Teenage entrepreneurs blend humor with candle creations

Teenage entrepreneurs blend humor with candle creations


Teenage entrepreneurs Jack Butler and Pete Peebles break the mold as high school juniors managing their own candle-making business. 

Both 17, Butler, who is homeschooled, collaborates with Peebles, who attends Leake Academy, blending their humor and wit into a promising local business with significant potential for both their business venture and personal growth.

After merging their initials together, the duo arrived at JP Homemade Candles, priding themselves on maintaining a professional product with a touch of teenage charm. 

As stated on their website: “When you buy this candle, you are supporting two young men who are Two Hot To Candle.”

“We keep our products professional, but our faces funny,” Butler said. 

The inspiration for their candle business was sparked during a group chat, fueling the entrepreneurial spirit that led them to collectively drive their ideas forward.

“We’ve always been entrepreneurs just doing things here and there. Growing up I was always reselling stuff,” Butler said. “We experimented around, found a candle that was competitive with major brands, started selling to a couple of friends, and it took off from there.”

“We just order 10 to 15 samples at a time to see what we like,” Peebles said. “Sometimes we won’t pick any scent out of there, or sometimes it may be five, four, it doesn’t matter. From there we try to think of a name, and that’s a process in and of itself. We usually come back to the first one we thought of.”

Established officially in early 2023 after a successful end to 2022, JP Homemade Candles currently offers a variety of scents like Autumn Days, Sunshine Squeeze, Caribbean Breeze, Coastal Charm, Pineapple Paradise, Light My Love, Oh My Cider, Cozy Daze, Frostbite, and O’ Christmas Tree. 

“Our best-selling candle overall is probably O’ Christmas Tree, but year-round it’s Sunshine Squeeze, Autumn Days, and Caribbean Breeze.” Peebles said.

Caribbean Breeze was one of their first scents. “Our first ever batch of candles was a completely different wick, jar, and wax, but the scent was the same,” Butler said. “Out of the three original scents we tried out, Caribbean Breeze was the one that sold well, so we grew off of that scent until we brought in some more.”

Despite occasional clashes due to their lifelong friendship and knowing how to push each other’s buttons, Butler and Peebles leverage their roles effectively, with Butler managing media and marketing and Peebles overseeing the website, spreadsheets, and accounting.

They don’t hold back and there is no sugarcoating with them, they said. “We tell it how it is and have figured out our roles.”

Their physical work involves ordering supplies, melting wax, adding scents, and pouring candles. After addressing imperfections like sinkholes near the wicks, they choose names and design labels. 

Though their marketing approach is simple, they've received community support by gaining a presence in local stores like Kademi and Hospital Gift Shop, pouring candles for MG & Company’s signature line, and participating in events like Ham Jam.

They also have engaged in a few exclusive collaborations, and their community involvement extends to fundraisers, with one for the Beta Club raising $20,000.

“When you are younger, you always see these other successful people and think it’s just good luck, but if you just have an idea, act on it, and keep going no matter if you fail, you will eventually be successful,” Peebles said.

Butler added, “Use what you have to your advantage. Use your family, friends, age, and story. People would rather buy from a story than a company that’s not going to give interaction. With us, people ask about our story and that’s how we’ve gotten the word around town.”

Outside of their entrepreneurial journey, Butler enjoys woodworking, basketball, guitar, and 4-H shooting sports, while Peebles enjoys playing golf, football, guitar, and working at Prince Oil. 

Peebles plans to major in accounting at Mississippi State, aspiring to work in a bigger city before starting his own private equity firm. Meanwhile, Butler aims to major in business at Freed-Hardeman University in Tennessee, with dreams of owning multiple businesses and engaging in part-time ministry work.

“Business has been great. People ask what our biggest failures are, and I don’t think I could even name one,” Peebles said. 

For those eager to support the teens, visit their website at www.jphandmadecandles.com or Facebook page at “JP Homemade Candles”.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions