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Guiding Light

A good sense of style--and smell--helped a candle-maker fire up his business.

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."

This story appears in the August 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »