How to Make 150k+/Month With a Candle Business Working Weekends in Kenya

lavender candle

Candles may have lost their value as a source of light but not their beauty.

Candles, these days are used as a home decor accessory.

Candles are a perfect example of a DIY/handmade business anyone can start from home and especially single mums or stay at home parents looking for a side hustle.

Candles don’t require huge startup investment.

To make more money in your candle business, you need to perfect your skills.

You can choose to work full-time, part-time in the candle business.

You can make a lot of money or some side hustle money depending on the number of hours you work in the candle business.

Because candles are a competitive niche, you need to market your candle business.

Marketing means reaching more customers.

Some people don’t understand what candles are for other than light so you need to educate your consumers on why they must choose your candles.

To stand out from the candle competition, it’s important to understand why you make candles and why people must choose your candles over the ones already in the market.

You have to know customers that buy candles; what kind of customer buys candles.

Understanding your customer/target customer means you get to sell more candles.

To make more money in your candle business, sell other handmade items like bath bombs, soaps or essential oils.

Is a Candle Making Business Profitable?

Yes. A candle-making business is a very profitable business venture. Around 40% of Kenyans have electricity.

If you love making handmade products and working from home, you can start a candle making business.

A candle-making business has a high return on investments so you can rest assured knowing that you will be bagging lots of cash from this business.

There are successful candle makers who are making a decent living.

You can start a candle making business as a side job or as a full-time job, depending on your availability.

What is a Candle Making Business and How Does it Work?

A candle-making business is a business that involves the production and distribution of candles of different shapes and sizes to customers.

As a candle maker, you will be making candles based on the niche you want to specialise in.

For example, we have lighting candles, scented candles or soy candles.

You will then sell these candles either on a retail or wholesale level to resellers, boutiques, art venues, birthday parties etc.

Candle making is such a fun and creative experience and it is worth it for anyone who wants to make money in this business. 

How to Start a Luxury Candle Making Empire Making Over 500k Monthly

Decide whether you want to start your candle making business online or open a storefront or if your candle making is a part-time, full-time or side hustle business.

Determining this helps you to know your startup costs and to estimate your profits.

The following are strategies/steps to consider before starting a luxury candle making empire making over 500k monthly from home in Kenya and they include:

Do market research

Study your market and do a thorough analysis of your competitors and your target audience.

Who are your competitors?

What are they doing?

Are there any potential market gaps?

What can I do to gain a competitive advantage over them?

You need to also know who your customers are and what they need from your candle making business.

What is the most common problem they are facing in other candle making businesses?

Understanding customer demographics is important to gain a clear perspective as you start your candle making business.

Choose your niche

Identify the niche that you want to invest in.

It can be a scented candle, lighting candle or a soy candle making business.

It is important to choose a niche so that you may focus more and gain expertise in a particular area in your candle making business.

You will also be able to choose the right target audience for your niche and acquire the right skills.

Once you have selected your niche, you move on to the next step.

Learn how to make candles

You can’t start a candle making business without first knowing how to make candles.

This is especially true if you want to produce and not just sell candles.

Candle making is a no brainer.

But this doesn’t mean that you do not have to train and hone your skills.

You can learn how to make candles by following tutorials on YouTube or Instagram video posts of candle makers and practising on your own until you master this craft.

Get your candle making equipment and materials

Once you are ready to get your candle making business going, you can now invest in the right equipment you need. This includes the candle jars, tins, wicks, wax etc.

You can buy your materials in bulk for per-unit savings.

In Kenya, you can get your candle making equipment and materials in DESBRO located in the Industrial area along Kampala Road.

Market your business

You now want to think about promoting your business so that you can find customers who are interested and ready to buy your candles.

Knowing your target audience is an important first step in this process.

You can market your business both online and offline in order to find a wide customer base.

Making high-quality candles

As a candle maker and a business owner, you must focus on producing high-quality candles for your customers if you want them to come back.

Customers go for quality and when it is guaranteed from your business, your business will flourish.

Branding

Good branding is important if you want to create an image of your business.

You can have a good logo and brand design on the packaging materials you will be using to deliver your candles to customers. 

Good pricing

When you are pricing your candles, keep it fair to yourself and your customers. Do not overcharge or undercharge your customers. You still need them and you still want to make a profit.

Customer service

Understand your customers’ needs and know what they want if you are going to give them the best experience with your candles. 

Improving your candle making skills

Candle making is very competitive, so you need to master your craft if you want to stay above the competition.

Keep on learning and trying new ways to make candles to break the monotony. Your customers will appreciate this.

Promoting your business

As a candle making business owner, you have to focus your efforts on marketing your candles.

You need more customers if you want to make more profit.

What Will I Do in a Candle Making Business?

The following are the roles and duties within a candle making business and they include:

  • Placing orders for the raw products that you will need for the candle making process e.g was, wicks, containers, essential fragrance oils and colours.
  • Making candles and related products
  • Selling candles to customers
  • Delivering candles to customers
  • Researching candle making ideas and sales venues to tap into.
  • Taking photographs of your candles and sharing them on social media or on your website.
  • Marketing your candle making business 
  • Administrative duties

What are the Tools You Need to Start a Luxury Candle Making Business?

This is what you need to start a candle making business. 

  • A candle making machine for pillar candles
  • Jars, tins and other containers
  • Candle wax, paraffin, gel, soy
  • Wicks (utambi)
  • Fragrance oils and dyes
  • Packaging materials 
  • Business licence
  • A website

How to Make a Candle Step by Step [Easy]

With the materials needed to start a candle making business, you now want to make your candles.

Here is the procedure to make the best candles after you have assembled all your products.

  1. Preheat the candle wax until it fully melts. 
  1. Pour the melted wax into the moulds of your choice– if you are using the moulds on the candle making machine or the jars and containers available. 
  1. Add colour or fragrance to your wax at this point. You can choose to skip this step if you want to.
  1. Now it’s time to place the six carefully in the melted wax.
  1. Leave the wax to cool at room temperature, overnight.
  1. Remove the candles from the moulds and trim the wicks (tambi) if necessary.

Voila! You have your candles for your business.

What are the Expenses For Starting a Candle Making Business?

It is important that you know the initial startup costs and the ongoing expenses that you will incur when you start a candle making business. You do not want to end up falling short in your budget.

  1. Candle making machine goes for Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh.100,000 depending on the production capacity you want.
  1. Candle wax for Ksh. 4,500
  1. Other candle making materials e.g jars, wicks, dyes and oils for Ksh. 2,000
  1. Marketing and advertising for Ksh. 5,000
  1. Licensing fees for Ksh. 10,000 per year.
  1. Website costs
  1. Maintenance and repair of candle making machine
  1. Insurance premiums 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Candle Making Business?

A candle-making business has relatively high capital costs.

This is however dependent on the size of your business and its production capacity.

For example, if you want to focus on large scale production, investing in a candle making machine is the right way to go.

However, for small production, you may need materials that may already be in your kitchen!

How Do I Make Money With a Candle Making Business?

You make money with a candle making business by earning a profit from the sale of each candle.

This is the basic dynamic of this business.

You can sell your candles on a retail or wholesale level to resellers, gift shops or crafts retail venues and make money. 

luxury candles

How Much Should I Charge My Customers?

The amount of money you charge your customers should depend on the following factors.

  1. Competition. Look at what your competitors are charging and use that as the base price for which you price your candles. Make sure you make your pricing fair, profitable and competitive. 
  1. Quality and breadth of your product line. Lighting candles will definitely cost much less than  scented candles. Choose a product line that you know will give you more profits. 
  1. Your customers. Upper class customers are willing and ready to pay more for candles than lower class customers. You should consider this when you are selling your candles.

How Much Money Can I Make With a Candle Making Business?

The amount of money you make with a candle making business will depend on the number of candles you sell and the customers who repeatedly buy your candles.

If you can produce 1,000 pieces of lighting candles and sell them for Ksh. 10 apiece, you can make Ksh. 10,000.

This amount minus the cost of production should leave you Ksh. 8,000 in a day.

A candle-making business is lucrative and the amount of money you get per unit of production is very profitable.

 

Legal Requirements For Starting a Candle Making Business 

These are the necessary permits and licences you need to start a candle making business.

  • Business licence
  • Business insurance 
  • Occupancy permit 
  • Food and Drugs certification 

What Skills Do I Need to Start a Candle Making Business?

There are some skills and qualities that you need to have to start a candle making business. Successful candle making business owners usually have these traits and skills.

Knowledge of fragrance and colour blending

If you know how to distinguish different fragrances and know how to blend colours to make them appealing to the eyes, then you will have a smooth transition into this candle business.

You can learn about this skill from watching videos on YouTube and learning from experts as you try them on your own.

Candle making experience

It is going to be a tad bit difficult for someone who has zero knowledge about candle making to succeed in the industry.

If you do not have any candle making skills or experience, it is good to start learning.

Remember, even the best of candle makers had to start from somewhere. 

Understanding aesthetics

Knowing how you can make candles to influence an atmosphere and create a mood is an essential skill that all candle makers should thrive to have.

Aesthetics can be accomplished in fragrance, colour, candle design and shape.

Attention to detail

You need to be very keen when you are handling your homemade candle products.

If you are making your own candle, pay attention to the way you do the measurements so that you do not end up with a whole batch of destroyed merchandise. 

Marketing skills

Since you are starting your own candle making business, you should be ready to sell your products.

This implies having good marketing strategies and skills so that you can win customers over in this highly competitive field.

aloe vera candle

Who are My Customers and How Do I Attract Them?

Your customers are people who want your candles; either for lighting in case of a blackout, for decorative purposes, prayers or for a sensory aesthetic feeling.

Here is how customers will know about your candles and look for you.

Word of mouth

Have friends and family spread the news about your candle making business and within no time, you will get customers for your candle making business.

Make quality candles and build your brand through that. It is easier to get more clients this way.

When people can acknowledge how great your products are, they will most definitely tell people who you are and how they can get in touch with you for your services.

Ask for referrals and testimonials to get more clients. 

Ask for referrals

Have a referral program, whereby if a client is satisfied with your candles, they can recommend someone else to seek and obtain your candles.

Use social media

Use the connections you have built online to showcase your candles.

Go to Facebook or Instagram and have your business advertisements set up so that people will contact you.

Business cards

Have a business card with good branding, business details and contact information so that your clients will know how to reach you when they need your candles.

This is especially important if you are doing wholesale candle distribution. 

Create a website

Your website should have good content for your handmade candles and you should optimise it so that it appears on top of the lists when someone searches for it on Google. 

Go online and showcase your products. Take time to optimise your website for SEO and also build content.

Your website will create a first impression on your customers and this will determine if they seek your services or not.

Make your candle making business available on sites such as Google so that people can come online and search for your services easily.

Create a business profile, showcase your products and ask for customer reviews if you want to make it to these directories.

Networking

Connect with industry experts and participate in local and community events like arts and crafts trade shows and meet new people.

Where Should I Sell My Luxury Candles?

sandalwood

You have your candles and you are probably wondering where you can sell them.

You do not have to look too far. Here are some platforms that you can use to sell your candle products easily. 

Social media

Facebook and Instagram are notoriously known for promoting and selling business owners’ products.

If you have a Facebook account, you can start giving your business information and talk about your candles.

Instagram allows you to take pictures or videos of your products and post them to your page.

Your own website

Creating your own website allows you to post your candles and sell them there.

You have to know how to generate traffic for your website through SEO or creating links that will lead customers to your site.

Online stores

There are many different online stores that allow you to sell your homemade products on their platform.

Some of the best online stores where you can sell your candles include Amazon, eBay and Etsy.com.

You will have to pay a listing fee, transaction fee and payment processing.

Advantages of Starting a Candle Making Business 

These are the benefits you will get from starting a candle making business. 

Highly profitable

The profit margin for selling a piece of the candle is high and you can easily make some sustainable money or even earn an income from it.

Once your business breaks even and you start realising a profit, you will be amazed by how good the returns are.

No wonder we have so many people going into this candle making business today. 

Starting your business from home

It is easy to start and run your business from the comfort of your home, without having to deal with outside pressure.

All you have to do is have your products and have a way on how you can package and handle shipping if you are selling online.

Flexibility

A candle-making business allows you to dictate your own rules and work times because you are the sole owner of it. 

Quick build time

A candle-making business requires little capital to start, so you do not have to worry about the machinery.

The tools and ingredients we listed earlier will be easy to obtain and you can start right away once you have them.

Scalable

With a candle making business, you can incorporate new features, products and designs and keep up with the competition without going at a loss or feeling left out.

Unlimited income potential

A candle-making business does not have a fixed amount of income you can get.

You will receive income based on your quality products and how your customers interact with them.

This is usually good for you because if you have good marketing strategies, you will make a ton of money.

Minimal experience needed

All professional candle makers/candle making business owners have a similar story: It’s that they all didn’t know what they were doing at the start, but they knew they wanted to be something out of it.

If you are having any doubts about starting out, I’ll tell you to just start and see where the road will lead you.

Control of workload

If work gets too much for you, you can decide to go down on your products and risk making less money.

If it is worth it for you, in terms of mental health, then that’s okay.

Disadvantages of Starting a Candle Making Business 

These are the challenges and problems you will face when starting a candle making business. 

High competition

There are so many people getting into the candle making business today.

Different people mean different products.

It may be difficult to keep up with the competition, but you have to go in knowing that you are ready to put up a fight.

Takes time to see results

You might not realise your profit immediately.

This is disheartening to people who are used to getting instant things.

No safety net

Sometimes you may be going at a loss and if a candle making business is your only source of income, then it will not be good for you because you cannot receive a consistent paycheck from the candle business.

Equipment breakdown

If you have a candle making machine for your business, it may break down and this means the production process stops. This leaves you hanging. 

Time-consuming

Making candles can take up a lot of time for you.

Also, promoting your products on different sites can stretch for long periods of time before you can even make a sale.

You need to keep yourself motivated.

Taxes

As you work from home, you will need to pay some tax because your business is valid.

These tax charges add to your business expenses. 

Tips for Running a Successful Candle Making Business

This is what you need to look out for when you start your candle making business. 

Not having a target market

When you start making and selling candles, it is important that you first niche down so that you do not end up slacking in the production of a given type of candle.

Knowing your target market also helps you address their needs effectively.

Selling without testing your candles

If you do not test your candles, you may end up releasing a poor quality batch of products into the market and your customers will not be happy about that.

Test your candles to see if they give out the effect you are going for.

Poor pricing

Pricing is key in a candle making business.

The pricing model you choose should be fair and profitable to your customers and your business respectively.

Wrong supplier for raw materials

Choosing the wrong supplier for your candle making materials may result in you having poor quality materials, getting disappointed or having to pay huge amounts of money for the raw materials.

Do your research before you settle on a supplier.

Poor candle making skills

Whatever you do, if you are making candles for your business, always keep learning.

There are plenty of tutorials available on the Internet where you can learn to make candles solo. 

Zero marketing

If you do not market your candle making business, you will not get customers. 

No customers = no business, which in turn means zero income.

Candle Making Business Ideas

When you are starting your candle making business, it is important to remember that it is fairly competitive and that there are other people who’ve come before you and are already doing a good job.

I would suggest you look at different candle making ideas online if you want to be as creative and unique so that you can influence more customers to buy from you.

Here are examples of some of the best ideas you can try.

Best Candle Making Business Ideas to Try

Here are some good project ideas you can try if you are a beginner or are already in the game. You can use these ideas to make attractive and unique candles for your business.

  • Scented candles 
  • Liquid candles
  • Aromatic candles
  • Decorative candles
  • Traditional candles
  • White candles
  • Coloured candles
  • Plastic candles 
  • Glass candles

How to Start a Candle Making Business

cherry blossom can get turned into a candle
  1. Is candle making a profitable business?

Yes, candle making is a profitable business because it’s a low barrier to entry business. Make themed candles for more profits.

2. How much does it cost to start a candle business?

The amount of money it costs to start a candle business depends on the production equipment, supplies (wax, moulds, wicks), insurance and legal fees, permits and licences.

3. Is it easy to start a candle business?

YES, starting a candle business is easy to start because there are free learning resources online.

4. Do you have to put warning labels on candles?

YES, put warning labels on candles.

5. What wax is best for making candles?

The best wax for candles is paraffin wax.

6. How do you market a luxury candle?

To market luxury candles you need to:

Understand customers – who’s most likely to buy candles?

How much do customers spend on candles and why

Ask what flavour do they go for and why?

What consumes their attention? For example, why are your customers using Facebook for shopping? What do they do on Facebook?

Ask what flavours sell and when? During the hot seasons, you can use flavours like sandalwood, citronella, aloe, watermelon, coconut peach, sea salt and beach scents. During the cooler seasons, you can use apple blossom, cherry blossom, lavender, lemongrass, jasmine, lilac, lilies and magnolias.

Be social and know what each social media platform requires, for example, Instagram loves photos.

Create a theme with your brand.

Have a content calendar to help you design posts, write captions, select hashtags.

Reach out to repeat customers

Create a blog fr your candles

Sell at local markets/events.

7. What makes a candle business profitable?

A candle business becomes profitable by serving your customers’ needs, consistency in scent.

8. How do I start a candle business?

Start a candle making business by

Perfecting your candles making skills

Create/have a business plan

Get licences and permits and insurance

Ask yourself where will you sell your candles?

Find candles suppliers/supplies

Market your candle business.

9. What supplies are used for a candle business?

Wax (soy, beeswax, coconut)

Fragrances

Wicks

Thermometre

Double boiler for melting the wax

A scale

A wood silicone spoon to stir the wax

Scissors to trim the wick

Clothespin, straw chopsticks to hold the wick in place

Newspaper/parchment paper to protect work surface

A spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol and paper towels for cleaning

Containers (different shapes, sizes, colours or recycled mason jars. Go for glass ceramics and tin instead of plastic.

Resources Related

Start a Handmade/DIY Business in Kenya

How to Build a Brand Not a Business in Kenya

How to Start a Business Selling Essential Oils in Kenya

How to Build a Soap Empire Making Over 1M+/Month in Kenya

Make Over 100K+ Selling Bath Bombs From Home in Kenya

Kenyans still depend on candles to light their homes and there is a growing number that uses candles for aromatherapy.

As you start a candle making business, you need to remember that there is a wide pool of customers you can pull from.

You need to produce candles that will be appealing to your target audience.

Try out different ways to make your candles; ranging from the shape, size and colour of your candles.

You also have to have good marketing strategies and do thorough research if you want to gain a competitive advantage in candle making business.

Are you in the candle making business?

Do you own a candle business?

What are your experiences running a candle business?

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Online Businesses / Work in Kenya