I have been looking into what it would take to start a candle making company. The easy part is the names for the hypothetical scents. The harder part is the actual making of the candles. After talking to someone already in the business, the next step was to take a class to get a better understanding of the process. Classes are usually better when shared with friends so I invited my childhood buddy to join me. It cost $25 per person. Since premade candles are around $18, this seemed like a pretty good deal.
Greenville Soy Candle Company, formerly Magnolia Scents, is located in downtown Greenville, SC. The front of the store has an impressive array of candles along with soap, sprays and lotions, etc. The back is reserved for the micro-factory where they hand pour the candles.
Time for Choosing
Once you check-in at the desk, you are invited to smell the candles and decide which scent you would like for your candle. It helps to make notes as you go of your favorites because there are over 50 candles. I selected Cleopatra. It smelled like luxury and was named after an ancient queen so it seemed like an appropriate choice.
Tour of the Factory
The guide walked us through the work station and tools used to make hundreds of candles at a time. In the back, our aprons and items awaited us on a metal table. We were able to ask questions throughout the process which was nice. After donning the aprons and inserting the wicks, we combined the liquid soy with the scent we had selected at the beginning. While we stirred, she explained the differences between the various types of wax and things to watch for when burning candles. After stirring for a while, she tested the temperature. Apparently, the exact temperature is proprietary information. We then added the organic dye of our choice. There is a 25 drop rule which basically means if you go over 25 drops the smell of the dye will overpower the scent of the candle. Good to know!
My desired color was a coral pink shade. My friend wanted a purple candle. The candle looks like Kool-Aid when you finish. You test droplets on a paper towel to check the color progression. Once we were done, we left our candles to cool overnight. I picked them up the next day. The whole process took around 40 – 45 minutes.
We then met up with my husband and went to Trio, a brick oven cafe, on Main Street. They have changed their garlic bread and it was delicious.
I like to learn new things so this was a good experience. We were required to wear masks due to COVID-19 protocols. Classes are capped at six people at a time. It’s only a few more dollars to make a candle than buy one which I appreciated. I’d definitely do it again!