How to Start a Personalized Candle Business

By Shanika Chapman ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Sales tax permit
  • Wax
  • Wicks
  • Molds
  • Dipping vats
  • Carving knife
  • Colors
  • Fragrances

Decorative and scented candles are popular for home décor and as gifts for any number of holidays and events. If you are particularly crafty and have an eye for one-of-a-kind designs, starting a personalized candle business could be a lot of fun. You can personalize pre-made candles purchased from a direct sales company or make your candles from scratch. For about $3,000, you should be able to get your business up and running and turning profits in no time.

Select the materials needed to make your own candles if you elect not to purchase pre-made candles. Making candles is a simple process that involves melting down your wax of choice and pouring it into a mold. There are a number of types of waxes; paraffin is the most commonly used. Soy, beeswax, gel and palm are other options for your personalized candles.

Purchase candlemaking supplies: pouring pot, wax, molds, wicks, carving knives, buckets to hold the colored wax, hooks or tongs for dipping your candles, fragrances and colors.

Create a work station where you can personalize your candles. It should accommodate a work table, room for your dipping vats, which will hold the various colored waxes, and room for hanging racks to hold each candle as you carve it.

Personalize your candles by selecting creative molds that will give your candles a unique shape. Find a large selection of creative candle molds at Soapandcandlemolds.com.

Personalize your candles by carving designs along the top or bottom. This works best with pillar candles. To create a multicolor effect, dip your candle in different-colored wax, creating layers of color within your candle. Then, once you carve out your design, the colored layers beneath will be exposed.

Create multi-colored, complex carved candles by carving slits into your candle and twisting or reshaping those slits. Carving complex candles is an acquired skill; consider investing in training videos, books or courses (see Resources).

Create a portfolio of your personalized candles using high-quality images of your best work.

Attend craft and trade shows, festivals, church bazaars, expos and other local events. Set up home parties and corporate office parties. Contact real estate agents and car dealerships about placing one of your candles in their new owner gift baskets.

Tip

You will need a reseller’s permit to attend craft and trade shows.

Always employ safe handling practices when working with melted wax.

Start a website for your business.

Contact your local art school, community craft centers and local craft store about candlemaking classes in your area. Then practice until you’ve honed you candle-carving skills and learned how to make the perfect cuts, different ways to twist or shape the wax and various color schemes to create.

Warning

The temperature at which each type of wax melts is directly related to the types of candles you intend to create. For example, a wax with a higher melting point, such as some forms of soy wax, is better suited for carved or pillar candles, which should burn at a slower rate to minimize spillage. Additionally, certain types of wax hold fragrances better than others.

About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.