“Creating a safer candle, pluis the love of the ocean, is my passion,” says Jeanellen Gonzalez, founder of Henlopen Candle Works based in Kent County, Delaware. “After learning that typical candles release toxins into the air, I wanted a safe alternative that still smelled great. That is when I decided to make my own candles. These candles ignited a passion in my life and put me on a mission to share them with everyone.”
Before starting her company in 2021, Jeanellen was a full-time caregiver to her father, who lost his battle with cancer in 2019. She has spent over a decade advocating for local nonprofits, including the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Jeanellen served on the Women Empowered Against Violence in Every Relationship (WEAVER) Legislative Task Force.
During her service, she testified and advocated for grant-in-aid funding for victims of domestic violence at Delaware’s Joint Finance Committee sessions speaking with members of the General Assembly, Senate Finance Committee, and the House Appropriations Committee at Legislative Hall.
After earning her Master of Education in Special Education from Wilmington University and a Bachelor of Art in Psychology from Thomas Edison State University, she spent seven years working in the retail pharmacy industry. She was a merchandiser for Edgehill Pharmacy and a Store Manager for Rite Aid in Delaware and Tennessee.