COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — Business closures and new business beginnings, the pandemic has seen it all.
But what about new businesses who are here simply because of remnants of the pandemic?
During the country's two-week shut down, Aggie owned and operated Two Dudes and a Wick was born.
"When it first started, he (roommate James) had just ordered a candle making kit, we were just doing it for fun. Really over the last year, crazy to think about that, has snowballed into a small business, a small, small business," Benjamin Johnson, Co-Owner of Two Dudes and a Wick said.
The roommates, both Aggies and owners of the small business, started making candles from remnants of the pandemic.
"Everything you see here is what we get from family and friends, so what you see is what they've been drinking for the last 3 or 4 months. We do the whole process. Everything is handmade. We cut the bottles ourselves, we sand the tops, we melt, mix and pour the fragrance oils all here in College Station," Johnson added.
The developed their technique to a unique finished product, using memories of others to help spark new light in the homes of Aggieland and beyond.
If you ask Johnson what he hopes his products bring to others he will say "a piece of Aggieland...a piece of something unexpected. This small business for James and I was unexpected. A year ago I never imagined I would be doing this."
Setting up their Sunday shop at Visit College Station's 'Homegrown' at Northgate, an inaugural farmers and artisans market was a market, Emily Lankford went to scope out something unique like a homemade candle, and Two Dudes and a Wick offered.
"It's in a little Topo Chio bottle which is super popular with a bunch of college students. Super cute...it's a little candle. A couple of those bottles my mom would want, so its pretty cool to have just as a little memory and is super cute to have out on the counter," Lankford, a Texas A&M class of 2023 student said.
Johnson said it feels great to get back out in front of people and it feels like things are returning to normal.
"Any opportunity we can get in front of real people especially in the last year during the year of COVID, any time we can get in front of people is great," Johnson said.
Officially in business around 6-8 months, Two Dudes and a Wick embraced visitors from all over during one of Bryan-College Station's busiest weekends of the year, sharing what products turned their pandemic-hobby into a business opportunity.
"During the two-week shut down, we went through quite a bit of beer, quite a bit of Topo Chico. A lot of glass...and we thought it would only last two weeks. We had a lot of glass laying around the house and we thought what a neat idea if we could cut these," Johnson said.
Two Dudes and a Wick hopes to share the local, homegrown feel and hand-poured scents Aggieland offers.