The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

The student news site of Greater Latrobe High School

The High Post

Handmade with Joy

Hobby to Business

Denise Kunkelmann of Latrobe has brought a hobby to life with her new small business, Joyful Jar Candle Co.  Denise has always enjoyed candles of all sorts. However, store-bought candles have many unhealthy chemicals in them, so she wanted to create an all-natural candle that was a better alternative to store-bought candles. She created all-natural soy candles using phthalates-free fragrance oils to scent her candles and all-cotton wicks. Denise makes her candles in her home which is another reason she uses phthalates-free fragrance oils because they are non-toxic and chemical-free.

Denise used local resources at St. Vincent Small Business Development Center to guide her through the process of becoming a Limited Liability Company, or an LLC. She then needed to focus on developing her brand,  designing a label and logo, and deciding how she would market and sell her product. She designed a web page and chose a payment processing platform. Denise said, “It’s been a challenging process, and there is much more to having a small business than some people would realize, but it’s fun to come up with a product that people enjoy.” 

“Coming up with a name for your company isn’t always easy. It took me over two months to finalize a name for my company, several names I came up with were already in use online, so we went back to the drawing board several times and finally decided on Joyful Jar Candle Co,” said Denise. 

Now for making the candle. She said, “There are many types of soy waxes and testing involved in creating a candle.” Denise then talked about the process of making a candle, “Melting down the wax and mixing the fragrance oil at the correct temperature, then pouring the wax into jars, and then letting them cure for the proper time, help to create a strong scented candle.”

One of the most creative parts of creating a candle is choosing the scents. There are so many different fragrances to pick and it can take some time to narrow it down to what scents work well in the wax and with the wicks. Mrs. Kunkelmann said, “There are fruity, spicy, clean, and floral scents, so many to choose from. I enjoy blending scents together to make the candle scents unique.”  Some of the fragrance oils she blends together are; white spruce-citrus, apple-cranberry, and lastly almond-vanilla blends. She then added, “I want to create candles that can be used for decoration, relaxation, or creating a cozy atmosphere.”

After she finalized the candles and her simple elegant logo she was ready to sell. Mrs. Kunkelmann sold her candles at the Ligonier Night Market, Potato Festival in Ebensburg PA, and to friends and family. She was able to get her brand out there. Her hard work paid off! Even when Denise is not selling her candles at markets or festivals, she still has orders coming in from friends and family. Denise said, “I hope to sell my candles at more markets and grow my company. I hope to sell my candles online in the future to get more customers and sales.” 

Her website is, which is still under construction. She is still working on developing her website. If you have any questions or would like to order one of her candles, she can be contacted at [email protected].  Denise is currently working on Holiday candles for the Christmas season. Her current scents are Almond Cookie, Morning Frost, and Winter Berry.   The cost of her candles are $16.00 for one candle or two candles for $30.00.  She also carries wax melts. 

It is always nice to support small business candle companies because they bring warmth, coziness, and a pleasant scent to our homes. Joyful Jar Candles will instantly uplift your mood with heavenly-smelling candles. Lighting one of her candles will transforrm any space into a cozy and inviting place to be.Whether it’s a relaxing lavender scent to unwind after a long day, or a fresh citrus aroma to energize your mornings, these candles are created to bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. With their beautiful designs and captivating fragrances, this candle company is dedicated to spreading happiness and creating moments of pure joy in your everyday life. It’s like a little burst of joy in every flickering flame!

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About the Contributors
Abbie Kunkelmann
Abbie Kunkelmann, Staff Writer
Abbie Kunkelmann is a junior at Greater Latrobe Senior High School. She is involved in Student Council, High Post, link crew, golf, Mu Alpha Theta, and lacrosse. This is Abbie’s first year on the High Post staff. She is excited to take pictures and write about things happening in the community and school. She is excited to improve her writing skills through taking Multimedia journalism. Abbie is planning on going to college and becoming a PA or PT in the medical field. She is excited to use her broadcasting background to help her write stories and take photos. Abbie’s interest in photography is what sparked her to join the High Post staff. Abbie has learned that it’s important to have a storytelling picture in your story for the visual appearance for the readers. She is looking forward to seeing what stories she will write throughout the school year. 
Mia Klasnic
Mia Klasnic, Staff Writer
Mia Klasnic is a junior at Greater Latrobe. She loves journalism and photography. She is very excited to be a part of the High Post staff.  She has been in broadcasting since her freshman year and has filmed many sports interviews and sporting events. She is very excited to improve her writing skills by being on the High Post staff. This is her First year being a part of staff. She is also on the track team, she loves being a part of the team and creating bonds with her coaches. In her free time she dances and loves spending time with friends and family. She took this class to get out of her shell and to be involved in the community. She has always loved photography and writing, now she has a meaning behind what she writes. She is excited to see what is in store in her future. She can't wait to be apart of this amazing staff and hopefully she builds friendships along the way. 

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