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GrayWolf

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Hi ! I'm new to this forum. Will introduce myself when I get a chance. I am not near my computer very often.
I have had an interest in Candlemaking for a long time and have yet to do anything till now. I am interested in locating books on Candlemaking and Soapmaking. I am currently reading{ Making Candles & Soap for Dummies by Kelly Ewing}. Good book. Are there and other good ones that you all can suggest?
I am also interested in the business aspect for the future. What can you all suggest in this area for reading. I would appreciate any help that you all can provide. Thanks to all !!
GrayWolf
 
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Nice to meet you Gray... I am learning about container candles myself... but soap.. all of us can help you with that.. I think if you found Irena.. she could help with the candles.

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soapbuddy

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I would suggest these 2 books:

The Complete Candlemaker, by Norma Coney
The Candle Maker by Claire Leavey

Irena
 

GrayWolf

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Thank you both for your input ! I appreciate it. I will check into these books.More questions later. Gotta Run !
 

Soapmaker Man

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Welcome to SMF GW! I started out making candles, did that for about 16 months then the soap and B&B bug attacked and I have never have been cured! LOL
When & if I can help, I'll chime in! Welcome.

Paul.... :wink:
 

GrayWolf

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What about the business aspects of Candle Making. Do you learn by trial and error or is there any good information that I can find or anyone can pass on. Also curious about the money making potential. Not getting greedy or anything. Can you support yourself or do most do it as a hobby or side business to suppliment your current income. Too many questions,but research is research :} !! Thanks to all !!
GrayWolf
 

soapbuddy

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I would suggest making a business plan.
Where do you see your business 1 year from now, 5 years, 10 years?
Do you have someone that can support you financially til you get sucessful?
These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself.

Irena
 

CPSoaper

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Another great source of information is forums like this one. If you are planning on doing soy, you really won't find much information out there in book form. Most information on soy can be gained through forums, the manufacturer and good ole fashioned experience.

First you have to figure out the types of candles you want to make and the wax you want to you use. Eventually you may even decide to expand the types of candles you make. Then I'd suggest finding a supplier nearest you to help save on shipping or hopefully to be able to pick up orders yourself. If the supplier sells a starter kit, that is always a pretty good avenue to take. Kits give you the supplies that you need right away at a pretty reasonable price. Once you've decided on the type of candle and wax and found your supplier, the supplier will be able to give you some recommendations on working with your wax. Forums like this will also have peeps on it that can answer your questions.

Once you get started, you will realize that there are so many other tools and supplies that you want or need. I'd make sure to get my candle making down before I even considered starting a business. You could very well get into this and realize it is not your cup of tea. Plus, this craft takes a lot of time, money and patience and is no get rich quick venture. It would not be unreasonable to plan on it being a few years before your business even makes enough money to restock your shelves let alone turning a profit. But it can be done. It is so much fun too.

Much luck to you and welcome to SMF. :)
 

Soapmaker Man

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I thought it was fun when I started doing it too. The hardest thing was trying to get a correct melt pool in the right amount of time and at the right depth. The cure, the correct wick(s). Wicking is the #1 most complicated thing, IMHO. There are soooo many choices. After I had container paraffin based wax down, I went to soy. After a year-and-a-half, there were so many selling candles, the wave was peaking and prices were so low compared to the cost to produce and my initial investment, I went to B&B then to CP soaping.
Just my .02 worth.

Paul.... :wink:
 

GrayWolf

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Hey Everyone ! Thanks for the information. The waxes I am interested in using are Pariffin, { Bayberry@ $12.00 a pound} and ofcourse Beeswax. Have found a place near here where I can get unrefined Beeswax for $3.00 a pound. Have interest in that for the historical aspect. I can obatin it for $4.61 a pound,refined yellow or $5.61 white refined. With the shipping and handling it is still cheaper than the $7.00 to $12.00 a pound that you find in some places.
The types of candles are the basic. Molded tapers, pillars, votives, aromatherapy candles etc. I prefer quality over fancy and stencled type of stuff. I guess that's the newbie in me !
As for price setting.................Where do you go?? Can't go too high or people won't buy! If you go too low you hurt yourself. That's the main thing I am curoius about. Any pointer............. I would appreciate it ! Thanks Again !!
 

Soapmaker Man

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The general rule of thumb is your total cost to produce the item, times 2 for wholesale accounts, and times 3 for retail. :) This is what a lot of people use to set prices, but, just a guideline only. The more experience, the better the product, the more reputation you achieve, the higher price you can ask for your craft.

Paul.... :wink:
 

CPSoaper

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Gray Wolf, I would stick with one type of candle at first and get that candle down before I started to incorporate other types of candles. It can be very overwhelming at first and getting the wicking down can sometimes be nothing short of a nightmare. It is the hardest part of all and not as easy as it may seem. But it can be done with some patience and strong will. lol

Learning about your wax and the fundamentals of making candles might also help it be easier for you to then transition into making the other types of candles you want. I've been doing this for quite a few years now and still am not raking in the dough like I wish I was. Darn it. lol It is a lot of work and there is a lot of competition out there. It's best to go out there with a well researched and tested product so that you can compete with others doing the same. Otherwise you just may get eaten alive and won't last long.

The general rule of thumb for pricing is normally figured out just like Soapmaker Man said - 2x your cost for wholesale and 3x or even 4x for retail. But you will also need consider your market as well when figuring prices. You might not be able to get for a candle what I can get or vice versa just because of the differences in our markets. So know your market. It can be a bit of both (market and costs) when figuring out your prices. The bummer part of pricing is that you really will not be able to recoup your time and effort. But that is O.K. too since I just love what I do and it never seems like work to me. I hope it is the same for you as well.
 
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