All posts by Prosperity Candle

Empower Women

Women Working
Empower women. It’s a powerful statement, a two word sentence that says so much more than the sum of its letters. And it’s what we’re about. What we believe in. Empower women.

Empower women. The women we work with here at Prosperity Candle. They’re new to the United States, refugees from Burma, and in need of support. Not charity, but sustainable economic opportunity. They’re raising families, learning English, acclimating to a new climate and a completely new way of life. For them, empowerment starts small: living wage work in a supportive environment, where time off is readily available, sick kids are welcomed in (one great thing about having a nap-ready couch in our studio!), and candles are made by their hands, designed to share their light with the world.

Empower women. The women our nonprofit sister organization, Prosperity Catalyst, works with in Haiti. They’re moms, they’re daughters, and through their work they’ve become friends. While their budding business is still small, selling locally in the markets of Cap Haitian, their spirit is huge. Each woman pools a portion of the income she makes into a savings fund, and the women regularly distribute that pool to one of its members. This extra piece of income has allowed for small, previously unavailable luxuries like a new haircut or outfit. It’s also allowed for children’s schooling to be paid for upfront. Investing not only in the women entrepreneurs, but in the next generation of women as well.

Empower women. And empower future women . . . empower girls. Show her Wonder Woman. Show her writers, and businesswomen, and teachers, and doctors. The world will show her princesses. Show her Malala Yousafzai, show her Half the Sky, show her the world beyond the tiny boxes, the gender roles she’ll be pushed into. Show her how to consume media messages with a cautious and critical eye. Empower her, show her the world of possibilities that lies ahead of her, and you’ve made a mighty investment into a brighter future for us all.

Easy Ways to Celebrate Day of the Girl 2013

A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult.
source: The World Bank

source: Day of the Girl

source: Day of the Girl

This Friday marks the second ever International Day of the Girl Child, a day dedicated to advancing the rights of girls around the world. As it says on the official Day of the Girl site, Day of the Girl is “bigger than one issue, one organization, one country, and even the day itself. It is a yearly reflection of what we’ve done and what we need to keep doing to fully achieve gender equality everywhere.”

There are so many ways to take part in International Day of the Girl. It’s all about getting involved, and that means everything from raising your own awareness to sharing the day’s mission with others to supporting related causes.

For example, you can donate to great educations supporting girls education, like She’s the First. You can purchase products made by women, or designed to support women and girls, like our A Brighter Future gift set, which donates to the Malala Fund.

You can follow the International Day of the Girl hashtag on twitter to take part in the global conversation, and like the Day of the Girl facebook page for updates.

And there’s tons of great, shareable media out there. Below are a few of the videos and essays we’ve enjoyed this week — from a round up of girls who are dreaming big to a brief, heart-warming video featuring pop star Katy Perry!

  1. 8 Girls Who Dream Big For International Day of the Girl 2013 on the Huffington Post
  2. 10 Facts You Don’t Know About Girls Education on ABC News
  3. Women as a Force for Change by Nicholas Kristof
  4. Watch Katy Perry ‘Roar’ with Unicef for International Day of the Girl
  5. Anne T. Donahue reflects on undervaluing education & remembering its importance
  6. Watch Jon Stewart’s full interview with Malala Yousafzai on The Daily Show: part 1, part 2, & part 3.

What have you been reading and watching in honor of Day of the Girl? We’d love to know — please share with us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

Planning a Party? Give Party Favors That Give Back

Hosting a bridal or baby shower can be a major responsibility. Not only does the day need to be memorable for the bride or mom-to-be, but for her family, friends and coworkers as well.

While it may be impossible to plan an event that will fit every guest’s taste, one party favor that is always well received is a candle from Prosperity Candle Scent Sampler Sets. Each sample set comes with four sample size candles in a variety of scents which can be given out as party favors or in goodie bags to each of your guests. Be sure to include a note or one of our story cards to let her know exactly where her candle came from.

Many of our customers have been raving about how their guests have enjoyed our sample candles at their recent events. Robin C. wrote,

“These candles are perfect for giving as hostess gifts! My mission is to share them with all of my friends, knowing that they too will love them enough to visit your website and order products to share with their friends and family! I think this is a great way to spread the word of the hard work and determination of the amazing women working at Prosperity!”

Another customer, Jeanne C., was charged with planning a wedding shower for dozens of guests. She wrote to us about her experience giving our sample candles:

“I am so happy I saw the story about your endeavors in the Boston Globe that Saturday morning. The candles made for perfect small gifts and the plan is we will burn each candle where ever we may be on the day our co-worker is married, Thanks for being part of our beautiful Wedding Shower!”

Whether you decide to include Prosperity Candle Scent Sampler Candles as take home gifts or hand them out early in the event to allow for scent swapping and sharing, the candles and the mission behind them will bring an extra special meaning to the day.

What better way is there to celebrate a bridal or maternal event than by giving a gift that helps to support strong women making a difference around the world?

Saying goodbye to over half of our candles & gifts

It’s been a summer of change at Prosperity Candle. We’ve been asking for your feedback as we have a series of conversations about the candles and gifts we sell. About bigger things involving the messaging and the best way to make an impact in the world.

Change is ahead, and we’re excited. We hope you are, too!

Which is why our summer sale is bigger than ever: 60% off over 60 gifts.

There’s a lot to see, so I’ve picked out six personal favorites to get you started.

A Good Long Soak A Good Long Soak
was $48
now $19.20
Franjipani Tea Tin Franjipani Tea Tin
was $27
now $10.80
Colors of Change Votive Set Colors of Change Votive Set
was $38
now $15.20
Global Girlfriend State of Mind Global Girlfriend State of Mind
was $38
now $15.20
Haitian Beeswax Pinecone Duo Haitian Beeswax Pinecone Duo
was $10
now $4
Soothing Bath Soothing Bath Gift Set
was $28
now $11.20

Why we’re honoring the Women’s Refugee Commission this World Refugee Day

With World Refugee Day just around the corner, Prosperity Candle will be celebrating the refugees close to our hearts and others around the world. Every Prosperity Candle is a vehicle for change, helping to lift Burmese women refugees out of poverty. And now through June 30th, every candle also benefits refugees around the world as well!

Prosperity Candle is proud to be partnering with the Women’s Refugee Commission and will be donating 5% of all gifts purchased through June 30th to the Women’s Refugee Commission to assist them in carrying out their work.

The Women’s Refugee Commission’s mission is to improve the lives and protect the rights of women, children and youth displaced by conflict and crisis. The commission researches their needs, identify solutions and advocate for programs and policies to strengthen their resilience and drive change in humanitarian practice.

Moo Kho and Naw, working at Prosperity Candle

Moo Kho and Naw, working at Prosperity Candle

For twenty years the Women’s Refugee Commission has been devoted to identifying critical problems that affect displaced women, children and young people, documenting best practices and proposing solutions for improved humanitarian assistance. The commission is dedicated to improving refugee policy and practice until measurable long-term change is realized.

Prosperity Candle is pleased to assist the Commission in striving for a future in which refugees and internally displaced women, children and youth are safe, healthy and self-reliant, and have their human rights respected and protected.

Make a greater impact with every gift you give this month, lending a hand to refugees all over the world!

Shop now to empower women refugees

Why We’re Much More Than a Candle

To tell you a little more about what Prosperity Candle is all about, we’ve put together a list of 7 things that make a Prosperity Candle a unique gift.

1) Each candle helps a woman rebuild her life.

We work with women who are from distressed parts of the world who have survived conflict or natural disaster. They are now getting their feet on their ground and rebuilding their lives.

The women we work with come from (or work in) Burma, Haiti, and Iraq. Beyond the candle makers we work with, we also source vessels and gifts from women around the world, including Morocco, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Vietnam, Rwanda, and more.

Each candle we sell helps give them more security and income. The money they earn through Prosperity Candle helps them invest in education, health care and food for their children. No matter which country the women come from, they have a universal dream of giving their children a better future.

Truly a gift that gives back, to you, to the women who make them, and to the future of our world.

2) You can connect directly with the woman who made it.

Every one of our candles includes the name of the woman who made it so you can connect directly with her on our website. Under our “Connect” page you can read her bio, see her picture and send her a message directly.

We’re talking about a global connection here. And the knowledge that you are playing a part in helping a woman rebuild her life!
3) We partner with amazing organizations to bring you unique gifts that do good.

We could focus only on candles and stop there. But why do that when there are so many good causes in the world to team up with? We collaborate with fair trade and socially conscious organizations like Equal Exchange, Numi Tea, Beeline, Divine Chocolate, SERRV International and Arghand to bring you chocolate, coffee, tea, baskets and beauty products. These products are paired with our candles for gifts that are unique and give back two, three or more times!

Why stop with a gift that give back only once, when it can give back to several organizations, making a difference for people all around the world?
4) We donate to good causes.

We have partnered with respected organizations like Women for Women International, World Pulse, UMCOR, and Oxfam America to offer charitable gifts to support their causes. We believe deeply in their work and want to support it, so we have created unique gift sets that include messaging about their mission or products from the countries where they work.

Shopping for a cause has never looked better!
5) We are committed to crafting high quality gifts.

We test our products and those of our partners like crazy. Candles get packed up in boxes and rattled to ensure that they will ensure shipping. We do temperature and burn tests to make sure that they will be long-lasting and clean burning. We invest in all-cotton wicks and clean-burning wax.

We know a lot of people think that buying a gift that does good is not going to result in a high quality gift. We would like to prove that belief wrong!

Our candles are long-lasting and burn beautifully.
6) We keep bringing you fresh products!

Our gifts are all handmade and come from the far reaches of the globe. We want our products to reflect this, so we are always thinking outside the box about what we can do. What can we pour a candle into? An old coffee can? A repurposed glass soda bottle? An ethically sourced soapstone bowl? A Moroccan glass with bold patterns? You bet!

Stay with us. We’ll keep surprising and delighting you!
7) Your gifts will stand out from the crowd.

Looking for something new and exciting for a loved one in your life? A unique social mission and story of impact?

Honor a loved one with a gift with a great story that gives back many times. Your Mom, girlfriend, sister, college friend or colleague will love you for it. Just check out our product reviews!

“… the ripple effect is tremendous”: Prosperity Candle in the Boston Globe

cavanaugh_10prosperity2_bizThis weekend, we were honored to be featured in the Boston Globe’s business section. The article did a wonderful job of outlining our mission and vision for Prosperity Candle.

As a small social enterprise, it’s always exciting to receive press coverage — every step of the process is fun for us. President Ted Barber and Siiri Morley of Prosperity Catalyst had a great conversation with article writer Sarah Shemkus, and it was awesome to see our candle-making process through the eyes (and lens!) of photographer Matthew Cavanaugh.

And of course, what’s most exciting is sharing our story with a new community, and hearing that people were inspired by our company’s mission. Thank you to everyone who participated in, read, shared, and enjoyed the piece!

Read the article at the Boston Globe and shop candles made by Burmese refugees like Moo Kho and Naw here

Fair Trade Favorites: 5 Unique Gifts to Celebrate World Fair Trade Day

For the past 12 years, Fair Trade Resource Network has coordinated World Fair Trade Day with help from a number of incredible sponsors. On May 11th, 2013, events will be held in over 80 countries to celebrate Fair Trade practices and products. The festivals include fashion shows, speeches, food and drink tastings, film showings, sports games, concerts and more.

Can’t make one of the events? Don’t worry about it! Another way to show your support is by purchasing and gifting unique Fair Trade products. Below are five of our Fair Trade favorites.

Teardrop Birdfeeder, $24

This hand-woven birdfeeder is designed by SERRV and made by the Community Crafts Association of the Philippines, one of the oldest fair-trade organizations in the Philippines. The organization provides training programs and organizational development to help community-based enterprises become successful and self-reliant. In addition, the CCAP artisans use many natural, locally available fibers in their goods. The Teardrop Birdfeeder, in particular, is crafted with tilob vine that frames a coconut shell bowl.

Teakwood Oblong Cutting Board, $47
Greenheart Shop

This one-of-a-kind cutting board from Greenheart Shop is made in the Lake Izabal region of Guatemala by a family of artisans who are paid a living wage. Only recycled or sustainably sourced wood is used and managed by the SmartWood Alliance, a certification that guarantees hardwoods are harvested responsibly.

Red Blossom Bowl Candle, $25
Prosperity Candle

This soy blend candle comes in a fair trade ceramic bowl which is hand-painted in traditional Vietnamese flower patterns. The artists come to the United States through Craft Link, a non-profit dedicated to finding global market opportunities for these otherwise isolated artisans. Additionally, the candles are hand-poured by Burmese women who are rebuilding their lives through candle-making after years of living in refugee camps. Each tea-infused candle is packaged with a story card about the woman who made it.

Everest Teapot, $39
Ten Thousand Villages

This two-toned tea kettle is handcrafted by Sana Hastakala, an artisan group from Nepal. Sana Hastakala was established in 1989 with assistance from UNICEF as a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization. To help improve economic and social conditions and preserve the artisan skills in Nepal, the group provides the artists with training and marketing assistance. Additionally, profit from sales is used to further develop and extend the program through producer development programs, staff welfare and organizational strengthening.

Recycled Material Wallet, $20
Global Goods Partners

Friends International implements an income generation program that allows parents to earn a living so that their children are able to go to school. The organization, located in Cambodia, also provides health care, vocational training, primary education, counseling, and cultural activities to 1,800 children and their families. These individuals then create beautiful bags and jewelry from recycled materials, such as this wristlet made from strips of newspapers and magazines.

For more information about our Fair Trade efforts at Prosperity Candle, check out this blog entry by our team .

Have other Fair Trade gift ideas? Let us know in the comments below.

International Workers’ Day: Reflecting on May Day

It’s May Day.

Also known as International Workers’ Day — a celebration of the international labor movement.

Today, we’re thinking about the workers behind the products we consume. Sometimes we make good choices; buying carefully, supporting fair trade, purchasing from organizations dedicated to the livelihood of their employees. Sometimes, we don’t meet that standard.

We’ve been reflecting on the idea that change is a choice. No one person can change the world . . . not easily, at least! But little changes, made mindfully, can and will add up. Making the choice to buy a fair trade pound of coffee means a few extra dollars out of my pocket. But that little choice makes a big difference to the farmers who are paid fairly for their coffee beans.

We’re proud to be an organization that works to economically empower women. The women we work with are strong, smart, dedicated candle-makers, and today we celebrate them.

In the aftermath of the terrible factory collapse in Bangladesh, I’m taking time this May Day to be grateful, and to renew my own personal vow to purchase with purpose . . . and let all those little choices add up to big change.

Impact Investing with a Gender Lens: this Thursday in Boston

How would our capital markets look if gender lens investing became as normal as P/E ratios in looking for ROI?

This Thursday, May 2nd, three women who are rocking this world – Jackie VanderBrug, Cheryl Kiser, and Prosperity Catalyst‘s Siiri Morley – will lead a women-only discussion of Impact Investing with a Gender Lens.

Hosted by Babson College, this Catalystic Women event is part of a series of panel discussions in Boston, Denver, Palo Alto and SF focusing on investing. It’s a perfect opportunity for women interested in giving with impact to learn more about why gender lens investing makes sense.

This discussion will explore important questions like:

  1. What are opportunities to invest in women and social entrepreneurs?
  2. How can I leverage my wealth for both a return on investment (ROI) and a social impact?
  3. How are investments in social enterprise different than traditional investments?

Catalytic Women is donating $10 of every registration to One Fund Boston. Check out their event page to learn more and register for the discussion!

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