Dignity, Respect & Equality for Women

International Women's Day

“Strong women lead to strong nations.”  – Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International

We like to celebrate women every day – no matter where they are from or what religion they practice. But today is special. On March 8th each year, people around the world recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Today is International Women’s Day.

There are infinite reasons to celebrate women. But what strikes us as particularly noteworthy is the strength and resilience demonstrated by women to overcome sexism and inequity.

We have traveled throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. To China, Russia, Afghanistan and India. Azerbaijan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Kenya. Haiti, Honduras, Argentina and Bolivia. Morocco, Lesotho, Uganda and Ethiopia. Eastern, Central and Western Europe. Mexico, Canada and all over the United States. Collectively, to over 50 countries.

Is there any place where we can honestly say women have equal opportunity?

There are certainly countries notorious for holding women and girls back, where they are denied education, representation and simple freedoms we take for granted like driving a car or taking a stroll down the street on your own. Many such places are known for much, much worse.

But nowhere does there exist a truly even playing field, whether in rural Pakistan where Malala bravely stood up to her oppressors or in the board rooms of American business. As much progress as has been made over the last century, this remains a stubborn truth.

Which is why it is so admirable when women around the world achieve success despite the additional obstacles they face. Aung San Suu Kyi is one example. Following decades of being obstructed and harassed by a military regime ruled by men, and being held under house arrest for 15 years, she has risen to political power in Myanmar (Burma) and stands as a powerful voice for democracy around the world.

Her courage and determination are unquestionably worth celebrating on this day.

Among the 10 values championed by International Women’s Day, the ones that especially speak to us are dignity, respect and equality. It’s surely a result of all that travel. Seeing and listening first-hand affects you more than reading about oppression… it changes your understanding, and your life.

There are many things we would like to see happen to create a more just world. Chief among them is recognizing the dignity, advancing the respect, and guaranteeing the equality of women. Equal opportunities for women and girls everywhere will help build a brighter future for all.

For videos, events, resources and more visit International Women’s Day, and carry the message of #BeBoldForChange throughout the year wherever you are.

And if you would like to purchase a candle handmade by a woman refugee that shares the values of International Women’s Day in a unique way, we will donate 10% to the Global Fund for Women supporting the rights of women and girls around the world through groups working to ensure that women everywhere can own property, vote, run for office, get paid fair wages, and live free from violence.

Thank you. Time to celebrate.

#BeBoldForChange   #CelebrateWomen

 International Women's Day

Top photo courtesy of The Boston Globe

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Refugees Welcome

refugees welcome proudly made by refugees

“Compassion is what keeps America great” was the title of this morning’s editorial in our local newspaper. It caught our eye.

Americans are a generous people. Across this country you see individuals and communities helping others in little and big ways. You read stories about acts of kindness and people feeling empathy for one another. This unites us, as it unites communities around the world.

Look at the outpouring of support from Americans at times of tragedy near and far. In the wake of Katrina and horror of 9/11, or devastation following Haiti’s 2010 earthquake or Indonesia’s 2004 tsunami. We reached into our wallets, jumped on a bus, organized relief, and cared for the displaced.

“This is just the type of thing to do – you do this for people,” says Nancy Flickinger, a member of a local church group. “They need all the help they can get.”

What is interesting is who she was talking about… a 56-year old Kurdish widow and her sons who have spent the past 2 years in a Turkish refugee camp. They are refugees from Iraq fleeing violence, hoping for the opportunity to build a new life in our town after their world had been torn apart.

For a few weeks it looked like this family of three might not make it to the U.S., despite a lengthy vetting process. But when the travel ban was blocked, they were cleared for resettlement and arrived last night to a welcome of 180 Americans who have all made a 5-year commitment to help with transportation, learning English, and acclimating to life in this country.

Americans are indeed a compassionate people, and that empathy makes us great.

Seven years ago someone who loaned us money to start Prosperity Candle pressed us to figure how we could have a local impact in addition to supporting widows in Baghdad. So we reached out to women refugees recently relocated nearby, and ever since are glad he nudged us in this direction.

Working side by side with refugees who fled persecution, lost their homes and livelihoods, endured endless hardships in refugee camps, and arrived here with little more than hope for a better life has been educational and inspiring, and has enriched our lives and community.

The story we tell is that we helped these foreign-born women, but in truth they have given much more in return. Every day in our candle studio we are grateful for their skill and attention to detail, their diligence and hard work, the constant improvements they make.

Mostly, though, we are we are grateful for their friendship. Compassion and caring go both ways.

#refugeeswelcome    #refugees

refugees welcome proudly made by refugees

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Compassion & Kindness

Prosperity Candle Compassion Refugees

“Here are the values that I stand for… honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Our values, too. Especially compassion.

Compassion is what binds us together, not in pity, but as human beings who have learned how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future. Nelson Mandela said that.

We are a small candle studio in an old mill in a town with empty manufacturing buildings long since closed.

We provide living wage jobs to women refugees who have relocated from places of conflict to the U.S. through federal programs.

We don’t mind where they are from or what religion they practice.

For the past seven years, these new Americans and their families have enriched our lives in countless ways. We are proud and fortunate to work side-by-side with them.

We support Muslim women in Iraq, helping them perfect candle-making skills and earn a livelihood. We’ve shared meals, embraced their husbands and friends, and exchanged photos of our kids. We’ve told stories and laughed at each others’ jokes. We are equally frightened of terror and saddened by violence.

We are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and agnostic.

We all want the same thing… a safe place to live, enough food on the table, healthcare when needed, education for our children. Everyone seeks a brighter future for their loved ones.

As we look around and engage in the world, we feel a lot of things. Sometimes fear, often joy, occasionally sadness. But the strongest emotion is compassion.

Albert Schweitzer said “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”

That includes refugees.

#compassion #kindness #equality

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Change is OK. Hate is Not.

kindess compassion candle

My name is Kay. I was born in Burma, but spent most of my life in a refugee camp. My family is one of the minorities that the Myanmar military persecuted. Led by a succession of strongmen, they burned our homes and forced us to flee our country because we are not in the dominant ethnic group.

Hundreds of thousands of us sought asylum in Thailand, and although we were safer in the camps, conditions were very poor. We had few freedoms, limited opportunities for education or work, and little hope of returning to our villages and way of life.

I am one of the lucky ones, though.  I was in the refugee camps for 11 years when my application to relocate to the United States under UN and U.S. government programs was granted. To this day, I am immensely grateful to this country. For its humanity, its compassion, and its generosity.

There are many who have been in the camps for much longer, some close to 20 years. I ache for them because I know their despair. I understand their fears for their children who face discrimination and joblessness for their entire lives. I know what it is like to have no rights, no voice, no path out of poverty. The sense of hopelessness can be overwhelming, even with faith at your side.

kindess compassion candle

Here in the United States, I just voted for the first time in my 31 years. After 9 years of working and paying taxes, and weeks of studying the U.S. constitution and all of its amendments, I took a test and passed, then stood with hundreds of other new Americans and pledged my allegiance to this country. I was proud, emotional, and ready to accept not only the freedoms but also the responsibilities of citizenship.

The simple act of casting a vote so that your voice can be heard is extraordinary. I listened to the arguments, watched some of the debates, and talked with others. Then I made up my mind, registered, and voted. I did what so many around the world admire about America – participated in a democratic process to elect our leaders. Without tanks rolling, thugs in my home, or laws blocking me. Mine was only one vote among many millions, but as Aung San Suu Kyi said, “even one voice can be heard loudly all over the world.” I believe she is right.

The next day I was disappointed. The candidate I voted for did not win, but that is not what saddened me most. Only 55% of those who could vote did. Almost half gave up a privilege that a judge had just told me was the most important I would ever exercise as an American.

The electoral college is a mystery to me, no matter how many times it is explained. Apparently it determines who becomes president even when a majority want someone else. And if I understand correctly, the outcome might have been different if more people had gone to the polls.

On the cliffs near where I live and work, anti-black and anti-Jewish graffiti has appeared along with demeaning words about women. I know this is not who we are, whether your family immigrated here 200 years ago or more recently. Americans are a decent people, with compassion and kindness for our neighbors and those less fortunate around the world.

Some say this election was a rebellion and a demand for change. As a Burmese woman, I understand that. My brothers and sisters are fighting for the same right now. But let’s be careful it doesn’t become something much darker, fueled by hate and cruelty. I’ve lived that as well.

#kindness #compassion #peace #gratitude

Burmese Candle compassion kindness

Burmese Candle in Peace, Joy, Compassion, Kindness and Gratitude scents. Handpoured by Burmese women in Prosperity Candle’s studio, Easthampton, MA

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There is no one named Kay at Prosperity Candle, yet she exists. Hers is the combined voices of the women refugees who work at this small social enterprise, as well as its founders, and the many who embrace our values and commitment to the greater good for this country, the planet, and everyone seeking a brighter future for themselves and their families. Kay’s story and opinions are common to all the refugees here. Thank you for hearing their voices.

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A New American: Moo Kho Paw

American Citizenship Prosperity Candle

Freedom and opportunity

“The most important thing about being an American citizen is freedom. In America, no one controls you. There are big opportunities. You can do anything you want.” – Pavel Fomin, Ballet Dancer

At Prosperity Candle, we’ve joined with you, women artisans from around the world, and many wonderful organizations to create positive change and sustainable impact both locally and globally. We believe in the power of ripple effects from small individual actions. That’s why we take such great interest in women artisans and their stories.

The women who make each candle by hand in our studio are incredibly strong and resilient, bringing a special light to our lives. They highlight the importance of creating opportunities for people to build better lives, and the ripple effect it has throughout their communities. Every candle purchased supports a living wage for a woman recently resettled in the U.S. from a refugee camp.

We admire these women greatly. Over the past 6 years they have inspired us in countless ways, and we’ve learned a lot from them. Every day it is an honor to work side-by-side, sharing more than just a work space. We have a common purpose, and enjoy celebrating important events in our lives.

 

Becoming an American citizen

Today we are especially inspired. Nearly 8 years after the U.S. Government offered one of our first candle-makers the opportunity to escape a refugee camp and start life anew in Massachusetts, Moo Kho is officially an American citizen. She has worked hard, paid taxes, read the constitution, and taken an exam we ourselves would struggle to pass. At 12:30 pm we stood witness to what the presiding judge described as “a shining example of our country’s values and what it means to welcome outsiders, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background.”

Attending the Naturalization Oath Ceremony in Lowell, Massachusetts with Moo Kho standing among 767 other soon-to-be American citizens from 99 different counties was one of the most beautiful and emotional moments in the history of Prosperity Candle.

American citizenship Prosperity Candle

A reminder of responsibility

Perhaps the most poignant part of the ceremony was a call-to-action. In return for the freedom and opportunity granted, the official asked everyone to help shape the future of our country by registering to vote. “Let your voice be heard.” She herself was an immigrant, proud to be welcoming another generation of new Americans who would contribute to the good of the country, enriching the melting pot that has served as a beacon of light to the world.

Then two young girls, ages 4 and 10, led the entire gathering – some 1,500 of us – in the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem.  To say it was an emotional experience is an understatement.

New beginnings, endless possibilities

Soy Blend Candle Brilliance Prosperity Candle

You may know Moo Kho’s story by now, but it’s worth telling again. In 2008, she had been living in a refugee camp for over 4 years with her husband and daughter outside of Burma. She and her family had left behind everything they owned and loved when her village was burned to the ground by an ethnic cleansing campaign. In the refugee camp, she was not allowed to advance her education or work, and conditions were very poor. The future was bleak and it was difficult to imagine how anything would change.

Then through a UN program, Moo Kho had the opportunity to relocate to the United States and start over. She and her husband and daughter arrived in Massachusetts in 2009 and received federal, state and local support to begin building a new life. But the support was temporary and the few jobs available were low-paying… often below minimum wage after transportation deductions.

In 2010 through a fortunate introduction, she joined Prosperity Candle as an apprentice candle-maker, starting well above minimum wage plus flexible hours, transportation provided by us, and lots of support.  At the end of her first week, Moo Kho received her first paycheck ever in her life – at age 33.

Within a year Moo Kho proved herself so capable that she took over all candle-making, managing orders and training other women refugees. By 2014 she had a stake in Prosperity Candle. In the scope of just 5 years, Moo Kho’s life had gone from bleakness in a refugee camp to endless possibilities for herself and her children. It was her journey, in fact, that inspired the design of the Brilliance Candle, hand-blown glass in the shape of nature’s symbol of new beginnings: an egg.

Soy blend candle Brilliance Prosperity Candle

A sense of belonging

Resettling anywhere after great loss and years living in refugee camps is extremely hard, to say the least. Understanding that refugees have particular needs in terms of wages, training, flexibility, childcare and transportation is fundamental to their success. That is why at Prosperity Candle we help ensure our women artisans are able to pursue educational opportunities that are vital to their new lives in America. We strive to provide a work environment that is safe and supportive, where everyone is welcome, including babies and children. “Everything here has meaning to me” says Moo Kho, “and I love that. The wax, the light and the people.”

American citizenship Prosperity Candle

Congratulations

Today was a special day for us all, most certainly for Moo Kho and her family. Becoming an American opens new doors, including enabling her to return to Burma (now Myanmar) for the first time in more than 12 years to reconnect with family. And then return to the country that welcomed her as a refugee, and now values her as a citizen.

“Do you feel different?” we asked?  “Yes,” said Moo Kho. “I feel empowered.”

If you’d like to send Moo Kho a message of congratulations, visit her page on our site. You can also request that she pour your candle on your next purchase by entering the code MOOKHO at checkout, which will also take $2 off your order.

Click to view our candle collections.

Here’s to celebrating not only today, but 240 years of welcoming immigrants and refugees to the United States who together have created a brighter future for us all.

#ProsperityCandle   #empowerwomen   #citizenship

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Love Wins, Love Conquers All

#lovewins

“Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.”  – Maya Angelou, American poet and one of our favorite authors

Love is such a big word. It is a philosophy of life. A deep feeling of affection, passion or strong liking for someone or something. It’s also a way of being and caring for people in general, especially those less fortunate.

Love stretches beyond two people, family or friends. We cherish these connections deeply, but are thinking about the bigger picture. Our hearts are aching for a more loving world.

Every day, people around the globe face tragedy as political, economic and social factors create conflict. In Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, Chicago, Nice, Orlando, Istanbul and Medina – and so many other places – tragedy has recently befallen families and touched us all. Out of sight, heartbreaking conditions in countries like Syria and Iraq have become the norm.

We ask ourselves, what is happening? Where is the caring? Where those bridges Maya Angelou spoke of just a few years ago? Love is stronger than hate.

Love is what creates solutions that work for global good, not against it.

lovewins, loveconquersall

“Amor vincit somnia”

Love conquers all. Or, as this banner we saw today in a local store window puts it, love wins. No matter what issue we’re talking about.

Sounds trite, but it’s true. Ultimately, love does win. As someone at #LoveConquersAll said, “We all have the power to change this world! It starts with one act of kindness & compassion at a time!”

We couldn’t agree more. So here is our call-to-action… we hope you’ll join us:

1. Turn to someone close to you and express gratitude that she or he is in your life, no matter what your history

2. Reach beyond family, friends and colleagues – somewhere, anywhere in the world – and show caring… it can be your time, a donation, or a compassionate ear

3. Retweet & tag a person – or cause – you love with #LoveConquersAll

Let everyone know. Shout it out loud. And help build those bridges, one brick at a time.

 

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It’s a Summertime Essential!

Summer fun travel Prosperity Candle

“The tans will fade, but the memories will last forever.”

They say a good story will make memories to last a lifetime. With summer well underway and temperatures high, we’re celebrating the warmest season of the year. It’s a great feeling knowing that each candle purchase makes the women artisans here part of your summer journeys.

One aspect of Prosperity Candle’s mission is to provide inspiration – no matter where the next adventure may take you. It is this idea that motivated us to create the first Travel Tin Quote Candle… and we’ve been adding to the collection ever since. Whether you’re planning a staycation or beach getaway, travel candles are a summertime essential. Inspired by summer colors, each is hand-poured by women artisans and comes with a quote from a celebrated woman we admire. To us, summer means brightening lives and having fun while creating meaningful impact around the world.

In fact, we’d like to brighten up your summer plans! That’s why we’re giving away Summer Inspiration Quote candles to the first 100 people who order a Prosperity Candle. Browse our candle collections and order anything from our website to receive a complimentary travel candle!

And keeping in the same spirit, we’d like to share 3 fun ways to enjoy our candles.

Summer fun travel Prosperity Candle

Summer Beauty

What’s better than feeling beautiful inside and out? We strive to create uniquely beautiful designs and social impact, nourishing both the mind and the soul. This brings endless joy because we know every candle purchase helps women artisans thrive. And once feeling joyful, you know how beauty radiates from within… which reminds us of a wonderful quote by the famous poet, Rumi: “Don’t be fooled by my beauty. The light of my face comes from the candle of my spirit.”

And check this out – what better way to store beauty essentials than repurposing a beautiful vessel as a makeup or jewelry holder when the candle is done? We call that glowing summer beauty all year round!

Summer fun travel candle

Summer gardening

We all know summertime is the best time to garden, which means enjoying our favorite flowers. And as you can tell, we absolutely love the idea of repurposing vessels after a candle has burned down – it means long-lasting enjoyment plus reduced environmental impact.

Our playful garden candles come with a saucer, drainage hole and a set of wildflower seeds from our friends at Garden Collage. Isn’t that cool? This yellow Retro Pot candle goes perfectly with our Ocean Breeze or Lime & Basil fragrances as dig into summer gardening this year…

Summer fun travel Prosperity Candle

Summer sleep

Getting sound sleep every night is no small feat. We loved hearing Arianna Huffington’s sleeping ritual with candles at Bay Path’s Women’s Leadership Conference last April. As she explains in her book, The Sleep Revolution, we’re in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis. Made with essential oils, our candle fragrances are designed to create an atmosphere of calm, relaxation and well-being, and are never overpowering. Perfect for your getting-ready-for-bed ritual.

Make sure to get your summer sleep with our popular Chamomile Sage scented candles (and of course, remember to never fall asleep with a candle still lit!).

Summer travel candle Prosperity Candle

Free Summer Travel Candle

Eager to receive your summertime gift? Simply visit our website and purchase any candle to receive your free Summer Travel Tin. Use the gift code FreeSummerCandle at check-out. We’ll make sure to send a summer candle your way! Applies to first 100 orders.

Cheers to a wonderful summer!

#ProsperityCandle     #summertime     #travel

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How to Make Weddings “Give Back Ever After”

Weddings That Give Back

“A ‘give back’ wedding is a celebration of love and commitment that isn’t just about the couple and their family and friends, but rather a wider circle of community touched by the wedding”.  – Marcie Muehlke, co-founder of Fair Trade Wedding Dress Company, Celia Grace.

Heartwarming words from a woman we deeply admire, and who founded one of our favorite companies. Celia Grace creates fair trade wedding dresses for brides who are beautiful inside and out. Every elegantly designed gown truly gives back by helping women around the world.

Businesses like Celia Grace make us proud to be part of a global movement for ethically made products that touch many lives near and far, simply because of the way they are made and a commitment to the greater good. There are so many out there… it’s not hard to find them!

Of course, there are also lots of products that do little for people or the planet, which is why we’re excited that this movement to “purchase with heart” continues to grow.

With that in mind – and summer in the air with wedding planning in high gear – we thought we’d take a moment to share some special ways to make any wedding a “Give Back Ever After” one with unique, handcrafted candles.

Light the way 

Weddings that give back

Weddings are wonderful in so many ways, mostly because they celebrate a connection between two people who love each other. It is a day full of shared joy and moments that everyone wants to remember, which is why we like giving guests a keepsake they’ll take home and treasure.

You can thank your wedding party with a custom designed candle favor matching your theme and colors, and sharing your values. As one of our dear brides Rachel said, “Knowing that our wedding favors support an amazing company with a compelling social mission made us smile when our guests asked us where the beautiful, great smelling candles were from.” Thank you, Rachel!

And make your ceremony and reception glow with distinctive candles handmade by women artisans, reflecting the generosity of spirit shared by everyone present.

Express gratitude 

Weddings that give back

Weddings are a great time to give meaningful gifts and express gratitude to family and friends. At Prosperity Candle, we feel gratitude takes on an entirely new meaning with wedding and bridal gifts that brighten the lives of those that make them. With many designs and wonderful fragrances to choose from, we individually gift box each candle with your personal message enclosed.

Best of all, each candle includes a story card about the woman who made it and the opportunity to send her a personal message. Every day our artisans receive loving notes of support and gratitude, telling them how much their candles are enjoyed.

Radiate beauty  

Weddings that give back

From an exquisite dress to fancy flowers and thoughtful touches, we know every detail counts on wedding day. Which is why we offer so many wonderful scents inspired by nature. Choose from over 60 luxurious fragrances made with essential oils, from rich florals to soothing woods, fresh herbs to seasonal fruits, and refreshing scents like a cool ocean breeze. We also make unscented candles that are entirely fragrance-free.

And none of our fragrances are over-powering… we never add enhancers or dyes, believing the perfect candle creates a gentle ambiance rather than overwhelms your senses.

Make it seasonal

Weddings that give back

Every wedding season has its own beauty. For us, summer months speak of sun, time spent outdoors, and a nostalgic feeling of days spent at the beach. The Antibes Coral Candle is one of the most unique candles we’ve ever created, evoking all that is naturally beautiful seaside. Introduced a few months ago, it’s become one of our all-time favorites.

No matter what time of year a wedding is, we have the perfect candle ready and waiting to be poured in the fragrance of your choice. And if you’re looking for something truly special, give us a call. No one has as many unique candle designs as we do!

Toast the happy couples

Yes, let’s toast all the couples out there who are planning weddings that are eco-friendly, socially responsible, and give back with love and gratitude… it’s exactly what the world needs.

With the growing popularity of fair trade weddings, people today seek a celebration that reflects who they are and at the same time provides a memorable experience for everyone attending. Prosperity Candle can help create that experience, from wedding favors to table décor to bridal gifts.

So, need an inspirational gift for the happy couple? Or getting married yourself and looking for the perfect favors for your guests, gifts for your bridal party, and candles for your tables?

Let us help you find the ideal candles to suit your occasion. Or browse our collections for your special day and get $10 off your first Prosperity Candle purchase by using the coupon code BLOG.

A big thanks to our friends at Celia Grace for contributing to this post and, more importantly, to helping to make the world a better place.

#GiveBack     #Wedding     #ProsperityCandle

Open your heart, one candle at a time

World Refugee Day Prosperity Candle

“Refugees have done more for my heart and my spirit than I can ever express in words” – Angelina Jolie Pitt, Actress and UN Ambassador.

Powerful words spoken by an impressive woman, echoing our sentiments exactly. Which is why June 20th marks an event close to our hearts: World Refugee Day. It is a day each year to honor the courage, strength and the determination of those who are forced to flee from persecution, conflict and natural disaster.

They leave behind their homes and everything familiar to build new lives elsewhere, somewhere safe, a place to a brighter future. Every year on this day we take a moment to appreciate the women artisans at Prosperity Candle who were once refugees simply because they belonged to the wrong ethnic group. It’s impossible to comprehend all they have gone through, and yet here they are each day – resilient, strong, unceasingly determined.

We ask you to show your support for these brave women, men and children. Speak up on their behalf and encourage others to do the same. And take a moment to donate to World Refugee Day. You’ll be joining many others with open hearts who are helping refugees across the globe.

“Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me,” says Ban Ki Moon, the United National Secretary General. “They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again. On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity, and open our hearts to refugees everywhere.”

#WorldRefugeeDay     #Compassion     #WithRefugees

World Refugee Day Prosperity Candle

Helping to rebuild lives

Here at Prosperity Candle, our mission from day one has been to work where few businesses are willing or able to go. Places where war and natural disaster have devastated communities, turned families into refugees, and left few opportunities to escape poverty.

In 2009 we launched a pilot project in Iraq at a time when bombs and violence were a near daily occurrence in Baghdad. It wasn’t easy, and there have been many setbacks. But we are proud to have demonstrated, against the odds and despite the naysayers, that our social enterprise model works. It enables women in some of the most difficult circumstances to earn a living wage and gain independence with dignity. This in turn promotes peace and shared prosperity for all.

Connecting people and sharing inspiring stories is deeply important to us, which is why every candle includes a card about the woman who made it. We love the idea of reaching across divides with a candle, from her hands to yours.

World Refugee Day Prosperity Candle

Glocal impact

Prosperity Candle started with an international focus, but at the urging of a supporter soon began working with refugees recently relocated to the United States through U.N. and federal programs. We quickly learned that offering a helping hand to local women from regions of conflict is as powerful as working in a place like Baghdad. So our impact is now both global and local – “glocal.”

Take Moo Kho Paw, for example. Five years ago she and her family had just settled in western Massachusetts when we were introduced. They were forced to flee their native Burma, leaving behind all possessions, and lived for years a refugee camp before the opportunity arose to relocate to the United States. Moo Kho started as an apprentice candle-maker, but quickly advanced to supervisor and today is Prosperity Candle’s production manager responsible for all candle-making and training other women refugees to make unique gifts.

Moo Kho is one example of how Prosperity Candle strives to support a woman’s journey from refugee to artisan – and a brighter future for herself and her family.

World Refugee Day Prosperity Candle

Strength and compassion

What amazes us is that every artisan at Prosperity Candle, no matter what circumstances brought her here, arrives with a smile on her face each morning. Together, they set a pace for the candles to be made, working steadily throughout the day, taking breaks as needed.

Our studio is always a wonderful (and sometimes bizarre!) blend of fragrances… woodsy sandalwood one moment, fresh ocean breeze the next. And since we make every candle individually to order, the tables are a constantly changing mosaic of color and design.

We feel fortunate to work side-by-side with these women. They’ve shown us how extreme hardship can lead to a depth of strength and compassion that is beyond words.

It is humbling.

Please join us in standing #WithRefugees, and pledge your support now. And the next time you are thinking of a gift to give, consider a candle handmade by a woman refugee.

#ProsperityCandle     #WorldRefugeeDay     #Compassion

Create opportunity, create a new world.

Social Enterprise Prosperity Candle

“One tiny person can make a difference.” – Dr. Teresa Chahine, Social Entrepreneurship Program Leader at Harvard Chan School and Director at Alfanar Lebanon.

Agreed! And so can one small business prioritizing positive impact over all else. We believe in social enterprises because they contribute to solving a community challenge using the power of the marketplace. Simply put, they are a force for good… “businesses that are changing the world for the better.”

Such challenges abound, which is why Dr. Chahine’s new book Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship comes at a perfect time. It educates us about how social businesses are today’s solution for a brighter tomorrow. “For the past 10+ years I have mentored undergraduate students in helping for-profits and non-profits conceive, develop, and implement social enterprise… and have yet to find such a comprehensive and applied resource,” comments Professor John Gonas.

We’re honored to be profiled in Dr. Chahine’s book on social entrepreneurship, and thought we’d share a bit more about how we relate to this growing movement. Of course, we can’t help but first invite you to give a gift to someone you love… one that brightens lives and helps change the world for the better.  That’s why we do what we do!

Social enterprise Prosperity Candle

Catalyst for Change

“Want to change the world? Invest in women.” Those where the first words spoken by our co-founder Ted Barber when recently interviewed by bizwomen.

Prosperity Candle is a social enterprise that believes in contributing to the common good, striving every day to help end poverty through beautiful design, joyous fragrances made with essential oils and artisan stories that brighten hearts and souls.

Alongside is Prosperity Catalyst , our sister nonprofit that launches and incubates women-led businesses in distressed regions, like Iraq, where creating opportunities for women to achieve economic empowerment is an essential catalyst for social and economic change.  

Every candle purchased supports the mission of both organizations.

Social Enterprise Prosperity Candle

Social Return on Investment (SROI)

Social enterprises measure the number of lives impacted through their product or service, focusing on triple-bottom-line practices that lead to economic, social and environmental success. So the return on investment is not just financial, it’s also tangibly making the world a better place. How great is that?

We’re proud that Prosperity Candle has been named a “Best for the World” B-Corp for its positive impact on artisans, communities and the environment.  It’s part of who we are, every day, right from the start.  And we endeavor to share that message through our newsletter, blog and social media – as well as in the gift box cards included with every candle that tell the story of the woman who made your candle.

Social Enterprise Prosperity Candle

Beyond Charity

We deeply believe in philanthropy, and support its ability to catalyze change. Which is why we launched a social enterprise and nonprofit together with aligned missions. But we also know from experience that to create lasting change, charity and governments alone are not enough. It’s the marketplace – consumers, businesses and investors – that has the ability to create sustainable impact.

Here at Prosperity Candle, we created a unique business model that engages all of the above, most importantly people like you. It is based on soy blend candles that can be made even in the most difficult of environments and sold locally, regionally and globally.

We train disadvantaged women to start their own, independent candle-making enterprises, with Prosperity Candle as a partner. Why? Because our mission is to create opportunities for women to build a brighter future for themselves and their families through entrepreneurship, while brightening the homes of your friends and family with beautiful candlelight and meaningful gifts.

Thank you for the incredible support you’ve given our social enterprise over the past 6 years… we’re still a small team of passionate people thinking about how we can make a difference, one woman artisan at a time.

#ProsperityCandle    #socent    #Bcorps