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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/16/2019 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    we all get asked all the time how long new chandlers should wait before hanging out their shingle as a new business. Often heated debates ensue which may end with hurt feelings or bruised egos. Sometimes it appears established candle businesses are just protecting their turf to deter competition. Often the advice is meant to help a new business learn the ropes before making potentially devastating mistakes. As proud chandlers, we strive to uphold high standards so our potential customer base continues to trust our hand made wares. There’s nothing like bad word of mouth to spook customers back to traditional retail. We have all made mistakes along the way. Watching someone follow the same potholed path is painful. Everyone means well. If you are thinking of starting a candle business, ask yourself a few questions to see how far you realistically need to go before you’re really ready. how do your candles compare to the competition? We all like to think we make candles that are “better” than uber popular XYZ brand, but how do we truly measure up? How do our candles stand out in a sea of other people’s wares who hope to sell the same thing? It’s no secret that many of us have tweaked and tweaked and tweaked some more since we started. When I look back to the early candles I often shake my head. If I knew then what I know now, oh boy. Can you quickly and safely reforumlate with supply changes? Not long ago the soy world was turned upside down. Many soy makers dropped out of the market simply because it seemed impossible to make a nice, safe candle with soy waxes that no longer worked. Many of us wax hopped, and hopped again until we found something that was ok. All of that time and testing cost real money, not just to make testers, but in lost sales. When you make a living from candles, that disruption could have been bankrupting. Can you easily identify and troubleshoot when something is wrong, and fix it? How many times have you discovered your wax suddenly develops cavities or sink holes as it cools? Or develops cracks as it cures? Or the wax case is super dry? Or just plain burns different from the last batch of wax? What if your new wicks don’t burn the same as those from another supplier? The more experience you have, the easier it will be to identify potentially expensive problems and fix them without breaking a sweat. How does your product age? Vegetable waxes are not stable forever. Most veg waxes are just hydrogenated vegetable oil like what you find in your pantry. It has a shelf life like shortening. How will a candle you make today look, smell and burn in a year? Paraffin is inert, but not necessarily perfect, especially with some additives. Does temperature and humidity change the candle. Some soy waxes “grow” with time. Some dry out. How does the wicking need change as the candle cures? How good are you at business? Does it even interest you? If you dislike math, well, I hate to break it to you, but you’ll need to like it a bit more. In order to become profitable you’ll need to calculate your total costs, taxes, licenses, insurance, booth rental fees, etc. and price accordingly so you don’t end up with moths in your wallet. Have a goal and then you can plan to get there. Do you have the guts to price your product for success? The one mistake we all make is to underprice. If we don’t factor in enough profit our cash flow will suffer. Cash flow is vital to business stability. Figure out what you need to make in a year to cover your costs, then work backward to calculate how many candles you will need to sell to cover that nut. For sake of easy math, if my insurance, business fees for my state, web site, labels, simple equipment, etc. in my first year was $3,000 I will need to sell how many candles to break even? Let’s say my candles sell for $10, with a cost of goods sold of $3 per candle. I need to sell 3,000 / $7 or 429 candles before I break even, assuming everything goes right. To make $1000 profit to pay myself, I need to sell another 143. At that profit, what am I making per hour? Would you like to learn more about calculating your cost of goods sold in a future article? Or about streamlining operations to make your valuable time earn more?
  2. 13 points
    When I first started I made some shelves. They were good but did not hold enough product. Then I when with the wire grid. These were awesome held a ton a product and worked great BUT they are super heavy and took forever to setup. (Pic Below) Next weekend I have an outdoor show that is Sat and Sun BUT you need to tear down each night and setup the next day. I would never survive tearing down and setting up 2 days in a row with my current wire grid setup. It got me thinking how could I make my setup better.. Quicker to setup, lighter, and overall easier. This has been going through my head for months. Well I came up with a new design and built them the last few days. I made 3 of them that will fit on 6 ft Tables. One of those 3 can be made to fit on an 8ft table. So I have the ability to do a few different size setups. No tools required. This weekend they will be sanded and stained and a coat of poly. I am so excited to try. Ordered some new Vinyl signs to accommodate the new setup. I am still going to use some wire grids to face outward but far less than before.
  3. 13 points
    They look great! I am assuming you made the risers with removable slats for easy set up and storage plus transport. I have wood risers with removable slats and love them. The only pain is putting in the very first slat, lining it up and fitting it in the stands. Once you get the first one in they are a snap to set up and easy to disassemble. They can hold a lot of product, look good doing it, plus they bring all your product to eye level and that helps to sell them better. When you get them finished and set up at their at your next show I hope you take some pics so we can see your new setup. I know I would love to see it. Here are a couple of pics of my wood table risers set up. 4
  4. 12 points
    It is wood wick after all 😂 A 3 gallon Pail of scrap wax finally came in handy. Green, wet wood made a nice party bonfire.
  5. 11 points
    From the beginning of my candle making journey I believed that if I could understand the chemistry of scented candles it would all be easy. Well today I ran smack into the wall known as organic chemistry. In my college chemistry classes we always referred to organic chemistry as voodoo chemistry. What I do know is that your wax and the carrier oils for your aromatics are all molecular chains of hydrogen and carbon atoms, while your aromatic molecules are rings of hydrogen and carbon atoms. As for the bonding of these molecules in a candle I have no idea, but if I could understand the bonding I might be able to improve my process. Unfortunately I suspect the unknown additives in the wax has a lot to do with the bonding. Combine that with the hundred million other things that could be going on when you mix several hydrocarbons together and clearly I will never understand it. So I’m moving this one to my bucket of things I don’t know that I’m never going to know. Apparently understanding candle chemistry ranks right up there with understanding women.
  6. 10 points
    Happy Halloween! This is all TREAT, no trick. Pure Fragrance Oils has selected CraftServer to partner with for fragrance testing new oils! I will test their selections in soap and candles, and can share the results with YOU! PFO is happy to share coupon codes with us so you can try them in your own products. Use coupon code Craftserver for these 12 FO to save 15% through December 31. here’s a sneak peek at the first round.
  7. 10 points
    I just made the switch to paperboard tubes lip balm instead of plastic!!!!!!
  8. 9 points
    Had lunch with my sister this week. We were discussing our addictions. She sells jewelry on ebay and does quite well at it. But she has a problem buying more jewelry to sort through when she already has tons. You know my addiction. I compiled a list and I have 282 different bottles of FO, mostly 16 oz and a few 8 oz. Doesn't include my 4 boxes of 1 oz samples or the duplicate FO fragrances I have. I also highlighted all the FO's I haven't even used yet, some bought several years ago. So my sister and I are going to be accountable to each other. The first one who caves and buys jewelry or fragrance oils has to buy the other one dinner. It's been 3 days and I'm still standing strong.
  9. 9 points
    Once I stopped comparing myself to other people, things became a lot more clear. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says is important. As long as my candle meets my customers expectations and they are fully satisfied why should I worry about what a random Facebook or forum member might think it’s perfect? They don’t pay my bills. Over the summer a Customer asked me who my competition was. He expected to hear any or all of the other merchants at the fair. My response was simple. “Myself. I compete against myself. I’m the only one that matters”. He was taken aback for a minute and then he nodded in complete understanding.
  10. 9 points
    Ah the rare venus flytrap candle. An extremely difficult to achieve effect using an advanced methodology known only to elders of the youtubetka tribe.
  11. 9 points
    Don't do it. Put the wax down and back away. Run while you can still afford running shoes.
  12. 9 points
    I went to visit AFI the other day since they're about an hour from where I live. It was interesting so I thought I'd share. I've never been to an actual fragrance manufacturer so that was pretty cool. They have a lab with perfumers and chemists that formulate fragrances and can also duplicate other ones with a gas chromatograph. They have a sampling room with about 20,000 (!) different fragrances and they're all organized by category (ie--bergamot, vanilla, grapefruit, etc). Then within that category they have all sorts of fragrances with that primary scent. I asked about Rosemary Mint and she brought out two trays of just that scent--but they were all different. If you wanted to sample vanilla there are trays and trays and trays of those to choose from. I brought a fragrance blend that I make out of three fragrance oils. One of the FOs, Spiced Amber Ale was from Brambleberry, except they have stopped carrying it. They are going to make me a dupe of the final scent using the three FO samples I brought (0.5 oz of each) along with the ratios I used and a sample of the final product in a candle. You have to order 10# of the final product as a minimum but before you do that you can test and tweak the scent until it's correct. The duplication itself doesn't cost anything. They make one of the FOs that I was buying from another supplier so I know at least that one is good quality. They have dupes of lots of other fragrances too. It was really interesting and eye opening. If you use oils in bulk or want to split an order with someone, it's a great way to save money. For example, one oil I was paying $16 per pound (when buying 7 #) and their price was $13.60 for 10#. That might seem like a small difference but it adds up. Overall, a really interesting field trip and if you ever get a chance to visit a fragrance house, do it!
  13. 9 points
    Here’s a short video of how I replace a wick assembly in a tin during burn testing. The advantage of this method over swapping untabbed wick is the stability the tab provides all the way to the end of the burn. Untabbed wicks tend to lean pretty early in a test candle, which forces flame far out of center. A leaning wick makes for an inaccurate wick test.
  14. 9 points
    Apparently I'm in a sprinkles mood today. They both smell so good...
  15. 8 points
    Hi and welcome! What wax is the most eco friendly is kind of a philosophical question. None are if you think about it. there’s a cost to growing, harvesting, extracting, stabilizing, packaging and distributing the wax. a lot depends on where you are, and how that wax gets to you. All are about equally good and bad as far as carbon footprint and such. In the end, paraffin is probably one of the least troubling as it is using a super cleaned, inert fraction of petroleum oil from waste that is already being produced, versus throwing it away as garbage. It is made of plants and dinosaurs so it is as “natural” as soy. Palm wax gets a terrible rap thanks to the soy lobby. It is a wonderful natural wax and is less damaging to the planet than soy. Even “natural soy” is pretty unnatural when you consider how much chemical fertilizer and Roundup is sprayed to grow it then there’s the hexane required to extract the oil from the beans. That oil is then hydrogenated to make it into a familiar feeling, convenient wax. additives and chemicals to stabilize are required so it will hold the amount of fragrance most candle makers want to use and look pretty. you could use beeswax, but then bees are harmed. With colony collapse and the new Murder Hornet killing hives we are running out of options... Oh, yeah, if you are adding fragrance (including essential oils), it is not natural either, so I guess I’m saying don’t over think it. Just make a safe, clean burning candle and you’re going to achieve your goal.
  16. 8 points
    Hey guys, I've been researching, pouring and testing candles like a crazy person in order to make my product the highest quality I can, but also make it as safe as possible (ain't nobody trying to get sued, amirite). In my research I've found plenty of resources, some more helpful than others, however I wasn't able to find a testing template that worked super great for me, so I made my own and wanted to share it in case anybody needs it/wants to use it. If you have any suggestions of what I might have missed or what else I could add, let me know. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SYvfDLarFZwzaGQM-j8D1U5IxCsnJUKU/view?usp=sharing
  17. 8 points
    This visit was much better than last time. I sniffed and sniffed until my sniffer gave out, then my daughter and I went into Wellington for lunch and had delicious pizza and breadsticks. We had eaten so much Amish Food/Cracker Barrel since Friday we wanted something different. Went back to NG to finalize my decisions and resmell some. So hard to limit myself but I kept reminding me that I didn't NEED any except the ones I needed to restock which were Apple Orchard, Carrot Cake, and Aloe & White Lilac. The new ones I narrowed it down to were Apple Cinnamon Streusel, Hansel & Gretel's House, Madagascar Spice and Frankincense & Myrrh (because 2 customers have requested Frankincense & Myrrh.) I checked several others on my list for future purchases maybe and checked some for my daughter to choose for me for Christmas. Some on her list were Denim, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, Lavender Luxury, Vanilla Silk, and Pumpkin Crunch Cake. I gave her several other suggestions so I could be surprised a little with what I wind up getting. I also picked up 2 cases of wax so saved a bunch on shipping. I had a list to smell but smelled a bunch not on the list since they were right there for the smelling. It was a fun time and it took me awhile to get all sniffed out and able to leave that place.
  18. 8 points
  19. 8 points
    Crap happens in 3's. Your done now.. Everything will be back to normal.
  20. 8 points
    I am not reading this post, I already have too many FOs. Just think of me as the see no evil monkey🙈
  21. 7 points
    Easy, peasy. Print mirrored text on a clear label, place that on the outside of the jar, and cover it with a solid label so you can only see it from the inside. Works like a charm.
  22. 7 points
    Stick with one wax, one container size, and one wick series for at least three months while you are learning the process.
  23. 7 points
    Your path becomes even more treacherous when you Drink the FO. Might want to rethink that one.
  24. 7 points
    First - Butterfly Kisses - scented with blend of green apple essence, bontanical orchard & nectar, pink lilac & willow, and a touch of peppermint. Second - Honey, I'm Home - scented with a blend of wild mountain honey, Vermont honey apple, and a touch of french vanilla to mellow it out. Third - no name yet - scented with a blend pink lemonade, sea island grapefruit and pink sugar. the base is a pink with a red swirl, but I saved out too much red for the topping so the top is almost all red - the red is the true red set from Mad Micas. Every time I use it I'm impressed...
  25. 7 points
    I think we need to look at this from the other side of the coin. I doubt most retailers “cut” the fragrance, versus buy a less concentrated blend from the lab. Labs can mix FO to meet cost (and other) needs of the buyer. Minor technicality, but the way the industry seems to work. Imagine from the reseller’s side for a second, they would need to accurately mix in their carrier oil in either each bottle poured or mix one giant keg into another larger keg, blend perfectly and dispense. That takes time, money and has imminent risk. Aromahaven had a video up at one point showing how their workers dispense from the big metal kegs into pouring pitchers, then from pitchers into the 4 or so size bottles they sell. I can’t imagine they have the workers “cut” the FO since every worker would likely do it slightly different. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  26. 7 points
    You could have a removable hang tag around the container. This could have your fragrance name and your messages to the customer as well. Then you could include a box or not depending on how much you want to spend on packaging. The hang tag is an affordable alternative that could add just the right look to your product.
  27. 7 points
    Well delivered today another surprise Easter collection to a little country store account I have a couple miles from my hose and they loved them. As I was standing there a customer had 3 candles in her arms that she was buying. When she got to the front desk/checkout she saw the Easter collection that was just placed on the counter and bought 2 of them too..I feel so good to say that this customer said she comes to Georgia a few times a year and rents a cabin and always buys my candles as she said they burn so beautiful and she brings them back to her home in California. So she bought 5 candles and was thrilled. Here are pictures of this Easter collection. Had I thought quick enough I should have bought all the colored lids from Fillmore but I forgot to order them and had to do something else. The black lids which I use all the time and of which I have plenty of stock, well the black i didn't care for on these spring candles so I wound up using the 2 piece canning jar lids that come with the candles. They are the gold. So the jars are done with the gold lids and I put a gold stretch bow around the neck of the jars. Not bad looking....not my real choice but they are done and delivered. I did 4 scents: 1 in my blend of Pineapple Cilantro and marshmallow, another scent in Orange Cranberry Crumble, another scent in Monkey Farts and another one in Banana Nut Bread. Thanks for looking......................Trappeur THIS IS WHAT I SHOULD HAVE DONE THE CANDLES IN WITH THE COLORED LIDS BUT I FORGOT TO ORDER.. I BROUGHT THEM IN A BASKET FOR PRESENTATION BUT WOUND UP LEAVING THE BASKET THERE.
  28. 7 points
    I thought I would share pictures of my Easter labels for my apple orchard account. Every year I make up a small limited collection of Easter candles for the displays that they make up in the orchard store. I use the pint canning jar for this account with yellow and green lids from Fillmore. So this small collection I did I did in assorted labels as shown. They really work real nice together. Thanks for looking! Trappeur This yellow label I'm just doing in Apple Cider Donut. For this pink label I did a blend of Lilac from Flaming and Vanilla Voodoo from Candle Cocoon. For this green label I did in Lemon Cheesecake and Coconut Caramel from Flaming. Boy if you haven't tried this Coconut Caramel, you need to! It's awesome! For this green label I did in Pineapple Marshmallow Peeps. Its a blend of Pineapple Cilantro from Flaming and one of my Marshmallows For this label I did 1 scent in Fresh Rain from Fillmore and then another scent called Daffodil which is a blend I do using Daffodil from Flaming and Fresh Cut Grass from Flaming. Is a great combo blend!
  29. 7 points
    I started to ignore them online a good while ago and now in person if someone asks me rude questions like where do you get so and so I say something like "I have various sources for all my ingredients." if they persist I say "I grind the bones and under moonlight I pray to the Goddesses for good customers."
  30. 7 points
    Hi Moonstar, Well, it sure is an on going battle and I have good days and bad, but I'm still alive and am determined I'm going to beat this. I'm so happy to have my happy pills. Trappeur PS: Thanks for asking.
  31. 7 points
    If I were them I'd rebrand as "Peak Chaos" and just use the drama as a marketing angle. "We may or may not be here tomorrow- Order now! Use promo code #impermanence" at checkout for free freight"
  32. 7 points
  33. 6 points
    Hi Everyone, We will resume taking new orders sometime tomorrow afternoon. When we sent out the notice that we were temporarily suspending new orders to get caught up, we received a tremendous amount of new orders before the suspension kicked in. We knew there would be a spike in volume, but not nearly the level we received (which we are grateful and appreciative). This heavy increase in new orders caused it to take a little longer than anticipated for us to get caught up. Please be on the lookout for a notice via Facebook and through our newsletter on exactly when we will resume new orders tomorrow (new products will also be in our newsletter). Thank you all for your continued support and we apologize for the delay in getting things back up and running. Travis
  34. 6 points
    Just saw this one today on Etsy
  35. 6 points
    Is the new additive "paraffin" ? 😉
  36. 6 points
    I just wanted to let any patchouli lovers out there know the patchouli FO from Community Candles is right on the money for a dark, thick patchouli EO. This is OOB, in the wax, and burning. It's the best I've found by far. You have to wick it up but it doesn't drown flames.
  37. 6 points
    Hello everyone. I ran across a YouTube video made by a “retired candle scientist”. The information he gives is VERY informative and helpful if you want to make your candles better, and as safe as possible. For me, I'm always looking at ways to better my product. Hope this interests you, and I hope this wasn’t already posted. Happy candling..😊
  38. 6 points
    Was heartbroken and sick to my stomach recently to lose one of my top 3 FO recently when the source decided to discontinue. Silver lining!: I'm working with a great local lab to duplicate it! I'm confident it will be as wonderful as my other dupes, and most importantly it will keep my peeps happily supplied with Faerie Wings! FW an apple/berry/cyclamen blend that sells out in every single wax and beauty product I put it into. The lab is an hour away, so freight charges will be a fraction of what I've had to fork over in the past. Very hopeful that the per lb prices will be affordable for all. Once it is back and fully tested I'll share it here first.
  39. 6 points
    Pretty sure that was the video that I saw when he was comparing cure time. A medium wood wick in a tiny jar will burn like an inferno no matter how long you cure. Once my faire season is over I’m giving serious thought to writing a book and doing some candle videos. Not sure I want to open myself up to all that criticism though ha ha
  40. 6 points
    You know it's bad when you reorder samples that you've previously ordered and don't realize it until you start looking through the "samples" box. I could start a whole new candle line with the samples I've ordered and never used. It's also bad when the UPS/Fed Ex/USPS delivery person asks what new scents you ordered.
  41. 6 points
    My soft pretzel wax melts are done 😁... Scented them in the Pretzel fragrance oil and I have to say so far OMG the Pretzel fragrance on cold is AMAZING can't wait to burn them to see how it is on hot throw but so far I highly recommend the pretzel fragrance oil!!!
  42. 6 points
    There are just so many variables - every situation is different in regards to what each of us uses - the wax or wax/blend, wicking, jar size and shape, environmental issue, etc etc etc - that is why what works for me might not work for you That being said, I was told by someone many years ago that if any FO was not strong enough for me at 6% then just forget it and move on to one of the other FOs that are out there - and there are a million others that are out there! - plus there is the economics of it - that $15 bottle used at 6% is a $30 bottle at 12% - I think you find some knock-your-socks-off higher end FOs might actually be cheaper because you use less
  43. 6 points
    Let’s talk a second about Staying on Brand. When we first start out how many of us have it all figured out? Definitely not raising my hand on this one! I started with soap. Just soap. And a nice workshop full of odd sized wood with which I made molds. Lots and lots of molds. My first outing my soap was naked in displays. I chose to package and add a label with ingredients and scent at point of sale. Well that didn’t go so well. With any more than one person in line there was a bottle neck. As as I tried to figure out what packaging would work I noticed something. If I threw my soap on a table with soap from every other seller at that market I would not be able to pick mine out of the pile easily. If I couldn’t then how on earth would my customers? Likewise when having to select packaging for random sized soap things got expensive quick. And every mold used a different amount of soaping oil, fragrance, etc. shipping to the poor suckers who took a chance on me early on was chilling too since no two bars were quite the same dimensions. Then it hit hit me hard: Standardize! Standardize dimensions, swirls, decorations, etc. and choose those dimensions based on how many I needed to fit on market displays to sell the most along with how many could fit into the most flexible mailers so customers would easily predict their order size and shipping cost. Bingo! This notion carried on to candles. Having too many variations of size and shape created a testing and manufacturing nightmare. Too many sizes of the same scent took a load of shelf space and invariably someone wanted another size. When I cut down I sold MORE! Glorious sales and more profit from not having so many things to choose from. today, my customers can spot an imposter from across the way and remain very loyal, for which I am eternally grateful. How about you? Can your customers easily identify your items in a sea of others available?
  44. 6 points
    I don't find their oils to be "much different" than the competition. I've had duds from BA. Pricey ones, too. All the reputable FO suppliers have "concentrated" oils. Plenty of recommendations right here at CS. I don't put a lot of stock in website reviews. Too many of those are based on a sniff out of the bottle or a different application than mine or just personal preferences, so I don't know that they are particularly helpful or reliable. I trust what I read here at CS lot more.
  45. 6 points
    Headed out the door to deliver candles as a surprise to the owner of the shop in town. I took a few pictures. A couple inside and then ran outside and stuck them in my flowers I have to plant. I really like how they came out with the silver zinc lid. I'll be wholesaling these to her for either 9.00 or 9.50 a jar. I'll think about it on my drive into town. I set them up in a basket of which I have burlap and lace in it to hold the candles with a glitzy floral/vine to give the whole look a somewhat springy look. Trappeur
  46. 6 points
    Another caution. If she is that allergic to soy, how would you partition your soy production from other waxes? Does she need completely separate equipment (melters, pour pots, stirring sticks, etc.)? A wise woman taught me early on not to cater to the fringes,
  47. 6 points
    Holy smokes, figuring out etsy fees is like some magical black hole. I knew things went up, but I misread by how much. the current fee structure is: 5% of total purchase including shipping 3% + .25 if you use etsy to pay. (This is similar to paypL or credit card transaction fees) So a little exercise... someone ordered a single item priced at $3.55 from my shop. Here’s a breakdown of the transaction. It takes 4 line items for them to calculate their cut. item price: 3.55 shipping: 3.78 total transaction: $7.33 1) the listing fee. $.20 2) payment processing transaction for the sale: $.48. this is the financial transaction of 3% + $.25. Should be $.47. (I read something about their skimming of creative rounding to the tune of millions recently.) 3) “transaction” fee of $.18 on the sale this is 5% 4) “transaction” fee on shipping: $.19 this is also 5% total fees: $1.05 COGS: .50 shipping packaging, etc. $.40 total costs $1.95 profit: $1.60 After I pay myself for the time to process there’s no profit. Transactions take a certain amount of time to complete. From printing the order, picking and packaging it’s easily 10-15 minutes. If something needs to be made to order, that figure climbs fast. Let’s just be generous and say it took me 10 minutes total. I will pay myself $15 per hour, so $.25 per minute, x 10= 2.50 in order processing time. This equals a loss. Let’s take a $10 candle item that fits under first class limits in the US item price: 10 shipping: $4.55 total transaction: $14.55 1) the listing fee. $.20 2) payment processing transaction for the sale: $.69. This is the financial transaction of 3% + $.25. 3) “transaction” fee of $.50 on the sale - this is 5% 4) “transaction” fee on shipping: $.23 this is also 5% total fees: $1.62 COGS: $3 generous estimate for a cheap jar, wax, FO, label, wick. shipping packaging, etc. $1.00 total costs $5.62 profit: $4.38 the same 10 minutes worth of labor adds $2.50, so profit drops to $1.88. Yikes. A business needs cash flow to survive. I still will need to pay fixed expenses like insurance, along with transactional sales & use taxes and income tax. Without extreme volume sales and essentially automatic robotic order processing there’s no way a small business can be viable using the typical pricing model of 3x cost to price for retail and 2x for wholesale.
  48. 6 points
    My personal pet peeve, fine, ONE of my pet peeves is when people who just joined a forum and start asking what our favorite, best, cheapest, etc. source for so and so is. A**HOLE, at least contribute SOMETHING first. Grease the wheel SOME. oy.
  49. 6 points
    Unless you’re in the business of selling necessities, you undoubtedly rely on your buyers’ emotions to keep your doors open. A follow up to finding your ideal customer (https://www.craftserver.com/topic/114149-who-is-your-ideal-customer/) is how to make that ideal customer feel fabulous so they absolutely HAVE to buy your products. When a product strikes that emotional cord, your relatioship with the customer changes in your favor. Delighted customers stop looking at the price tag so closely, allowing you to increase your margins which increases your business’ financial health. Cash flow is king! One type of customer feels fabulous buying something at a high end department store. Price tag does not matter since the product is worth it to them emotionally. Take a look at Diptyque candles for a sec. https://www.diptyqueparis.com/collection34/index/home/ they describe their scents as legendary. Who doesn’t want to be legendary? the average 7-8 oz candles start at retail prices of $80. Pretty jars. Juicy descriptions. Or closer to home, Jo Malone. Their basic jars start in the $70 range. https://www.jomalone.com/products/3560/for-the-home/home-candles Or Tom Ford. https://www.tomford.com/private-blend-oud-wood-candle/T55J.html?cgid=3-555-626&dwvar_T55J_color=OC#start=3 square jars that start at near$100 Not quite your cuppa? Then how about Capri blue? https://www.capri-blue.com/products/candles/volcano-blue-signature-jar/ $30 retail is slightly higher price point than many here are comfortable with, but means a simpler, well paved road into profitable wholesale that actually makes the transaction worth while. people covet those products, while often you and I get stuck feeling worried about asking a dollar or two more for a “fancy” jar. Just thinking out loud, how nice would it be to sell one candle for $100 versus 10+ for the same money? What ever would we do with all that extra TIME (and money)?
  50. 6 points
    So after a 15 year hiatus, I wanted nothing more than to start up again. Well, my best advice is, don't quit your day job. After seeing 8 clients today (the snow yesterday forced everyone into wanting a session today). Trouble is, I ran into an old friend last week (The American Soy Guy) who owns a florist business who said, "I'm having a Valentine's Day gig - bring your stuff". Okay, so I'm in pretty good shape with 25 well-tested fragrances so I"ll bite. And also, he has his eye on a new building where there would be room for my retail rise from the ashes. Sweet. Do I have Valentine stuff ready to roll? Not really, but I can gimp. My name to fame which I have yet to post pics is that I use old fruit crate labels and unlicensed vintage stuff for my labels instead of my logo. That's what set me apart from the rest eons ago. I never liked "Yankee" screaming in my kitchen so I made or free-licensed awesome fruit or laxative labels ("Fig" the natural laxative!) So I use Word to lay out my designs, usually 12 per page. Go to the printer. They're awesome. "Yeah, I remember you." Cool. Print these up in color. I got the 2 year-old grandson with me which is more information than I can reasonably print here. Pour like crazy all last weekend. 120 jars of varying sizes because that's what the florist friend is looking for. Unfortunately, not all 25 scents are tested in all sizes, so the gimp continues. Enter stage left my new-found desire for eco-friendly lids. The kraft paper lids look awesome but only with kraft labels. Trouble is, I printed some on my own printer and the Professional Printer's kraft paper doesn't match. The kraft paper lids now look like Sunshine. The grandson is left to watch Netflix cartoons and eat grapes out of the refrigerator Saturday morning. All's well. More clients with serious demands on Monday. I'm pouring in between sessions out in the "candle shed" - a 20x20 that requires a gas mask. It leaves red marks on my face and my clients ask if I've been crying. Yes, sort of, but it's because I care. Fast forward to tonight at 10:30. Last client at 7:00. Topping off the last three fragrances. Cleaning another 100 jars like crazy and applying safety stickers. At 10:30 I realize I can't find the Victorian Valentine's day vintage post card labels I THOUGHT the printer had printed last week. Can't find the thumb drive I gave to the printer. Searching frantically through the car and all coat pockets. Now also looking for cigarettes. The ones I quit 10 months ago. I have no Valentine's labels for my very demanding, very gay, extremely creative friend who I promised a great mini candle-show. I also have secured two other small wholesale accounts I sold to years ago who I thought I could peddle new designs to tomorrow over coffee in the morning. This is not going to happen even though I rescheduled 4 difficult clients. Printed out the Valentine's day labels in black and white, cut them out, and taped them to the tops of the jars which I"ve packed up so when I get the color labels printed, I will know which fragrance gets which label. Also included are beautiful displays of fake red roses, silver dishes, some fancy potpourri . . . you get the picture. My plan is to hit the printer's as early as possible, beg and plead to get the color Valentine labels printed, cut out and applied to the candles, and set up my display at my florist friend's place, drive back to my house, see three clients, drive back to the florist's, see how the Valentine's day gig is going (a local winery who has advertised in both newspaper and radio will be there), and reschedule the other two wholesale account meetings. A hot mess I could not have orchestrated better myself. Hoping you all have a better day pending.
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