It is not always easy to make money from a new business, and the candle business is no different.  If you are interested in starting a successful business with private label candles, you likely need one or more of the following opportunities:

  1. Handmade candles made at home and sold from home.
  2. Dropship candles from domestic candle suppliers.
  3. Wholesale from a Chinese candle factory for resale.

There are differences in each of these opportunities, and Sourcing Nova is going to look at each of them.  This will give you solid information on which sales solution is best for you and your candle business.

Personalized candles at home

If you enjoy hands on activities and are thinking of a candle business, personalized is your solution.  You will need to set up an appropriate location designated specifically for your production and the necessary supplies to get started making candles at home.  You will need, at minimum, the following:

  1. Wax warmer – invest in a better one of these off the start
  2. Silicone candle molds
  3. A set of candle company logos
  4. Candle wicks – choose several different varieties
  5. Wholesale fragrance oil
  6. Colorant
  7. Soy wax in bulk – the less paraffin added is better for your candles
  8. Candle containers, jars are recommended

Advantages to homemade candles

learn the cost per candle

Learning and participating in the candle production process helps you understand the necessary safety steps and costs for candle making at home.  There are production processes and materials that allow you opportunities for trial and error on what candle works best for you.  This way you will learn what candles you make are or are not profitable.


For example: Any scented candles’ primary expense is the fragrance oil used.  You can increase the strength of the fragrance adding extra to your standard candle formula, but this will increase your cost.  Buying your candle fragrance oils wholesale will offset some of the cost, it is still something you need to take into consideration as part of your business plan and cost.


Three wick candles are popular candle choices.  These release the fragrances faster, but what is the correct proportion of candle fragrance oil to wax for the most effect aroma and profit margin?  Here, again, trial and error is necessary to find that delicate balance of cost and profit margin when you make candles at home.


Should you create your own personalized candle fragrance oil?  How much do you need in a triple wick  candle?  This is only possible with lots of trial and error.  However, you will be able to recycle a good bit of your samples.

combination of candle wicks, wax and fragrance oils work best

There is an upswing in wood wick candles currently, but there is the trade off of crackling  and the smell of burning wood.  Poor quality wood wicks will change your fragrance, and the debris falling into the melted wax makes the candle unsightly when reused.


Which wood wick is best for your candle?  Is wood superior to zinc-free cotton candle wicks?  There is a chance you can find a tree species that will meet your candle making needs that is appropriate to your location.  Remember: moisture content and size does have an effect on your candle burning.  If perhaps you will consider sourcing your candles to a Chinese manufacturer, there are logistical considerations with a wooden wick.  What you can find in your area may not be possible or feasible with your Chinese manufacturer.

The market for candles

Locally grown and produced products are always popular.  For example, the search volume for the terms “candles near me” and “candle stores near me” are highly used around the Christmastime season.  Many are interested in getting their favorite candles during this time of the year, and that is what makes local manufacturing profitable.


There are also those people who take pride in buying products made locally or from their home country.  Proudly displaying and marketing your candles as ‘Made in the USA’ often will create a strong customer base.

candles near me trends

candle stores near me trends


demand for handmade candles

hand poured soy candles

The manufacturing of large scale production has been around since the 1800’s, but there is still a large market for handmade products – candles included.  There is a considerable interest in the U.S., with the hand poured soy candle leading the interest.  It is highly possible the interest is due to the interest of sustainable, eco-friendly and vegan products. Soy wax candles meet all three of these.

Handmade for your customer base

There is a high interest in personalized and unique candles for a specific purpose, including putting items into the candle, engagement rings or a high value currency are common.  This makes a pleasant surprise for the candle recipient when the candle finishing burning.

Drawbacks to homemade candles

Limited production run

Candle making is a labor and time intensive business.  It can be difficult to determine how and when to change production.  This means your peak production season could be short or with extra candles you cannot move.


You are also limited on how many personalized and customized candles you can sell.  These are often single use candles for specific purposes, and these cannot be made in batches.

production costs

Most candles of the a similar quality are easily produced in large scale with a Chinese manufacturer.  Even with sourcing services from Sourcing Nova, the cost is often compatible to what you would spend making your own candles at home.  Other considerations include startup costs, bulk and wholesale materials cost, necessary free space, storage and time spent in production.  For example, a professional grade wax warmer can easily cost over $1,000.00.

 limited variety

Small scale production because of limited storage and production space for containers, packaging and finished product mean you cannot keep considerable amounts of raw materials  or a large amount of variety on hand.


Dropship candles

E-commerce sellers and startups often find dropshipping a very easy and inexpensive model to start a luxury candle business.  You do not have to create your own payment system, and this makes dropship sales very popular.  For the candle business, however, dropship private label candles  is a difficult business model.

Drawbacks to the dropship model

    1. Most wholesale candle suppliers use white label candles.  This means the drop shippers you can find do not offer a private label model for your business.
    2. Candle dropshipping specialists sell products based on inventory, in particular popular locations like Aliexpress.  When the inventory runs out, there is no additional supplies ordered. Here is why this happens: The factory will produce bulk candles over order quantity.  In this case, the buyer may not want the excess inventory.  This overage is posted and sold on sites like Aliexpress to improve manufacturing turnover.
    3. The dropshipped candles typically only go to the end customer and not to e-commerce sellers and locations for sales.  The reason is simple – dropshipped candles are not customizable.

Sourcing bulk candles

Candle suppliers are easily discovered on the Internet.  However, these who  wholesale candles are often middlemen between you and the candle manufacturer.  In a race for profits, the better candle brands in the U.S. have a strong hold on the candle making industry.


These manufacturers handle design, brand development and marketing while the production is outsourced to China and Chinese manufacturers.  By confidentiality agreement, Sourcing Nova cannot share the names of these companies, but you can easily determine if the candles are sourced to China.


Open Amazon, and read product descriptions.  If there is no direct indication of the U.S. or European manufacturing, the chances of the candles made in China is highly possible.


Makers of wholesale candles

This is not as easy as you may assume.  Sourcing Nova previously mentioned to you in the Candle Business Analysis piece that there are over 10,000 candle manufacturers in China.  Everyone of them is looking for new business.

This means if you happen upon a candle manufacturer on Alibaba, do not get too excited.  As an importer, you need more than just candles.  You want a private label candle manufacturer and the best possible candle manufacturer – familiar with the candle industry standards for the U.S. and Europe.  You cannot depend on Alibaba to provide you with this information.

Sourcing Nova understands no manufacturer will say anything but the fact they are the best candle manufacturing company in China.

We know that this is not an easy task. No candle manufacturer will admit that they are not one of the best in China.

Huge mistake – Straight to the biggest

The best of the best manufacturers who wholesale candles in China do not work with small, private label candles.  These manufacturers are creating the luxury brands for large-scale U.S. businesses carrying or specializing in candles.  These U.S. companies have MOQ in tons and not pieces as the MOQ unit.

If you are a small, starting candle business or already somewhat established, a better choice for you is to find a small or medium-sized manufacturer to make custom, private label candles.

Candle making is not a complicated process nor does it require specialized equipment outside of specialized molds for high end candles.  This means most manufacturers can produce a quality candle with an excellent profit margin for you.

The well-made candle

To be a decent, high-quality, luxury candle, it must have the following requirements:

  1. a sustained burning time
  2. large flame
  3. minimal soot production
  4. no drip
  5. no residue after using
  6. Correct, pleasant aroma


Some believe that if the candle wick lacks lead it is one of the biggest pieces of criteria.  However, from the 1970’s and on, most candle manufacturers in China have stopped using lead.  The documented dangers of lead poisoning, particularly in children, mean leaden candles have left the market long ago.  Basic manufacturing standards in China necessitate the wax core be lead-free, and lack of lead is not a standard for quality determination.


Luxury candle standards

The best candles are made with the absolute best materials.  This means if you want to make your own luxury, high end candle there are factors you need to note for its production.


How long a candle burns

The most important thing to consider is the wax used in the candle itself.  Cheap paraffin wax, of which China is the world’s leader in production, has a very high melting point and exceptionally short burning time.  Soy wax, on the other hand, has a much lower melting point and burns 30 to 50 percent longer than the paraffin equivalent.


This means the better candles, like the ones you want to make, contain little to no paraffin wax.  You and the manufacturer need to agree from the beginning to limit the amount of paraffin in your candle wax mixtures.


Black smoke

Insufficient combustion is the culprit and comes from three possible reasons:


  1. Physical reason – The smoke is from the collection of carbon particles that has not burnt completely.
  2. Chemical reason – The different waxes used in candle production have different chemical composition.  Waxes with more carbon, like paraffin wax, need more oxygen to burn.  This means it is easier for the candle to produce black smoke.
  3. Improper use – If the candle wick is too long or the candle flame move around because of blowing air, this will produce more black smoke.


Those who make luxury candles will be sure to limit the paraffin wax and provide explicit instructions for the candle user to prevent black smoke and candle tunneling.


Quality candle flame and limited residue

This answer starts with the wax melting point.  The lower the wax melting point, the larger the flame during burn time and less residue afterwards.  Soy wax has a much lower melting point than paraffin wax and burns more easily.


The melting point of paraffin wax is approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C) which is a very high temperature.  Soy, on the other hand, melts at about 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 C) and is much cooler.


The melting points are also helpful in determining the percentage of soy wax in the candle.  The ratio of soy wax is measured against the temperature of the melted wax.  The higher the temperature of the melted wax, the higher the paraffin wax percentage.  Conversely, the lower the temperature of the melted wax, the higher the soy wax percentage.


The sublime amount of fragrance


Better candles use natural fragrance oils in their composition, are used commonly in aromatherapy and quite expensive.  Fragrance oils are normally classified as hot and cold with both providing comfort for people.  Scent dispersion increases as the wax melts and spreads across the top of the candle.


Cheaper candles use synthetic oils.  If the wax has yet to melt, you can note synthetics by the fragrance.


If you are interested in a starting and maintaining a reputation of a quality private label soy candle, use nothing but the natural fragrance oils.


It is normal to be concerned about the quality of your craftsmanship for your candle.  After all, your name will be on the label.  Chinese candle manufacturers are quite skills at quality candles, but they, too, are interested in a fair profit margin.  This means the cost of premium candles is more than they want to spend.  This means you must be willing to spend the extra money on the quality production, and your quality will be guaranteed by the manufacturer.


Candle manufacturers with solid reputations do not cut corners or reduce processes when high quality raw materials are part of the production process.  These manufacturers understand the value of the materials and do not want to create too much waste.


Candle labels and company names


The candle is done and made to your high quality standards with minimal paraffin, top quality fragrance oil, above quality wick and has been tested for quality control.  Now, you need to produce return customers.


The secret to a return customer is content marketing.  Content marketing is found on personal candle labels and candle company names.  Your label needs to be attractive and with a degree of creativity.  Creativity is subjective, and there is no absolute standard to measure creativity.  Instead, Sourcing Nova has the following recommendations for your candle labels:

 Clear warning label

A clear warning label with safety prompt shows your customer you are aware of the potential dangers of burning candles for users and buyers.  This also demonstrates your understanding of their well being, and they can feel your kindness. Labels can have information like:

candle warning label

Burn with in sight; keep away from flammable items; keep away from children.

Other appropriate labels to remind users of safety include:

warning labels for candles

Danger; Do not leave unattended; keep way from children and pets; do not place closely together; keep away from open windows


You can find pre-made candle labels easily on the Internet.  There is no need to make them from scratch.

Create a custom logo

A custom candle with custom logo means the candle cannot easily be copied.  You made need the assistance of a designer to help.  You can check gig sites like or even for a more experienced designer.

Set your luxury candle apart

Include a candle lighter and wick trimmer

Not everyone knows the importance of trimming a candle wick before use, and everyone can appreciate a candle lighter, particularly towards the end of the candle life when reaching the wick is difficult.

Use something unique and different

Most candles are poured into glass jars, which is acceptable, but also monotonous.  You need to make your candles stand out in a unique way that highlights your taste and the taste of your customer base.

If you plan on selling in a luxury candle specialty boutique, using a package that is delicate and reflective of the candle quality, you will no doubt create return customers.

unique candles – Unique containers

Most candles are placed in an ordinary glass jar, which is too monotonous. Maybe you can consider using jars to highlight your unique candles? In particular, if your candles will be sold in candle boutique, then a delicate outer packaging will undoubtedly attract customers’ attention.


replace the fragrance oil


Most manufacturers use a white label fragrance oil.  Higher quality, private label, luxury candles use a much more specific oil based on their buyers’ preferences.  It is understandable if you feel the manufacturer will not use the fragrance you prefer.  In this case, give them the private label fragrance you prefer for the best possible smelling soy wax candle that can be found.


Never be satisfied


There are thousands, if not millions, of candle makers across the world, and some share their knowledge on the Internet and in various publications.  You can learn what sells best for them, read reviews from Amazon, collect feedback and take notes on your findings.  Take these ideas and requirements for your own particular candle brand.  Sourcing Nova can help get these to your candle manufacturer.


Final thoughts


There is quite a bit to digest when it comes to creating a private candle, but Sourcing Nova hopes we have covered all of the basics for you.  Do you feel there is something we missed?  Is there a point we made you feel you could expand on?  Any other thoughts or comments are appreciated.  Leave them below.