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Contest! What Makes Your Mom Unique?

Mother's Day Contest

Someone once said every day is Mom’s Day. It’s true. But it’s still nice to recognize all your mom has done on one day in particular. This year, it’s Sunday, May 10th.

In celebration, we’re holding a contest with the chance to thank your mom in a very special way… 2 custom candles of your own design. One for her, one for you!

Simply join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest and tell us why your mom is unique. Be sure to include the hashtag #BecauseOfYouMom in your post, tweet, comment or photo. We’ll announce a winner on Thursday, April 30th.

Good luck – we hope you win 2 unique candles!

If you haven’t checked out our new Design Your Own Candle feature yet, it’s really cool. It makes the perfect Mother’s Day, birthday, any-day gift.

Over 4,000 possible combinations of beautiful vessels, wonderful fragrances, and 3 scent levels. You get to choose… and we’ll make it, just for you. Because your home is unique, and every room has a purpose, an aesthetic, an ambiance. Now you can create a candle for each one, exactly as you like.

All our candles are soy blend with cotton wicks. No dyes, no enhancers. Just a clean burning candle, individually handmade by a woman artisan and supporting equal opportunity around the world. Fair trade, too!

Be sure to order by May 1 for Mother’s Day as it takes a few days to make custom candles.

Contest Eligibility

No purchase necessary to enter or win this contest. One (1) contest entry per person. Entrants must be over 18 years of age and a legal resident of the United States. Void where prohibited. Entries on all social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) will be considered valid, and all entries must have a current e-mail address to be eligible (we’ll contact you by email for your design and shipping information).

Prosperity Candle never shares or sells your address or personal information.

Candles Should Be As Unique As You Are

Custom candles

You have a certain style, an aesthetic that belongs solely to you. We all do. We’re influenced by many people and places, but we each combine those inspirations in a unique way. It’s part of what makes you, you.

Here in our studio, we delight in discovering new vessels and fragrances to create unique candles, handmade by women artisans. Every so often, we gather around a wooden table in western Massachusetts (a rickety dining table, actually) and share our inspirations. We unwrap and tell stories about where we found each vessel and who made it.

It’s the most creative part of what we do, and we love it.

Then comes the hard part. We can’t make all these wonderful new candles… there are too many for our shelves and budget. So we have to choose. That isn’t as fun because it feels so limiting.

Then it dawned on us. Why make the candles in advance? Why make that choice for you? In an instant we envisioned people creating candles that match their own unique style, with a large selection of options to choose from. Wow!

Imagine designing a candle for every purpose, every room, every aesthetic, every mood. The perfect candle, every time.

Welcome to Design Your Own Candle. Over 60 vessels and 24 fragrances that will change and expand every month, soon every week. Plus 3 scent strength levels, so you can even choose the amount of fragrance.

From over 4,000 possibilities, we’ll make one candle, exactly how you like it.

Still handmade by a woman artisan, still supporting women’s entrepreneurship to create a brighter future for all. We’re the same small enterprise changing lives and prioritizing social good above all else. Just doing it in a cool new way.

So go ahead, let your individuality shine! Exclusively from Prosperity Candle.

Gender Pay Gap: Patricia Arquette Gets It

Patricia Aquette

“Patricia Arquette gets it” are the Washington Post’s words, but we totally agree.

The question of a gender pay gap has been debated a lot lately, long before the Academy Awards and certainly after. And that is great. Because no matter who says what with which statistic – whether that gap has significantly narrowed or remains stubbornly wide – it exists.

Women today on average make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. If you’re under age 35, 90 cents. Back in 1979 it was just 63 cents, so that is real progress.

And this may surprise you: unmarried women without children earn 96 cents to an unmarried man’s dollar.

That’s practically pay equity! And yet… what exactly does this imply? What happens when a woman has a baby?

76 cents is what happens. Married mothers with at least one child under age 18 earn 76 cents on a married father’s dollar. Which means women are effectively penalized for giving birth. In a recent report for the centrist think tank Third Way, University of Massachusetts sociology professor Michelle Budig put it this way:

“Fatherhood results in a wage bonus… motherhood results in a wage penalty.”

This is precisely the point Patricia Arquette was making in her Oscar acceptance speech. The wage gap is much greater for mothers… a full 24%. Which is why we love what she said.

“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It is our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

She got some pushback from groups advocating for action on more extreme of forms of gender inequality around the world, and they have a point. But whether rich or poor, in the US or abroad, every woman deserves equality.

We’ll go one step further. Nearly everywhere, women and girls face numerous disadvantages, from restricted access to education and work opportunities to lower compensation and property ownership. It’s not only a pay gap – it’s a global opportunity gap. A big, wide, stubbornly persistent chasm.

We argue that many of the world’s most intractable problems like poverty and conflict can be linked to gender inequality – and solved by addressing it. Equal opportunity for women and girls will bring about a brighter future for everyone, everywhere.

This Wednesday, April 14th, is Equal Pay Day. It symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Some say it’s misleading, based on headlines rather than real data.

We say it’s an important day to recognize no matter the exact date. Because gender bias persists in and outside of the workplace. And it is holding the world back.

So show your support. Wear red on Wednesday, and share these links with friends:

Patricia Arquette gets it: The real gender wage gap is for moms (Washington Post)

The Fatherhood Bonus and Motherhood Penalty (Third Way)

Equal Pay for Equal Work: Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (ACLU)

Earth Hour – flick off, power up!

Earth_Hour_PostWhat are you doing Saturday night? Here’s an awesome idea.

Turn off the lights for 60 minutes.

Across the world on March 28th, millions of people will be doing the same at precisely 8:30pm local time. The reason? To celebrate earth and raise awareness about climate change.

Earth Hour was created in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund in Sydney, Australia and has since grown into a global lights-off event in more than 162 countries and territories. Check out photos online… you’ll be amazed at the beauty of people everywhere gathering, lighting candles, and gazing at starry skies.

So join in! Here’s how:

1. Find an event near you

Near Northampton, MA? We’re co-hosting @ Dobra Tea (186 Main Street). Join us for music, food & amazing artisan teas on March 28th. Lights out, candles lit at 8:30pm!

2. Create your own Earth Hour event

3. Join Prosperity Candle’s “9 fun things to do during Earth Hour” on social media and win one of 9 candles

4. Most importantly, turn off all your non-essential lights at 8:30pm on March 28thEarth Hour candles

Whether you’ll be stargazing, striking a yoga pose, connecting with someone you love, or taking part in a local event… do it by candlelight. And tell the world!

Simply head to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and share one thing you’ll do while the lights are off for a chance to win. We’ll be announcing 9 winners on March 31st. See rules below.

We all recognize that individually, it’s hard to make a significant difference when it comes to climate change. But together, we can. Global problems require global solutions, and Earth Hour shows us how simple it can be unite people across time zones for a worthy cause.

Your power to make change happen is unlimited when you connect and join forces with others. And have a bit of fun along the way.

Earth_Hour_Post_2

Eligibility

No purchase is necessary to enter or win this contest. Only one (1) contest entry per person. Entrants must be over 18 years of age and a legal resident of the United States. Void where prohibited. Entries must have a current e-mail address to be eligible (winners will be contacted for shipping information to send your prize). Prosperity Candle employees are not eligible to enter the contest. Prosperity Candle will not sell your address or personal information.

Picked up her skirts, kicked off her heels

by Emma Cotler Powers

Prosperity Candle is about independence, women’s entrepreneurship, and breaking the mold. That’s something I can relate to.

I come from a family of women, literally and metaphorically. My grandmother is the matriarch. After fitting the mold of the model woman at an early age of 23 she picked up her skirts, kicked off her heels, and ran away to New York City where she became an artist.

She was playing with csculpturelay, doing mostly abstraction, when suddenly one of her creations looked at her. She started to make a crowd of them – crones, she called them.

The dictionary definition of a crone brings to mind witches, hags and just general unpleasantness. Hers, though, were full of meat, life and heartache. They hung on the walls in her old apartment, arranged in waves as if they were climbing and descending hills. I looked at their non-faces, for they were just hooded holes, and imagined my ancestors making their way to America. “A crone is a woman with the wisdom of years,” my grandmother told me.

I never questioned her confident dismissal of the negative connotations surrounding the word. I simply accepted her broader view, her kinder view. I instinctively understood that wisdom in women is feared and distorted.

She had three equally strong and rebellious daughters. I am one of her two granddaughters. When I look in the mirror I see a lucky woman, but a woman nonetheless: someone whose face is a drawing board for the world to sketch upon. The word woman is still so fraught with meaning that my face is alight with it.

I urge all of us to pick up our metaphorical skirts and kick off our metaphorical heels – to break the mold and show others the way – in celebration of International Women’s Day.

My grandmother, a silver haired crone of 86, would applaud loudly.

ONE BILLION RISING

One Billion Rising V-Day

We sent an email that said women are not a possession. On Valentine’s Day.

It elicited more responses than usual, mostly “thank you.” But many also questioned our purpose.

Here it is.

“Women are not a possession” is from Tena Clark’s Break The Chain, the anthem for ONE BILLION RISING that has become a global campaign to end violence against women and girls. Founded by Eve Ensler, it is women and men gathering in over 200 countries to express outrage and solidarity – and to dance. It’s incredibly powerful.

When we started Prosperity Candle, supporting women in regions of conflict was our purpose. The founders had traveled around the world for decades helping people escape poverty through entrepreneurship. In the places we worked, this is what we observed:

Men have more access to resources. Women face more obstacles. Men often waste their money. Women typically invest theirs more wisely.

When we launched Prosperity Candle with our own limited funds, we chose to invest wisely, in women. It was March 2009, and I was traveling to meet with our pilot project partner, Women for Women International. On the plane I read about participants in their programs, women who had survived war.

I arrived in tears. The atrocities these women had experienced were beyond comprehension. So was their strength and resilience. A year later Wafa’a, a widow who lost her husband to a mortar landing on their apartment, held up her first pillar candle telling President Obama that Iraqi women are strong and independent.

That is how we started, and who we are. All of our candles are handmade by strong women building a brighter future for themselves and their families, here in the U.S. and overseas. Women who have faced and overcome unspeakable adversity.

February 14th is the worldwide event day for ONE BILLION RISING. We are incredibly inspired by this movement and Eve’s engaging approach to activism. It relates to our own purpose and the women we work with, which is why we sent the Valentine’s Day email.

We encourage you to visit V-Day on facebook and ONE BILLION RISING to discover powerful videos, images and more.

Thank you for asking.

And if you missed our email, here are the links:

Break The Chain, One Billion RisingOne Billion Rising video

Her Personality, Her Fragrance

Our bespoke fragrance collection is uniquely designed to appeal to everyone, from fans of rich musky scents to those who prefer something light, crisp, and fresh. Below, our guide to picking a candle in her fragrance, something she’ll absolutely love . . . without giving yourself away before it’s unwrapped!

For the romantic

Amber&Orchid_JennyPennywood She loves a good romantic comedy and the sight of fresh flowers on her bedside table. Our Amber & Orchid fragrance is perfect for the hopeful romantic in your life. It’s lushly floral yet complex, with notes of bergamot and clary sage, and the addition of amber takes it to a new level of sophistication.

Perfect for: an indulgent evening in with her closest girlfriends, catching up on each other’s lives and dreams for the future.

For the minimalist

SeaGrass_anamontiel

She abhors clutter and distractions. She’s the only person you know who has her email inbox entirely under control. Her motto is ‘buy less, choose well’. For your most organized friend, the one who extols of virtues of simple living, a clean and nature-infused scent. Reminiscent of her favorite beachside moments, it’s a fresh and joyous fragrance . . . never excessive.

Perfect for: adding a bit of peaceful, seaside atmosphere to her weekly electronic-free night, when she turns off her phone and computer in favor of good old fashioned time with the family.

For the gourmand

VanillaBean&Peppercorn_jeanalexanderfraterShe lives for new culinary experiences — everywhere she travels, she’s got a wishlist of restaurants to try. Her kitchen overflows with cookbooks. She’s the consummate hostess, and while everyone else will try to wow her with kitchen gadgets and specialty spices, she’ll really love the potent combination of classic vanilla bean and sharp, spicy black peppercorn. Her fragrance compliments her refined palette.

Perfect for: a fragrant addition to her morning ritual of artisanal coffee, sipped slowly while reading the daily paper (or the latest recipes on Epicurious).

For the explorer

PR&P_janetlittleShe wants to go coast to coast, from the rocky beaches of Maine to the majestic forests of the Pacific Northwest. She’s wild about travel, all the adventure the big wide world holds. Inspire her wanderlust with a rich blend of redwood and exotic patchouli. No matter where she’s come from or where she’s headed, the fragrance will bring her back to center.

Perfect for: a long relaxing bath after a week of backpacking with friends in the Catskills.

 

Water.org candles: give globally with the gift of light and clean water

Prosperity Candle supports water projects around the world with Water.org candle collection

Safe water transforms lives.

For more than twenty years, Water.org has pioneered safe water and sanitation solutions that give women hope, children health and communities a future. This holiday, we’ve partnered with Water.org on an exclusive candle collection supporting the cause of clean water for those who need it, all around the world.

water.org_candles_Shopify

Transform lives with a Water.org candle this holiday

Ethically handmade with a fresh Rainwater scent, each Water.org candle comes gift boxed with the story of the woman who made it. Every purchase donates 10% to Water.org, to support their projects in Haiti, Bangladesh, Uganda, and more.

Shop Water.org candles on Prosperity Candle, and learn more about Water.org’s important work below!

Blogging ethically: our favorite ethical lifestyle blogs

We’re a little bit addicted to lifestyle blogs.

What can we say? We love beautiful interiors, clever ideas for diy projects, and all things lovely. What we love even more is discovering amazing blogs focused on covering ethical brands and providing thoughtful alternatives to traditional purchases. Below are a few of our favorite ethical lifestyle blogs — we’d love to know yours!

Buy Conscious

Bringing you “daily inspiration for conscious living”, Buy Conscious is the passion project of Rose and Julia, two women lending their voices and efforts to making consumers aware of the power of their purchases. Right now, we’re loving their ideas for holiday gifts that keep on giving through Oxfam America’s Unwrapped program. And we were honored to be included in their recent write up of conscious candles!

Ecocult

Based in New York City but reaching far beyond, Alden Wicker’s Ecocult is a great resource for sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives. Showcasing amazing brands doing good, with an eye for highend style and design, Ecocult consistently covers items that end up on our wishlists. With holiday season madness approached, Alden recently wrote a open letter to her family on present-buying . . . a great thought piece and conversation starter for any of us feeling that the over-consumption of Christmas needs to be scaled way back!

Life Style Justice

Hannah’s heart and soul is in social justice — she works with non-profits and for-good businesses, and identifies as a social activist and conscientious consumer. Life Style Justice is her outlet for sharing the many ways she aligns her values with her purchases. Filled with posts on ethical fashion, homemaking, and more, our favorite feature is Life Style Justice’s Ethical Style Files, a gorgeous lookbook of Hannah’s fair trade, thrifted, made in the U.S.A., and otherwise ethical wardrobe.

Let’s Be Fair

Dominique’s internet home was one of our first ethical blog discoveries, so it holds a special place in our hearts! Working from the belief that a “thoughtful  and ethical lifestyle can be stylish, affordable, and fun,” Dominique covers a wide range of topics relating to ethical purchasing — from beauty to ethical good for little ones to how to throw an ethical wedding (her recent post showcasing ethical engagement rings was full of stunning rings that would light up any proposal).

Many Sparrows

Kayla’s goal is to inspire women to find a story worth sharing, and she does so through thoughtful, personal essays on her blog Many Sparrows. From sharing stories of motherhood (her letter to her son Joseph about the joy of being his mother brings tears to our eyes) to reflections on her faith and values, Many Sparrows is an uplifting read time and time again. We were lucky enough to have Kayla share our story with friends at the Influence Conference, and her passion for our work touched us deeply!

Did we miss an ethical lifestyle blog you love? Drop us a comment and let us know!

Little Known Methods for Reducing Holiday Stress

At Prosperity Candle, we are constantly searching for new ways to help our friends and customers (okay, and ourselves!) to relax and unwind. With the holiday season approaching, there’s a whole lot of joy and merriment around the corner . . . but additional stresses, too! Our to-do lists seem never ending and the season always has a surprise or two in store (an newly-instituted end of year report at work, an unexpected holiday guest at home . . .).

Sometimes we all need to take a breath and remember to celebrate what the holidays are all about: joy, genuine connections with family and friends, beautiful moments to cherish (if only we could unwind a bit).

If you’re feeling stressed this fall and need to get your mind back on track, here are 5 often overlooked ways to keep focused, disconnect from stress, and unwind during the holiday season.

Keep a journal

Keeping a journal is an excellent way to take a step back from your life, get your thoughts in order and clear your mind for a moment. A cluttered and hectic life will suddenly seem much more manageable once you’ve got it all down on paper.

5x7_OwlBlueWhile it’s easy to keep a journal on your laptop, or even on your phone or tablet, we really recommend buying a notebook and writing out your thoughts by hand. It doesn’t have to be fancy (although there are plenty of fun options out there). Maybe it’s because we so often associate typing with working, but letting your feelings flow through a pen and onto paper will often relax you in a way that typing doesn’t.

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