The holidays are upon us again!
We know Christmas started early for many of our makers and everyone is now in the full swing of juggling Christmas markets (yay to them being back!), increased sales and trying to keep their heads above water until Christmas Eve! Don't worry, we're right there with you and seeing the festive fragrance products our makers have been sharing with us on social media so far helps keep us going when we're drowning in packing peanuts and tape!
As we’ve covered recently, on-going industrial action occurring within the Royal Mail and Parcelforce networks is causing delays in shipping and adding additional pressures during the busiest time of the year. For this reason, we ask that you please factor delays into your timeline when placing orders this month. If you’ve missed it, we suggest reading our full update on Service Disruptions here.
It's great to see so many experienced makers having a good year and always nice to see new makers coming on board too. Whether you're an old hat at making or this is your first season, we've a few tips that might help along the way.
Aim to offer the best possible products you can
Winter can be a tricky time for making candles and melts, you've spent the summer time perfecting your recipe but now that it's time to put it all into practice; things just aren't working as they should. We cover a few of the most common issues below to help get you back on track.
These are air bubbles that appear in between the candle and the container’s surface. This occurs when the candle cools down too quickly, causing the wax to pull away from the glassware, creating the air bubbles which affect how the candle appears against the glass. Tips to avoid wet spots include:
- Making sure that each glass is clean and dry before transferring the wax into them.
- Preheating the jars before transferring the wax to help even out the cooling temperature throughout the batch of candles.
- Pouring the wax slowly to avoid air from mixing with the wax.
- Giving each glass a gentle tap to help release any air bubbles.
You can read our full blog here to learn more about preventing and addressing wet spots.
Frosting is a common issue and a natural effect of using vegetable waxes, such as soy. It does not affect the performance of the candle or melt but it gives an unpleasant appearance, which might cause your customers to think that you are selling poor quality product.
You can avoid frosting by using additives to help stabilize your wax. But if you want to make sure that your products are all-natural, here are some things that you can do:
- The biggest cause of frosting at this time of year, is your working environment being too cold. Turn the heat up or place a polystyrene box over your products as they cool to slow the curing of the wax.
- You should also adjust the melting temperature in small increments to see which will work better.
- An elevated wire cooling rack will also come in handy as this will help prevent your candles from retaining excess heat.
You can read our full blog here on how to avoid frosting.
Lumpy Tops occur when a soy candle does not form a smooth top. This issue is brought about if not enough care and consideration are given to the pouring temperature.
To avoid lumpy tops you can:
- Use a good quality thermometer. This will come in handy so that you can measure the pouring temperature.
- You might have to try testing different pour temperatures starting from the recommended level.
- If lumpy tops still occur, you should then raise your pour temperature in 1-degree increments.
- It’s also a good idea that you ensure an ambient air temperature in your production and storage areas.
- You can also try to gently heat your glass containers in the oven at a low temperature.
Read our full blog here on how to avoid lumpy tops.
Don’t miss out on earning points for your purchases
If you want to make the most of your candle supply purchases, it’s a good idea to partner up with a supplier that rewards their customers like us! If you become a member of NI Rewards, you can earn 5 points, which we call Scents, for every £1 you spend. If you’re yet to sign up, you can do so by clicking the present icon on our website.
Make sure you have the stock that you plan to sell
This is a big one that sadly we see every year and it tends to lead to a lot of unnecessary stress for all. It may be tempting to offer your customers products that you haven't actually made yet - we know, you don't want to get stuck with products that don't sell (try offering over 100 oils!) but in doing so, you are putting the reputation of your business on the line if you are unable to deliver the products to your customer in the timeframe you have promised them.
This is best avoided at all times, however, it is even more important at this time of year, as we do experience stock outages (not to mention the delivery delays) and this means we may not be able to meet your deadline for delivery to your customer.
Ordering ahead and ensuring you have stock ready to go will always leave your customer with a better impression of your business. To help you keep stock on hand, we offer Clearpay and LayBuy at checkout.
Extend the life of your Christmas Products
Renaming our fragrances is an effective way of increasing sales. This way, you create exclusivity around your product because your customers can only secure the particular product that they liked through your business. During the holidays, you might want to offer Christmas-themed products, but it is worth considering whether a broader name would be better suited so that you can continue selling it after the holidays.
Here’s an example. If your candle is made using Christmas Cheer, you could change the name to Winter Wonderland to make it marketable during the winter season, which can go on until the end of February. Thinking outside the box like this is a great way to extend the life of the candles you create and help ensure you aren't left with stock that people don't want to purchase after the festive season is over.
Be safe with Candles
We know decorative candles are very popular during this festive season, but as a maker, it’s important that you put safety first. When you decorate the candles you sell, you should stick to designs that will not endanger your customers. Tying a ribbon around bare candle wax can be pretty, but it’s unsafe. As the candle melts, it’s possible the ribbon may come into contact with the flame and this could cause a fire.
It’s a legal requirement to ensure your products carry a safety label guiding users on how to use them and that they include a CLP label on them. If you reside in the EU or sell your products into the EU, you will also need to ensure your products comply with the UFI requirements.
This year we’ve welcomed a rebrand, website refresh and many new products (you can read our mid year review here) and look forward to expanding our range further in the New Year.
Over the holiday period we’ll be closing from 3pm on the 22nd of December 2022 until 9am on the 9th of Jan 2023. You will still be able to order during this time and we will begin dispatching orders in the order they have been received when we return on the 9th.
For those who have been closely following our weekly offers, throughout the holiday period we will have 50% off our discontinued oils which will run from the 27th Dec to midnight 9th of Jan. This is a great chance to stock up on these oils if they’re currently a part of your range as they’re only available while stocks last.
We’d like to thank you all for your support this year, and your patience with ongoing disruptions to shipping.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.