Guest Author - Shanda Lynn Markham
You have decided you want to make candles and your research has brought you to this site. But have you asked yourself the most important question yet? What kind of candle maker are you? The answer to this question will define your approach to the candle making process. You may identify with one of these styles, or all of them.
Let’s begin by answering the following questions:
Do you find yourself unable to throw away that little stub of a candle or the last ¼ inch of wax in that jar?
Do you want to see your whole house glowing in the light of candles?
Are you a “scent snob” and demand the highest scent throw out there?
Do you love the unique candles, the more unique the better?
Do you love to burn candles of different scents to come up with your own?
How many homes do you want your candles in?
The person who finds themselves unable to throw away that little stub of a pillar candle, or throw away that jar candle with just a little bit of wax in it is the thrifty candle maker. The thrifty candle maker is more interested in melting these pieces of wax and re-wicking so as not to waste anything. This type of candle maker will need only know the basics of candle making and need minimal equipment.
Are you a person that demands (or perhaps your home environment demands) the highest possible scent throw? If a highly scented candle is your main objective, then you may fit in the “scent snob” category. To be successful in this area you will need to know more about scent thresholds of waxes, fragrance oils, additives, etc. This type of candle maker needs more than a basic understanding of candle making and will require more equipment and supplies than a thrifty candle maker.
Is quantity more important than scent throw? This type of candle maker will be a cross between the “scent snob” and the thrifty candle maker. Although they will not need to know about scent thresholds and fragrance oils, they will be making a high quantity of their own candles. A strong foundation of understanding in wax types and wicks will be important. Although this type of candle maker will not have the expense of as many fragrance oils and additives, they will probably spend more in candle molds.
The unique person is artistic and does not like following the crowd. They want something no one else has. This candle maker will need an intermediate level knowledge of candle making and probably be most interested in candle carving.
The final question, how many homes do you want your candles in, determines the level of candle maker you are. If it is just for you, you are a hobbyist and may or may not delve into the deep intricacies of candle making. If you want to spread the wealth to your family and friends you are an enthusiast, but not necessarily in it for the money. If your answer was every home in the world, you are an entrepreneur and will delve deeply into the world of candle making.
No matter what kind of candle maker you are, after learning a few basics, you can stop, or you can learn everything there is to know about candles. Only your hopes, desires and imagination limit you in the world of candle making. I look forward to taking this journey with you! Next week we begin the journey with the heart of a good candle, the wick. It is the most important aspect of a quality candle!