PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — While many adults are still contemplating what they want to do with their life, a Papillion teen is already lighting the path to his future.
As 3 News Now Anchor Serese Cole reports, his journey started in elementary school.
Nic Bianchi poured his first candle when he was 12-years-old.
"My parents got me a candle-making kit for my birthday," Bianchi said.
It was love at first light.
"I kind of fell in love with the science of how candles work. So I went to school, showed everybody what I made the night before and my teacher offered me a couple of bucks for one of them," he recalled.
That was the beginning of his candle business.
Then Bianchi all his candles in his mom's kitchen.
"Pouring wax on her stove... she did not like that," he laughed.
He started selling the candles at craft shows.
"We sold 168 candles, so a substantial amount of candles for a 12-year-old," Bianchi remembered.
Six years later...
"This week we sold over 1600," he shared.
"It just keeps growing and growing and this winter is supposed to be the best season we had yet," Bianchi said.
Bianchi's candle company has come a long way. He now creates all his candles in a warehouse.
He has two candle lines: The newly re-designed Bianchi Candle which is his more upscale brand and the Yes You Candle, which is his inspirational line.
The Yes You Candle line includes candles such as joy, kindness, gratitude, bravery and hope.
Each Yes You candle comes with an uplifting message.
"They are great for gift-giving. Like the Hope and Bravery candles are popular with people who get diagnosed with cancer," he explained.
During the pandemic, Bianchi and his team created a hero line of candles to honor first responders, military and health care workers. The health care candle continues to sell out.
"And a percentage of that goes back to support the actual hero group," Bianchi added.
At 18 years old, Bianchi is a CEO with his own staff and goals.
You can find his candles in stores across Midwest and as far as New York and Georgia.
Locally, his candles are sold in more than two dozen shops.
"We have a lot of different boutiques, we have some chain stores, we have big places like Von Maur," Bianchi said.
Most of his success happened while he was still a student.
"There were times when I had to answer phone calls in the middle of math class," he laughed.
Bianchi graduated from Papillion La Vista South high school in May but has learned the most lessons from his small enterprise.
"The accounting side, there's the leadership side, there's the logistics side. There's all different sides of owning a company and truly running a company," he stated.
Bianchi still has the dollar he made from that very first candle and hopes to make more candles to keep that spark burning.
"I want to grow this company and I want to grow other companies," Bianchi said.
Bianchi admits he couldn't have done any of this without his parents.
They drove him around to all his business ventures when he didn't have a driver's license yet.
They connected him with attorneys and other professionals who were unsure about meeting with a teenager.
And to this day, his parents will drop whatever they're doing to help pour candles when there is a big order.
You can find Bianchi's candles at several local stores.
To locate the one near you, visit the Bianchi Candle Co. website. You can also see a list of the candle scents and diffusers and place an online order.
There's even a Yes You Candle of the month club subscription.