Here is a resource page for all your soy candle making needs. I thought it would be a good idea to put links to resources that I use or have used that work for me. These would be links to things that I use for making a website, online marketing, offline marketing, finding certain supplies and other useful tools for your soy candle making hobby or business.
CandleSoylutions– Where I buy most of my candle making supplies including the Square Mason Jars and lids, wicks, soy container and votive wax, Fragrance Oils, dye, Wixaffix (wick stickers), warning labels
Candle Cocoon– I buy a few unique fragrance oils here (they do have other supplies available)
BrambleBerry– I’ve bought a few fragrance oils here, but they also have quite a few essential oils to choose from.
Nature’s Garden– Love their Leather and Fresh Cut Grass fragrance oils!
Lone Star Candle Supplies– I’ve only bought wicks from them, but I love that they have sampler packs so you can try different sizes. I love the CD and Eco wicks.
To set up a powerful website for your business, you need to start with a hosting company where your website files will be stored.
Bluehost – This is who I use for all my web hosting needs. I’ve had very good experience with them for over 8 years now. Simple to set up a WordPress site and get started on your web store!
Themes for WordPress Websites
WordPress is the top website publishing platform. It is in my opinion, the best way to go about building your website. There are tons of free and premium themes available, completely customizable if you ever wanted a designer or developer to work on your site.
WordPress– This is the WordPress website where you can view a huge selection of free themes and download the WordPress installation (if you use Bluehost you can have it installed during the signup process)
Genesis Framework and Themes for WordPress-A Premium theme I use for my sites. They have lots of excellent themes that are mobile optimized, search engine optimized,unlimited support and updates, fully customizable, secure, faster load times. Just an excellent framework to use for your website.
Woothemes– Another excellent place to find high quality themes and they do have some free ones as well as their premium themes. Also see about their shopping cart plugin listed below. (I personally haven’t used Woothemes yet, but have heard great things about them)
In order to be able to sell your physical goods (your candles), you need a good shopping cart and they are NOT created equal. I will go into this more in a post sometime. It really isn’t a good idea to do flat rate shipping because of the weight of candles, so you should find a cart that can be set up to set shipping by weight and can pull real time shipping rates from USPS and/or UPS. I’ve listed some carts below that can be set up to do this and are affordable.
Mals-E is a free cart, but you do have to upgrade to premium and pay $8 a month to be able to get the real time shipping calculators. This is the one I used when I was selling my candles. It worked fairly well for me at the time, but I also only had a simple HTML site. There are lots more options if you are using a WordPress site as far as shopping carts go. It is still the most affordable one that has real time shipping calculator integration if you really can’t spare much cash right off. If you can spare the cash, I would go with Woocommerce below…..
WooCommerce– Excellent WordPress shopping cart plugin that you can use with your WordPress theme. It is free for the basic plugin, but you have to buy addons to be able to do real time shipping calculators. The addon for those is a little pricey, but it is only a one time charge where as you pay monthly with the premium Mals-E . If you have the money, I would definitely recommend using Woocommerce and buying the addon(s). (I have not used WooCommerce, but it is highly recommended by many business owners. I am in the process of testing it out myself)
Social Media Tools
Scheduling Tools for Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Posts
Schedule your social media posts in advance with these tools. I just LOVE Buffer. Makes it so nice to just set up the posts ahead of time so it frees up time to work on other things.
Paypal– I use Paypal, alot, and I think most people know and trust Paypal by now, although it can be a little confusing for people who don’t have an account and want to just pay by credit card. Your customers don’t have to have a Paypal account to pay through Paypal, and I think they’ve gotten a bit better in the design of their payment page, but it still isn’t totally obvious that you can just pay with a credit/debit card.
Square– Excellent for being able to swipe cards as well as key in the info. My brother uses Square for his espresso business and loves it.
Email Mailing List Tools
Mailchimp– I use Mailchimp for building my email list and sending out newsletters. Very popular, excellent service that you can use free for up to 2000 subscribers. Be sure to read my post about why you should be Building Your Email List
Aweber– This is another extremely popular email broadcast service. It does not have a free version but I’ve heard so many good things about them that I am planning on trying them out soon!
File Syncing Tools
Google Drive: Create and store documents, including spreadsheets, word processing, and presentations completely online
Drive Template Gallery: Free templates, including balance sheets, time cards, and inventory lists