Candle Making is a Big Part of Who I Am
Many people have asked me how I got started with candles. And it is a very good question, because I’m still wondering that myself. I would say it began a little over five years ago. My wife at the time loved to buy candles but I could never understand the reason there was such a great cost to some candles and not others. I didn’t understand why she just couldn’t get all her candles at the large discount stores? Why did she insist on going to a specialty shop for more expensive candles? What was the difference? Isn’t it just some smelly wax in a jar?
Understand, I had just returned from Afghanistan and was having some issues adjusting to being back home. My income was lower and I was trying to justify/scrutinize every single expense. One day we were walking through a big chain hobby store and I ran a cross a relatively inexpensive candle making kit. It was about $30 and came with wax, a melting pot, one color, one fragrance, and a couple of jars. There may have been a thermometer. Not exactly the best kit, but it had to be cheaper than buying the made. I took the kit home, followed the instructions, and proceeded to make a huge mess. The candles looked terrible, but the fragrance was not that bad. And I realized it was kind of relaxing.
Over time I began doing more research online for candle making. I found some good sources and even a few books, but most things were just trial and error. I found good suppliers and learned about different waxes and additives. As I began to make more I started to become more relaxed and found I needed less medication for my issues from the war. This effect lead to more candle making. Soon I had a house full of candles and began giving them away.
I really got a great response from the people I gave candles too and then started getting requests to buy my candles. At this point I figured I was on to something, but it all came back to my original thought of pricing. After all, this was the reason for making candles in the first place. So back to the research I went and discovered a few things. First, good quality candle supplies such as wax and fragrance are a bit more expensive depending on the quantities you purchase them in. Sure, I could buy cheaper quality supplies, but that just wouldn’t do. Second, I never factored my time or overhead into the cost. I only factored the cost of supplies, but my time is valuable as well. And don’t forget the utilities to heat wax and see what I’m doing. So I began to see the expense more for what it was than just greed.
I started small and was just attending flea markets and craft shows on weekends. It became quite fun and I had a fairly decent following. I eventually began selling in a couple of small thrift stores and was happy with that. I even have a few large custom orders for weddings and seasonal gifts. I did not make enough to quit my day job, but It was supporting itself. More recently though, I took a job in California and the apartment I live in is not big enough to continue my work. Also, I work six to seven days a week and have an hour commute. So my time has become limited. But I am looking for ways to be able to continue my work.
This site has become one of those ways. I want everyone to share my enjoyment in making candles. Whether you find it therapeutic as I do, or you really enjoy crafting, I hope to give you all the information you need in one spot. There are a lot of future plans for Create Candles at Home, and I hope you continue to follow us as we continue to grow. Please like and share our Facebook page. And be sure to leave any questions or comments below. I really look forward to hearing from everyone!
Thank you all!