In 2016, seventh grade students Hailey D’Antonio and Julia Hancock created the “Brighten Up My Day” candle business. Their enterprise became more than just an opportunity to earn income. They also donate 25 cents to charities for every dollar earned.
Hailey and Julia, classmates and friends at Saint John Paul II Regional School, Stratford, were looking for something fun to do in their spare time that is “not just about us” said Hailey.
Candle making came to mind. Through research they learned that they can make cleaner, safer candles with soy. They make a variety of scents in their spare time and have learned how to budget expenses based on sales.
The students were inspired to help others by their mothers, who work together in the health profession. When asked what they have learned with their business, both Hailey and Julia quickly replied, “that there are so many people who need help and you can help a lot of people in small ways.”
Typically, they sell their candles at local fundraising events and through outside orders. The duo’s hard work goes to supporting local charities like Voorhees Pediatrics and Bancroft School, and recently they supported a Saint John Paul II Regional School’s event for a family in need. Customers may also designate the charity they would like to support when they make the purchase.