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How to step up business/inventory


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What is the next step for me?? Things are stepping up for me and I don't know how to handle it. How does one step up from a crafter to a small business.....any advice would be soooooo appreciated.

The reason I am thinking this is I have only 2 retailers I supply to right now and other than that I've just been doing the craft show scene for several years.....but I have recently got 2 more requests for wholesale sales, one of them being for a catalog sales type thing and I want to be able to accommodate them.

I am getting my ducks in line on the business side of things (incorporating, insurance, tax i.d., etc) now I am freaking out about producing enough candles.

What type of melter does everyone use? How much inventory does everyone feel comfortable with?

I want to be able to do this but seriously need to know the correct steps to take. Thanks to anyone in advance.

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Hi Laurie...I'm in a similar situation. Recently I joined the National Crafters Association. I found it on the web. It costs $49. NCA sent me an information packet. At first I was a little disappointed, but after I read all of it I realized that it's chock full of great info.

I don't know if inventory is necessary for you, but, can you make your candles for each wholesale order as the order comes in? Then you wouldn't have to keep a huge inventory.

Best of luck with it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am in the same situation as you. I have not been doing craft shows but I supply 3 shops. I found the pesto pot to be very helpful. You can get them at Walmart for $21.00. Each pot can hold up to 7 pounds of wax. Just look on the general information section on this site and it will give you step by step how to make one. I also found some cheep at Thrift stores. I don't have a lot of capital, most of it is out of pocket for me. Cajun Candle Factory's web site also has some great advise on equipment.

I am in the process of filling out all of the "Legal Gumbo" stuff. Check to see in your area if there is a small business association (you can go to your Secretary of State Web site). Most of those are not for profit and give free counseling on how to start a business (Old retired business people and attorneys). My 2 partners and I went and it really opened our eyes to a few things that you just don't think about. Of course I am not an economics major so I needed a economic for dummies to understand some of the lingo.

Good luck to you. What will be the name of your company?


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I have 5 presto pots in my workshop and I keep 2-3 with jar wax, 1 with votive and one with pilllar. As for inventory I keep more than average for my size. I try to keep one large and two small of every scent. That way I am always ready for an internet order or a show. I am running 3 companies so I find that keeping them poured is a much better way for me. I take care of my wholesale orders on the weekends and pouring any that I need to supplement my stock. When it is closer to show time I will pour a few extras depending on the time of year and what seems to be selling best.

As for jars - usually 4-6 cases each size. Wax at least one full carton. Wicks at least 100-200. FO I try to never drop below 1/2 bottle - the ones for my wholesale customers I do have at least 2 lbs in stock and the kumquat I keep ordering that in 5 lb jugs but at this point they are the only client that warrants that kind of stock on hand.


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