Safe and savvy with scents


Photo by Liz Rodriguez

Due to the pandemic, passions developed at-home have become business ventures.  

Tiffany Persaud, Features & Lifestyle Editor

Lighting a candle after cleaning is the equivalent of finalizing your crisply wrapped Christmas present with a bow. But do you realize how many chemicals and harmful ingredients are fusing in your hair that your family or fur babies inhale? Probably not, since the scents of those candles are distracting enough.  

Elizabeth “Liz” Rodriquez has a vocation for bettering “candle culture” during her time spent away from collegiate responsibilities and an internship. As a senior at Iona, majoring in social work and minoring in sociology, Rodriguez’s calendar is jam-packed.  

During the winter of 2020, she created her own small business, Copacetic Candles. She handmakes soy candles, wax melts and clean-room sprays that are all unique, differentiating them from competitors. Her company is known for having a visual representation of the scent and being made from soy, removing the element of toxins. 

Good health is often taken for granted. So, given new scares the pandemic has brought on, Rodriguez wanted to find more ways to improve her quality of life.  

“My motivation for starting my business was to find a better candle for my household that won’t let out negative toxins that can affect me down the line, “Rodriguez said. “Many candle brands do not completely warn their customers of the damage candles can cause to the body over time. This pushed me to try and test the skill in the candle industry.”  

The candle-making process is straightforward, by first melting plain candle wax, adding a scent, then allotting enough time for curation. The process requires measurements in each step that have become second nature to Rodriguez. The process that she finds most difficult is choosing scents and designs, however, she is given some leeway as it is just a trial-and-error industry. 

“A challenge of being a young business owner is juggling being a full-time student and other responsibilities at the same time,” Rodriguez said. “Although the long nights and early mornings may be exhausting, I know the outcome of all my hard work will be worth it. The effort to maintain a social life can also be draining, as there’s always a task to complete.”  

To help boost her brand and make up for the lack of socializing time, Rodriguez arranges pop-up shops in local towns and on various campuses. She will also be participating in the New Rochelle Holiday Market on Dec. 12. Cheering her on will be her mom and her best friends, who’ve always supported her with anything she’s wanted to do, fostering her aspirations.  

Rodriquez believes in pursuing your new business interests as quickly as possible. Before losing the fire inside you, design a blueprint, organize your finances, or even analyze similar businesses.  

“My main piece of advice for young entrepreneurs are just to start, everyone’s journey is different,” Rodriquez said. “Some individuals may feel they are starting too late or aren’t as far as the other people in their life. You will reach where you are meant to be when the time is right.”  

Turning your passion into a small-scale profession, like Rodriguez did, opens the door for large-scale opportunities. Her success has become an influence on those who seek to establish a business or hobby of their own. In November, she was included in the Hynes Institute student entrepreneur panel. 

Visit or @copaceticcandles on Instagram to begin your holiday shopping.