The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Candles for a cause

Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

The Thomas Brothers sell locally produced candles made from soy.

A typical week in the life of a Texas A&M student includes late night studying, tests and various meetings. Most students would not consider starting their own business, but business juniors Chase Giles and Gavin Menichini decided to do just that.
Giles and Menichini, along with industrial distribution junior Will Lancaster, make up the Thomas Brothers Collective, a company that will open Tuesday, selling locally produced natural, soy candles.
The Thomas Brothers Collective is a group of student entrepreneurs who hope to open a number of small businesses that will help grow the B-CS community — starting with candles. The candles are made from 9 ounces of all-natural soy wax and their scents come from custom fragrance blends and essential oils. Each month, the group donates a portion of its profits to a different ministry or non-profit in the B-CS area, a practice they’ve named “Ministry of the Month.”
Chase and Gavin said their company is striving to be more than candles made in their kitchen.
“One day we hope to open a café that features locally made College Station goods because we have a passion for showcasing and investing in this city,” Chase said.
Giles and Menichini said there is a lot of culture in the College Station area that many are missing out on, and they want to spotlight those areas.  
“We have so many ideas,” Chase said. “Sometimes we’ll just sit down and talk for hours about all the things we want to accomplish here.”This motto of investing in the community is not just a future goal — this month the Thomas Brothers have partnered with Young Life to send local high school students to camp this summer as part of Ministry of the Month.
“This is what we want at the heart of our company,” Chase said. “We want to inspire others and put our sense of community at the forefront.”
The pair said they love Texas A&M, but have fallen in love with the unique culture that surrounds the community like local restaurants and handmade pottery shops.
Thomas Brothers Collective received its name from the street the entrepreneurs live and now work on.
“We live on Thomas Street, we’re like brothers and we want to come together to make something great,” Giles said.
Giles said like any company they have had difficulties, but it is worth it.
“It’s exciting to create the product,” Giles said. “Gavin is using techniques he learned in graphic design to make our labels and we’re getting to try out everything until it is perfect.”
Lancaster, who is Giles’ roommate, said the process of creating the company has been fun and to him that is what is most important.
 “I’ve always seen it as if it fails then it was always something fun. We got to sit on the kitchen floor until 3 a.m. talking about big ideas,” Lancaster said. “I think this would be the coolest thing in the world if this worked out and we got to expand into other things than just candles.”
Menichini, who has worked mainly with the design side of the company, said creating something — even as a student — can give anyone a rush.
“We feel like scientists and engineers as well as businessmen,” Menichini said. “There has been a lot that has gone into this, but we have had a lot of support from our friends and family.”
When asked what advice the Thomas Brothers would give to fellow young businesspeople, Menichini said his philosophy is simple.
“Just go for it,” Menichini said. “Find something you are passionate about and run toward it.”
Chase added that having a support system and friends that will run with you through all your wild ideas makes the difficult times easier and their plans become a reality.
“Having people around you to encourage you and share that passion is important” Giles said. “If this fails, we’ll still have each other and a lot of candles.”
The Thomas Brothers Candle Co. website, will launch Tuesday.

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