How to start a candle business

November 16, 2023

Creating calm, atmospheric spaces is a common priority in modern home design, so candles are far more than just sources of light. The right candle can exude comfort, ambience, and style, serving as an extension of the existing decor in any room. This is why starting a candle-making business can be rewarding both creatively and financially.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to start a UK candle business, from selecting unique business names to designing exceptional products and creating effective packaging.

Shortlist candle business names

One of the first things you’ll want to do is come up with potential names for your candle business. If you want to make a strong first impression on new customers, it goes without saying that you should call your brand something catchy, unique, and memorable.

Here are some tips for brainstorming candle business names:

Reflect your brand personality: The name needs to mirror the essence of your candles and how you want buyers to feel. Think about the style, scent and brand mission of your product, as well as your target customer.

Check for availability: See which of your candle business name ideas are available. If the one you really like is already in use by another business, you might still be able to use it if they haven’t registered a trademark. If the company hasn’t done the latter but is well-known, that could change things, as you’ll struggle to make yourself known in your own right. If they have registered it, you would be committing trademark infringement to use the same name, so consider alternatives like using a different spelling.

Domain name availability: Securing relevant domain names for your candle business is a smart move. Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll use them, it avoids somebody else registering them for their business at some point in the future. If this happens, it can impact the potential customers you’re able to attract through website traffic.

Test it out: Share your candle business name ideas with friends and family to gauge their reactions. You can gain valuable feedback this way, potentially raising issues or selling points you hadn’t previously considered.

Create your business plan

A well-thought-out business plan is a blueprint for your company. It provides a comprehensive overview for investors and helps you clarify your vision, serving as a roadmap to guide you in the various stages of growing your company. It should outline your short-term and long-term goals and help you to identify potential challenges, among other details.

Key components of your business plan need to include:

Business description: Explain the nature and purpose of your candle business.

 Market research: Show analysis of your target market, competitors, and customer preferences.

Start-up and operating costs: Estimate your expenses and explain how you plan to fund your business.

 Marketing strategy: Detail your plans for promoting and selling your candles.

Financial projections: Create a financial forecast, including income, expenses, and profitability.

Calculate your start-up costs

Starting a candle business, like any other venture, requires an initial investment. This can vary widely based on factors like scale, quality and the materials you use. On average, you can expect to invest anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds in supplies, equipment, and marketing efforts in the first year.

It’s essential to have a detailed understanding of your start-up costs to ensure that your business has the best chance of hitting the ground running. These expenses typically include:

Candle-making supplies: Wax, wicks, fragrance oils, dyes, moulds, and other essential materials.

Equipment: Candle-making equipment like melting pots, thermometers, and pouring pitchers.

Packaging and labelling: Jars, containers, labels, and packaging materials.

Business registration: Costs associated with registering your business and obtaining necessary licenses.

Marketing and promotion: Budget for marketing materials, website development, and advertising.

Set up your workspace

Creating a functional, organised workspace is crucial for producing high-quality candles. Whether you’re working from home or a dedicated studio, think about the following:

Safety: Create appropriate ventilation, follow fire safety measures, and use personal protective equipment. Never leave candles unattended while burning, and keep flammable materials away from your workspace.

Organisation: Arrange your supplies, tools, and equipment in an orderly manner to enhance your efficiency as you work.

Ergonomics: Choose comfortable seating and appropriate workstations to reduce strain over extended periods of work.

Source your candle-making supplies

The success of your candles largely depends on the materials you use. It’s essential to source high-quality supplies for products that stand out in the market and burn consistently, which is important for customer satisfaction. You can find candle-making supplies in specialised online stores, local craft shops, and wholesale suppliers. Research and compare prices, quality, and shipping options to choose the best suppliers for your needs.

Wax: Options include paraffin, soy, beeswax, and palm wax. Each of these has unique properties and benefits, so do your research.

Wicks: Purchase wicks in your desired size and material, to match your brand aesthetic and identity. If you’re taking a sustainable approach, you can opt for eco-friendly varieties.

Fragrance oils and dyes: Select scents and colours that align with your brand and target audience. Again, you can choose options that fit a green business model, such as vegan-friendly oils.

Moulds and containers: You can have a lot of fun with this one to inject plenty of personality into your brand. Opt for a variety of shapes and sizes to diversify your product range.

Hone your candle-making skills

Creating exquisite candles is at the heart of your business. The more you learn and practise, the more confident you’ll become. To excel in this craft, you’ll need to:

Learn different techniques: Spend time mastering methods for various types of designs, such as container candles, pillar candles, and taper candles.

Practice consistently: Like any skill, practice makes perfect when it comes to candle-making. Experiment with different materials and techniques to refine your talents.

Follow protocols: Make sure you’re fully informed on how to avoid accidents and personal injury when working with hot wax and open flames.

Design unique candle styles

Setting your candle business apart from the competition largely comes down to the unique designs and styles you offer. They need to both echo your brand and resonate with your market.

Some design considerations include:

Colour palette: Experiment with various colours and combinations to create visually appealing candles. You can go for on-trend hues, stick to classic neutrals or use seasonal colour themes.

Fragrance selection: Offer a diverse range of scents that cater to the preferences of your customers. If it’s something you love, it’s a good sign that others will like it – but again, it’ll be valuable to get others’ opinions too.

Decorative elements: Get creative and incorporate decorative elements like dried flowers, glitter, or unique textures.

Personalisation: An easy way to expand your range and broaden your income sources is by offering the option of customised candles for gifts and special occasions.

Create an eye-catching logo

A visually appealing logo is essential for building brand identity and recognition. You can either do this yourself or outsource your logo design to a professional, which is a worthwhile business expense if you want to grab people’s attention from the start.

Simplicity: A simple, clean design is often more memorable. It also makes it easier to use on different types of packaging and marketing collateral.

Colour psychology: Choose a colour/s that makes sense for your brand name and fits the style of your candles.

Originality: It’s of paramount importance that your logo is unique and doesn’t infringe on others’ trademarks. You also don’t want to be confused with any other brands or you lose your identity.

Versatility: Your logo should look good across different offline and online platforms and channels, from business cards to social media profiles.

Choose the right packaging

Packaging is not just about protecting your candles; it’s also a vital element of branding and can elevate your product. The right packaging makes a powerful first impression, enhances your customers’ unboxing experience and conveys the quality of your candles.

Consider the following packaging options:

Container type: Select containers that match your candle style and are heat resistant, whether you choose jars, tins, or other creative options.

Labelling: You’ll want your labels to provide various pieces of essential information, while visually showcasing your brand’s visual identity. Besides the name, this should include ingredients, instructions for use and your brand ethos.

Sustainability: If possible, invest in eco-friendly packaging materials to avoid a harmful global impact. This also makes great business sense, as more and more of today’s consumers place importance on reducing their carbon footprint.

Branding consistency: Your packaging needs to act as an extension of your brand image and messaging.

Know the legal consideration

Starting a candle business in the UK involves various legal and regulatory requirements, so these are essential to understand. You can consult with legal and financial professionals to ensure that you meet all the legalities for your candle business, but it’s good to be aware of what they may include:

Business structure: Do your research and decide on the legal structure of your business, whether it’s a sole proprietorship, LLC (Limited Liability Company), or corporation.

Permits and licensing: Get a business licence and look into your local authority’s requirements for candle-selling permits.

Product safety: You’ll need to be compliant with business health and safety regulations and standards, adhering to local and national laws.

Taxes: Understand your tax obligations as a business owner and keep accurate financial records.

Market your candle business

Effective marketing is key to attracting customers and growing your candle business. It’s an ongoing effort that helps you to connect with people, engage in an ongoing conversation and get them excited about your offering.

Consider these strategies:

Create a website: Build your online presence with a professional site that showcases your candles and brand. There are plenty of website-building platforms with easy-to-use interfaces, that allow even beginners to create something impressive.

Grow your social media following: Leverage platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest to share visually appealing candle photos, storytelling videos and other behind-the-scenes content.

Utilise content marketing: Write blogs, guides, and articles about candle care, home decor, and fragrances to suit every mood, to engage and educate your audience.

Use email marketing: Build a mailing list to inform customers about new products, promotions and content, collect feedback and run competitions. Emails are a good way of getting noticed by sitting in people’s inboxes, rather than having your message lost in online noise.

Try out different selling methods

The digital age has made it easier than ever to sell candles online. While it opens up a potentially global market for your products, it also requires a dedicated effort and careful attention to detail.

Here are some important points to think about in your planning:

E-commerce platforms: Choose an e-commerce platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Etsy to set up your online store.

Professional photography: High-quality product photos are essential for showcasing your candles.

SEO optimisation: Optimise your product listings by including keywords, to increase visibility in search engines.

Secure payment and shipping: Focus on smooth payment processing and reliable shipping methods.

Get Crafters Business Insurance with Protectivity

Growing any business takes a lot of focus and a positive mindset. This is why it’s crucial to safeguard your business with the right insurance, so that you can minimise any additional stress and give your full attention to making a success of your brand.

Protectivity’s Crafters Business Insurance is designed to protect you against the unexpected. It can cover you in cases of accidents, liability claims, or damage to your equipment and products. By securing your candle business with crafters insurance, you can do what you do best, creating beautiful candles, with peace of mind.

Find out more about our Crafters Business Insurance and get an instant quote to suit your needs.

This blog has been created as general information and should not be taken as advice. Make sure you have the correct level of insurance for your requirements and always review policy documentation.