Header image of wax being poured into candle jars

How To Start a Candle Business: A Simple Guide

If you're a budding entrepreneur ready to ignite your next business, crafting and selling your own line of candles might be the perfect venture. Not only is it a creative outlet, but it also has the potential to be a profitable business thanks to its steady market growth in Australia.

If you think this venture is for you and you're wondering how to start a candle business, this guide will provide a roadmap to turn your candle-making passion into a profitable undertaking.

From developing unique products to carving out a niche in the digital world, we'll cover all the essentials for a successful start.

Image 1: Homemade candles scene. Image 2: Hands holding a uniquely shaped candle

Start With a Unique Idea for Your Candles

One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is what will set your candles apart. Think about what makes your candles unique and how they can stand out in the market. 

This will be the thing that draws customers to your brand. Here's how to brainstorm and come up with your unique candle idea:

Explore uncommon scents: Don't just settle for vanilla and lavender fragrances. Australia offers a range of unique scents thanks to its diverse flora. Experiment with eucalyptus, wattle, or boronia to create a line of candles that highlight the essence of the Australian landscape. Remember, the sense of smell is powerfully tied to memory and emotion- use this to your advantage!

Sustainable practices: The world sees sustainability as a must, so consider an eco-friendly approach in your candle making. Use renewable resources like soy or beeswax and wicks made from natural fibres. Labelling is another area where you can be environmentally conscious. Avery's eco-friendly candle labels are 100% recycled, use a water-soluble adhesive, are FSC® Certified, and are vegan. Those facts right there can be some of your unique selling points!

Unique designs and themes: Your candles can be more than just a source of light and fragrance; they can be art pieces or conversation starters. Think about using elements of Australian culture, nature, or art in your designs. This could be through the shape of the candles and the way they're labelled.

Innovative functionality: Consider candles that serve a dual purpose, for example, candles with insect-repelling properties or candles designed for specific moods or times of day, like a morning refresh or a nighttime relaxation blend.

Personalisation options: Offering personalised candles can set your business apart. This could include custom scents, colours, or even adding customers' names or messages to the candles. Personalisation adds an emotional value to your product, making it a popular choice for gifts and special occasions.

Image 1: Woman pouring candle wax into a jar. Image 2: Hands applying label onto candle jar. Image 3: Woman at a marketplace handing out a gift box of candles

Build Your First Budget for Materials

Crafting your budget is one of the most critical steps in laying the foundation for your candle business. Those who don't can quickly find themselves out of their business before it even starts. 

A well-planned budget not only helps in managing your initial expenses but also sets the stage for financial stability and growth. Here's how to build a comprehensive budget for your candle-making materials:

Cost of wax: Wax is the primary material in candle making. The wax you choose (soy, paraffin, beeswax, etc.) will influence your costs. Soy and beeswax are pricier but popular since they're natural and eco-friendly. Research local and national suppliers and consider bulk purchasing to lower costs.

Wicks and fragrances: The cost of wicks and fragrances can vary a lot. Wicks should be chosen based on the wax type and the candle size. Fragrances are a key selling point, so investing in high-quality scents is a must. Just remember to budget for this!

Containers, labelling and packaging: Container costs can jump significantly from simple glass jars to bespoke ceramic holders. Labels are essential for a professional-looking product, and packaging protects your candles during transport. As mentioned earlier, consider eco-friendly options like Avery's recycled labels to align with sustainable values. While they might come at a slightly higher cost, they're worth it in terms of quality and customer perception!

Shipping and ordering costs: Include the cost of shipping materials to your workspace and the cost of sending finished products to customers. If you're planning an online store, consider flat-rate or free shipping to attract customers without significantly impacting your budget.

Advertising and marketing: Even a modest budget for advertising can go a long way. Digital marketing, social media advertising, and local market stalls are cost-effective ways to start. Put aside funds for these things. Remember that marketing is an investment in your brand's visibility and growth that can bring actual returns!

Miscellaneous expenses: There are always hidden expenses everyone forgets. Always include a category for miscellaneous expenses. This could cover anything from printing business cards to buying sample products for testing. A buffer in your budget for unforeseen costs helps, especially in the initial stages.

Image 1: Candle wax poured into jar. Image 2: Woman smelling a candle

Develop Your Candle Line

The first step is selecting the right type of wax. Each wax type, from soy to paraffin or beeswax, appeals to different customer preferences. For instance, soy wax is known for its clean burn and environmental friendliness. 

Beeswax, on the other hand, offers a natural, subtle honey scent. The wax you choose will determine the quality of your candles and reflect your brand's unique values.

Paraffin wax is a cost-effective and versatile candle-making material, holds colour and scent well and allows for a longer burn. However, as a petroleum by-product, it has sparked debates over potentially releasing harmful fumes when burned. Despite this, its ease of use and wide availability make it a common choice.

The next aspect is choosing wicks, which influence how your candle burns and releases fragrance. A wick that's too small won't burn effectively, while one that's too large will cause the candle to burn too quickly. 

The wax type and desired burn time all play a role in selecting the perfect wick for your candles. This step might require some experimentation to find the ideal match.

The fragrance is the soul of your candle line. It's what captivates and grabs your customers, creating an emotional connection. Whether you're blending your own scents or sourcing them, consider the variety and appeal of your fragrances. 

Scents can range from subtle and soothing to bold and invigorating. They can evoke memories, create ambience, or add a touch of luxury to everyday life. Your choice of fragrances needs to align with your brand's image to create continuity.

Remember that even the smallest details can make a big impact on your customers' overall experience and perception of your brand. Consider experimenting with different options until you find the perfect combination for your candle line. 

And remember, always keep your target audience in mind when making decisions. After all, they're the ones who will be buying and enjoying your candles!  

Image 1: Woman handing a candle over to a customer at a market. Image 2: Gift boxes of candles. Image 3: Avery Round labels on homemade candles

Get Attention Early With Promotions and Packaging

Gaining initial traction for your candle business is pivotal, and this is where strategic promotions, captivating packaging, and professional labelling play a key role. Avery can be an invaluable partner in this area, providing essential tools and materials to make your products stand out.

Promotional Strategies

  • Introductory offers: Launch your business with enticing offers like discounts for first-time buyers or special bundles. This can draw early customers and generate buzz.
  • Collaborations and social media: Partner with influencers and local businesses to expand your reach. Use social media for contests and giveaways, engaging your audience in a meaningful way.
  • Events and markets: Join local markets or events, offering samples or promotional items. This direct engagement can build a loyal local customer base.

Impactful Packaging

  • Design and function: Your packaging should be both visually appealing and functional. It not only protects the candle but also serves as an extension of your brand. It's an opportunity to make a statement about your brand's identity, whether it's through elegant simplicity, rustic charm, or vibrant and artistic chic.
  • Brand consistency: Whether it's simplicity, luxury, or eco-consciousness, your packaging and overall brand must reflect these values. Don't overlook the importance of consistency in building a strong brand image.
  • Unique features: Think outside the box and consider unique packaging options, like including a handwritten thank you note or a small gift with each purchase. These thoughtful details can leave a lasting impression on your customers.

Professional Labelling With Avery

  • Custom labels: Avery's large range of customisable labels can help you create the perfect look for your candles. Whether you need waterproof, glossy, or matte labels, Avery offers options that fit your specific needs.
  • Branding materials: Beyond labels, Avery can help create cohesive branding materials like business cards, price tags, shipping tags, and printable tags. These materials will give you an edge in enhancing your professional image.
  • User-friendly design tools: With Avery's online Design & Print software, you can easily design and print your labels, even if you're not a professional designer. This ease of use can be a huge kickstart for small business owners looking to create a polished brand image.
Woman smiling holding a candle jar with an Avery round label on it

Start a Candle Business the Right Way

Are you dreaming of how to start a candle business? Let's turn that into a reality. By laying a good foundation for your candle business, developing a high-quality product line, and promoting it effectively with the help of Avery, you can launch your venture on the right foot.

Avery offers a range of customisable label options ideal for candle businesses of all sizes. Whether you're looking for elegant and professional labels or something rustic and charming, Avery has you covered.

Start by exploring our candle labels and stickers. These labels are designed to withstand heat and adhere to different surfaces, helping your candles look great and stay branded even after hours of burning.

If you plan to present your candles in jars, our jar labels and stickers are the perfect choice. They offer a clean and professional look that enhances the overall look of your candles, making them appeal to customers.

For a more natural, earthy look, consider kraft brown labels and stickers. These labels add a rustic touch to your candles, perfect for brands emphasising natural ingredients and eco-friendly practices.

Do you have more questions about candle labels?

Visit our FAQ page here. Or, you can contact our Australian line on 1800 644 353 or 0800 228 379 if you live in New Zealand.

We look forward to helping you find the perfect candle labels and other materials to help your business get up and running!