Some NFL players spend their offseason downtime doing commercials or ad campaigns as paid endorsers. Some take classes to finish up their college degree. Still others utilize internships offered through the NFL Players Association to learn new things or lay the groundwork for a post-playing career.
But Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack is getting some experience running an unexpected small business.
‘This candle’s actually alright’
Believe it or not, Jack has a thriving small business making handmade scented candles.
In a story by USA Today’s Tess Demeyer, Jack explained how it all came to be.
“I always take baths with candles .. .so I made my own little lavender candle. I lit it, and I was reading in the bath, and I was like, ‘oh, OK. This candle’s actually alright.’”
Jack posted a picture of that first candle to his Instagram stories, and all of a sudden he started getting requests.
He taught himself how to make candles using YouTube videos and other online tutorials, trying different dyes and scents once he got the basics down.
That first post with the candle he made for himself was only two months ago; in just a few weeks, Jack has outgrown Instagram – he started taking orders through direct message to the account he started for the venture, @handmade44jack.
When that inbox became overwhelmed, he asked customers to use the CashApp. But now he’s had to start a website, mylesmadecandles.com, to help keep up with demand.
Making the candles in his kitchen, Jack offers 11 scents, and buyers can customize the color as well. And he offers quite the perk for buyers: Jack meets some at TIAA Bank Field, the Jaguars’ stadium, to deliver their orders.
Unsurprisingly, some of Jack’s teammates had jokes about his new hobby: Leonard Fournette and Jalen Ramsey went live on Instagram to make fun of Jack and his candles.
Then Jack brought some candles to give to teammates in the locker room, and their tunes changed.
“Some people tried to partner up with me on the business, and some people were giving me ideas. I’m like, ‘No, you were being haters at first. Now you want to team up with me,’” Jack said with a laugh. “It's just funny how they switched from one side to the other.”
Profits go to charity events
As of June 3, Jack had sold almost $12,000 in candles to customers around the world. With demand exceeding his supply, he recently increased the cost of the products to $20 from the original $10.
He hasn’t kept count, but estimates he’s already nearing 1,000 made.
Jack is using the money he’s making to fund community events. A month ago, he and former Jacksonville tight end Pharoah McKever provided a pizza party complete with juice boxes and cookies to students at River City Science Academy in the city using money Jack made through sales, and he is in talks with Boys & Girls Clubs. He wants to have events at children’s hospitals, retirement homes and with disabled veterans too.
For now, Jack plans to keep working alone, but knows once football starts up again he’ll need to bring in help.
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