A burning desire to succeed: Thomas College student starts small business


WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) – A 22-year-old Thomas College student says his time at the school has helped him launch his own small business.

”I made a lot of small businesses growing up between high school and college.”

Now Dylan Veillux has moved beyond his younger years of running lemonade stands and other such endeavors. He says when he started attending Thomas College in Waterville he decided to start a new business, he calls his product Tree Free Bonfires.

“I’m an inventor and a tinkerer so I’ve always loved to take waste materials and turn them into something useful.”

His first product was a fire starter, but he’s since expanded. The Tree Free Bonfire is comprised of wax, peat moss, and other recycled materials in a small metal tin.

“We work really closely with a hemp farm and we like to use their recycled materials because otherwise it’s going to be thrown away, burned, or composted.”

When lit, the flames burn brightly for hours and, when used carefully, it can be burned in places where other kinds of fires might be impractical or unsafe.

His basement is filled with experiments on different recycled materials and their potential uses.

“We have our eyes on a lot of different products that can be made, from specifically waste and we want to be sure we can focus on that while still maintaining a revenue stream.”

Veillux has big plans for the future, using the Tree Free brand to branch out and solve other problems with help from his business partners.

“Nick Rimsa of Tortoise Labs he’s been my mentor for most of the journey and my other partner is Henry Gilbert, he built Back40 adventures.”

People can visit treefreebonfires.com to learn more about their products and follow the budding company.

“Our company really wants to work with as many businesses and organizations as possible. We would love to be able to slap their branding on top of our portable bonfires.”

Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.



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