A shop with a set-up that displays homemade candles among other items. Sourced from Pexels.

Setting Up a Candle Market Stall that Shines this Season

6 mins read

You've got to love the market stalls at this time of year, right? They’re packed with everything from vintage clothes to homemade jams. It's like a buffet of the coolest, quirkiest stuff you can find. But you know what could make it even better? Your very own candle stall. As the days get shorter and the scarves get longer, people start craving all those cosy vibes that candles bring. We’re talking about the rich, spicy scents of Autumn candles and the festive charm of Christmas candles.

And hey, this isn’t just a fun hobby—there’s real money to be made. In 2019, Statista reported that retail stalls and markets in the UK had an annual turnover of £415 million. Yeah, you read that right. So if you’ve ever thought about jumping in and setting up your own candle market stall, now’s the perfect time.  

Even better, the colder months are prime candle season, and trust us, you don't want to miss out on the action. So whether you're totally new to this or you’ve done a few markets before, we've got your back. 

This guide will take you through the nitty-gritty of getting your stall up and running. Ready to bring a bit of extra light and warmth to the market? Follow the steps below. 

Step 1: Make Your Candles 

First things firstand we know we’re stating the obviousyou need candles to sell at your market stall! But these aren’t just any candles, they’re your candles. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your craft on. 

The Art of Crafting 

Making candles isn’t just melting wax and sticking a wick in it—although, yes, that's the gist. It's about creating something that adds warmth and character to someone’s home. If you're new to this and the candle-making jargon sounds like a foreign language, relax. There are some super helpful guides on how to make handmade candles and how to get started with candle making available. 

Seasonal Vibes 

We're talking spiced apple and cinnamon for Autumn, and for Winter, how about a nice pine or gingerbread scent? Crafting candles for Halloween, Christmas and the cosy season in general isn’t just fun; it's a smart move. They're the rage during Autumn and Winter, and you don’t want to miss out on those vibes. If you're wondering which scents to go for, a bit of research on seasonal candles can give you all the inspo you need.

Get Your Business Hat On 

Aside from the crafty bits, you've also got the business side of things. How are you going to price your candles? How many should you bring to the market? These are all questions that need answering. A quick look at some candle business tips could save you from some beginner mistakes and make your market stall a roaring success.

Market stalls that are selling various artisanal products. Sourced from Unsplash.

Step 2: Secure Your Spot

You’ve got both the crafts and the smarts, now it’s time to find the perfect spot for your candles at a market stall. If you're in Northern Ireland, have a look through this list of the best markets for a lowdown on where to sell candles. Some are small and cosy, others are big and bustling, so pick a spot that feels right for you.

Logistics—The Not-So-Boring Bits

Do you have an idea of where you’ll set your stall this season? Nice! Now it's time for a bit of legwork—err, keyboard work, probably. You'll need to get the scoop on a few things:

  • Market research: Don’t just rock up and hope for the best. Have a snoop around, maybe visit a few markets you’re keen on. See what other stalls are doing and where you could fit in, or more importantly, how you can stand out!

  • Requirements and permits: Heads up, candle creatives! Different markets have their own set of do's and don'ts. You might need something as straightforward as public liability insurance, or even something as specific as a food hygiene certificate. Always double-check your market's rulebook so you’re not caught off guard.

  • Costs and fees: Yep, you’ve got to pay to play. Stall fees can range from pocket change to a bit more, it really depends on where you’re setting up.

  • The perfect spot: Once you’re in, the next big decision is where your stall will live. Corner spot? Middle of the action? Each has its perks, so think about where you’d get the most foot traffic.

Step 3: Spread the Word

Okay, you’ve bagged that sweet spot at the market and your candles are all set to go. Fantastic, but let's be real for a sec—if nobody knows you're there, you might as well be selling invisible candles.

All About That Social Media Buzz

Time to get the word out, and there's no better place to start than social media. Show off those gorgeous Autumn candles, maybe drop a sneak peek of your upcoming Christmas candles. Make people mark their calendars for your market stall debut. The more you talk about it, the more they will, and the more they will, the bigger your crowd.

Tap into Local Groups and Communities

Don't just limit yourself to the virtual world. Pop a poster up at your local community centre or even in the shop window of a friendly local business. Community boards are treasure troves for finding out what's happening locally. Why shouldn't your stall be the next big thing everyone's chattering about?

Tell Your Mates and Their Mates

And don’t forget the oldest form of marketing—word of mouth. Tell your friends, your family, your neighbour’s dog—okay, maybe not the dog. But you get the point. The more people that know, the more potential customers you have. Even if your mates aren’t into candles, they might know someone who is.

A Christmas display of products in a shop window. Sourced from Pexels.

Step 4: Set Up Your Stall

You’ve got your candles, secured your spot and now you’ve got people ready to swing by your stall. What’s next on the list? It’s time for the pièce-de-resistance: Your candle market stall. 

Bring on the Themes

Look, we get it—themes can be a bit hit or miss. But done right, they can be absolute crowd-pullers. For instance, a Halloween theme could feature little witches or pumpkins, just like tinsel and fairy lights could bring your Christmas candles to life. If you’re worried about pigeonholing yourself into one season or holiday, keep it general. Browse Pinterest for all the candle market stall ideas you could ever need.

Make it a Feast for the Eyes

Think levels, think lights, think all things eye-catching. Stagger your candles on different platforms or risers to give depth and height to your display. A visually appealing stall is like a magnet for shoppers—so let your creativity run wild!

Offering a Bit More

Ever heard the saying, “the extra mile is never crowded?” Add a touch of something special to your stall. Maybe a small bowl of sample Autumn candle scents or a sign that shares a brief story behind your best Autumn candles. Who doesn’t love a freebie? It’s the ultimate way to draw shoppers in. 

Step 5: Serve with a Smile

Finally, you're all set up and the customers are trickling in. Now, it's time to shine as bright as the candles you’re selling. A friendly smile and a bit of chit-chat can turn a passerby into a loyal customer. Remember, people love buying from people, not just stalls. So, flash those pearly whites, be helpful, and answer any questions that come your way. A little friendliness goes a long way in making your candle market stall a hit.

Time to Light Up Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

The season is ripe for your candle market stall venture. With a focus on Autumn and Winter candles, there's no better time to light up people's lives and homes. And if you need any more tips, advice or quality supplies, don't hesitate to reach out to NI Candle Supplies. We're here to help you make your candle business a glowing success!

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