If you let three teenage boys choose what sort of business they'd like to start, how many of them would sell soy wax candles?
Hastings Boys' High School year 12 students Quaid Crawford, Detroit Thompson-Marsh and Karim Crawford are stepping outside the mould, creating Hahana Candles for their Young Enterprise Scheme project, and are even donating a percentage of their proceeds to Women's Refuge.
Hastings Boys' High School commerce teacher Paula Ferrick the "neat" thing was that at a traditional boys' school they've taken a product "that's not necessarily a traditional boys' sort of product" and put their own twist on it.
The Young Enterprise Scheme is a project students undertake in their business studies class which is aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills.
In the level 2 course they need to have community involvement which Ferrick said the group have gone above and beyond in, with both their fundraising efforts and bringing their wider whānau into the project.
Each of the boys have a role in the business – Quaid Crawford is the CEO, Detroit Thompson-Marsh does the finance, Karim Crawford does the marketing and they all work on candle production.
Their business – Hahana Candles – sells hand poured soy wax candles in various scents.
"We just thought it'd be a cool idea for a bunch of teenagers to make some candles, it was pretty unique," Quaid said.
He said they came to the decision to use soy wax as it is a more environmentally sustainable and holds the scents better.
As a Māori based group, they wanted to incorporate that culture into their product so are currently selling a limited edition Matariki candle.
For each candle sold, $1 is donated to Women's Refuge.
Thompson-Marsh said Women's Refuge was chosen as the candles were first released on Mother's Day and Quaid said they felt it was an ideal charity as violence against women "is a pretty big problem in our country" and they wanted to give back.
Totara Health director Shane Gorst who has been mentoring the group "have an intuition for this stuff that isn't very common amongst their age group".
"That will serve them well, they could quite easily and realistically turn this into a good little side hustle or even a business after they do leave school.
"Having an opportunity like this for them to hone those skills where the consequences aren't, it's a safe environment, they're well supported, they can try stuff and take risks."
So far, they have produced about 200 candles.
They are currently selling the candles on Instagram @hahana.soy.wax.candles and anticipate they will have a website up soon.