Is Candle Making a Profitable Business and Does it Pay the Bills ?

I'm going to be truthful about how you can make money selling candles and wax melts but it won't happen over night!

You may have asked, how can making candles at home become a money making business?

Well, first of all it doesn't happen overnight, in fact NO business is successful instantly. It takes time, money and total dedication.

I've had five businesses and have worked my socks off in all of them, one of them didn't go to plan and almost made me bankrupt but my home fragrance business is booming right now.

Let's look at building a successful candle/melt business. You may wish to make this your full time career, or simply a side hustle that pays for your holidays, a car or those little extras.

First, you need to set aside dedicated time, both for making and working on your business. If you can only spare one or two hours a week, then quite frankly, don't even start!

If you do have time, then read on.

First - learn your craft and learn well. Repeat custom will only come if your product is good.

Everywhere you look you'll find free videos and social media groups, all showing you how to make candles and wax melts. Be careful, it's a sure way of feeling totally overwhelmed, lot's of conflicting advice and other people's opinions. Just join a couple as they can be helpful at times.

Invest in a course, one which explains all different waxes, not just one because that's what the tutor uses. when I teach, I talk about all the options and that goes for whether you should use fragrance oils or essential oils. They have to be your choice and suit your business model.

Design a niche product. If you follow what others are doing then you are fighting for the same tired audience. The more you can niche down, the more successful your brand will be. Think outside the box, one of my favorite brands is 'Lauren Dickinson Clarke' very quirky and very well thought out.

Make sure your business name fits the brand style, keep it fairly short and buy both the & .com domains. It is also worth investing in professional brand design for your logo and colour theme, plus trade marking to protect your IP.

Before you get your products to market, there's a lot of testing to be done. People think making candles is easy and to be honest, once you've mastered it, that probably is the easy bit of the business!

But, first you must decide on a wax and around five or six fragrances to make a collection. The testing can take weeks and even months before you have a great candle that you are happy to sell but this part must not be rushed.

We must follow strict compliance regulations in the UK known in the industry as CLP, a label is added to all products and packaging to ensure safety for all consumers and although not law, it is advisable to have insurance too.

Once, we have reached a point of having a great product, then we can sell. 

There are many third party platforms, like Etsy and Not On The High Street and although they are established and consumers trust them, they take a good part of your profit in commission. It is always best to have your own website, you may pay monthly to host and maintain it but it will still work out the most profitable option. 

You will also need to set up one or two social media accounts for business. Choose where you ideal customer is going to be and show up consistently. Most likely will be Facebook or Instagram. If you're not that familiar with social media then consider using a social media manager or VA, this can be costly and I'd always advise you try to learn as much as you can to understand if you are getting value for money.

Of course, you can sell at Artisan Fairs and events, this is the best way to grow a local customer base and people get to smell your products. I've a great guide to selling at events click here or look at wholesale, supplying other retail outlets with your products. 

The one thing that keeps customers coming back time and time again is great customer service. Put the customer at the heart of everything you do and put systems in place to ensure you keep them up to date with new products and news. Reward them with free gifts and incentives to purchase or recommend others.

So, let's go back to the original question... Is candle making profitable and does it pay the bills?

Well, yes it is and yes it does but you must have a great brand that stands out, you must price to be profitable and be visible.

Know your strengths and weaknesses, out source the jobs you can't do well and most of all, be resilient, you will have great highs and huge lows but hard work will pay off and pay the bills!

If you haven't been put off and you'd like to learn to build a candle making business, then why not sign up to my online course 'From Melting to Money Making - The Business of Candles'

You can also grab my 5 Steps To Start Your Candle Business