All posts by Prosperity Candle

Light up her Heart on Mother’s Day!

Mother's Day

“There’s a reason some people think they can do anything, they listened to their mothers”.  – a Mother’s Day quote

Mothers are incredible. It goes without saying that we wouldn’t be here without them. But so many are unsung heroes who lend a hand to people in need, bringing them in from the cold to a bright and loving environment. With Mother’s Day approaching on May 8th, we are celebrating these women – and everyone who helps and nurtures those in need.

Moo Kho, one of our candle-makers, is an inspiring example. Having endured years in a refugee camp and being separated from her parents and siblings, she has dedicated her life to helping other families who have also lost everything. And to her daughters for whom she is providing a childhood that is brighter than the one she had.

Time with loved ones is such a precious gift. And being able to spend hours with your mom to share your dreams is in itself a dream. On Mother’s Day weekend, we’ll be closing shop here and heading to Weesie’s house with her favorite candle in hand. Weesie is another unsung hero who has helped many in need over her 78 years, never letting obstacles get in the way, always seeing the best in people. She is our co-founder Ted’s mom, a woman cherished by all.

We wish we could likewise give a candle to every mother in the world. We can’t, of course. But this year we would like to give away 5 of our unique Mother’s Day designs, hand-poured by a woman artisan for your mother, daughter, sister or friend. It’s our small way of helping to celebrate the moms in other people’s lives.

For a chance to win, simply share on facebook which of the candle moments below best reflects how you would spend time with your mom. We wish you good luck!

Tea time

Mother's DayTea and candles are a perfect match… we’ve been combining them in gifts since 2011. Plan your own mother-daughter tea party with these Tika pot candles. You’ll have a chance to finally catch up and she’ll enjoy every minute of it.

Meditation

Mother's DayMothers manage a myriad of tasks all day, every day. She deserves some time to relax. Our Liberte Pot candles come in soothing fragrances and are ideal to create a zen moment in her busy day. To be fair, fathers manage a lot, too… but we’re talking about moms here!

Sweet Tooth

Mother's Day“A mother is a person who seeing there are only three cookies for four people, promptly announces she never did care for cookies” (from a quote by Tenneva Jordan). We say no way, get more cookies! Available in all our springtime fragrances, this pink pot candle is an absolute favorite.

Flower gardening

Mother's DayA bouquet of flowers goes a long way, but why not start with a candle that repurposes as a flower pot? This earth-friendly gift will make any mom happy. It even comes with a set of wildflower seeds from our good friends at Garden Collage.

So there you have it… which one is your favorite?  Light up your Mother’s heart by clicking here to win and give her a Prosperity Candle

#MothersDay #ProsperityCandle #LightUpHerHeart

Celebrate Earth Day, Every Day!

Prosperity Candle Liberte Pot Candle

“The Earth is what we all have in common” – Wendell Berry

Here at Prosperity Candle, we’re gearing up for Earth Day on April 22nd. Beyond celebrating the resources that Mother Nature has given us on this one special day, we’d like to inspire you to help protect those resources 365 days of the year. Wouldn’t it be great if every day could be Earth Day?

Sustainable development is a global topic discussed by the United Nations, as Member States gather in Paris to reach a global agreement. With so many individuals, organizations and governments involved, we’d like to have a simple story to pass on when we talk about the big – and small – things we can do to sustain our earth. Inspired by Earth Month, we’ve listed Prosperity Candle’s 5R’s of sustainability for 2016:

Respect

Encouraging respect for life on Earth goes a long way. We take pride in using nature’s resources gracefully for our candles, while brightening the lives of others. Why not choose a fair trade supplier for your business gifts and support important causes, like women’s leadership and human rights? The glow and warmth of a candle’s flame stand for how we like to treat people and the planet: with dignity.

Reduce

Have you ever calculated your ecological footprint? We are proud to be a certified B-Corp for our environmental and social sustainability practices. We use soy blend wax, fragrances made with essential oils, and natural cotton and wood wicks. We also consolidate shipments, select routes with the smallest footprint, and re-use or recycle every scrap of shipping material that comes through our door.

Repurpose

What better way to honor the earth, and your pocket, than repurposing items and giving your home decor a little boost? How about using sake candles as tea cups or this Liberte Pot candle to plant your favorite flower?

Prosperity Candle Liberte Pot Candle

Responsibility

As a social enterprise, we thrive at the intersection of business and philanthropy, seeking sustainable market-based solutions to today’s global challenges. We love supporting local initiatives like Kestrel Land Trust to benefit the community and being involved in events that benefit earth and society. Find one in your area by checking out the Earth Day Network which gathers a list of fair trade and green events around the world.

Rethink

Rethink how you shop. Rethink traditional gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. We can do lots of good for others, and the earth, with even the smallest decisions. Get your loved ones a gift that they’ll enjoy, not throw away. How about a gift card for weddings, baby showers and graduations? Ultimately, your purchases decide whether fair trade and green products become the norm.

Robert Swan once said,  “The greatest threat to our earth is believing that someone else will save it.” Let’s stand together to inspire habits that serve the earth every day. #EarthDay2016 #Candles4Earth #EarthDayEveryDay

Would you like to enjoy your own flower pot candle? Click here to start your Spring right!

International Women’s Day: Men

International Women's Day

“It’s sad to see that in this day and age, gender parity is still far from a reality in many parts of the world.” – Sir Richard Branson

Indeed. Except that it’s more than sad, and it’s not yet a reality anywhere. But it will be.

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a collective moment taken every year to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. We love it, and appreciate the businesses and organizations that ask us to create custom gifts for their IWD events.

We also love International Women’s Day because we see a huge spike in conversation about the issues we care most about and focus on throughout the year. Whether celebrating accomplishments or taking action on behalf of women’s rights, March 8th represents a powerful force for positive change in the world.

One essential part of that progress is men. It is not enough for women alone to fight for equal opportunities. Men and future men – boys learning gender roles as they grow – must actively participate. In the home, in schools, in government, and at work, play and places of worship. Everywhere.

When we travel, we see the degree to which gender inequality holds back women and girls from success, especially in education, business, media and government. Often the constraints are cultural, which is particularly tough to change. But let’s be frank. Many barriers are born of domination, fear and misogyny.

And yet, there is progress. In Saudi Arabia where women cannot open a bank account without a husband’s permission, let alone drive a car, they voted for first time in local elections this past December. For a country that is among the most repressive, this is a milestone. A human right fought for by women, supported by broadminded men.

So this year we choose to celebrate the many men across the world and all walks of life who not only believe in and support gender parity, but stand up and say so. Loud and clear.

That is why we like HeForShe so much, an organization that emphasizes equality is not just a women’s issue… it is a human issue. Because supporting equal rights and opportunities for women and girls is surely the best way to create a brighter future for all.

Visit International Women’s Day, HeForShe and UNWomen to learn more and watch inspiring videos. And be sure to share!

#IWD2016        #PledgeForParity        #HeForShe

One Billion Rising 2016

1BillionRising_3

In 2013, we participated in several of the 1 BILLION RISING events here in Massachusetts. It was powerful, meaningful and incredibly energetic. We danced. A lot.

And everyone there – women, men and kids – all of us heard the call-to-action loud and clear:  stop violence against women and girls.

Last year on Valentine’s Day we sent out an email entitled “Women are not a possession,” and it elicited many more responses than usual, mostly thank-you’s, but also questions about why we did it.

We thought we’d reiterate why this movement means so much to us. Why we are promoting their campaign and donating 10% of sales from the past few weeks.

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, and decided that investing in women would be our focus, our way of creating lasting change.

In March 2009, we were traveling to meet with our pilot project partner, Women for Women International, and on the plane started reading about the women in their programs. Women who had not only survived war, but unspeakable atrocities at the hands of men.

We landed in tears. What these women had experienced was beyond comprehension. So was their strength and resilience. Six months later, we began working with a group of these women in Baghdad.

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. Women who have lost their homes, family members, dignity… and so much more that is beyond words.

We recognize this past, but are focused on the future and doing what we can to ensure women and girls everywhere have an equal opportunity to build a better life. A big part of that is standing up for their rights, and ending violence against women and girls.

February 14th is Valentine’s Day and the worldwide event day for ONE BILLION RISING. We are incredibly inspired by this movement and Eve Ensler’s engaging approach to activism.

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

And check out HeForShe, an organization we also support:

HeForShe_Logo_Header_SupportingPartners_UseOnly_onWhite

And be sure to listen to Break The Chain, Tena Clark’s incredible anthem for ONE BILLION RISING:

Break The Chain, One Billion Rising

Breastfeeding at work – get over it

Spanish woman breastfeeds in parliament

Breastfeeding at work

Member of Parliament Carolina Bescansa brings Diego to work and, shockingly, breastfeeds him.

When will everyone – both men and women – get over it?

Pediatricians and health professionals emphasize that breastfeeding is the healthiest, most natural care a mother can give a newborn. Not every woman can or chooses to breastfeed, but why do we continue to stigmatize those that do?

This morning’s news paints a bemusing picture of Spain’s newest members of parliament arriving for work while the establishment looked on “bewildered.” Younger, more female, some biking instead of riding in limousines. A few of the men even had ponytails.

But who causes the biggest stir? Diego, a 5-month old who was not elected and therefore should not be allowed in the hallowed chambers of government. Carolina Bescansa took flak from both men and women for grabbing headlines and perpetuating the assumption that childcare is a woman’s job.

When will this nonsense stop? Spain’s 2016 parliament boasts an increase in women and minority representation, which means it more closely resembles the make-up of the country’s population than ever before. Gender parity is encouraged by requiring all parties to put forth candidate pools that are at least 40% women. Then it’s up to the people.

They voted for 39% women (compared to 20% in the U.S. Congress, despite a 51% majority in our population), which means 138 in Spain’s lower parliament, and some 90 in the Senate. Fantastic.

And if some of those 228 women have newborns and choose breast milk over formula, what should they do? Pump all day behind closed doors, excuse themselves from meetings for a nursery visit, postpone running for office?

At Prosperity Candle, we created options. How a woman and her partner manage their family life is their choice. Our job is to make it as easy as possible in the workplace. It really isn’t that hard. We have a small nursery with screens for optional privacy, and set a clear policy that welcomes babies and supports nursing mothers.

The result is no stress, no fuss. Some days a baby is here, other days infants are with the father or another caregiver. Whatever works best. It doesn’t negatively impact or change anything. In fact, it’s a non-issue.

Which is what breastfeeding should be… a non-issue. At the office, in public, anywhere. Let’s stop calling it indecent, and stop labeling women anti-progressive for nursing at work.

Just get over it.

 

 

From Haiti To Haiti, With Determination

Haiti_earthquake

On January 12th, 2010 a powerful earthquake struck Haiti, taking 230,000 lives, injuring 300,000 and displacing over 1.5 million. Six years later, families and the country are still struggling to recover.

Here at Prosperity Candle, and for the thousands of people who have volunteered to save and help rebuild lives there, the devastation that befell this Caribbean country just a few hours’ flight from Miami is much more than images. We’ve worked in Haiti both before and after the earthquake.

So when Prosperity Candle was ready to expand to a new country to support women artisans and entrepreneurs, we knew it would be Haiti. Beyond donations, we wanted to reach out to help Haitians build a brighter future in the way our social enterprise was created to do. Together with our sister nonprofit, Prosperity Catalyst, we went there and invested in a women-owned candle enterprise.

Three years later, we are continuing that effort with something new and entirely unique.

_JP_5531

Concrete candle holders made with rubble from the 2010 earthquake, symbolizing light from darkness and a brighter future ahead. Designed and individually handcrafted in partnership with Stone Soup Concrete, 10% of proceeds are donated to support women entrepreneurs and civic leaders in Haiti.

But today  through January 12, 2016 we are donating 100% of the proceeds.

Combined_Haiti_Pillars_JP_8379

Already these candles reside in homes from London to LA, given as unique and meaningful gifts this past holiday. The response has been incredible. Each begins with blocks of concrete we handle with deep awareness of the lives lost, and even deeper determination to help those still in need.

Turning these blocks into smooth candle holders is a slow process done entirely by hand from start to finish. No two pieces are exactly the same depending on the material we receive. Each arrives with a story card and matchbox with inspirational quote. You can view the Haiti Rubble Series in our Limited Edition Collection.

For wholesale inquiries, please visit the Haiti Rubble Series on our wholesale site.

If you are interested in supporting Haitian women more directly, we encourage you to visit Prosperity Catalyst, a Boston-based nonprofit that incubates and launches women-led businesses in distressed regions, creating opportunities for women to achieve economic empowerment. Its vision is a world where all women have the opportunity, capacity and support to become powerful catalysts for social and economic change.

Thank you. Together we can – and will – create a brighter future for all.

Thinking about those left behind

Iraqi women entrepreneurs not refugees

LIGHT THE WAY FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

As the refugee situation from Syria, Jordan and Iraq reaches a critical point, communities in European Union countries and Turkey are overwhelmed, fences are going up to block the surge and anti-Muslim/immigrant sentiment rise, we are thinking about those left behind – the families who can’t or won’t leave despite the danger and hardships.

Prosperity Candle’s work in Baghdad is aimed at helping women and families who are still there under threat of violence…

Read full article by Cori Urban for The Republican, published on MassLive

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

Womens_Entrepreneurship_Day

Today is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, a day to recognize and celebrate women entrepreneurs around the world. And, more importantly, to support them!

That is exactly what we do. That is, actually, why we exist.

Whether helping widows in Iraq to start their own candle businesses to sell in local and international markets, women in Port-au-Prince to create the first candle export cooperative in Haiti, or inviting Burmese women refugees here in the United States to join our social enterprise team – Prosperity Candle and its sister nonprofit Prosperity Catalyst were created in 2010 to empower women through entrepreneurship.

Which is why today is such a special day for everyone here, and all the women artisans we work with. Women’s Entrepreneurship Day was founded by Wendy Diamond after volunteering to help provide microcredit to low income women in Honduras. She returned to start a movement whose first day of recognition was last year on November 19, observed in over 140 countries.

We hope you’ll take a moment to celebrate the women entrepreneurs in your life, and help spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.  Be sure to use #WomenWOW.

How does Fortune Magazine describe Women’s Entrepreneurship Day? As “a global movement to celebrate and support female founders and shed light on some of their challenges… to mobilize a global network of female business owners, entrepreneurs and change makers who support and empower this community of women entrepreneurs and their businesses.”

We’ll go one step further. Women’s entrepreneurship and equal opportunity for women and girls in all aspects of life – business, education, civic leadership and more – will create a brighter future for everyone, everywhere.

More information about Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

More information about Prosperity Catalyst

More information about Prosperity Candle

Contest! Dalai Lama’s “Force for Good”

Win a candle and Daniel Goleman’s newest book, A Force for Good

Dalai Lama A Force for Good Daniel Goleman

We’re so inspired by this book, and so incredibly honored to be cited as the leading example of companies “heightening the ethical standards of business” – alongside giants like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Warby Parker – that we’re celebrating by giving away a bunch of copies for free.

This jubilation is not just about being recognized for our values and commitment to social good (although after years of hard work, that feels really nice)… we love what the Dalai Lama has to say.  And Daniel Goleman expresses this vision in a thoroughly engaging way.

But here’s the best part:  you too are a force for good. We all are. Where and when has your compassion compelled you to do more than empathize, to take action?

Share it! Send your best message or photo on Facebook, TwitterInstagram or Pinterest of being a #ForceForGood, and get a chance to receive a free copy of A Force For Good by Daniel Goleman (Hardcopy or Audiobook) and a beautiful, handmade Prosperity Candle with your fragrance choice.

All our small acts add up to a big, positive impact – bigger than the scalenegativity that dominates the news. We love how the Dalai Lama says that no matter how much bad stuff happens around the world, it is far outweighed by acts of kindness and generosity.

So how do you do #RealGood?

The Dalai Lama is an optimist. He sees the good in people, and recognizes that change and a brighter future for everyone is within our grasp if we turn our compassionate energy outward. Such compassion resides within each and every one of us… it’s simply a matter of allowing ourselves to express it in all aspects of our lives, both personal and professional.

We love the phrase “a force for good.” It encompasses everything we believe in, every decision we make at Prosperity Candle. It describes the best in all of us.

So join our contest, comment on Facebook, tweet us your message, share your photo on Instagram or Pinterest. Let’s shout out to the world what it means to be a force for good!

That eligibility stuff

Contest open through July 31, 2015 (but feel free to spread the word any day of the year).

Winners announced on August 4th, so stay tuned our on social media pages.

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.

World Refugee Day, Helping Kids Far Away

World Refugee Day SOS Childen's Villages

On their way from Ohio to a family vacation in Maine, Lori and Megan stopped by Prosperity Candle’s studio to say hello and meet the women refugees who make their candles. What a joy for us and, as we discovered, for kids in Zimbabwe and Nepal.

You see, Lori and Megan’s candles aren’t just any candles… they are custom-designed for SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization with a single, inspiring goal: every child has the opportunity to grow up with love, respect and security in a supportive family environment. One of their values particularly resonates: courage to take action.

That sums up how Lori and Megan spend many of their weekends. A year ago Lori called to ask if we could design a candle she and Megan could sell at fairs as a way to raise awareness and money for SOS Children’s Villages. Wanting to do more than donate, they were looking for a product that could generate support through purchases. Ideally one people would enjoy and return to buy again and again. We loved it.Custom candle for SOS Children's Villagess

Profits from every sale are donated to help vulnerable children and families around the world. Whether due to political strife in Tibet, earthquakes in Nepal, economic collapse in Zimbabwe, or war in Syria… SOS Children’s Villages is there to provide safe havens and services. Lori calculates that with every 100 candles sold they can sponsor a child in need.

She is the editor of a physics journal and her daughter Megan is in 5th grade. Both care passionately about children who through circumstances beyond their control don’t have a loving home with access to education, healthcare and support. So they took action. And as a result, SOS villages in Zimbabwe and Nepal are being sponsored.

This Saturday, June 20th, is World Refugee Day. It is a moment to reflect on the plight of refugees everywhere who have lost their homes, livelihoods, and much more. For a powerful video about kids in a refugee camp, this UN Web TV video is worth watching.

Refugees_KosovoAt Prosperity Candle we recognize this day because our U.S. candle-makers are women from refugee camps, some having spent over 15 years in temporary housing with no access to education, jobs or proper medical care. And they are the lucky ones, those few who have been given the opportunity to build a brighter future for themselves and their families somewhere else, far from the tragedy that befell them. They, too, are taking action every day to create new lives.

We hope you’ll join us on Saturday to pause for a moment, reflect on all that you are grateful for, and think about ways to help others in need. Perhaps refugees in your area. And then, like Lori and Megan, take action.

More about SOS Children’s Villages

World Refugee Day on facebook

UN Refugee Agency

Lori’s SOS Candles on facebook

 

 

 

 

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