Packaging
- 7 of the Best Candle Label Designs to Inspire You