There’s been a surge in people wanting to work from home selling candles, whether that’s as a new way to make money or simply to enjoy some creative escapism.
Are you an artisan candle maker? Find out how to turn your hobby into a business with our step-by-step guide.
When starting your own business, it can be hard to know where to begin. Read our nine-step plan for how to make your own candles and start selling them from home.
A step-by-step guide to starting a candle making business
Use the links below to check out specific sections of the guide.
Design beautiful candles
Designing and making your candles is the fun part, and probably why you’re looking to make this artisan craft your side hustle or even a full-time business.
Candle making gives you the chance to play with shape, fragrance, and colours to create eye-catching products. For example:
try making personalised candles with photo memories
use colours and moulds to create candles inspired by anything from desserts to landscapes
design centre-pieces for festive tables or weddings
Making your first candle
Are you planning on making candles at home? Or do you have a workshop or commercial premises? Either way, YouTube has some useful video tutorials on how to make candles from home.
The process is fairly straightforward but, a lot like baking, the temperature and ingredients are important – pouring too hot or cold and you could end up with lumpy wax.
At this stage it can be useful to create some samples and gather feedback from a small group of target customers. Conducting thorough research during the product development phases will help you evaluate your initial concepts and bring the best version to market.
Expanding your products
Once you’ve nailed making candles, you might want to expand your product offering. For example, wax melts are popular on Etsy and Not On The High Street and you won’t need anything extra to make them.
How to make wax melts to sell
Wax melts are wickless candles that you heat with a burner or tealight to release the fragrance. And they’re super simple to make:
Bring a saucepan of water to a simmer
Put wax into heatproof bowl over the saucepan and stir with a spoon
Add your fragrance or essential oils
Pour melted wax into ice cube trays
What about candle business names?
There’s a lot to a name. It conveys your brand’s personality and helps you stand out against your competitors. You should also be aware of intellectual property and copyright laws that protect products and brands.
Here are our tips for finding the right name for your business:
choose something unique – make sure no one else has had your idea first
make it memorable
consider SEO – search your name in Google to see what what else comes up
check the web domain is available – even if you’re not making a website just yet
don’t limit yourself – make sure the brand name works if you decide to expand your product offering in the future
If you’re still stuck for candle business names, try our Business Name Generator for a bit of light-hearted inspiration.
Find your niche
Eco-friendly candles? Scented candles? Luxury candles? Decide on your product and who your target audience is and go from there.
It’s a good idea to look at what your competitors are doing to see if there are any gaps in the market. You might even find it useful to do a SWOT analysis of your business and main competitors to identify core areas to focus on.
Read our guide to starting a business from home for more tips.
Write a business plan and budget
Although we could all do without business admin, a business plan helps you understand your purpose, your strategic objectives, and your competitors. It can also help if you’re planning on applying for a start-up loan.
Next you’ll need to consider costs and make a budget.
It’s not expensive to set up your own candle making business – initial start-up costs can be about £50, depending on the supplies you go for.
To work out your budget, you’ll need to think about:
set-up costs (including equipment and supplies)
how much time it takes to make your product
how much each candle costs you to make
shipping costs (if you’re selling online)
Buy the right candle making equipment
Here’s a list of the equipment and supplies you’ll need for your candle business:
candle wax – soy wax, paraffin wax, beeswax, coconut wax (or a combination)
candle wicks – usually made of braided cotton or paper
scents – choose from a mix of organic and synthetic fragrances
dyes – liquid or powdered dyes can be added to your melted wax
moulds – these come in all shapes and sizes, or you can make your own
candle glasses – you can use these instead of moulds if you prefer
thermometer – to make sure your wax doesn’t heat above 80°C
saucepan and heat proof bowl – for melting your wax using the ‘double boiler’ method
You’ll also want to think about how you’re going to package your candles and get branded labels and gift boxes.
Check legal requirements for selling candles
There are no specific legal requirements for selling candles in the UK, but you should be aware of:
Whether you run a craft stall or are just selling online, your customers will expect your products to be safe. That’s why it’s important to get insurance for crafters.
You can select from a range of covers:
Start marketing and selling your candles
When it comes to how to make money selling homemade candles, think about where you’ll be selling and how you plan to market your business. For example, are you going to be selling online or in a bricks-and-mortar shop? Or perhaps you want to start selling candles at flea markets and craft fairs?
It’s easy to set up an online shop using platforms like Shopify or Etsy.
Writing a marketing plan can help you determine your strategic approach.
Use social media to your advantage
Candle businesses naturally lend themselves to social media marketing as you can take beautiful pictures to promote your brand and build a following. For tips on getting the most out of social media for your business, read our guides on:
Beyond candle making
Still not sure if candle making is for you? Here are some other top business ideas you could consider instead:
Top business ideas for 2021
Are you thinking of starting your own candle making business? Let us know in the comments.