How to Start a Candle Business
We’re glad you’re here. I’m Don Sloan, owner of AppalachianCandles.
My wife and I started making homemade jar candles more than 11 years ago. So that’s how we can tell the good ones from the not-so-good on Amazon, and we now pass our carefully culled choices on to you. Of course, that’s in addition to our limited remaining inventory of Original Appalachian Candles.
But our objective more than a decade ago was to create candles that would fill up a home with fragrance, leading visitors to say, as they stepped in the front door: “What’s that great smell?”
To that end, we began researching how to achieve our goal and before long we had everything we needed.
It didn’t take too long.
A trip to WalMart, a search online for suppliers, and we could start our little (but highly rewarding) small business in a spare bedroom.
Here’s what we got:
- a turkey roaster (to melt enough wax for each batch of 24 candles)
- glass apothecary jars with lids (but you can use Mason Jars or any other kind of container)
- wax (paraffin in big 11 pound slabs)
- a stainless steel pitcher (for pouring)
- about a dozen (or more) bottles of essential oils (for strong fragrance)
- dozens of pre-tabbed wicks (in the right length for each jar)
- a container in which to let the candles cool down slowly (to prevent air bubbles and shrinkage away from the glass sides)
- about a dozen dropper bottles of dye (all the basic colors, which we mixed to get just the right color candles)
- other stuff like labels and boxes for shipping
So, as you can see, it wasn’t exactly a high-tech operation.
And yet we consistently sold thoousands of dollars worth worth of Appalachian Candles each year. And that was just selling mainly at our county Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.
Why did we stop? To pursue other hobbies and travel after retirement. Plus, I had become disabled and couldn’t stand for more than 15 minutes at a time.
Still, we learned a lot in that decade about what goes into making a good candle — especially those that are “triple-scented” like ours.
No, we no longer make candles.
But for a small fee, I’ll send you a complete guide on how to start your own premium candle business at home and begin selling them:
- around your home town
- at farmer’s markets (where we did quite well)
- at festivals, and
- to local businesses (doctor’s offices, hospitals, office buildings, local manufacturing plants and government offices — these were all consistently excellent sales locations – we’d just drop off a sampler and an order sheet, then return to collect upwards of $300 per location).
- wholesale as fund-raising merchandise for local schools and church youth groups
And, finally, you can sell them online. I’ll show you how to do that, too.
Sound easy? It really is, if you know how.
Interested? Drop me a note and I’ll send more information on how you can get a detailed, step-by-step guide to making and marketing your own brand of homemade, highly scented candles.
Depending on how enthusiastic you are and how much time you’re willing to invest, it could be your ticket out of your day job — or, like us, just be an enjoyable side business.
Would you rather buy luxury candles than make your own? In that case, just look around this site for our recommendations.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Don and Linda Sloan
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