Meet Kylie and Mia

September 23, 2019

This year we were so excited to find out that our school was participating in the TREP$ program for the first time. After we signed up we had a bit of a hard time deciding on what product we would sell at the TREP$ Marketplace. After thinking for a while we decided to make candles. They were fairly easy to make, the expenses would be low, and we had a feeling that they would do well at the Marketplace.

After we decided on our product we went on Amazon to find the materials we needed. The expenses came out to around $80 so we each paid $40. This may seem like a lot, but we were confident that our earnings would cover the expenses and we would gain a profit. While we waited for the materials to come in the mail we focused on the more technical aspects of our business. We started thinking about our name and having ordered many bakery like scents we came up with the name Kylie and Mia’s Candle Café. We also created an Instagram account to spread the word about the TREP$ Marketplace and our company.

When our materials finally arrived in the mail we got to making products right away. We quickly got in the groove of making our candles. First, we would let the wax heat up until it melted. While the wax was melting we would glue wicks on the bottom of the four-ounce mason jars we agreed on using. Then when the wax melted we added the scents which were coffee, birthday cake, blueberry muffin, lavender macaron, hot chocolate, and chai latte. At this point we also added crayons, which are also made of wax, to add color. Then we poured the mix into the mason jars. We made our own centering devices since our wicks kept falling to one side. These devices helped keep the wick in the center of the candle. We made them by taping two straws together around the wick. Lastly, we put the candles to dry and attached the labels.

This process was going smoothly until we decided to make the birthday cake scented candles. We wanted to make this batch a light yellow, but the shade didn’t turn out how we wanted. We changed our minds and tried turning it to pink instead. We added numerous pink crayons, but besides our best efforts, the mixture still wasn’t the right color. Restarting the birthday cake batch wasn’t an option since we didn’t have enough wax for a whole extra batch. We decided to add brown crayons to turn it brown for the hot chocolate scented candle. Effortlessly the brown crayons made our mixture a rich shade of brown. Just what we were looking for. Then as we were pouring the hot chocolate candle. We saw large traces of pink at the bottom of the pot we were using. As the candle started to dry it turned more and pinker. When it was finally finished we weren’t pleased with the color because it was more pink than brown. We knew we had to deal with it because we couldn’t restart the batch.

Once all the candle were made we needed to quickly decide on a price, before the Marketplace. We did a simple equation to find out the profit that would be made for each price. At last, we decided on pricing our candles at $6. This price was low enough to draw in customers but high enough to make an amazing profit if we sold all 36 candles. Finally, it was the day of the Marketplace. At the Marketplace, there were so many interesting businesses ranging from stress balls to virtual reality, but then we saw multiple candle businesses.

We knew when we chose candles it would be a risk because others might do it as well, but in reality, we weren’t prepared. We were worried that visitors would choose other candle vendors over us. As we scouted out the other companies we saw that everyone had around the same price range as us, but there were many different scents. We just had to hope that our display and candles would attract customers.

Setting up our table was challenging at first because we had so many different decoration pieces we wanted to include but such a small space to work with. Since there were so many students participating in the program, we had to share a table with another business. Nevertheless, after only minutes of the opening ceremony, we had a crowd of people that wanted to purchase our candles. Once the night was over we were proud to be the only candle business that had sold out. That night with the expenses subtracted, we made $160, and each received $80. We were both happy with our profit and spent some on other vendor’s products. If our school does the program again we would do everything the same. Overall we had a great experience doing TREP$, and we would definitely do it again.

 

  • Kylie and Mia participated in the TREP$ entrepreneurship education program as after-school enrichment, right at school. This extracurricular activity is a PBL (project based learning) experience that helps kids gain an entrepreneurial mindset, financial literacy and life skills to prepare them for and improve their futures.
Meet KateliMeet McKenna