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How to Start & Grow a Candle Business

Updated 10/29/2020
Tips on starting a candle business or just ramping up sales

There are more than 2,000 varieties of candles available in over 10,000 scents. With such an abundant marketplace, how can you build a candle business that stands out? Whether you're just launching your company or simply looking to boost sales, we're here to help. Below, we explore tips for branding your business, marketing your products, selling, dispatching product, and more.

How to Brand Your Candle Business

Product shot of Natural Annie candles

Your brand will distinguish your products from competitors in the marketplace, so take care when creating it. Decide what your company is going to represent, who it's going to stand for, and how you want your customers to feel.

If your brand is a sensual one that will inspire relaxation, consider incorporating pastels. Or maybe your candles are nostalgic – scents from grandma's kitchen, your childhood home, etc – in which case your brand might lean toward a rustic, faded palette. Perhaps it's neither of those and your candles are fun and happy (neons) or luxurious (metallics). Keep in mind throughout the process how that might coordinate with the scents of each candle.

Asking yourself these introductory questions can help you build a brand that will reflect your mission and goals. Then follow your idea through to the end. Come up with a logo, full-fledged colour scheme, tagline, and more. Once you have the basics figured out, you can even start building email accounts and social media channels.

How to Package & Label Your Handmade Candles

Product shot of Sawdust & Embers candles

Once your branding is figured out, consider how you want to package it. Do you plan on pouring your candles into amber jars, mason jars, glass jars, metal tins, or something completely unique? Does your container have a lid or are you labelling the side, or both? Should you put your labeled candle into a labeled box?

What are you going to put on the labels? Your candle label design should always include your company logo and website, a list of ingredients, a location for where it's made, the grammage/net quantity, and the flavor/scent, for starters. Is there a story or use instructions you also want to include? And don't forget your candle warning label!

Where to Sell Your Handmade Candles

Woman using her laptop

Once you have your products prepared and ready, you need somewhere to sell. Below are popular options for online and offline selling for small candle businesses and hobbyists.

On your website

The best place to be in this modern age is online. If you're up for building your own website, go for it! Sites like Shopify and BigCommerce make it easy for anybody to tackle their ecommerce dreams.

On an ecommerce platform

Marketplaces like Etsy and Amazon Handmade are great introductory tools. They provide the internet framework and customers, plus, customers already trust the sites for transmitting payment.

At farmer's markets

Most cities have local outdoor shops and markets that meet on a weekly or monthly basis. See if they're accepting new vendors and get out there! People like to buy from people, so this could give you the facetime you need to get your brand up and running.

At pop-ups

Pop-up shops are temporary retail locations. They happen in big cities around the holidays and for special occasions. You don't need to rent or own any space to participate and there's an implied sense of urgency around your product since it doesn't last long.

In boutiques

Boutiques are another great option if you don't offer enough products to fill a whole store or aren't ready to take that next step. Boutiques are perfect for unique products, as they're usually diverse and full of personality themselves. Handmade, non-mass-produced products really do well in these types of shops.

In your own brick-and-mortar

If you're looking for the greatest amount of control over your product and your customer experience, it may be time to find your own storefront. This guarantees your customers always know where to find you, you don't have to sacrifice a portion of your sales, and you can set normal operating hours.

How to Ship Your Handmade Candles

Within the Grove's box packaging

With social media, the user experience and "unboxing process" is everything. Do you plan to brand your dispatch bags or boxes or simply uses what's provided by your carrier? Whichever route you go, be sure to use high-quality materials that match the brand you built. Include bubble wrap or packing peanuts around your product to keep it safe during transport. Packages can get banged up, dropped, or tossed around in transit.

Equally as important is the candle itself. Most people consider the box and container when packaging a candle for delivery, but not the product inside. When shipping candles, temperatures can fluctuate. Your wax could melt or warp in hot environments or crack in cold ones. Take caution dispatching your products during certain seasons. Some sellers recommend frozen gel packs for the summer months or packing them tightly for warmth in the winter.

Are you ready to tackle the candle market? Create your personalised candle labels today. Shop our blank label sizes and materials, then use Maestro Label Designer to design! You can even browse pre-designed label templates for a professional starting point, or browse our Customer Ideas gallery for inspiration.

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