Rose started a home business with an ordinary but in-demand item: candle. The road to success is difficult but rewarding especially when you see the business picking up well. And yes, there’s money in making candles particularly in a religious country like the Philippines.
The secret is keeping the prices of their candles lower than that of their competitors. For example, the regular white, red and yellow candles usually thriving near the churches are sold for only fifty centavos (P.50), other candle-makers sell them for P.75 cents to a peso. A single scented candle of about six inches tall and three inches thick can be bought for as low as P40 pesos, much cheaper indeed than when you buy them from the mall. Their most expensive product, the pascal candle or those gigantic candles used during church rites, is only priced at about P850 pesos.
There is yet another secret to this. Rose learned from her in-laws the importance of recycling. They collect used candles and those wax balls we usually form in the cemetery during All Saints’ Day. They are bought for P10pesos per kilo. Then they are thrown to the furnace for melting and are made into new candles.
“We use the recycled wax only with the red and white candles that we sell for cheap prices. It’s not really practical if we’ll use pure paraffin wax..
“Besides we really can’t sell the candles if they’re too expensive. People around here cannot afford it, unlike in Manila. And we sell them for the same price even during peak season.”
Business is fairly good, with growing clientele and the continuous demand for candles. Even some TLRC classmates come to her for additional supply. Rose admitted that making scented and decorative candles is quite costly that’s why the bigger bulk of their production is still the regular non-scented ones.
Rose was kind enough to show us the step-by-step process of making candles. Here’s how it goes:
1) Candle-making basically starts with the wick. Buy cotton strips from textile mills costing about [45 pesos per kilo. Use pure cotton for better quality, making sure there’s no nylon material mixed in the cotton strips.
2) The cotton strips are cut and made into knots. Soak them in hot wax to make them stiff and hard and ready for candle-molding.
3) Tie the wicks to a stick about two feet long and carefully place them at the center of the hot wax in the mold.
4) Add the scent while the wax is being poured into the mold.
This small home business has become the bread and butter of the Ludgarda Family. And this home business is what Rose can proudly pass on to her children and grandchildren. Judging from the way she puts her heart into her work, there is no doubt on the very bright future for Rose Candles.