Student uses personal business to fundraise for St. Jude

Photo by Jenny Rohl/TheNews

Story by Bella Utley, Contributing writer

From Nov. 15 to Nov. 24 an executive board member of the Up Til’ Dawn organization volunteered to use his candle business, Lotus and Light Candle Co., to benefit the fundraising.

Renn Lovett, senior from Memphis, Tennessee, is a nursing student and said he never expected to run a business. He started the business with his girlfriend, after the couple started making candles as a hobby in spring 2015, and they now co-own the business.

A fall collection of candles was used for the fundraiser, but in the future Lovett said he wouldn’t be opposed to setting aside a separate line of candles specifically for St. Jude. As for the 2016 Up Til’ Dawn fundraiser, $5 from each purchase went toward the organization.

He said he hopes because of this fundraiser, the company will gain more of a customer base. He said mostly family and friends have supported the business thus far, which is what the couple hoped for, but they still want to expand.

“I would like to use the company for other philanthropy and fundraising events,” Lovett said. “I am apart of Sigma Phi Epsilon and wanted to fundraise for our philanthropy, but we didn’t have the website running yet.”

Lovett said he is passionate about St. Jude because he grew up in Memphis, where the hospital is located. Once he began the nursing program at Murray State and started patient contact, he said he felt even more drawn to work toward being a physician at St. Jude.

“It’s always been in my life, but I didn’t realize I wanted to do something with that until I got to college,” Lovett said.

He said they haven’t set any huge goals or expectations for the business, but seeing the exponential growth of the process so far gives him hope that it will continue to grow.

“Hopefully we can start shipping out across the country and have products in little coffee shops and boutiques,” Lovett said.

The couple uses soy wax and concentrated oils for the candles and blends some fragrances on their own.

For more information, visit the company’s Facebook page, Lotus and Light Candle Company, or send them an email at lotusandlightcandleco@gmail.com.