Candle making relaxes USC student, helps her save money

pouring wax

USC freshman Jenna Brooke McCurry picked up candle making as a bored high school senior. Now she’s looking at a way to make some money by selling those candles to other students.

By Jamie Ussery
March 5, 2016

Jenna Brooke McCurry was a bored high school senior looking for a hobby when she found an online video about candle making. It’s now become an important way for the USC freshman to relax and could become a business.

Making candles takes about 30 minutes and can be exacting. But McCurry, who’s made over 50 candles in the past year, says it’s also soothing.

Working with uncooperative wicks, hot wax and scents that can burst into flame if the wax is too hot takes concentration. “So it takes my mind off other things happening,” she said.

taping wick
As Jenna Brooke McCurry finishes a candle, she tapes the wick to the edge to hold it upright.

Her daily routines as a high school senior were slowly getting uninteresting. She played softball but wanted something she could do at home.

That’s when she found the YouTube video of someone making a candle.

“I realized how simple it was and how much money I could save,” she said.

Instead of paying $15 to $20 a piece for fancy candles, McCurry started making them in large mason jars. Jars are the simplest and not very expensive, she said, and McCurry now uses a variety to get a different look.

She gives most of the candles to friends and family. But the National Candle Association says seven in 10 households use candles, so McCurry, a finance and management major, sees potential for getting her own chunk of it.

She said she’s thinking about selling her candles at the State Farmers Market or perhaps just to students around USC’s campus.

“I think they would rather pay less for good quality,” she said.

Click on the photo below to watch a slideshow of McCurry explaining how she makes her candles.

click for slideshow
Click photo for Slideshow

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