How to Start a Candle Business: A Step-by-Step Guide [2023]

If you're an aspiring entrepreneur ready to dive into a new business opportunity, we have a promising idea: selling handcrafted candles.

When crafting a product that's both functional and in demand (literally and figuratively), mastering the art of candle making is a valuable skill, even for those who might not consider themselves DIY experts.

So, if you're interested in learning how to create homemade candles and kickstart a candle business, let's explore how you can generate income online with this popular product.

Why Create and Sell Homemade Candles

Types of Handmade Candles

Getting Your Candle Business Off the Ground

Tips for Running a Successful Candle Business

Commencing Your Candlemaking Venture

Frequently Asked Questions About Candle Businesses

Why Create and Sell Homemade Candles

Handcrafted candles have evolved into a crucial element of home decor. The industry's growth is anticipated to reach $5 billion by 2026, as reported by MarketWatch. Recently, the commercial application of candles has witnessed a significant surge. Spas and massage centers utilize scented candles for their calming properties, while restaurants employ them to create inviting, aromatic atmospheres for their patrons.

Furthermore, consumers purchase candles to serve as focal points in their home decor and for purposes such as aromatherapy, relaxation, and stress reduction, as noted by the National Candle Association. A quick glimpse at Google Trends demonstrates a sustained global interest in homemade candles.

Although candles have a wide array of applications worldwide, most searches for homemade candles are notably concentrated in North America, the UK, and Australia. This valuable information can be a significant advantage for candle makers seeking a market for their handcrafted products.

Moreover, Google Trends reveals considerable interest in specific candle types, ranging from scented to soy and various options. Consumer enthusiasm for candles is not only robust but also diverse. So, for aspiring entrepreneurs deciding what kind of products to offer, this knowledge is a valuable insight to help you craft a collection that resonates with potential customers.

In addition to the popularity of this trending product, candles provide business owners with several other advantages, including:

From a do-it-yourself business perspective, acquiring the skill of candlemaking can be transformed into a viable income stream. But before we delve into crafting your homemade candles, let's explore the popular candle types that capture shoppers' interest.

Types of Handmade Candles

One of the significant advantages of venturing into candle making for your business is the extensive variety available. There's likely a candle type that will captivate the interest of any potential customer.

If you're unsure where to begin, here are some of the top types of homemade candles worth considering for your candle business opportunities:

Soy Candles:

Scented or Aromatherapy Candles

Vegan Candles

Decorative Candles

Getting Your Candle Business Off the Ground

1. Conduct Market Research

2. Establish Your Brand

3. Choose a Candle Business Name

4. Develop a Business Plan

5. Craft Candles for Sale

6. Set Up Your Online Store

7. Formulate a Marketing Plan

Conduct Market Research

Your target market is the people you aim to reach with your marketing efforts. These potential buyers are most likely interested in your products and ultimately become customers. In the candle industry, target markets are typically categorized into three segments:

Prestige Market


Mass Market

During your research, pay attention to the types of candles customers in your chosen market purchase. Does your target audience prefer eco-friendly, vegan candles? Or are potential customers willing to buy paraffin wax candles despite their environmental impact? The candles you choose to sell will play a crucial role in shaping your brand identity.

Establish Your Brand

The second crucial step in launching a candlemaking business is building a brand. A well-defined brand helps you cultivate an audience, guides your marketing efforts, and facilitates the creation of superior products for your customers.

For candle businesses, establishing a strong brand is especially vital due to the industry's significant growth in recent years, making it seem like a saturated market. To stand out amid the competition, consider these three approaches:

1. Unique and Intriguing Fragrance Blends

Fragrance holds the utmost importance for today's consumers. Research from the National Candle Association reveals that three-quarters of candle buyers consider fragrance "extremely important" or "very important" when choosing a candle. Distinguishing yourself from competitors can be achieved through captivating and distinctive fragrances. Instead of offering conventional floral and woodsy scents, opt for more complex and sophisticated aromas that customers can't easily find elsewhere. These scents evoke thoughts, memories, mystery, and intrigue.

2. Brand Story

A brand story is the quickest way to establish a connection with your customers. It's a narrative that shapes and conveys your brand's identity to people. It forms the foundation for your mission, message, and tone.

Brand stories are often captivating, human, and genuine in the candle business. They should evoke emotions in people, prompting them to act, whether signing up, making a purchase, or supporting your cause. For example, consider the story of Keap Candles. The founders, Harry Doull and Stephen Tracy were dissatisfied with their tech-related jobs and sought to pursue more meaningful and inspiring work, leading them to candle making.

A compelling brand story can set you apart and make your business more relatable to your target audience.

To discover your brand story, consider these key questions:

These questions will help you uncover the unique narrative that will resonate with your target audience and make your candle business more meaningful and compelling.

Visual identity

Your visual identity (which includes your logo, photography, website, social media, and packaging) is the most direct way to influence how people feel about your candle business. 

When it comes to your candle brand, you want to pay close attention to the aesthetic of your products. Customers will use your candles for their scents and a home decor complement, so you want to design products in line with your audience.

For example, the Boy Smells brand is about elevating your intimate world. They are bright, sensual, and accessible to all genders.

The brand's visual identity seamlessly encompasses masculinity and femininity clearly and uncomplicatedly, empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds and wherever they draw their strength. This identity is consistently integrated into all its marketing materials, spanning from the website to social media and extending to over 300 retail locations around the globe.

Engaging with Boy Smells is a memorable experience, leaving a lasting impression. This highlights the influence of a robust visual identity.

Choose a Candle Business Name

By this point, your candle business is taking shape nicely. You've likely brainstormed a few business name options, and it's time to decide.

When selecting a name for your candle business, it's essential to keep it short and straightforward. This makes it more memorable and easier for customers to pronounce. A name that's easy to remember will also encourage word-of-mouth marketing. You can use Ecommarkt's business name generator if you struggle with a business name. Enter a keyword, click "Generate Names," and explore many auto-generated name ideas for your company.

Develop a Business Plan

A business plan serves as the compass for your entire candle business. It plays a crucial role in shaping your strategy, identifying potential challenges, outlining the necessary resources, and thoroughly evaluating your business concept before its launch.

Ask yourself essential questions, such as: What is the ultimate objective for my brand? Who are my primary competitors in the market? Do I aspire to have my products available in retail stores like Target or Nordstrom? Or do I intend to establish an e-commerce store and sell directly to my customers?

By clearly defining your business goals and keeping them at the forefront of your planning, you will be better equipped to navigate the path to success in the candlemaking industry.

Craft Candles for Sale

As we've illustrated, you can craft various candle types in your kitchen. This section will guide you through making a simple soy candle. You can use the same foundational ingredients, making slight adjustments to create your personalized candle recipe.

To prepare for this homemade soy candle recipe, ensure you have the following items ready:

While you may already have some of these items at home, you can acquire the rest without exceeding your budget. Soy wax can be purchased in bulk from sites like AliExpress or Bulk Apothecary for approximately $4 per pound.

If you're seeking glass containers or jars, AliExpress offers various bulk options, or you can check local thrift stores or dollar stores for cost-effective choices.

Essential oils can be found at your nearby craft store, or you can explore options on platforms like Etsy or Amazon. The remaining ingredients are readily available at most grocery stores.

Prepare Your Wax and Container

Now, let's prepare your materials to melt your candle wax. Place your soy wax in a double boiler on your kitchen stove. Fill the bottom pot with water and put the soy wax in the top pot. Set the burner to medium heat. Stir the wax using your spatula to ensure you break up any chunks as they melt.

While the wax is melting, take your wick and apply some glue to the end. Attach the glued end to the bottom of your glass container. Allow the glue to dry, securing your wick when you pour the wax.

Customize Your Candle Mixture

After your wax has melted, add your chosen essential oil to the mixture. Stir it in at a ratio of one ounce per pound of wax. If you wish to alter the color of your candle wax, incorporate non-toxic crayon chunks and blend them in.

Once all the ingredients are thoroughly melted and mixed, allow the mixture to cool to 130–140 degrees Fahrenheit. Verify the temperature with your thermometer to ensure it falls within this range.

Prepare Your Pour

Now that your wax mixture has cooled to the right temperature, it's time to pour it into your jar. Hold the wick upright with one hand and pour the mixture from the pan using the other hand. Fill approximately three-quarters of the jar with the hot wax mixture.

To ensure the wick remains upright, attach its end to the pen and position it across the opening of your jar.

Completing Your Candle

Let your wax firm up before proceeding with the final pour. You might notice a small depression around the wick in the wax – don't be concerned, as this is typical. Here's how to address this:

Pour the remaining quarter of the wax mixture into the jar to fill the depression. Allow this additional wax to set fully. Once the wax is completely firm, trim off any excess wick with scissors, and your candle is ready for burning!

Set Up Your Online Store

Now that your candles are ready, where should you sell them? A fantastic starting point is by launching your e-commerce store.

While creating an online store may seem more challenging than simply listing your candles on popular online marketplaces like Amazon, it's worth noting that these marketplaces often take a significant chunk of your profits and limit your ability to showcase your brand. In contrast, your e-commerce store offers the potential for more significant long-term profitability. It serves as a digital hub for your brand, allowing you greater flexibility and brand expression.

When creating an online store, Ecommarkt is the easiest route to take. You can establish an e-commerce website without coding skills or a substantial budget.

In exchange for a monthly fee, Ecommarkt provides a visually appealing storefront, SSL certifications for secure transactions, high-speed web servers, tools for recovering abandoned shopping carts, and a range of user-friendly marketing and sales features ideal for beginners. Additionally, you gain access to the Ecommarkt App Store, which boasts over 4,000 plugins to enhance your store and boost your online sales.

Formulate a Marketing Plan

You've got the recipe for success; now it's time to determine how to sell your soy candles (or other homemade ones). Here are strategies for both online and offline sales:

Online: Selling candles online can be highly profitable, as you can tap into a global audience. To connect with potential customers worldwide, utilize various digital platforms, including social media and your e-commerce website. Here are some online channels to consider:

Offline: While online sales are promising, don't overlook the potential of selling in-person. Being compact and easy to transport, homemade candles are ideal for in-person sales at craft shows, pop-up shops, and events. Here are some reasons to consider offline selling:

While in-person sales require different skills than online operations, they offer unique advantages. Utilize tools like Ecommarkt POS to streamline transactions and make selling on the go more convenient and efficient.

Tips for Running a Successful Candle Business

Whether you're launching a candlemaking side hustle or diving into it full-time, here are some valuable candle business tips to keep in mind:

Invest in Exceptional Product Photography: Outstanding product photography is pivotal in persuading people to purchase your candles. Ensure that the shape and label of your candles are visible in your photos. For an added challenge, stage images of your candles in a home setting, enabling shoppers to envision them in their own spaces. You can hire a professional photographer for your product images or capture high-quality photos using a smartphone.

Generate Additional Sales Opportunities: Building a base of recurring customers can be more profitable than constantly acquiring new ones. Experiment with various cross-selling and upselling strategies to increase revenue from your existing customer base. Another effective approach is introducing subscription boxes, similar to what Frostbeard Studio offers. Their "Candle of the Month Club" provides customers with a new candle each month at a fixed price, creating a steady income stream and keeping customers engaged.

Diversify Your Product Range: Consider expanding your product line by taking a cue from brands like Tofino Soap Company. Repurposing your candle scents for products such as soaps, shampoos, balms, perfumes, and more can open up new avenues for online sales. This transition is relatively seamless for many candle makers since the scents are already developed; you must create the new product. With these additional offerings, you can upsell customers based on scents they frequently purchase, curate scent-centric care packages, and expand your reach to connect with new audiences.

Leverage Holiday Sales: The Christmas holiday season accounts for approximately 35% of candle sales, as reported by the National Candle Association, with 76% of consumers considering candles as suitable holiday gifts. Get ready for this season by crafting holiday campaigns featuring special promotions and targeted advertisements to reach potential buyers.

Stay Informed About Consumer Trends: It's crucial to stay updated on the latest developments in your industry. Utilize resources like Facebook IQ, Think with Google, and Nielsen to gain insights into customer pain points and track emerging trends. This information can generate fresh product concepts, scents, and marketing campaigns to enhance your brand.

Commencing Your Candlemaking Venture

Congratulations, you've made significant progress and now have a solid understanding of how to embark on your own homemade candle business. With the tools and insights provided above, you're well-equipped to create a source of income by leveraging your DIY skills.

If you have any suggestions or tips on candle-making for aspiring DIYers, please share your advice in the comments section below. Your insights can be invaluable for those looking to kickstart their candlemaking journey.

Frequently Asked Questions About Candle Businesses

1. Is candle making a profitable business?

Candlemaking is indeed an excellent small business to start. It offers several advantages, including the fact that it doesn't require extensive equipment or technical expertise. It boasts a relatively low startup cost, and you can conveniently create candles from your home. This makes it an accessible and appealing business option for those looking to embark on an entrepreneurial journey with limited resources.

2. What is the initial investment required to start a candle business?

One of the advantages of starting a candle business is its affordability. Typical candlemaking expenses include equipment such as a double boiler, pouring pots, and Mason jars. You can expect to invest approximately $1,000 to initiate a small candle business from your home.

3. Is candle making a lucrative venture?

A candlemaking business can be extremely profitable. Not only is there a low-cost barrier to entry, but the candlemaking industry is expected to reach nearly $5 billion by 2026. There's no shortage of customers buying candles they love.

4. How can I begin a home-based candle business?

Conduct Market Research
Establish Your Brand
Choose a Candle Business Name
Develop a Business Plan
Craft Candles for Sale
Set Up Your Online Store
Formulate a Marketing