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Custom candles done differently


Custom candles done differently

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Tony King is one of those people who are always looking for ways to do things differently.

In fact, that’s how Caribbean Custom Candles started earlier this year.

“I choose to do things that are different. [Caribbean Custom Candles] actually came about because I started sourcing things, [looking at] what’s missing, what are people doing in terms of something unique. So it’s kind of a process of sourcing, trying to figure out what’s missing, what people would go for, and taking a plunge to see if they would actually work or not. Most of the other businesses I’ve done are different as well…

“I do event management, so in doing things for weddings and functions, people have always different requests for centrepieces and I kind of branched out from there, doing [the] centrepieces, doing stuff for birthdays, graduations and corporate events,” he told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.

King does not make his own candles, opting instead to import or buy locally the scented and unscented candles.

He has looked into doing manufacturing. However, it is a lengthy and expensive process.

“I was looking for places in Barbados that would sell the wax to melt down to make the candles. The bulk that I would need is not possible to get here. If I brought it in it could be a cost factor in terms of taxes. It works out cheaper in terms of cost to customers if I bought them here,” he said.

The businessman, who also has a tourism marketing businesses, explained he prefers the white candles to the coloured ones because the reproduction of the image is more effective. He emphasized the candles must have a smooth finish for the printing process.

“After obtaining the image from the person, I also do photoshopping if this is something that’s needed to be done or adjusted and we remove backgrounds. Then applying the image to the candle is done via a printing process, then it has to be cooled. If we’re doing something at the back, we repeat the same process.

 “I do any type of image. It could be logos, full-colour photos, black and white photos, black or coloured text, any event. For any event, in addition we customize them as well. For the customizing of the candles, where we have ribbons along the candles, you can have the ribbon to match the wedding décor colours. You can have different layers of ribbon, you could have rhinestones, which we do as well,” the entrepreneur said.

To date, King has been doing “one-off things” but with Christmas and the winter tourist season up ahead, his prospects are brighter.

“For the Christmas period we’re actually marketing to hotels so quite a few have requests for repeat guests. They want to offer their repeat guests something where they will have the hotel name and a logo at the back and an image at the front. So far the biggest order we have coming up is 250.

“It’s a new idea . . . and it can be kept throughout the years. More people are opting for something like that which would last longer,” he said.

People are also opting for memorial candles.

“We actually have more orders for memorial candles than some of the other orders . . . . We have the photo of the person, the name, dates, and the other option they’re doing now is having the forever candles. We remove the wick and replace it with an LED light.

“For a memorial every year, it’s possible to actually just turn on an LED light in remembrance. Then afterwards turn it off, rather than have having it melt with the wax. It is something that will last,” the businessman said.

While he manages mostly on his own, he hires additional people as necessary, especially when he has events.

“For the candles, it is pretty quiet now. So far it’s just me. I can handle it now but when the orders start coming that might be a different story,” King said with a chuckle.

Luckily, he did not have to get funding for the custom candles.

“I’ve been able to build things as they go on. With the candles I started out individually bringing in one or two and then working from there, once I got a profit, buy a few more and buy more equipment. I did that for all of my businesses. I started off small and then built accordingly,” said King, who has a private and commercial licence. (Green Bananas Media)