Growing up, I always had an entrepreneurial outlook on life: from having a lemonade stand in the summer, to making wreaths for Christmas time. Whenever I turned fourteen, I automatically started to think of ways to make money to save up for my first car – but none of my ideas seemed original. One day, I was at the store and found a candle machine, and I knew I just had to have it. Candle making became my new hobby, and I made candles for my family and friends. They all loved the candles, and I soon realized that I could sell them and save up for the car I was wanting.
I started selling my candles to my friends at school and their parents. Everyone loved them, but I wanted to make my candles a high-quality product. In 8th grade, I decided to research how to make hand-poured candles that would burn evenly and clean. I achieved the quality of candles I wanted and started selling my product at school, large corporations, and family friends.
I thought back to all the small businesses I made when I was little and noticed that as the seasons change, everything changes. The smells, the weather, the memories, and the food. That’s when I decided to name my candles Brooke’s Seasonal Candles, because my candles are memories and create welcoming environments for all seasons of the year. Apple pie brings me back to memories at my grandparents’ house during the holidays, and the smell of lemon reminds me of fun, hot, summer days.
During my Sophomore year, I joined a Marketing and Fundamentals (DECA) class. I soon told me teacher about my candles, and she loved everything about it. The next day, she asked if I wanted to do a fundraiser with my candles through DECA. I was thrilled with the opportunity that was given and got to work on creating brochures and samples. I got amazing feedback on the candles, and even received a call asking for my candles to be in a store.
Local newspapers and news anchors wrote about my business and candles. That’s when my DECA teacher had the idea that there were more students entrepreneurs. The next fall, my Junior year, we created and hosted the first Annual Student Entrepreneur Showcase and Fair. Senior year, we decided to take the fundraiser to the next level and donated a portion of all sales made to Bring A Light to Others (BALTO) held at Edmond North High School, that donated all donations to The Children’s Hospital Volunteer Program.