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Handmade Candles Business Idea

You may not be ready to rent a storefront or workshop, but there are ways of starting a candle business without investing money into square footage. Here are some ideas…

Handmade Candle Party

Send out invitations to your friends and coworkers and have a party at your house. Put out a few snacks and beverages that will encourage people to linger and chat.

Try to time the party ahead of Christmas or Mothers’ Day—times when people might be likely to buy gifts for others as well as items for themselves.

Mark the price of everything clearly, or have an easy-to-read list, so that people do not have to feel awkward in asking the price.

Have a guest book available for people to sign up for a mailing list, and send out thank-you notes to those who attend, whether or not they purchase.

Local Boutique Sales

Find a boutique or gallery that sells local items. Use local place names and/or scents of plants you might find in the area’s landscape to name your products. Try to have the buyer purchase the candles outright from your candle business, instead of taking them on consignment.

Price the candles at an appropriate wholesale level, so the store can make a profit, and check in from time to time for re-orders and to find out what sells best.

Fund Raisers

Offer your products for sale as a fund-raiser for a school or local charity. Even though you will have to provide your candles at a discount, consider it a cost of advertising of your product. Limit the choices to one or two of the simplest items to produce.

This way, if the fund-raiser is really successful, you can take advantage of bulk pricing on your raw materials. You’ll also have an easier time meeting the demand.

Be certain the time frame between the order cut-off date and delivery date will allow you to get materials in and produce enough candles in time to fulfill the order.

Craft Shows

Get your candle business into some craft shows. Use your home computer to print up a small brochure with the story of how you got into the candle-making business, why your candles are special, and be sure to tell people who stop at your booth. Don’t forget to have open samples of scented items for customers to smell.

Charities or Auctions

Donate to a charity silent auction or raffle. Make up a basket of your candles, and have your business card or brochure accompany it. Keep track of your cost so that you can list it among your business expenses for tax purposes.

How To Start A Candle Business

Before you sell your first candle, you should obtain a seller’s permit from your state Department of Revenue, so that you can purchase materials at a wholesale discount. There are many on-line purveyors of candle-making supplies and equipment, and the less you pay, the more profitable your candle business will be.

You may also be required to collect sales tax, and it will likely be the seller’s permit number under which you file a sales tax return with your state.

It is also a good idea to check with your insurance agent about whether or not you need liability insurance, in the event a faulty wick sparks a fire, or other such event beyond your control as a candle-maker.

As your candle making business grows, you should invest some of your profit in professional-looking packaging. If you do not have the computer skills and equipment to design and print labels for your candle packaging, find a label manufacturer with a graphic design department, and see if he or she can come up with something eye-catching that conveys your vision of your product.

Choose from among the label manufacturer’s existing dies, so that you do not have to pay for the purchase of your own special die, and have the designer create something to fit it. Pick a shape that will work with as many of your products as possible. Limit your company colors to one or two (plus the white of the paper label) in order to keep the cost down.

With professional packaging, your candles will look more up-scale, and demand for them will grow. You’ll be able to ask more for them. In short order, you may find you need your own storefront after all!

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