Juliane Voß - Handgemachte Kerzen

Juliane Voß - Handmade candles

Selina Günther - Unusual Reading Juliane Voß - Handmade candles 10 minutes Next Tina Konietzny - Süßkeks

Hi Juliane, nice to have you with us. I always look on Instagram to see what our customers are doing with our products. And your candles always caught my eye, for which you also used our water slide film. You even produce the candles yourself, is that correct?

Exactly, that's right. I pour my candles myself and see which motif fits which candle and then decorate it. On Instagram I often share my own candles and the candles that I make on behalf of my customers. In fact, quite a few different variants have emerged. From birth candles to personalized birthday candles, everything is included.

How did you get into this or how did it develop?

I originally came from nursing, work as a surgical nurse and was now on parental leave. I started with the candles at Christmas time in 2020. I still had a lot of leftover candles and thought it was too good to throw away. But it doesn't look nice to put it up anymore and so I just ordered a bubble mold, a few wicks and a melting pot. I then melted the wax from the leftover candles and poured my first candle. I had so much fun with it that I kept trying it out. And that's how it developed. I now sell my own candles and have registered it as a business.

So you taught yourself how to make the candles?

Exactly. YouTube was a big help, but it was definitely “learning by doing.” I make all of my candles in our kitchen in the evenings when the kids are asleep. I have my little melting pot there and pour my own candles and the candles for my customers. Of course, I am particularly happy when I receive positive feedback from my customers. Especially if the candles are intended as a gift and the recipient was really happy about them.

How long does it take you to make a candle like that? Can you say that in general terms?

The making process can vary quite a bit depending on what type of candle I'm making. Take, for example, the pillar candles that I often make for birthdays. First the wax melts, which takes 10 to 15 minutes. Then I make sure the wax is at the perfect temperature before pouring it into the mold. Larger candles often require a second watering. As the wax cools, it contracts and forms a kind of crater. To avoid this and ensure the candle burns evenly, I reheat the wax and re-pour.

It's a bit tricky, but over time you'll get the hang of it. All in all, it usually takes between half an hour and an hour from the time the candle is made to when it cools down. And then there is the creative work - designing the candles according to my customers' individual wishes. This is always a challenge to ensure that everything fits and that the desired motif is not too small or too large and fits perfectly on the candle.

If someone orders a candle from you, how does it work? Do you do all of this individually, according to customer requirements?

I have a variety of motifs for my designs, from animals to special fall designs depending on the season. Customers can choose from these templates - I offer them a selection and they then tell me their wishes and data. I also have different fonts to choose from, which I then use to create the individual design.

Before I finally transfer the design to the candle, I always show customers a picture for confirmation. Once I get the okay, I finish the candle. Finally, I varnish the candle so that the foil and the motif hold better and to ensure scratch resistance. It is a creative process that allows me to create truly unique candles for my customers.

You've been doing this for a while now. Are there any special challenges when making such candles?

Absolutely. There are challenges with some decorative candles that I don't label but that just stand there. Sometimes they break and then I have to melt them back down and try again. In addition, it is sometimes time-consuming to choose the right wick so that the candle burns well and the wax does not overflow. Achieving a nice, smooth surface is also an art in itself, especially if the wax is too cold before it is poured into the mold.

How many tries did it take for you to get the hang of it?

Oh, I can't really say, there were definitely a few. My very first candle was a bubble candle. When I took it out of the mold it was completely different than I expected. The silicone mold was basically “on the left, the wrong way around.” It is a continuous learning process in which you never always discover something new.

Do you also offer tutorials or courses?

At the moment I'm concentrating solely on producing my candles. I sell them in a small rental specialty store, online through Etsy, and post on Instagram frequently. I'm also trying to do some advertising with flyers. In the future, I could imagine also offering tutorials or courses. Let's see where the path leads.

What are your top sellers? What candles do people come to you for most?

Personalized pillar candles are very popular as many people want something special that they don't know yet. My rainbow candles, which can be designed individually, are also in demand. And of course the seasonal decorative candles, like little gnomes or Easter bunnies.

Approximately how many candles do you produce per month?

It varies, but I would say around 20 to 30 pieces. A little less in summer, but now in autumn and winter, especially at Christmas time, demand is increasing again.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start making candles ?

My first advice for beginners would be to start with leftover candles. I asked friends and family if they had leftover candles. At first I just tried it out for myself to get a feel for how the wax gets hot, becomes liquid and how the pouring works. It was pretty messy at first until I figured out how the wax flowed. It's important to get a feel for what temperature you should water at. I bought a thermometer specifically to monitor the temperature of the wax.

If you still enjoy it, you can delve further into the subject and learn more about different types of wax. Personally, I prefer natural waxes. For decorative and standing candles I use rapeseed wax and for container candles, which I don't make that often, I use soy wax. All of these are natural materials that also pay attention to the environment.

Interesting. What else is used as wax for candles?

You can usually find candles made from paraffin wax, which is made from petroleum, in drugstores. These candles can release harmful substances or fumes when burned. In contrast, plant-based candles like the ones I make not only burn longer, but are also more environmentally friendly because they don't give off harmful fumes.

I find the wax thing very interesting. I think many people are not aware that there are such differences in wax and that the choice of wax can have an impact on the environment and the quality of the candle.

Yes, the price-performance ratio is of course also a factor. I have observed that some people are surprised when they see the price of handmade candles, especially if they contain natural waxes. But these candles burn longer and are more environmentally friendly. My candle prices range from around €4 up to €22 for special candles, such as the one in a coconut shell.

Where can those interested buy your candles?

In addition to a local shop, I sell my candles via Etsy and my own online shop. Customers can also contact me directly on Instagram to discuss custom orders. I also offer the opportunity to implement color requests and special designs.

How did you decide to use Skullpaper water slide film for your candles? Have you tried other methods too?

I discovered the foil on YouTube while looking for ways to label candles. First I experimented with tissue paper and other foils. I had to transfer the labeled foil to the wax using a hot air dryer and baking paper, but this didn't always produce the right results. The surface was often uneven and unsightly dents appeared.

Later I looked for water slides on Amazon, but many had bad reviews. So I decided to use the Skullpaper film and found that it worked great. This means I can create the designs directly on the computer and simply transfer them to the candles. This resulted in much nicer and professional results. I am very satisfied with it and can offer the candles to my customers with a clear conscience. I'm thrilled with the film and it's just fun to work with it.

Finally, I have one more question that I almost forgot. Where does your name “Flausen im Kopf Candle” come from?

Actually the name is “Flausen im Kopf”, but it was already taken on Instagram. With a little fluff in my head, I thought it would suit me. In fact, I've tried a lot of creative things - crocheting, sewing, macrame - and have been busy with them for a few months, sometimes for half a year. But I never had the feeling that it was now “mine”. It was different with the candles, I knew that was it since the end of 2020. I always have so many ideas - nonsense in my head - and at some point this name just caught on.

Thank you for the interview and for the interesting insights into the world of candles. Where can our readers find out more about you and your products?

Gladly directly via my newly launched online shop and via social media, although I am most active on Instagram.


Images: ©Juliane Voß

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