Guiding Light

A good sense of style--and smell--helped a candle-maker fire up his business.
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This story appears in the August 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneur: Frederick Bouchardy, 25, founder of Joya in New York City

Description: A high-end scented candle

Manufacturer Startup: $70,000 in 2003 2005

Projected Sales: $1 million

Bright Light: With a keen sense of smell and an eye for design, Frederick Bouchardy has forged a path into the candle market, where burning brighter than the competition is key. This former journalist spent a year researching candles before introducing his own line, Joya. He found the perfect balance between nature and style with a tropical, organic vegetable wax made from pressed palm kernels and a wick that produces a dramatic white flame. To cover startup costs, Bouchardy designed and manufactured candle collections for other companies.

Undying Flame: Although Bouchardy has been the driving force behind Joya, his strength comes from family and friends. His parents are manufacturers who own a factory, where Bouchardy produces his line. Meanwhile, many of Bouchardy's design decisions are based on advice from a group of about 10 friends who meet regularly to discuss ideas. Says Bouchardy, "We're a bunch of young people who are talented and determined to do things that are both creative and ambitious."

Waxed to Perfection: Joya, Spanish for "jewel," has become just that--a precious line of 18 candles with different scents and colors, available at Bliss Spas, Fred Segal, Museum of Modern Art Design Stores and other retailers nationwide. "[We attract] customers interested in MoMA design, luxury spas and trendy boutiques all with the same item," says Bouchardy. "I'm hoping it means we did something right."

Edition: July 2017

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