Our Story 2022


Taylor is from Westchester, NY where she grew up with a passion for dance and theater. Her high school service project 'Candles for a Cure' ignited her love for entrepreneurship, supporting worthy causes, and candles of course! Candles for a Cure landed Taylor a Mayoral commendation and several news stories before graduating high school. Taylor went on to attended Wake Forest University studying communication, entrepreneurship and psychology. In her senior year she was accepted into the Wake Forest University's Startup Lab, where she relaunched her once candle project as a business. Taylor graduated in 2020 with a BA in Communication and a Startup... Benefiscent! 

Taylor is passionate about leading a socially responsible business to inspire others to do good through their buying habits and business practices. One of her top priorities is using sustainable materials to create high quality, burn tested candles for the best customer experience possible. Taylor founded Benefiscent to address the needs of underfunded cancer research. It is her sincere hope that Benefiscent will make a difference by providing the best handmade candles with the most giving power on the market.

Chief Waxpert

Bob is originally from Detroit, Michigan where he grew up with his 3 brothers. He was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania for football and graduated from the Wharton School of Business. He worked on Wall Street for 35 years of his career before starting his own business. He has encouraged Taylor in her journey with Benefiscent and has joined her in collaboration with Benefiscent. Bob is Benefiscent's Chief Waxpert, overseeing candle making, ensuring ingredient quality, and candle-making methods. He says candle-making & working with Benefiscent is the most fun he's had in years!

Our Story

The mission to help find a cure is near and dear to our hearts, so at Benefiscent, we make every part of our business personal.

On June 6th, 2012, the day before my 14th birthday, my mom Carmela Graustein passed away after a 7-year battle with brain cancer. My mom got sick when I was about 6 years old and I had no idea what was going on. With her diagnosis, doctors estimated that she had less than a year to live. We were extremely blessed that treatment was effective and she was able to fight brain cancer as long as she did. Doctors said that her survival was a miracle. I got to have my mom during the most formative years of my life.

When I was in 6th grade, my mom's cancer unfortunately came back on her spinal cord and in her spinal fluid, which is virtually untreatable. We cared for my mom until the very end of her fight. The time my family and I spent grieving was terribly difficult. I found that the best thing I could do, was to try my very best to help other people not suffer. In the spring of 2015, I came up with the idea to create Candles for a Cure as my high school service project. I started making candles in my kitchen, the way my uncle had taught me several years before. I sold them at local events. After my first year selling candles, I donated all proceeds to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the cancer hospital where my mom was treated. Candles for a Cure became a legacy project that I handed down to trusted high school friends and, collectively, Candles for a Cure donated 22k. The summer of 2019, my dad told me that he thought we could take Candles for a Cure to the next level and make it a real business. We spent the summer brainstorming new names and upgrading our candle-making methods. In the fall, I applied and was accepted into Wake Forest University's Startup Lab, an accelerator program for student entrepreneurial ventures. We launched Benefiscent's website in January 2020! We are proud to have 100% customer satisfaction, and we look forward to the impact Benefiscent will make as it grows. Read More...

We donate 20% of all profits to our nonprofit partners for cancer research.  

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