There has been an increase in people wanting to work from home selling candles, whether as a new way to make money or just to enjoy a creative escape.
Are you a candle maker? Find out how to turn your hobby into a business with our step-by-step guide.
When starting your own business, it can be difficult to know where to start. Read our nine-step plan to learn how to make your own candles and start selling them at home. Or for a more general guide to setting up, check out our step-by-step guide to starting a business.
A step by step guide to starting a candle making business
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Design beautiful candles
Designing and making your candles is the most fun part, and that’s probably why you’re looking to make this craft your side hustle or even a full-time business.
Candle making gives you the ability to play with shape, scent, and color to create eye-catching products. For example:
try making personalized candles with souvenir photos
use colors and molds to create candles inspired by everything from desserts to landscapes
design centerpieces for party tables or weddings
Make your first candle
Are you planning to make candles at home? Or do you have a workshop or business premises? Anyway, YouTube has some helpful video tutorials on how to make candles at home.
The process is quite simple but, just like cooking, temperature and ingredients are important – pour too hot or too cold and you could end up with lumpy wax.
At this stage, it may be helpful to create samples and gather feedback from a small group of target customers. Conducting extensive research during the product development phases will help you evaluate your initial concepts and bring the best version to market.
What about trade names for candles?
There’s a lot to a name. It conveys your brand personality and helps you stand out from your competitors. You should also know the intellectual property and copyright laws that protect products and brands.
Here are our tips for finding the right name for your business:
choose something unique – make sure no one else got your idea first
do it memorable
consider SEO – search your name in Google to see what else is going on
check the web domain is available – even if you don’t create a website yet
don’t limit yourself – make sure the brand name works if you decide to expand your product offering in the future
If you’re still at a loss for candle business names, try our Business Name Generator for some lighthearted inspiration.
Find your niche
Eco-friendly candles? Scented candles? Luxury candles? Decide on your product and your target audience and go from there.
It’s a good idea to look at what your competitors are doing to see if there are any gaps in the market. You might even find it helpful to do a SWOT analysis of your business and key competitors to identify key areas to focus on.
Read our guide to starting a home business for more tips.
Write a business plan and budget
While we can all do without business administration, a business plan helps you understand your purpose, strategic goals, and competitors. It can also help you if you are considering applying for a start-up loan.
Next, you will need to consider costs and set a budget.
It’s not expensive to start your own candle making business – initial start up costs can be around £50, depending on the candle supplies you choose.
To establish your budget, you will need to think about:
installation costs (including equipment and supplies)
how long does it take to make your product
how much does each candle cost you to make
shipping costs (if selling online)
Buy the right candles in the UK
Here is a list of the equipment and supplies you will need for your candle business:
candle wax – soy wax, paraffin wax, beeswax, coconut wax (or a combination)
candle wicks – usually braided cotton or paper
scents – choose from a mix of organic and synthetic scents
colorants – liquid or powder colorants can be added to your melted wax
molds – these come in all shapes and sizes, or you can make your own
candle glasses – you can use these instead of molds if you prefer
thermometer – to ensure your wax does not heat above 80°C
heatproof saucepan and bowl – to melt your wax using the “double bain-marie” method
You’ll also want to think about how you’ll package your candles and get branded labels and gift boxes.
Check the legal requirements for selling candles
There are no specific legal requirements for selling candles in the UK, but you should be aware of:
Whether you run a craft stand or simply sell online, your customers will expect your products to be safe. This is why it is important to take out insurance for craftsmen.
You can choose from a range of covers:
Start marketing and selling your candles
When it comes to making money selling homemade candles, consider where you will be selling and how you plan to market your business. For example, are you going to sell online or in a physical store? Or maybe you want to start selling candles at flea markets and craft fairs? It’s easy to create an online store using platforms like Shopify or Etsy.
Writing a marketing plan can help you determine your strategic approach.
Use social media to your advantage
Candle businesses naturally lend themselves to social media marketing because you can take great photos to promote your brand and build a following. For tips on how to get the most out of social media for your business, read our guides on:
Consider expanding into the wax casting business
Once you have successfully made candles, you may want to expand your product offering. For example, wax melts are popular on Etsy and Not On The High Street and you won’t need anything extra to make them.
How to make melted waxes to sell
Melted waxes are wickless candles that you heat with a burner or tealight to release the fragrance. And they are super easy to make:
Bring a pot of water to a simmer
Put the wax in a heatproof bowl above the pan and stir with a spoon
Add your perfume or essential oils
Pour melted wax into ice cube trays
Beyond candle making
Still not sure if candle making is for you? Here are some other business ideas you might consider instead:
Are you considering starting your own candle making business? Let us know in the comments.