This article gives a comprehensive guide on how to produce and sell candles in Nigeria. In Nigeria today, the best way to make a living is by owning your own business, no matter how small. This is not a lecture on entrepreneurship, no, it certainly is not. It is just a statement of fact.
Prices of household materials are going up by the day, and salary earners still take home the same amount at the end of each month. This means that while their expenses are sky rocketing, their incomes remain the same. The opposite is the case for people who own their own business. Whether it is buying and selling or manufacturing.
Dont take the word ‘manufacturing’ too literally and begin to think at the scale of Coca-Cola, Guinness or Blue Band. If market prices increase, you too can increase your own price and mitigate the differences in your various costs. Take for example pure water business. See below for our guide on pure water business. (*).
The price of a bag of pure water has gone up over a hundred percent. Last week I bought a bag of pure water at a retail shop for N200. This goes a long way to show that, apart from inflation consequences, the rising prices of your consumables cannot affect you if you have your own business.
This brings us to one of such businesses that you can start at very low cost… candle production.
Candles are not used as much as they once were because of the introduction of rechargeable lamps and torches. Yes this can be considered a downside to this business, but then again when you chose to look at the brighter side, you would realise that so many candle producers have changed trade because of this, there by creating ample space for you to venture into and succeed in this business.
Candles are used largely by students for the purpose of studying and lighting their rooms. They are used in households as a source of light. They are used for decorative purposes. They are used on cakes, in restaurants, etc. Candles can be found everywhere, so your market will not be a problem.
There are 3 basic materials needed in the production of candles. When you look at a candle, what do you see? Wax and a tiny thread that runs from the base of the candle through the top. But you also need something oily to prevent it from burning uncontrollably. Hence the materials needed are:
3. Stearic acid
This is the main raw material and it forms the majority of the candle. It is the wax itself that is used to mould the candle into its shape, and it is what melts once it comes in contact with fire. The type of candle wax used now is called paraffin wax. Long ago, bees wax, produced by bees was used by candle makers, but as time went on, paraffin wax was discovered, which had by far better combustion properties in the sense that it had lower affinity, and therefore took more time to melt, hence, lasted longer. Paraffin wax differs in prices and can come in different colours. It is easy to find in the market. Just request for candle wax and paraffin would be shown to you. It is sold in slabs or pellets. You can get a slap for in between the range of N1500 and N2000, depending on the quality you are searching for. Ypu can also get a full carton for about N8000 to N8500. The market prices change, but should not go too far away from this range.
The wick is that tiny thread that runs from the bottom of the candle through the top. It is considered by many as the soul of the candle. In today’s world, the type of wick used is the braided wick. The size of the candle and the materials you are using will determine the type of wick to use. Paraffin wax is soaked more easily, so it requires a thinner wick. When beeswax was used, a thicker wick was necessary, but you do not need to know about that. Just concentrate on paraffin wax. You have to check the quality of the wick because a low quality wick can destroy the candle in the sense that if the wick burns faster than it should, it could lead to constant quenching of the candle fire.
Before the discovery of paraffin, stearic wax by itself was used to make candles using large wicks. These days, stearic acid is used with paraffin to help in combustion. The stearic acid is mixed with the wax and serves as a regulator and fuel. It keeps the fire alive. It is a crystalline fatty acid that is usually colourless and odorless.
Mixing and Colours
When mixing the acid and wax, be careful not to add too much of the stearic. Also, I mentioned earlier that coloured candles can be made. In as much as you might love your candles to be very colourful for special uses like massage houses, you have to be careful not to mix colours that will affect the burning. You are advised to use greasy colours.
The production process varies from manual to the use of machines. A candle making machine costs from N100k and above, depending on the size and capability. The production process, using machines or manually is usually either of these.
1. Pouring: Pouring is simple. After the raw materials have been mixed and are hot and melted, a tube with the shape you want the candle o be is brought (or a series of tubes, in the case of machines) , the wick is placed inside and the hot wax is poured into the tube and left to cool. Easy, right?
2. Pressing: This method became popular when paraffin wax was fully understood and people could make it into powder form. It is done by applying great pressure to make the mass come together and become thicker, thereby forming candles.
The pouring method is the most used by small businesses that venture into candle making. It is easier and does not require and stress. Apart from the basic simple white candles that most people use, other candles for special activities can be experimented with. You can try out scents too, apart from just colours. Come on! What are you waiting for? Venture into that business of your choice and make a change. Dont forget to ask questions. You can use the comment button below or send us an email. I hope this article was useful to you. Thank you.
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