Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pretty Palm

Pretty Palm Pillars. What more can I say? Palm makes some of the most visually appealing candles I have ever in my lifetime seen. 

Looking for a wax that is sustainable, eco-friendly and virtually soot free? Do you want that same wax to be unique looking with excellent hot and cold scent throw? Our palm waxes may be for you! Our Feather Palm wax creates a unique crystal structure within the candles interior and exterior during the cooling process that creates patterns that look similar to a feather. Our palm waxes come from RSPO sources and are made from 100% natural palm based raw materials and contain no paraffin/polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Feather Palm Wax 5601-A comes in granular form for easy weighing and storage and can be used to make pillar candles, votive candles, wax melts and taper candles. A very versatile wax with an exceptionally unique look!

Since the "Wick Your Wax" fragrances are on sale this month at Bitter Creek North, I choose to use the Perfect Storm fragrance for my project. 'Looming clouds cast a dark shadow over windblown fields of green. Budding hyacinth, captivating cyclamen and entrancing jasmine come together in the heart of the anticipated storm. Gentle moss lies at the base with petals of newly bloomed violets.' A hauntingly beautiful fragrance!

I have put together a list of all of the items you will need to create your own beautiful Feather Palm Wax Pillar Candle. This is one candle you don't want to skip creating yourself! :)

Supplies List:

Wax: Feather Palm Pillar WaxDye: Liquid or Powder is preferred and does not interfere with the crystal structure.
Mold: I used a 3 x 6.5" Seamless Aluminum Mold and Auto Wick Pin
Wick: #1 Square Braid Cotton Primed in IGI 1260 and tabbed with tab wta37791

You will also need to use a Presto Kitchen Kettle or similar to melt; Pouring Pots; Thermometer and Mold Sealer Putty and Plugs depending on your wicking process.

Instructions for use:

Palm wax is best suited for use in seamless aluminum molds. Liquid, chip and powdered dyes seem to work best in palm waxes. Other dyes may interrupt the crystalline structure and appearance of the wax.
Heat wax to 205-210* add dye, blend well and then add fragrance and blend well. Feather palm wax will hold up to 6% fragrance by weight. Pour the wax between 200-205* into heated molds for best results. This wax will require repours. Wait until the surface of the candle has crusted over, poke multiple relief holes through the surface of the candle around the wick and about 3/4 of the way down the candle, the candle center will still be fluid at this point and fill with reserved wax heated 10* hotter than the first pour. Repeat this process as needed. Palm waxes should be cooled a slowly as possible to inhibit the crystal structure to form fully. This can be done in a Styrofoam cooler or other insulated box. It is advised to use mold release when making palm candles in any mold.
For this particular candle because of the layers I did things a little differently. First I used a seamless mold with a wick pin versus pre wicking the mold. Either would work fine.
This particular mold holds about 24 weight oz. So for each pour I used 5.9 oz. wax and .2 oz. fragrance. (remember when using Wick Your Wax fragrances, you use half as much!) 
Heat your wax as recommended above and pour into your clean mold at about 205*. Because you are pouring layers, you will NOT be heating the molds. When your layers become crusty and crystal like, it's time to pour the next layer. DO NOT LET THE WAX START TO SEPARATE FROM THE MOLDS BETWEEN LAYERS! Repeat the process for the first layers to the last layer.
When you get to the last layer, it will look crusty crystal and have some holes. Poke relief holes down into the candle all around about 3/4 of the way down the candle to remove any possible air pockets!  
Then heat your wax back up (you will have a small amount reserved after the last pour) to this area. This will fill in any gaps, holes etc. in the candle interior so that there are no air pockets within.

Once you are finished with this, allow the candle to fully cool, remove from the mold, and insert your wick into the hole left by the wick pin. Allow Palm candles at least 48 hours cure time (scent can take up to two weeks!) before burning. 
There are tons of fun ideas when making Palm Candles.

Elya in our office made these a while

back from the feather palm. They are simply beautiful even in a single color! Palm just is unique and customers are attracted to things that don't look the same! :) 

These are very "sparkly" and will make excellent candles for the Christmas Holiday season! Try a red in Old Fashioned Christmas or a Green in Mistletoe. I will guarantee your customers will embrace them!

Happy Candle Making!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saving Time = Making More Profit!

With “Silly Season” just around the corner I thought this month I’d share some tips on the most efficient way to make your products to minimize the time spent making them. This should help you to maximize your profits. I also will provide some tips on displaying product for retail sale. I personally do about 95% wholesale and I no longer do craft shows but I did them for many years. This will help the person doing smaller shows, larger shows, home parties and especially those wholesaling their products.

To start, master-batch everything you make! This will save SO much time in the long run it’s crazy! The second thing is never make a single one of anything. I have what I call the rule of three. If I am making anything, whether for wholesale or retail, I always make three. That means three of the exact same product. For example when I sell my candles wholesale, I require a full case purchase and you must order in multiples of three. That rule of three has saved me so much time I can’t begin to tell you!

For soap making, I master batch my oils. Instead of measuring & melting a batch worth of each of the oils in my recipe, I FILL a bucket that has a lid (I got this from soap oils years ago) and I fill it with enough of the blended oil to make 16 batches of soap at one time. Think about this. If I were to weigh & melt oils for one batch of soap, the time spent wouldn’t be much different than doing it for 16 batches and then when I go to soap, the oil is ready. I just have to scoop and weigh what I actually need. I also do the same when making my lye solution. Instead of weighing out for a single batch, I take one to two full 2 pound cans per pitcher and make them up so I have plenty of lye for each soaping session, not just for one batch! This really speeds things along when making soap! The photo above shows a single session of soaping for me, on this particular day, I made 23 logs of soap that each have 3 pounds of soap oil in them.

When making candles and melts is is the same thing, I make everything in three. If I am making pillars, jars, melts. It's three of the same size in the same scent. It really takes no more time and then I have the extra on hand OR in the case of wholesale I saved time by NOT making one of a kind. Big companies don't let you buy ones and two of an item wholesale and small companies should be no different. You will end up spending far too much time making and not enough earning a profit! Profit is the name of the game! For candles, to best maximize time and profit be sure you can melt enough wax quickly enough. For the small crafter, a few Presto Kitchen Kettles will do a fine job. They each melt about 7-8 lbs of wax every 15-20 minutes. If larger, you are best off with a commercial wax melter ranging from 80-300 lbs depending on your daily volume. (Bitter Creek South sells a full range of commercial melters!) Here is an average batch of pillar candles for me. Note, three of each size/scent and two sizes of each. It makes it SO much easier to be able to do this in volume! So much faster!

Now that we've got the how to make it it's about how to display it! When you walk into a store, have you ever noticed how appealing a "FULL" shelf is versus an "EMPTY" or picked over shelf? It's true, people LOVE to see more, not less of an item. A full store is a happy store and happy stores make for happy shoppers! The same rule I have for three's also applies to stocking your product for craft shows and in stores. Always make in threes, sixes etc. and display the same. Full shelves! It also helps to use sales tactics to get people to buy in three. For example, if you have ever been to the large chain bath and body store...they like to sell a buy three get three free. Use these same tactics! They work! I always did jelly/mason jar candles and found that if I did buy one for $10, two for $9 or 3 for $8 each I 95% of the time sold three. Now I made a few bucks less but I made up for it on volume! The same applied to lotion, body wash, soap...everything! It really works great!

I hope all the BC customers are all having a safe summer and that the current show circut is doing great for you all. Remember to order you supplies for the Christmas rush early! We don't often run out of things but it's hard when we do. Ordering early will ensure you and your customer always have what is needed!

Happy Crafting!