There seems to be a continued interest in new and exciting pillars. You could almost call it a pillar renaissance for candle makers in all parts of the country. We have seen some truly exciting things people are doing with their pillar candles. Somewhere between using new pouring techniques, new additive combinations, new molds, and creative decorating applications, candle makers are able to produce unique candles that can be sold at an artistic premium and cannot be found in a mass merchant store. A great starting point is to try our unique DSM Molds or polyurethane molds as a base to work from.
Natural waxes continue to grow in popularity as a complement to your paraffin line. Although paraffin waxes tend to offer more flexibility in aesthetics, many candle makers are finding success by offering a line of natural waxes such as palm wax, soy wax, or vegetable blended waxes in their offering.
Clear Pillar technology is the perfect answer for a candle that is truly different than anything else you’ve ever offered. We offer clear candle kits that come with just enough of everything you need to make these really fantastic candles so you can try them for yourself and see how exciting they are. They really attract a crowd!
Beeswax Sheets and Powdered Wax Art Crystals are still the easiest way to share the candle making experience with your customers, take on the road at festivals and fairs, use in candle making workshops, or even with relatives and kids (under supervision). The possibilities are endless.
Every successful candle maker knows the value of trends. It may not always mean copying the latest trend. It might mean starting trends, keeping up with trends, recycling old trends, and knowing what may be the next big trend next year. It is not uncommon to try every stage of the trend cycle throughout a typical candle making career, and figure out where the best niche may be found. Regardless of where the candle maker finds himself or herself on the trend curve, it is important to understand a few concepts about the trend phenomena.
There are two main places to find candle trends – inside and outside of the industry. These two places are a great start. They sound obvious and a bit broad, but sometimes simple is smarter.
Inside the industry you can look at what other candle makers are doing and try to come up with something slightly more forward or original. Whether you are at a huge international tradeshow, a small town fair, or in a retail store that sells your candles, it never hurts to take a walk around and see what is going on in your marketplace. Ingest more than just the other candle makers and try to get a pulse of all the other craft or gift items that surround your candles. Look at what other successful items are doing in your selling atmosphere and see if there are any lessons that can be learned or integrated into your candles. If you see a hot gift item, try to figure out a way to appeal to the same person using your candle. There are several giftware, craft, and hobby magazines available to the trade. Sign up for a few, if for nothing else other than to page through it quickly over lunch. It is amazing how a few minutes perusing an industry magazine can get you fairly caught up.
Outside the industry is even broader. You can find inspiration in so many forms, so we’ll just mention a few. One very good place is to search in the interior design industry. There are countless magazines, websites, TV shows, and retails stores dedicated to home interior design. Be sure to frequent a few different types in order to get a good bird’s eye of the entire industry and not just one faction. Another unsuspecting place is the fashion industry. People often wear clothes as a reflection of their personality and monitoring fashion will help tap that side of today’s culture. Another place to look is the auto industry. It sound’s a bit silly but the 2nd decision a person makes after deciding what car to drive, is the color. There may not be a lot of value in mimicking the colors but you can get a pulse of the types of colors people are buying. As always, be sure to look at the types of stores and magazines that appeal to the types of consumers that adopt technology and gadgets when they first hit the stores (these people are called “early adopters”). Today’s new item may be tomorrow’s big thing. These are just a few examples but they exhibit a good model on how to think in an entirely new way outside of the gift industry.
As of the time of this article was written in 2004, natural trends seem to be developing in some parts of the industry. Candle makers are using earth tone colors in their candles to reflect some of the increasing awareness for our natural surroundings that today’s consumer may be thinking about more so than decades past (It took years of an owl telling us not to pollute but thankfully over time it actually sank in). Candlewic has added new earth tone colors available in color blocks and liquid dyes to reflect these preferences. Another trend is natural waxes. Although they perform differently than traditional paraffin, some candle makers are finding value in offering them along side their paraffin waxes as a complement to their offering. Pillar candles made with aluminum molds and designer polycarbonate molds seem to be doing well for candle makers looking to expand outside of the traditional container candle. They are used in many formal interiors where they could sit on a mantle for years as a decorative piece, and may never get burned (henceforth the reason why UV light absorber is so important).