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Working from Home: How These Students are Running Their Business from the Garage

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Like most classrooms across the country, Jennifer Stillitano's high school entrepreneurship class found new ways to collaborate this year. DireLights, a student-run business in Nipoma, CA, produces handcrafted soy candles and focuses on giving back to their school and community.

With the COVID-19 school shutdowns, DireLights' operations team took matters into their own hands... and took operations home! The team set up shop in Nathan's garage and got straight to melting, pouring, and producing DireLights' unique candles.

Recently, DireLights junior, William, paid the operations team a visit. He reflects on his experience below:

"This week I decided to switch things up a bit. We only had one day of class this week so there isn't much to talk about, but the day we did have class, I decided to go work in person with the operations department. I have been working in the tech department since last year and during class, I got to observe all the other departments, but I don't really get to see what's going on anymore. With this in mind, I wanted to join the operations department during class and watch and help make candles.

The setup at Nathans's house is cool since we aren't able to use the classroom at school. He has tables and all the equipment setup in his garage and has his team come over to work there. He opens up the garage doors and has chairs to sit around by the candles and tables for all the equipment and computers. The day I went, we made several candles over the course of the class. I was checking the temperature every couple minutes as we were listening to Ms. Lackie present. It's a pretty fun process to be a part of. We got to hangout with each other while making the candles, watched the presentation/talk with the class, and had some food. Overall, it was a fun time and I'm glad I decided to take a break from tech for a day and work with operations. I also got to talk to them about the candle production and scents to get some of the info I needed for the catalog. In addition to this, they are part of my team for the business project that we started so I will most likely be going over there a bit more frequently to work with them on my business design."

To learn more about William and his entrepreneurial journey, check out his blog here.

The production team created a video to show customers exactly what goes into each product.


DireLights is a student-run business at Central Coast New Tech High School in Nipomo, CA.

Check out their website:

Follow DireLights at Twitter and Instagram at @DireLights,

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