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Soy:To color or not to color that is the question?


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I’m making the big switch from paraffin to soy. My husband and I are in this debate. Should we go colorless or should we color our soy candles to complement the fragrance.

The last 2 soy candles I bought are colorless. Meaning they are natural creamy white or off white. I liked both the display presentation of these candles and the kind of natural look and feel to them.

My hubby thinks that people may want to color coordinate with the home décor and candles which I don’t 100% disagree with. But on the other hand what if there is a scent a customer likes where the color doesn’t match their décor?

From a sellers point of view, do you feel that color/or no color makes a big difference. Has any one made the dye to no dye switch or vice versa?

Also what are the challenges when it comes to coloring soy?

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I offer my candles either way. The default is no color but in the ordering process they can choose a color if they wish. Honestly I think most soy candlemakers that don't use color did it because of the frosting issue - it shows up worse in colored candles. So to keep from having to explain to customers, and possibly losing a sale, that the frosting is perfectly natural, etc, etc, they just stopped coloring them.

That's my $0.02 anyway ;-)

Ronnie

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I asked the question awhile back at a get together with friends who know what I do, and some are my testers after I test them of course. The majority said as long as it was a candle they intended to burn they liked the uncolored as long as the scent was good. I dont make pillars or even votives, only containers (nothing over 8oz) and melts and wickless tins, so I have been thinking of cutting back on the colors for the reason that most who get mine, dont get them for the decor purposes.

I would say if you are one who makes to order instead of having a lot of stock on hand, I would do what was suggested above and give them the option.

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I quit coloring my candles 6 yrs ago and my customers have never complained or said they wish they had color. I do get the occasional.."is it scented?" But other than that no negative feedback.

I do agree with Carrie that if you decide to leave your candles the natural color that you need to add something to your candle to catch the customers eye.

Karen

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We have discussed this many times and its hard to decide. I want to be natural also and will make the switch soon. I ony use soy and have used color and now they turn out great. I like the dye chips or blocks but u will use more dye.

I just asked a client today about color and she prefers natural. So I believe once I am out of my dyes I am going so natural.

Saves money too.:D

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I like to offer colors as well as uncolored natural or colored white. I have been using the liquid dyes from JBN and, for the most part, am very satisfied. I haven't noticed the colors being a wicking problem, but they do have a role to play with frosting. Pastel colors work the best - the more colorant, the more chances for frosting issues, especially with certain colors and combinations. To get vibrant colors or deep shades, sometimes one has to use extra dye, but it can be done. Soy is a little difficult to color because it is already white and opaque, so it lends itself naturally to pastel shades.

Whether or not I color a candle, I do always use the UV Inhibitor stuff - helps keep the color true and not faded out or yellowed by the effects of UV light.

Coloring is strictly a matter of preference and what your customers like... although I do think it has a part to play with scent. Our senses of smell are heightened by certain expectations, like cherries being red, evergreens being green, etc. Many tests have been done on people to see how well they identified fragrances or tastes with no color or an "incorrect" color. In nearly all of them that I have seen, people report the scent or flavor more accurately when the expected color is also present.

Then there is the undeniable fact that I am a color freak...:DI don't mind troubleshooting the issues that color presents because I personally like it.:)

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In my personal experience over the past 3 years, more of my customers prefer the colors. When I'm doing a show, I color/scent coordinate them.

When I'm making an order, they can choose their own color (I just made some Orange Clove candles colored Hunter Green) When I color (unless it's really light) I use CBA. When I don't color, I use 464.

But I do also have customers that like the "natural" look.

HTH

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I think alot of it has to do with your market. I have opted NOT to color my candles anymore. It was not because of frosting issues for me. I just like the natural white/off white of the soy. White and off white go with ANYTHING just like black goes with about any color.

I have changed my jars back to 8oz jelly jars (for now) I may go back to my 9oz hexs, but anyway I bought the black lids to go on them and am going to use clear lables...I think it will be a nice look. I still have to have a logo done, something with pinetrees and/or mountians so there will be some color on my lable.

Anyway, like one person said maybe offer both for a while to see what kinda market you have and then go from there.

tootie

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I do a lot of craft shows. I watch the response at other candle booths. What I see, is the customer walks by and says, oh what pretty colors. Then they stop and smell. When I stop at a booth and all of them are white. They seem to smell light to me. I know that it is all in my head but they just do. Have you noticed how people sometimes look for the deepest colors? That is because at one time the only candles that were strong, were mulberry, black cherry, etc. In the customers mind, if they see one that is lighter, even if it the same scent, they think it is weaker. I know, because mine come out lighter or darker a lot. I thought about doing them white at one time. But decided to keep all the bright pretty colors that attract them to the tables. If you are doing it to make a 100% natural candle, you must use true essential oils also. And that gets expensive. Just my opinion.:cool2:

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My candles are colored very deep Jewel tones and are very bright! The color attracts the customers as they walk by. It can also show other candle makers how experienced you are. I go to a great many shows and can always tell the brand new chandler by their colors. Newbies tend to be afraid of deep rich colors and have things like pink Cinnamon Bun and very pale blue Sea Breeze. When I ask how long they've been making candles their answers will tell me one thing while their colors tell me another. Generally they are honest but a few have not told the truth and I just point out the PINK Cinnamon Bun and walk away.

If I had to do it again, I would go with no color at all except Ivory but I think that throws some customers off.

JMO

Fire

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I have been making soy candles now for about 2 1/2 years and have never used color. I like the look of a white candle and I think I could count on one hand how many times someone has commented about why they are not colored. If they are white, they can go in any room, don't have to worry about matching with your decor. I don't think I have lost any sales because they are not a color. I really think it a personal choice. Whether a candle was a bright color or just white, it wouldn't matter to me as far as if I'm gonna buy it or not, the scent throw was always the deciding factor for me. JMO:)

Michele:D

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I quit using color as well, just tired of the frosting issues and frankly, I don't like colored candles all that well (except for red at Christmas). Opinions are going to vary here by what works in different areas. In my area of California, they are all into as natural as can be, so my not coloring works here. We do use ribbbons to match the fo and I do rename lots of the fo's so the mind doesn't think the name needs color. I know this topic has been brought up lots, so a search may give you other responses as well.

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Hi Everyone,

As of this past January, we stopped offering soy candles with dye for retail sale. We have found that we sold more dye free candles than those that had dye. At our last festival we sold 500 candles and we have never sold that many at a show in years.

We also decided dye free to better streamline our business and it has been a success so far.

Jameel

Kandle Indulgence Company

www.kandleindulgence.com

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Guest Candelishis

If you think about it, all the "high end" or "luxury" soy candles are colorless, so I guess rich people like white candles :) LOL. I like them both ways, but I've made some colorless the past couple months, and I have a big craft show this weekend, and I am going to see what i sell more of. I think the colorless idea is awesome...one less step for us to do!! So if I sell more, then I'm going colorless as well, except for special requests on wholesale orders.

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I just want to say thank you to all of the members that have replied to my topic. It’s actually been very helpful. Although I see that opinions are mixed after reading and reviewing your comments and suggestions.

I’m leaning towards no color and the fact that I have yet to purchase any candle dye has had an affect on that decision. However I have been considering using some color to create some effects like marbleizing or creating chunky colors. So I may purchase some liquid dyes to test some of the storms in my brain.

I really appreciate what everyone has to say. So please continue to post your 2 cents worth here whenever you like.

Cheers,

Jacqui

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We have found that dye free candles sell much faster than the candles with dye. We recently went dye free in January and it was the best move we made. We do, however, will make candles with dye for our wholesale customers upon request.

When we made our soy candles with dye many of our customers didn't like the color choices and we also offered for them to have their candles customized to suit their needs but that was too many decisions for many to make.

Happy Candlemaking!

Jameel D. Nolan

Kandle Indulgence Company

www.kandleindulgence.com

info@kandleindulgence.com

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I really wanted to go colourless from the very start, but somehow got persuaded from the opinions I sought, that more people would prefer colour. So rather grudgingly I do offer coloured, but went for a half way thing and chose quite a few scents that were more suited (IMO) to white. I am however, becoming more and more convinced that completely colourless is going to be the way forward for me.

I recently made a fairly big order of tumblers in many different fragrances, all in white and I was so pleased with the look of them, that it convinced me that I should have followed my original instinct. :D

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I am undecided on this as well. I make soap and b&b as well and the only thing I've been coloring is my soap. Lotions, creams, body glazes, I leave as is and rely on my labels for coloring. For scrubs, I add a little bit of jojoba beads for color.

I want to add soy wax melts to my line and am deciding on whether I want to add color or not. While color catches attention, it can be subjective to the customer as well. Since I package the melts in clamshells, I will also have a label that will be eyecatching as well.

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Guest Candelishis

I had my craft show this weekend, and I had about the same amount of colored and colorless candles. I sold about the same amount of each. So, I think that I will just stick with both for the time being, until one starts to outsell the other. The colorless are soooo much faster to make, you don't have to stir in dye, or wait for your dye chips to melt completely, so I really like them, but I also don't want to put people off that want the colored candles....I just don't know what to do now.

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I had my craft show this weekend, and I had about the same amount of colored and colorless candles. I sold about the same amount of each. So, I think that I will just stick with both for the time being, until one starts to outsell the other. The colorless are soooo much faster to make, you don't have to stir in dye, or wait for your dye chips to melt completely, so I really like them, but I also don't want to put people off that want the colored candles....I just don't know what to do now.

Just a suggestion, but for shows offer both unless you see one drop off in sales. Other than shows if you sell, why not make color a custom option? We really did not see any decrease in sales when we quit coloring...and we went cold turkey! I will only color now for custom candles in soy containers. In palm containers we color almost all of them.

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Guest Candelishis
Just a suggestion, but for shows offer both unless you see one drop off in sales. Other than shows if you sell, why not make color a custom option? We really did not see any decrease in sales when we quit coloring...and we went cold turkey! I will only color now for custom candles in soy containers. In palm containers we color almost all of them.

I do most of my business from my website, and I keep my stock for shows, but otherwise, when someone orders something, I make it when they order it, I give them the option to have whatever color they want, if they don't want the "usual" color. For example, my black currant vanilla candles are usually died a dark pinkish-red color, and a girl just ordered a 22 ounce black currant vanilla and asked for it to be green to match her kitchen. I get requests like that all the time, and it's just as easy to dye it green as it is red, so I do it. I only do this part time, so I don't keep much in-stock, except the big crates I take to shows.

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