What started off as a simple school project has expanded nicely into a profitable business for 13-year-old Byron Chu of Sarnia. Byron, with his mom Denise by his side, has developed Do Good Candles which he donates 50 percent of his profits to local charities. “It started during the COVID-19 pandemic when our school was going to donate Christmas presents to the elderly,” Byron says. With $20 Byron bought supplies as part of a 10-day project. Alongside Denise, he made essential oils mask spray and turned that into a profit of $200. “He used that money to buy more presents for the elderly.”

Aside from the obvious – giving back to the local community – Denise felt there were plenty of life lessons Byron could learn from by being involved in Do Good Candles. “It started with the mask spray to teach Byron about how to buy supplies to make something you can sell for a profit and then to donate some of the profit to charities,” Denise says. “We just wanted to continue that journey by making candles as a small business to learn about small business concepts and also the concept of giving back.”

Denise believes it can never be too early to teach youngsters about donating to charities. “Also, from a business point of view, there is a need for kids to understand they can build something based on their creative side and how it can be profitable.” Entrepreneurship can help kids grow up to potentially take more risk in building their own little corner. “I am hoping this will be beneficial for Byron’s future.”

The mother-son duo have set up a candle station in the basement of their Sarnia home. “When we started, I mostly made the candles because it involves hot wax.” Now Byron is learning how to pour the candles too. “He also helps with putting on the labels and wicking the jars for the candles.” Do Good Candles has its own website on which people can purchase the candles and they also have recruited two businesses, The Great Lakes Refill Company and River Bank and Co. to sell their products. Do Good Candles offers a variety of scents including Saturday Morning Cartoons (smells like Fruit Loops cereal), Watermelon, Pineapple & Sage, Good Vibrations, Prosecco & Raspberries, and the ever-popular Koala Farts. “That’s eucalyptus, which Koalas eat,” Byron says. As Australians, Byron and Denise wanted to include a scent that represented their home.

Do Good Candles is looking to expand the business by selling in larger markets such as neighboring London and potentially Toronto. Byron says their initial goal with Do Good Candles was simply to do something to help the local community. Due to his love of cats, one of his favorite charities is Caregivers of Petrolia Ferals. “We wanted to see how far we can get with selling a product we invested in. Now we’re excited to see where this can go,” Denise shares.