VERONA, NJ — Three local Essex County middle school students have turned a passion project into a business, launching JAÉ Candles and Co. Jada Bednar and Ellie Ghingo, seventh-graders at H.B.Whitehorne Middle School in Verona, and Ava Tsettos, a West Caldwell seventh-grader at Grover Cleveland Middle School, are the founders of JAÉ Candles and Co. 

In quarantine, curiosity and boredom led to the trio experimenting with different fragrances and learning how to make candles.

Although they had no prior experience with candle-making, the friends discovered how much they enjoyed crafting together, and began selling their candles door-to-door and through word of mouth and social media. After seeing the support from their community, they started to sell on Etsy and Facebook pages and by early October 2020, the girls had sold more than 1,000 candles. They realized that their new-found hobby had the potential to become a full-time business and today, the trio is officially launching a brand-new website and a 2021 Spring Collection.

Sign Up for Verona/Cedar Grove Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

“We started this idea when we were home during COVID quarantine last year," Jada Bednar said. “We never thought it would take off like this, but it’s exciting to see how much love and support we received from our family, friends and community. Every candle is hand-designed and poured by us in small batches out of our homes. With the launch of our website and new line, we look forward to seeing where this takes us.”


Jada, Ava, and Ellie are the founders of JAÉ Candles and Co. Each candle is hand-poured and made with all natural soy wax and cotton wicks to ensure low smoke and a smooth clean burn. Each scent captivates the senses and enhances any space in the home. During quarantine 2020, the trio decided to turn their passion project of candle making into a full-time business so that they could spread a little love and light into their community. They love experimenting with different fragrances and creating scents that will captivate and enhance any space. This is how JAÉ Candles and Co was born. Candle making aside, they love playing sports, trying the latest TikTok trends, and hanging out with friends. JAÉ Candles and Co¾spreading love + light one candle at a time. Visit: or