Jersey brand

A New Jersey business owner pursued his dream during COVID-19

HOBOKEN (PIX11) – Like millions of workers across the country, Miguel Goncalves grew weary of his 9-to-5 company gig. So, at the height of the pandemic, he threw in the towel and moved away to pursue a dream.

“I’ve always wanted to start my own business and I thought it was a good time,” Goncalves told PIX11 News. “Leases were cheap, everyone was a little scared, you know, so I’m a big believer when people are scared it’s a good time to come in.”

Having a background in consumer packaged goods, Goncalves saw an appetite for candles, especially at a time when many were working from home and yearning for a pleasant, welcoming scent in the home. He also noticed that there was a void that needed to be filled in Hoboken

“There was no candle shop in town,” he noted. “I mean, there are general stores that sell a candle or two, but there was no specific perfumery and I thought that was a good opportunity.”

He opened Wicked Scents in April 2021 along 2nd Street. He quickly became a neighborhood mainstay with an inventory that included not only national brands, but also local candle makers.

“I’m not just trying to support the little guy and the little girl, but also supporting the locals,” he told PIX11 News.

With his first birthday in Hoboken just weeks away, Goncalves has a lot to celebrate. It is already expanding with another store in Brooklyn and plans to open more.

Walking away from his company gig, he said, was the best thing he ever did.