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How To Start a Candle Business in 2024: A Complete Guide

Sam Nguyen | 06-20-2024

How To Start a Candle Business in 2024: A Complete Guide

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If you’re someone excited about starting a new business and willing to put in the effort, here’s an idea for you: sell homemade candles. Making candles is a practical skill, and it’s in demand. Even if you’re not big on doing things yourself, it’s worth learning how to make them. So, if you’re interested in making money online by selling homemade candles, it’s a good time to start learning how.

Why candle is a profitable venture to start?

Candles are a must-have for decorating, and the industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.7% and reach $10.61 billion in global sales by 2032, according to Expert Market Research .

Recently, businesses like spas and restaurants have increasingly used candles, with scented varieties being popular for aromatherapy and creating cozy atmospheres. Consumers buy candles for both decorating their homes and for relaxation purposes, stated by the National Candle Association .

Homemade candles trends

Google Trends indicates steady global interest in homemade candles, with searches concentrated mainly in the United States, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia which is valuable information for candle makers seeking markets for their products.

Besides being in high demand, candles offer several advantages for business owners:

  • Low Initial Costs: Making candles doesn’t need much money upfront, though some types might cost a bit more.

  • Flexible Selling: You can sell candles online or at local markets, making them versatile for any business model.

  • Easy to Learn: Whether you’re a crafting pro or just starting out, making basic candles is straightforward.

  • Customizable: There are tons of candle types, so you can personalize your products to stand out.

Learning how to make candles can become a profitable venture for DIY enthusiasts, but first, let’s explore the popular types that are catching shoppers’ attention.

Major types of homemade candles

Creating candles for your business offers a major perk: variety. There’s likely a candle type to attract any potential customer.

Not sure where to begin? Here are some top types of homemade candles to consider for your candle business ventures:

Soy Candles

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"> Source </a>

Soy candles are crafted from soy wax, a renewable resource derived from soybeans. Unlike traditional oil or paraffin-based candles, soy candles burn cleanly and for longer durations, providing customers with a longer-lasting option.

Scented or Aromatherapy Candles

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"> Source </a>

Among the most popular candle varieties, scented or aromatherapy candles offer a range of fragrances to enhance home ambiance. Whether aimed at masking household odors or creating a unique atmosphere, these candles come in numerous scents to cater to diverse preferences.

Aromatherapy candle makers often promote specific benefits associated with certain scents. Typically, these candles use essential oils known for their potential to enhance physical or mental well-being. For instance, lavender scents are often linked to relaxation.

Vegan Candles

Vegan Candles

With a growing concern for ethical sourcing, vegan candles are gaining traction. These candles eschew animal ingredients found in traditional varieties, utilizing modified formulas with components like soy wax, plant-based waxes, fragrance oils, and natural fragrances.

Decorative Candles

Decorative Candles

Upon entering a homeware store, you’re likely to encounter candles in various colors, shapes, and sizes. Some candles serve purely decorative purposes, lacking specific scents or special ingredients. They simply add aesthetic appeal to living spaces.

Decorative candles often boast intricate shapes, accessories, and designs, enhancing their decorative allure.

6 Steps to start a candle business

Step 1: Conduct market research

The particular demographic you want to reach with your marketing is known as your target market. Target markets in the candle industry are commonly classified into three categories:

  • Prestige: This segment focuses on luxury candles, which are rapidly growing in popularity. These candles often have higher price points ranging from $30 to $100. Prestige candles stand out with their premium packaging, carefully curated fragrances, and a strong emphasis on brand storytelling.

  • Mid-market: Mid-tier candles have a broad appeal and are commonly found in retail stores like Target. They usually feature unique scents such as rose water, grapefruit, or basil and are priced around $10 per candle.

  • Mass market: Often linked to companies like Yankee Candle and Bed Bath & Beyond, these candles are the most reasonably priced choice. They usually charge $5 to $8 per candle and have conventional aromas like vanilla or ocean breeze.

When choosing your target market, think about whether you want to sell your candles only on your own website and other online shops, or whether you want to sell them at retail establishments like Macy’s or Home Goods . This choice will have an impact on a number of business-related issues, such as packaging, brand development, and material sourcing.

Also, you can refer to the best Shopify candle stores that we’ve compiled to gain some inspirational ideas for your own business. You can choose the kinds of candles you’ll make to suit their tastes and requirements after you’ve determined who your target market is.

Step 2: Build your brand

The second crucial step in launching a candle-making business is establishing a strong brand. A well-defined brand not only helps you attract an audience but also shapes your marketing strategies and enables you to create products that resonate with your customers. Building a distinctive brand is particularly essential in the competitive candle market, which has experienced significant growth in recent years, making it challenging for newcomers to stand out. Here are three effective ways to differentiate your brand in this saturated market:

Unique Fragrance Blends

Fragrance plays a pivotal role in consumers’ candle purchasing decisions. Research conducted by the National Candle Association reveals that a majority of candle buyers consider fragrance to be “extremely important” or “very important”. To set your brand apart, consider crafting distinctive and captivating fragrance blends that evoke unique emotions or memories. Instead of offering standard scents, aim for more complex and sophisticated fragrances that are not readily available elsewhere, sparking curiosity and intrigue among buyers.

Create a Brand Name

As your candle business progresses, it’s time to finalize a name. Opt for a name that is concise and straightforward to ensure it’s memorable and easy for customers to pronounce. A simple name enhances word-of-mouth marketing and boosts brand recognition.

Compelling Brand Story

An effective strategy for developing a stronger connection with your audience is a brand story that is compelling. It serves as a narrative that communicates your brand’s values, mission, and personality. In the candle industry, authentic and emotionally resonant brand stories are particularly impactful.

Take inspiration from brands like Keap Candles , whose founders transitioned from unsatisfying tech jobs to pursue a more meaningful endeavor in candle making. To craft your brand story, reflect on your motivations for creating candles, your target audience, and the impact you aspire to make on both your customers and the world.

Strong Visual Identity

Customers’ opinions about your company are greatly influenced by your visual identity, which includes components like your packaging, social media presence, website design, logo, and photos. Make sure your visual identity fits the tastes and aesthetic of the people who will be using it. For instance, consider the vibrant and inclusive visual identity adopted by Boy Smells , a brand that appeals to diverse gender identities. You may make a lasting impact on customers and improve brand memory by remaining consistent across all branding touchpoints.

Strong visual identity

By focusing on unique fragrance blends, crafting a compelling brand story, and establishing a strong visual identity, you can effectively differentiate your candle brand and carve out a distinct position in the competitive market.

Step 3: Write a business plan

Developing a business plan is essential for guiding every aspect of your candle business. It serves as a roadmap, outlining your strategy, identifying potential challenges, determining resource requirements, and analyzing your business concept before launch.

To create a comprehensive business plan, consider key questions such as:

  • What is the ultimate objective for my brand?
  • Who are my primary competitors in the market?
  • Do I aspire to have my products sold in retail stores like Target or Nordstrom?
  • Alternatively, do I envision establishing an ecommerce store and selling directly to consumers? By clarifying your business goals and objectives, you can effectively shape your candle-making brand and align your efforts toward achieving success. Keep these goals in mind as you develop and refine your brand strategy, ensuring that every decision contributes to the realization of your overarching vision.

Step 4: Make candles to sell

Making your own candles at home is not only fun but also allows for endless customization. Here’s a basic recipe for creating a soy candle right in your kitchen:

1. Gather Your Materials: Ensure you have all the necessary materials on hand. You can easily find soy wax, wicks, and essential oils online or at your local craft store.

Materials Needed:

  • Soy wax
  • Cotton wicks
  • Super glue
  • Essential oil of your choice
  • Spatula
  • Double boiler (or makeshift version with a glass bowl and saucepan)
  • Thermometer
  • Mason jar
  • Pen or pencil

2. Prep Your Wax and Container: Melt the soy wax in a double boiler on medium heat. Stir the wax to break up any chunks. Meanwhile, use super glue to secure the wick to the bottom of your glass container and let it dry.

3. Customize Your Candle Mixture: Once the wax is melted, add your preferred essential oil to the mixture (about one ounce per pound of wax) and stir. Optionally, you can add non-toxic crayon chunks to change the color of the wax. Let the mixture cool to 130–140 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Prep Your Pour: Pour the wax mixture into the jar, leaving about one quarter of the jar empty. Hold the wick upright with one hand while pouring with the other. Secure the wick in place by tying its end to a pen and setting it across the jar opening.

5. Finish Your Candle: Allow the wax to cool and firm up. You may notice a small sinkhole around the wick, which is normal. Pour the remaining wax into the jar to fill the hole and let it set completely. Trim the excess wick with scissors, and your candle is ready to use! You can make your own bespoke soy candle at home by following these easy steps. Try varying the scents, hues, and sizes of the containers to create candles that you like.

Step 5: Build your online store

Now that your candles are ready for sale, consider launching your own ecommerce store. While it may seem daunting compared to selling on established platforms like Amazon , creating your own online store offers numerous benefits in the long run.

Marketplaces like Amazon often take a significant portion of your profits and limit your ability to showcase your brand’s unique identity. In contrast, an ecommerce store provides you to freely express your brand’s spirit and values.

With its ease of use and versatility, Shopify is a great option for building an online store—all without requiring a big budget or coding knowledge. You may use Shopify to build a polished e-commerce website that acts as the online home for your candle company. Additionally, it enables you to personalize your store to match the style and language of your brand, which will eventually increase your company’s online visibility and profitability.

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    Step 6: Build a marketing plan

    Build a marketing plan

    You’ve got your recipe for success, and now it’s time to think about how to sell your homemade candles, whether they’re soy candles or any other variety. Here’s a breakdown of both online and offline selling strategies:

    Online Selling:

    1. Instagram: Utilize Instagram’s visual platform to showcase your candles with beautiful images and engaging content. Connect with potential customers, influencers, and brand advocates to expand your reach. Recommend using Instagram Feed app to turn a normal Shopify store to an Instagram attractive appearance shop.

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    Engage visitors, build trust, and customize effortlessly. Streamline tasks and boost interaction.

    Check it out!

    2. Pinterest: Tap into Pinterest’s home decor-focused user base by creating visually appealing pins that highlight your candles. Use Pinterest marketing strategies to drive traffic to your website or ecommerce store.

    3. Snapchat: Take advantage of Snapchat’s growing user base and highly visual nature to showcase your candles and connect with a younger audience. Use Snapchat marketing tactics to engage followers and build brand awareness.

    4. Giveaways and Contests: Use social media to host freebies and contests to build your brand’s visibility, acquire followers, and boost interaction. Make the most of these chances to present your goods and give them away as rewards.

    5. Email Marketing: Create an email list of prospective clients and send out news, updates, and promotions about your candle company on a regular basis. To build relationships with your audience and increase revenue, use email marketing.

    Offline Selling:

    1. Craft Shows and Pop-Up Shops: Display your candles at craft shows, pop-up shops, and local markets to reach customers in person. Gather feedback, make connections, and explore wholesale opportunities.

    2. Direct Feedback: Engage with customers face-to-face to gather direct feedback on your products and identify areas for improvement. Use this feedback to refine your offerings and enhance customer satisfaction.

    3. Wholesale Opportunities: Explore opportunities to sell your candles wholesale to retailers or businesses. Use craft shows and markets as a platform to connect with potential wholesale buyers and establish partnerships.

    4. Building Online Following: Use offline events to grow your online following and email subscriber list. Encourage customers to follow you on social channels or sign up for your email list to stay updated on new products and promotions.

    5. Networking and Inspiration: Connect with fellow makers and entrepreneurs at craft shows and markets to exchange ideas, gain inspiration, and build a supportive community. Networking can lead to valuable collaborations and partnerships.

    Whether you’re selling online or offline, leverage the right tools and platforms to streamline your sales process and enhance customer engagement. Consider using a mobile point-of-sale system like Shopify POS for offline selling to simplify transactions and manage your inventory effectively.

    Candle business tips

    Whether you’re starting a candle-making side hustle or launching a full-time business, here are some key tips to keep in mind for success:

    1. Invest in Amazing Product Photography: To properly showcase your candles and draw in customers, you must have high-quality product images. Customers in this sector are looking for decoration, relaxation, and stress alleviation.

    In terms of decor, the items need to look good in order for customers to purchase them. It goes without saying that poor-quality product photos will not reassure buyers. To take crisp, well-lit photos, think about working with a professional photographer or using your smartphone. Arrange your candles in authentic environments to enable buyers to see them in their own houses.

    <a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener"> Source </a>

    2. Create More Selling Opportunities: Focus on building recurring customers by offering additional products and services. Experiment with cross-selling and upselling strategies, such as travel-sized versions of your candles or limited-edition scents. Consider launching subscription boxes like Frostbeard Studio’s Candle of the Month Club to provide customers with a steady stream of new products.

    3. Expand Your Product Line: Diversify your product offerings beyond candles to appeal to a wider audience. Repurpose your signature scents for products like soaps, shampoos, balms, and perfumes. This allows you to upsell existing customers and reach new markets with scent-centric care packages.

    4. Capitalize on Holiday Sales: Maximize sales during peak seasons like Christmas by creating targeted holiday campaigns. Offer special promotions and discounts to attract holiday shoppers and position candles as desirable gifts. Prepare well in advance to capitalize on the increased demand for candles during the holiday season.

    5. Stay on Top of Consumer Trends: To remain relevant in the market, stay up to date on customer tastes and industry changes. Utilize resources like Meta Foresight, Think with Google, and Nielsen to gather insights and identify emerging trends. Use this knowledge to innovate your product offerings, develop new fragrances, and tailor your marketing strategies to resonate with your target audience.

    By applying these tips, it’s gonna be easy to elevate your candle business and position yourself for long-term success in the competitive market.

    Starting your candle-making business

    Starting a candle business in 2024 offers a promising opportunity for those eager to dive into entrepreneurship. With the candle market expected to grow significantly, there’s ample room for creative and innovative brands. Launch your online store, create an effective marketing strategy, and keep up with industry trends to stay competitive. Equipped with the insights and resources provided, you’re poised to forge ahead and establish a lucrative income stream by utilizing your DIY abilities.

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      Sam Nguyen

      Sam is the CEO & co-founder of Mageplaza, a company established to support Magento merchants with different powerful tools and resources. Sam Nguyen is also the CEO & founder of Avada Commerce, an e-commerce solution provider headquartered in Singapore – aiming to support more than a million online businesses to grow and develop.

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