General Wax & Candle Company has been providing quality candles since 1949. Our origins are in institutional sales such as restaurants, florists, and churches. These institutions burn millions of candles per year and always insist on the best quality. We pride ourselves on creating great quality candles at competitive prices.
General Wax has an in-house attitude. Many companies today believe in outsourcing and virtual corporations. We take the opposite approach. Hire the best possible people, treat and train them well, and develop expertise for the entire operation in-house. With a few exceptions, we design our own candle-making equipment, mix our own wax formulas, do our own wax testing, write our own software programs and manufacture the majority of our candles on our premises in North Hollywood, California.
At General Wax & Candle Co., we take pride in the diversity of our workforce and support the fight for equality between individuals.
Our average employee has been with us for over 12 years. In many companies, the average is close to two. This average tenure says a lot about the success of the company and the way it is managed.
Our production employees are candle artisans. They understand wax and candles in a way that can only come from many years of experience. For example, our tapers are veneered by hand. The candle artisan, who has to have a precise eye for color and coverage, controls the speed and temperature of the dipping.
Our well-trained order processing staff is ready to assist you. If you think candles are a simple commodity, keep in mind that we have over 10'000 active finished goods part numbers. Candles are used for a variety of purposes n a variety of settings. As one of the few full-line candle makers and distributors in the world, we have to have a well-rounded knowledge of all their uses.
We have engineers, chemists, accountants, computer programmers, shipping specialists, truck drivers, warehouse personnel, purchasing agents, and others, many of whom are at the highest level of skill and ability in their respective fields.
When we tell people that we design our own candle-making equipment, people think in terms of simple candle molds, with someone pouring a pitcher of hot wax into it. Instead, think of a multiprocessor central computer system, hooked to a fiber-optic network, communicating with Pentium PCs, hooked to programmable logic controllers, robotic arms, heat sensors, color sensors, proximity sensors, air cylinders, pumps, and the like. These systems are designed, built, installed, tested, and maintained by our own staff of engineers.
Most other candle companies purchase their machines from outside vendors. Although we occasionally do that as well, manufacturing our own equipment has many benefits. We are able to produce candles that look significantly different than our competitors and many times produce candles with better burning and higher quality.
Candles are much more than wax and a piece of string. All candles that we manufacture endure rigorous testing. The first thing we have to test is the wax. Waxes are not as homogeneous as most people would imagine. They are refined by a variety of methods and from a variety of crude sources. It is possible for different batches to have different characteristics. We may get the same wax for weeks, months, or maybe even years, but once it changes, we have to adapt to it. After the wax comes in via rail car (on our own rail spur), a sample is taken and sent to our own on-site laboratory. Our quality control engineers, supervised by our Chief Chemist, subject the waxes to a variety of tests. These include colorfastness, penetration, and manufacturing characteristics. Our Chief Chemist then makes any changes that are necessary to our formulas so that we can manufacture the best quality candle possible.
In order for candles to burn properly, a delicate balance is struck between wax formula, perfume, dye, candle diameter, candle height, and burning requirement. Candles should generally burn without dripping or smoking, and be relightable after they have been extinguished. We burn test our candles inside special cabinets in a temperature-controlled environment. Our lab technicians aided by a special slow-motion video camera monitor the burning times and burning characteristics of our candles. This allows us to tune our waxes and wicks to burning perfection. It is no accident that we make some of the best burning candles in the industry.
Candles are made from wax, which is fuel. Add a little perfume and you have a mixture, which loves to change color from something that matches your tablecloth, to something that matches two-year-old roast beef. General Wax uses light and temperature testing to test the lightfastness of our formulas and our finished candles. Although our lab technicians can often spot a small color error with the naked eye, we used sophisticated color meters and computers to make sure our colors stay consistent and accurate.
At General Wax & Candle Co., we stay right on the leading edge of automation. Our goal is not to replace people with computers but to enhance their abilities to produce the best product possible, with the best service at the most competitive prices possible. We utilize high-performance Unix-based systems, running our own custom software. These are hooked via fiber optic and regular ethernet networks to a variety of Pentium workstations running Microsoft Windows. Macintoshes are also utilized along with several Linux servers. Our software is modified constantly to improve our accuracy and response times.
Our entire operation is integrated into the computer system and is carefully managed by our executives using the up to the minute data provided by the system. Additionally, we keep a detailed history of every transaction for seven years. Every order, every item that is manufactured, every shipment, every payment.
One of our priorities at General Wax & Candle Co. is to reduce our carbon footprint and the impact of our activities on the environment as much as we can.
To help achieve that goal and reduce wastes, we have adapted our operations and set up recycling programs that permit us to restock and reuse certain glasses and other recyclable materials, when possible, whilst allowing our customers to save money. Everyone wins and so does our planet.
We also work as much as possible with local vendors, helping local businesses to thrive and decreasing CO2 emissions resulting from freight.
We work with local vendors to sources some of our raw and natural materials, such as our beeswax, sourced from a California-based cruelty-free bee farm that produces 100% natural products such as honey.