For the past 4 years, I have had the pleasure of turning my hobby of candle making into a full time business. Kiski Valley Kandles was born from my own desire and need for highly scented candles that not only smelled great but looked great also. Let me tell you, it is not a cheap hobby to have. However, after many trials and tribulations, I was able to begin offering my candles to customers locally and online. I prided myself in being able to offer great candles at reasonable prices.
Everyone is aware that when it comes to your supplies, price increases are bound to happen at least yearly. That, unfortunately, is an expected aspect of business we cannot change. For my business, the most expensive part of candle making is the wax. Within the past year, the rising cost of raw materials combined with the gasoline prices for truckers to provide us with these supplies has caused wax prices to skyrocket. Combine that with increases in glassware and scent oils and my profits quickly dwindled to nearly nothing. Forced with the decision of either raising my candle prices sky high or temporarily closing, I chose the latter of the two.
I’m not going to complain too much because I actually got away cheaper than a lot of my fellow candle makers. The wax I prefer to use is a soy & paraffin blend. Being that my wax is made with a smaller portion of petroleum based paraffin, my prices didn’t increase as much as my competitors who use straight paraffin. Those using straight petroleum based paraffin saw their cases of wax increase 25% – 30% compared to my 10% – 15% increase.
Small home based businesses like mine really don’t stand a chance in the current market. Besides the rising costs of supplies, consumer spending is down; “June Inflation Drags on Shoppers“. Hopefully within the next year or two, things will turn around and I can continue using my creativity to make great smelling candles. But one thing’s for sure – I’ve learned a valuable lesson here; always expect the unexpected.
About The Author: Amanda Stillwagon started her career as an office manager for a 4 doctor veterinary practice but her love of candles and her entrepreneurial spirit led her to launch her own business, Kiski Valley Kandles. That business introduced her to the online world where she now appears as the assistant editor here at smbceo.com and author of her own blog myfindsonline.com.