Four months ago, we met Poe and welcomed her into our bustling studio. With a bright smile and a quick laugh, she is a wonderful addition to our team. It has been a pleasure to get to know her and learn about her family. Every week in the studio, we see her advancing her skills as an artisan. We're so happy she's here!
Poe was born in Myanmar, where she worked and played in the rice fields with her four siblings while her parents worked as farmers. At five years old, Poe and her family left to escape increasing violence from the military. Her family lived in a Thai refugee camp for 13 years with limited freedoms.
In 2007, Poe and her family were offered the opportunity to relocate to the United States through a UNHCR program. Today, she lives in a home with her husband, mother, and four children and works at Prosperity Candle to provide for her family. Her dream is to see her children finish school and find good work.
For Poe, every candle she works with represents new opportunities for her and her family. Here is a glimpse into her life!
1. Poe, can you tell us a little about your family?
I have four boys - 10, 6, 4 and 1 year old. They keep me very busy. My mother also lives with my husband and me and we all take care of each other.
2. What is it like making candles at Prosperity Candle?
I like the people I work with here at Prosperity Candle. I work with a lot of people from my Karen community here in the studio. This is the first time that has ever happened.
3. What do you enjoy doing when you're not at work?
I like to spend time with my family and take my kids out to the park. We have fun while they play on the playground. I also like to take them to the community pool where they play and swim. My older two boys taught themselves how to swim.
4. What is your favorite dish that you like to cook?
I really like to cook Karen dishes - especially the sweet and sour dishes like pork rib soup and chicken soup.
5. What is your favorite American food? Is there any American food you don’t like?
I think I like all American food! My favorites are hamburgers and pizza.
6. Is there anything about living here in Massachusetts, in the United States, that surprised you or is different [from what you expected]?
When I lived in Burma, I didn’t have a house. When I lived in the Thai refugee camp, we lived in a bamboo house that took us two days to build, with the help of friends. We weren’t allowed to leave the camp. [Here] Everything is better. Everything you want, you can get anything. If you work, you can have everything.
7. Do you have a favorite TV show or movie that you like to watch?
Yes, I like to watch Thai TV dramas that I find on YouTube.
8. Do you have a favorite song or type of music that you listen to?
I always listen to Karen music on YouTube and country music!
If you enjoyed hearing Poe's story, send her a message welcoming her or share her story with a friend. Who knows... maybe you love Thai dramas too!