Joe’s Wax was created in March 2020 soon after the Coronavirus
shutdown of schools. Joe’s mother, Laura, watched a video by an EC
(Exceptional Children’s) teacher on how to make soy wax candles
realizing the visual step-by-step process might be a good afternoon
activity for her son, who is on the autism spectrum. After ordering a kit
online, they enjoyed learning how to make 8-ounce candles in tins and
what ratio of wax to fragrance works best at what temperature. Soon,
after Laura posted some pictures on Facebook, friends and family
members wanted some for their own homes. Laura decided that this
would be a good small business learning experience for Joe and so they
embarked on a daily journey of making candles. Customers gave great
feedback and thus inspired them to continue to build the business.
Joe’s favorite parts of the process are placing the stickers and wicks in the
center of the tins, melting the wax, adding fragrance, labeling each label
in his own font, and delivering them. They both collaborate on which
fragrances (essential oils) to use and what to name them. Laura manages
the orders on a spreadsheet and keeps track of material expenses. Joe is
realizing that people have different scent preferences and keeping up with
orders may require working on Saturdays! He is proud of his success and
looks forward to making people feel more relaxed at home with our
special candles.
Joe’s Wax is a mother and son small handcrafted soy wax candle business located in Chapel Hill, NC. Candles are sold in simple tins with original font labeling. Essential oils are used as fragrances. Joe’s Wax has a Facebook page for marketing, educational, and sales opportunities. Free delivery includes:  Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Mebane, Hillsborough, and Pittsboro areas. Shipping available.

Joe Branan

Joe, 18, attends Carrboro High School in Carrboro, NC.  He is in the Occupational Course of Study program and hopes to graduate with a diploma by 2022.  Joe is on the autism spectrum, diagnosed at an early age, 2.5.  He has had both speech and occupational therapies for many years.  Although his conversational skills are limited, he is generally able to communicate his wants and needs, answer factual questions, and comment, when the mood strikes him.  If you want to know the capital city of a state, just ask him!  Joe can learn and function with assistance.  He enjoys hands-on projects and is a very visual person.  He has an amazing Lego kit collection- his favorites include Star Wars and Lego City transportation vehicles.

Before the school shut down due to COVID19, Joe participated in volunteer work jobs on site at the Chapel Hill library, learning the Dewey Decimal classification system and shelving books. He also worked in the UNC-Chapel Hill/TEACCH employment office sorting mail, making copies, watering plants, and some data entry. Both jobs included a trained job coach allowing for growth learning opportunities.  Joe was also practicing riding the local transit bus.

Joe enjoys making, labeling, and delivering his candles the most!  He helps come up with the names of the candles and approves every design for his company. His handwriting is a unique font that we will always use.  He loves seeing people during local deliveries, familiar and new, and is grateful for their support.

Currently, Joe is realizing that people have different preferences for scents and that he has to honor their choices, therefore making 10 of the same scent.  Due to the structure and routine of this business, it has helped Joe cope, keep his anxiety lower, and inspire him to progress during this difficult time of constant change and unsure school settings.  Joe’s favorites scents are:  peppermint eucalyptus, sea salt, and English garden. 

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