Skip navigation

TCC alumna turns candle making hobby into a new business

Monica “Mo” Jones never planned on starting a business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today she is glad she did as everything is coming up smelling like roses. And a lot of other amazing scents.

Jones, 38, launched Divine Scentervention, a hand-poured candle company online in 2021. This month she also opened a shop and chandlery in Virginia Beach.

To date, Jones has 16 different candle scents and wax melts including Island Getaway, Love Spell and Pink Sugar. The candles come in three sizes and have a bit of mica powder in the wax to give the candles a shimmery effect while burning.

Monica Jones at work.

After losing her job in April 2020, Jones started making candles at home, turning a hobby into her life’ s work.

“With one less income, I needed to cut back on my spending, so I decided to see if I could make candles that would rival those at my favorite chain store,” she said.

After some trial and error, Jones says everything fell into place.

During that time, Jones was also pursuing an Associate of Applied Science in Management with a specialization in Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship.

“My classes have been a tremendous help in running my business. Especially the bookkeeping, contract law and financial management courses. That knowledge is keeping me on track with my small operation,” she said.

While at TCC, Jones fell ill with a rare autoimmune disease, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. She lost vision in her left eye, but that didn’t extinguish her desire to turn her newfound vocation into a business.

The mom of three was looking for work that would allow her to manage her children’s schedules and any health complications she might face.

“Every semester at TCC I faced some kind of health challenge, and my teachers were always willing to work with me and keep me going toward my degree,” Jones said.

Her favorite professor is Jim Roberts who taught micro and macroeconomics. She had to repeat the course, and credits Roberts with sticking with her until she passed the class during her final semester.

Jones hopes to expand her business with room sprays and body care products to mirror her favorite store, Bath and Body Works.

“I came to TCC the first time right after high school, but I wasn’t ready then,” Jones said. “Coming back as an adult was seamless and the online courses have fit my life.”

Jones says she now has work she enjoys and it doesn’t feel like a job.

“If you want to start a business, use your resources and find people who can show you the way,” Jones said. “I knew it was going to be a journey, and I’m grateful for the support I received at TCC.”

TCC ranked a top school for three programs by

Tidewater Community College was named a top school by for three programs: fire science, interior design and small business management. ranks colleges and programs across the country using aggregated publicly available data.

TCC was named “Best Community College” for the Associate of Applied Science in Fire Science. The program ranked 13 out of 38 schools listed by the site. TCC’s two-year degree in fire science includes a general principles class in addition to classes in building construction, fire investigation, hazardous materials, occupational safety and health, and fire dynamics.

 TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design was among the “Best Online” programs. TCC’s interior design program is the only accredited program in South Hampton Roads, preparing students for work designing commercial and residential spaces by developing skills in visual presentation, spatial and lighting design, color coordination, material selection, estimating and contract planning. The program also includes certificates in Green Design and Kitchen and Bath Design. The program was ranked 20 out of 28 listed schools.

Also, TCC’s Associate of Applied Science in Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship was listed as “Best Associate’s in the Southeast.” Offered on-campus and online, the program prepares students to launch or expand a small business. The degree includes classes in accounting, business law, finance, and marketing with special course work in entrepreneurship and business planning—as well as a cooperative internship. The program was ranked 17 out of 43 schools selected.

For information about TCC’s programs, email or call 757-822-1111.