News Department

Centenary University student is finalist at prestigious EO Global Student Entrepreneur Awards competition

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

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (Warren County) – 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 said, “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.

“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,” Poisseroux said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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