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What Are the Steps to Launching a Successful Candle Business? (A Comprehensive Guide with Real-Life Examples)


What Are the Compelling Reasons to Craft and Market Handmade Candles?

Exploring the Diverse World of Handmade Candles for Your Business

  1. Conduct Thorough Market Research
  2. Build a Distinctive Brand
  3. Choose an Appealing Business Name
  4. Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan
  5. Creating Your Candle Labels
  6. Begin Candle Production
  7. Establishing Your Online Presence with a Website
  8. Establish an Online Store
  9. Formulate a Detailed Marketing Plan

Maximising Success in Your Candle Business

Bottom Line

Candles have become a beloved staple in many homes, serving not only as mood setters and odour neutralisers but also as expressions of personal taste and style. For those with a knack for crafting scent profiles or even beginners looking to embark on a new journey, starting a candle business presents an excellent opportunity. This guide is tailored for entrepreneurs ready to 'burn the midnight oil' in their entrepreneurial journey, focusing on the creation and sale of homemade candles. Candle-making, a skill that combines practicality with creative flair, can be surprisingly simple and cost-effective, especially when materials are sourced wholesale. As a trending online product, homemade candles offer a lucrative market for those eager to turn a passion into profit. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to start a candle business in seven practical steps, perfect for anyone from seasoned pros to hesitant DIY enthusiasts looking to make their mark in the world of candle making."

What Are the Compelling Reasons to Craft and Market Handmade Candles?

The allure of crafting and selling homemade candles has seen a significant rise, becoming a key element in home decoration. MarketWatch projects this industry to reach a remarkable $5 billion by 2026. In recent times, there's been a notable surge in the use of candles in commercial settings, such as spas and restaurants, utilising them for their calming scents and to enhance ambience.

According to the National Candle Association, candles are increasingly sought after for home decor, centring spaces aesthetically, and providing benefits like stress relief and relaxation through aromatherapy. A quick examination of Google Trends indicates a steady global interest in homemade candles. This interest is predominantly seen in regions like North America, the UK, and Australia, offering valuable insights for candlemakers aiming to target these markets.

The specific types of candles that consumers are searching for are varied, encompassing a range from scented to soy candles and beyond. This diverse interest not only reflects the strong market demand but also provides entrepreneurs with crucial information to curate a product line that aligns with customer preferences.

Homemade candle-making presents several advantages for business owners, making it an attractive venture:

Affordability of Start-Up: While some types of candles may require more expensive materials, the overall initial investment for candle-making is relatively low.


Versatility in Selling Platforms: These products are convenient to transport, allowing sales both online and in physical locations like craft fairs and local markets.


Ease of Mastery: Candle-making is a skill that can be easily learned, regardless of one’s crafting expertise. The basic recipe for candles is straightforward, as illustrated in our detailed infographic.


Customization Opportunities: The wide array of candle types offers ample scope for personalisation, enabling makers to stand out from competitors.

For DIY enthusiasts, mastering the craft of candle-making can pave the way for a lucrative business venture. But before diving into the creation of your homemade candles, it's important to explore the types of candles currently capturing consumer interest.

Exploring the Diverse World of Handmade Candles for Your Business

The realm of handmade candle-making offers a remarkable array of choices, catering to virtually every customer’s preference. For those contemplating venturing into the candle business, here's an in-depth look at some of the most popular types of handmade candles that could form the cornerstone of your business offerings.

Soy Candles: A Sustainable Choice

Soy candles have emerged as a market leader in the candle industry. Crafted from soy wax, which is extracted from soybeans, these candles offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional oil- or paraffin-based candles. Grand View Research projects robust growth for the soy wax segment, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 8.5% from 2019 to 2025. What makes soy candles particularly appealing is their sustainability, as they are produced from a renewable resource. They also boast a cleaner burn and have a longer lifespan, providing excellent value for customers seeking long-lasting candles.

Scented and Aromatherapy Candles: Engaging the Senses

Among the most sought-after candle varieties are scented and aromatherapy candles. These candles are not just about providing a fragrance; they are about creating an experience. They come in an extensive range of scents, each designed to transform the ambience of a space. From masking everyday odours to crafting a unique aromatic environment, these candles cater to a broad spectrum of olfactory preferences.

Take, for instance, the KUSH-scented candle by Boy Smells.

Aromatherapy candle makers often promote their products as more than just scented candles; they are seen as tools for enhancing physical and mental well-being. Many of these candles incorporate essential oils, with each scent having its own set of purported benefits. For example, candles with lavender essence are commonly linked to promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Vegan Candles: Ethical and Environmentally Conscious

The rise in consumer awareness around ethical and sustainable products has led to an increased demand for vegan candles. Traditional candles often incorporate animal-derived ingredients like beeswax, which can be a deterrent for certain consumers. Vegan candles address these concerns by using alternative materials such as soy wax, other plant-based waxes, fragrance oils, and natural fragrances, ensuring that no animal products are used in their production.

Decorative Candles: Artistry in Wax

When it comes to adding an aesthetic touch to a space, decorative candles play a significant role. These candles, which are often spotted in homeware stores, are not just about the scent or the burn quality but also about the visual appeal. They come in a plethora of colours, shapes, and sizes and are primarily designed to enhance the decor of a room.

For example, consider the decorative candle by Amara.

These candles are not just simple wax forms; they are intricate works of art. They may feature complex shapes, incorporate unique accessories, and boast elaborate designs. While they may not always be scented or made from specialised materials, their primary purpose is to add a decorative element to a space, making them a popular choice for those looking to embellish their home environment.

Each of these candle types offers unique selling points and caters to specific customer needs and preferences, making them essential considerations for any aspiring candle business entrepreneur.

Starting a Candle Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Embarking on a candle-making business venture requires a well-thought-out strategy. Here's a detailed guide to help you navigate through the process:

1. Conduct Thorough Market Research

Identifying Your Target Market: Understand who your potential customers are. In the candle industry, this typically falls into three segments:


Prestige Market: This is an emerging and rapidly expanding sector where luxury candles are sold. These candles, like the Louis Vuitton perfumed candle priced as high as $185, are known for their superior quality, exclusive fragrances, and luxurious packaging.


Mid-Market: These candles, found in stores like Target, have a wider appeal. They are priced around $10 and offer unique scents such as rose water or grapefruit.


Mass Market: These are the most budget-friendly options, commonly found in brands like Yankee Candle. Prices range from $5 to $8, offering standard scents like vanilla or ocean breeze.


Market Choice Considerations: Your decision on the market segment will inform your approach, from material sourcing to brand development. Whether you aim for a retail presence in stores like Nordstrom or exclusively online sales, your market choice will shape your business strategy.

2. Build a Distinctive Brand

Creating a Unique Brand Identity: In the competitive candle market, a strong brand can significantly influence your success.


Innovative Fragrance Blends: With fragrance being a key factor in consumer choice, offering unique and sophisticated scents can set you apart.


Compelling Brand Story: Develop a narrative that resonates with your audience. For instance, Keap Candles' founders transitioned from tech to candle-making for a more meaningful pursuit. Your brand story should reflect your motivations, target audience, and the impact you wish to create.

3. Choose an Appealing Business Name

Reflecting Your Brand's Essence: Your business name should embody the spirit of your brand, be memorable, and resonate with your target market.

4. Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan

Blueprint for Success: A well-crafted business plan outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections, serving as a roadmap for your venture.

5. Creating Your Candle Labels

If you've already taken the initiative to design your logo using tools like Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, or Canva, you can apply the same DIY approach to your candle labels. Consider crafting a versatile label template that can be easily adjusted for different candle scents, sizes, or names. This approach allows for consistency in branding while providing the flexibility to update specific details as needed. However, if you're aiming for unique label designs for each scent, it might be more efficient to hire a professional designer from platforms like the ones mentioned. This way, you can dedicate more time to perfecting your product.

Your label should prominently feature your business name and clearly state the candle's scent and size (in fluid ounces). Additionally, think about including other details that could be important to your customers, such as the location of production, the type of wax used, and your company’s website.

For inspiration, look at C&E Craft Co., which showcases an effective example of a candle company employing a simple yet adaptable design strategy. Their approach includes the capability to integrate new concepts, as seen in their “Smells Like David Rose '' candle, appealing to specific fan bases with character-themed names. These labels are designed with varying colours and text styles. Conversely, Bath & Body Works adopts a different strategy, giving each candle a distinct and individualised design.

Both approaches highlight the importance of label design in not just conveying essential product information but also in enhancing the overall appeal and brand identity of the candles.

6. Begin Candle Production

Selecting Types of Candles: Your market research will guide your choice. Consider environmental factors and customer preferences—will you focus on eco-friendly, vegan options or traditional paraffin wax candles?

7. Establishing Your Online Presence with a Website

Creating your website is a crucial step, even if you're planning to use third-party platforms like Etsy for sales. A dedicated business website not only enhances your brand's online presence but also adds a layer of credibility and professionalism. Furthermore, it opens up avenues for direct sales, giving you more control over customer interactions and transactions. Opt for a user-friendly website builder that includes e-commerce features to simplify the setup process.

When it comes to choosing the right platform for your online store, here are some of the best options available:

Shopify: This platform stands out with its extensive selection of templates, enhancing the customer experience. It also allows the sale of gift cards and offers a vast array of app integrations tailored for e-commerce, making it a versatile choice for a growing business.

Wix: For those seeking a more budget-friendly option, Wix is a great choice. It includes a custom domain as part of its package and supports an unlimited number of products. However, it’s important to note that shipping is limited to USPS services.

Weebly: Known for its exceptionally user-friendly interface, Weebly is ideal for beginners. It allows users to change website themes while retaining content, which is beneficial for evolving brand identities. The platform integrates seamlessly with Square for e-commerce purposes but offers limited options for customization.

The time and resources you're willing to devote to website development and maintenance, as well as the initial financial investment necessary, should all play a role in your choice of content management system. Each platform offers a unique set of features and limitations, so it's essential to consider your specific needs and business goals when making a decision.

8. Establish an Online Store

Expanding Your Reach: An online store allows you to sell your candles beyond local markets, reaching a wider audience.

9. Formulate a Detailed Marketing Plan

Now that you have perfected your candle-making craft, it’s time to strategize for effectively marketing your soy candles or other homemade varieties.

Online Marketing Strategies

Digital platforms offer a vast and lucrative avenue for reaching potential customers globally. Here are some key online channels to consider for your marketing efforts:

Instagram: This platform is a goldmine for lifestyle brands. Build a strong following by sharing visually appealing images that embody your brand. Showcase your candles, offer a glimpse behind the scenes, and engage with brand advocates to expand your reach.

Pinterest: Given its popularity in the home decor category, Pinterest is an essential platform for candle sellers. Utilise it to showcase your products and tap into its vast user base actively seeking home decoration ideas.

Snapchat: As a growing social media platform with a massive user base, Snapchat offers another visual medium to connect with potential customers, especially the younger demographic.

Giveaways and Contests: Incorporate giveaways and contests into your social media and content marketing strategy. Use them to build your follower base, enhance brand visibility, and demonstrate the quality of your products.

Email Marketing: Directly reach your customers through their inboxes with updates, promotions, and other relevant brand information.

Offline Marketing Tactics

While online sales are crucial, exploring in-person sales opportunities is equally important. Homemade candles are perfect for selling at various events due to their portability. Consider these offline strategies:

Craft Shows and Pop-up Shops: These venues are ideal for showcasing your candles and gathering direct feedback from potential customers.

Benefits of in-person sales: Selling face-to-face offers several advantages:


Direct Customer Feedback: Gain valuable insights into customer preferences and pain points.


Wholesale Opportunities: Craft fairs and markets are great places to network with potential B2B buyers, opening doors to wholesale ventures.


Growing Online and Email Followers: Use these events to encourage booth visitors to follow your social media channels and subscribe to your email list for updates on new products, discounts, and giveaways.


Networking and Inspiration: Interacting with fellow entrepreneurs can provide fresh ideas and solutions to common challenges.

Mobile Sales Tools: To facilitate on-the-go sales, utilise tools like Shopify POS. This allows for a smooth setup at events like flea markets, farmers' markets, and craft fairs, ensuring efficient transactions.

This comprehensive marketing approach, encompassing both online and offline strategies, is essential for the growth and success of your homemade candle business.

Maximising Success in Your Candle Business

Launching a candle-making venture, be it a side hustle or a full-time endeavour, requires a blend of creativity and strategic planning. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Exceptional Product Photography


The importance of high-quality product images cannot be overstated. Clear, well-lit photos that showcase your candles' design and labels are crucial. Challenge yourself further by staging photos that display the candles in a home setting, helping potential buyers visualise them in their own spaces. Consider hiring a professional photographer, or use a high-quality smartphone camera to capture these images.

  1. Enhancing Sales Opportunities


Cultivating repeat customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Experiment with various cross-selling and upselling strategies to increase revenue from your current customer base. A creative idea is to offer subscription services, akin to Frostbeard Studio’s Candle of the Month Club, which provides customers with a new candle monthly for a fixed price.

  1. Diversifying Your Product Range


Consider expanding beyond candles, like Tofino Soap Company, which extended its unique scents into a range of products including soaps, shampoos, balms, and perfumes. This not only leverages your existing scent creations but also opens up opportunities to cross-sell to customers based on their prefered fragrances. You can create themed care packages or explore new market segments with these additional products.

  1. Capitalising on Holiday Sales


The holiday season is a peak time for candle sales, with a significant portion of annual sales occuring during this period. According to the National Candle Association, 76% of consumers consider candles to be appropriate holiday gifts, and about 35% of candle sales occur around Christmas. Prepare for this lucrative period with targeted holiday marketing campaigns, special promotions, and tailored advertising.

  1. Keeping Up with Market Trends


Staying informed about the latest trends in your niche is critical. Utilise resources like Facebook IQ, Think with Google, and Nielsen for insights into consumer behaviour and emerging trends. This information can guide you in developing new product lines, fragrances, and marketing strategies, ensuring that your brand remains relevant and appealing to your target audience.

Implementing these strategies will not only enhance the appeal of your candle business but also ensure its growth and sustainability in a competitive market.

Bottom Line

Having reached this point, you’re well-equipped with the essential understanding and resources needed to embark on your journey of establishing a homemade candle business. The guidance and tools provided here are designed to assist you in crafting and marketing your unique candle creations. This foundation enables you to leverage your do-it-yourself abilities to generate a personal revenue stream.

If you have insights or innovative methods for candle-making, specially tailored for beginners in the DIY community, we encourage you to share your knowledge and experiences. Your valuable tips and suggestions can be a great help to others just starting. Feel free to contribute your ideas in the comments section below, fostering a collaborative and supportive environment for aspiring candlemakers.

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