Business Overview

Candlemakers are artisans who pay critical attention to the sensory aesthetics of their product line and pragmatic business people adept at enticing buyers through smart marketing strategies.

Who is this business right for?

The ideal candlemaker should love the craft of candle making and have skills involved with sales and marketing. Candlemakers can begin modestly—in the kitchen and storage space of your home or apartment, and with a limited budget and inventory. Since candles are often thought to be commodity products, you must constantly seek ways of branding your line to differentiate yourself from competitors. Showcase your product line attractively through excellent image photography, a strong online presence and savvy sales skills.

What happens during a typical day at a candle making business?

Here are some of your key responsibilities as a candlemaker.

  • Ordering and storing the raw products you’ll need, including wax, wicks, containers, essential fragrance oils and colors
  • Constantly researching and reaching out to possible sales venues online and/or in the physical world
  • Creating and regularly updating your website and pages on the sites of arts and crafts dealers
  • Meeting or making contact with your customers, whether online or in personal encounters
  • Creating your candles and related products as needed
  • Photographing your product line to maximum advantage so that your merchandise looks appealing online
  • Promoting your business through Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets

What is the target market?

Your end customer is anyone who wants candles. Some individuals have pragmatic needs—such as for illumination in the event of power blackout—while others are looking for more of a sensory experience. Other great customers include churches that use candles for decoration of prayer offerings, or retailers who want to add a dramatic effect to their showrooms.

You might also appeal to resellers who can buy your merchandise in bulk. These will include store owners in your local area or beyond. You might meet such customers at arts and crafts trade shows.

If you like meeting your customers face to face in a venue where they can fully experience the aesthetics of your products, consider renting booths in arts and crafts shows, flea markets, festivals and fairs and related environments. Entrepreneur Magazine has this informative article about selling at arts and crafts shows.

How does a candle making business make money?

Candlemaking businesses sell to candles either directly to consumers, or indirectly through resellers, such as boutiques, gift shops and other arts and crafts retail venues. Candlemaking is a very general field, so create differentiation through the kinds of candles you sell (pillar, floating, votive, tea, etc.), or through the quality of your offering. Experiment with scents, colors and molds to create something with a unique appeal and worthy of premium pricing.

Furthermore, constantly be on the lookout for raw material suppliers at the lowest possible cost for maximum profit margins on your sales. Also consider associated products or types of candles to expand your target audience.

What is the growth potential for a candle making business?

A typical full-time successful candlemaker might gross $25,000-$50,000 per year. However, you could exceed this amount by selling to a major reseller. Also, consider franchising your business once you’ve grown successful enough that others might want to emulate your business model.