“One Tree Hill” alum all grown up, using name to help charities
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Being in the spotlight is nothing new to Grace Holcomb. From an early age she became a fixture on the junior golf circuit which led to a spot on the Laney golf team and an eventual scholarship to UNC-Greensboro.
Well before she was making a name for herself on the links, she was known by a different name on television.
“So when I was growing up I always knew that I was Baby Jenny on One Tree Hill said Grace, now 16 and a senior at Laney High School. “In middle school all of my friends were like ‘Grace you were on this show.’”
It wasn’t just her friends who took notice.
“I got asked to go to the conventions for the first time and I was like, wow, that’s pretty big — I don’t know if people want to meet me.” Grace said. “Then I got there and so many people like bought tickets to take pictures with me or autographs and I was like, I’m like, this is cool.”
Cool, sure — but also a chance to strike while the iron was hot, or in this case the wax.
“I’m actually majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship in college so I thought this was a good opportunity.”
And the Baby J Candle Company was born.
“During quarantine I think everyone just kind of had that sense of like, oh I need to do something.” Grace said. “I just thought of the candles and thought there’s fans out there that would love to buy something and I could make these candles for them.”
Not that she knew anything about starting a company or making candles.
“I actually took the time to look on YouTube and I joined a lot of Facebook groups for candle making. I know, Facebook — I’m a teenager, it’s kind of weird.”
Weird but it worked, and as the company started to take shape, a post by a One Tree Hill cast member helped put the Baby J Candle Company in the spotlight.
“The night before launch day Hilarie Burton, with 1.1 million followers, posted about it and it got like 200,000 likes.” Grace said. “All of a sudden, my candle Instagram page went from 300 followers to 3,000 followers so I was like, I’m definitely going to sell out now.”
Suddenly there was more demand than supply. After her first 60 candles sold, she’s in the process of putting out another 60 with supplies coming in for another 200. At $18 per candle, business is great – and so is the motivation behind the company. A percentage of the money is being donated to charity, beginning with one that helped make all of this possible.
“So for this last batch it’s FWB Charity Events who runs the One Tree Hill conventions and they really need money to help keep it up and running.” Grace said. “Because of COVID-19 there’s no conventions and they really need help to like keep everything going and just make sure that they can keep the fans happy. I just think it’s so sweet how they care so much and support me; it’s an awesome connection.”
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