There is no better time to start a business than right now. Between the boom of e-commerce retailers, hybrid working environments, and online shopping, becoming an entrepreneur has never been more popular. With nearly 80% of all US households having a candle in their home, it can be a lucrative endeavor for an upcoming entrepreneur. Candles are a versatile product that can help you tap into your creative and entrepreneurial skills, especially if you plan to create your own DIY blends at home. If you’re passionate about wicks, soy blends, and scents, look no further than the candle business.
How to Start a Candle Business
Candles can inspire creativity in anyone. From branding to blends there are several opportunities you can capitalize on to make your candle business truly unique and recognizable. Candles are considered a home decor staple and have been estimated to become a $5 billion dollar industry by 2026 because of their versatility amongst many other markets and wellness elements.
While it can be competitive, there are several ways to differentiate your items from similar product offerings through scents, glass containers, and packaging. There is no such thing as being too detailed or niche in this industry and laying out all of the business aspects will be incredibly helpful as you look to grow and scale your business.
Before you start jumping into creating your candle, you’ll want to consider these small business tips: create a business plan where you can iron out information like funding, where you’ll sell, and source supplies.
Your Signature Brand Scents
There is nothing like signature brand scents. The hallmark of a business is their signature colors, products, taglines, or in the case of candles, their scents. Identifying the types of scents, colors, and/or shapes you plan to use are all extremely essential components of creating your candle business. Do you plan to sell a variety of sizes or one? Are you going to have a collection of scents that are themed around a certain season or holiday?
Maybe you plan to have your candle capture a moment in time that you can build a story around like a day at the beach or hiking after rainfall. The great aspect of candles is that you can be as specific or general as you like, but if you plan to follow the current scent marketing trends then you’ll want to expand your ideas to think about the type of wax you are using, packaging, and accessories.
Types of Wax
The world of wax is diverse and full of options when you decide to start your own candle business. The one-size-fits-all approach does not apply to the types of wax you use to blend your candles because you have to determine if you’ll be selling in niche departments that offer a variety of choices for your customers.
One of the most popular wax types you can use to create your candles is soy because they are made from vegetables instead of regular oil or paraffin-based candles. Perhaps you plan to sell luxury candles with elegant packaging that can double as a home accessory when the wax is gone.
Some startups like to begin with aromatherapy candles because they offer a wide range of scents and can be marketed for relaxation at home or in a spa. These are usually meant to enhance the emotional and mental well-being of a consumer and include common scents like lavender or mint.
Types of Wicks
Creating a candle business has several layers that start with an idea and grow to encompass details like the scent, wax type, and wicks. Wicks are the fuel that lights the candle and brings your entire product to life. Different types of wicks can be used to control how big or small the candle flame is which can determine the longevity of your candle life.
While there are hundreds of different styles of wicks and sizes you can consider, here are the four core options people usually consider:
- Wooden wicks are more sustainable and give your product a more nature-like feel.
- Flat wicks are often used in pillar candles and have a consistent burn method.
- Cored wicks help keep the wick upright and straight while burning and can be found in tins, votives, and devotional lights.
- Square wicks are rounded, robust, and are preferred for beeswax which can be used with pigmented products and fragrances.
Now that we’ve covered a few of the foundational elements of starting a candle business, it’s time to get into the logistics. Research will be your best friend when you’re starting your business so you can identify budget limitations, supply and production costs, shipping and logistics pain points.
For many startups, budget is the first point of entry as they grow their business so make sure you are evaluating the costs of the ingredients you plan to use, the types of packaging that will hold your candles, and the time it will take to create each candle at home. Do you plan on opening an online store or trying to break into retail?
If you plan to sell through an eCommerce platform do you want to build your own website or hire a designer? Will the sourcing of your materials be local, if so how local? Will your supply chain be impacted by any outside influences, this may be especially impactful given the latest supply chain impacts we are currently experiencing. Do you plan to get your supply from a local craft and goods store and will they be stocked on each component of your candle?
Every detail matters because once you have the physical candle ready to sell, you have to determine your marketing plan and how you plan to get your name out into the bigger candle industry.