March 16, 2023

Newton, NJ, resident founded Nic’s Wicks, a thriving business that specializes in homemade soy wax candles and other sustainably produced products.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, March 16, 2023—Three years ago Centenary University student Nicoletta Ciccia picked up some beeswax and a few candle wicks at a thrift store while visiting her aunt in South Carolina. The hobby she intended to start has bloomed into a thriving business that produces homemade soy wax candles, as well as other sustainably produced items.

With more than 4,000 sales to date, Ciccia was one of six finalists from across New Jersey at the recent EO Global Student Entrepreneur Award (GSEA) competition. The competition, which is sponsored by the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), supports student entrepreneurs with mentorship, recognition, and connections to take their businesses to the next level. The New Jersey competition was held at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park.

A resident of Newton, NJ, Ciccia launched her business by making candles for family and friends. After lots of practice and research, she mustered the confidence to bring eight of her homemade candles to an outdoor event, wondering if she’d sell any. Within minutes, a woman had purchased one; by the end of the event, she had sold every candle. Today, Ciccia—a Centenary University business major with a marketing minor—often sells more than 80 products at in-person events, and also has a website,

Ciccia’s commitment to sustainability is evident in her products. Each item is handmade from eco-friendly ingredients including soy wax, essential oils, crystals, and dried flowers and herbs. Containers such as mugs, bowls, and teacups sourced from thrift shops make each item unique. In an interview with the website Canvas Rebel, Ciccia explained, “Sustainability is such an important part of everyday life. I wanted to try to make something that I had never seen an eco-friendly version of yet. I feel so proud I could accomplish this vision, not only for myself, but for other people trying to find more conscious ways to alter their daily lives to become just a little more sustainable.”

Linda Poisseroux, Ph.D., Centenary University associate professor of business and director of Enactus, the University’s competitive business team, helped Ciccia prepare for the recent entrepreneurship competition. She said, “Nicoletta impressed the judges and everyone in the room with her business acumen and success. Centenary is proud of this young entrepreneur who is running a growing business while earning her degree.”



Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township.

Photo Caption:

From left: Linda Poisseroux, Ph.D., Centenary University associate professor of business and director of Enactus; Nicoletta Ciccia, Centenary University student and founder of Nic’s Wicks; Denise Blasevick , a 1990 Centenary graduate, member of the University’s Board of Trustees, and judge at the GSEA Awards.