Hot Home Business: Candles

Want to work from home but not sure what you can do? The Hot Home Business Directory helps you find a business to run out of your home, lists the skills you need to do it and explains how to get started and where to get more information. Read on to find out if this Hot Home Biz is for you!

What You'll Do:
You will create uniquely designed candles. Candle-making is a popular home-based business because there is a constant demand for candles by homeowners. The market for candles and related products continues to grow and be profitable. (Your target market includes gift and bridal-accessories shop owners, craft show attendees, mall shoppers and professional decorators.) Some candle artisans have home shops for the public, while others sell their candles at craft shows, at the mall or through sales representatives or retail outlets.

Skills You'll Need:
You'll need a sense of creativity and love of the craft. To learn and develop the necessary skills, you should try to work in a candle-making shop or take classes or workshops at craft shops, craft centers or adult evening schools. Open-mindedness and patience are also important when making candles, as you'll need to experiment with different styles and techniques to create one that's unique to you.

Items You'll Need:
You may want to use a computer for record keeping and billing or for building and maintaining a Website. You might also want a fax for receiving orders and two phone lines, so you can use the fax and phone simultaneously. Other items you'll need include:

  • Wax (paraffin or beeswax)
  • Stearin (adds hardness)
  • Wax dyes
  • Perfumes
  • Wick holder and wicks
  • Thermometer
  • Equipment to melt and hold waxes
  • Molds and mold seal
  • Enameled containers for dipped candles
  • Knives
  • Stirrers

Start-Up Costs:
Expect to spend $1,500 to $10,000 for supplies, to set up a workroom and for home office supplies and equipment. These start-up costs can be financed through personal savings, small business loans or lines of credit from your bank.

Marketing and Advertising Methods and Tips:
To get the word out about your business, you should print business cards, flyers and brochures and place classified ads in local publications. If you have enough money in your budget, buy ads in trade publications such as Giftware News and Gift and Decorative Accessories to attract buyers and sales reps. Rent booths at home and gift shows. Make presentations to small gift and country business stores. Create a Website to display photos and take orders.

Income Potential:
The pricing of your candles will depend on the materials and scents used and their size. The cost ranges from $10 to $25 for simple candles, and $38 to $60 for more elaborate ones. (Network with other candle artisans for guidelines.) At a craft show or at a busy mall, you can make as much as $300 per weekend. If you expand and grow your business to eventually include sales representatives, you can make $45,000 to $95,000 per year.

For More Information:

Adapted from 101 Best Home-Based Businesses for Women by Priscilla Y. Huff. Copyright © by Priscilla Y. Huff. Adapted by permission of Crown, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this adaptation may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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