Artisan Spotlight: Meet Tha Thay

Tha joined Prosperity Candle as a candle-maker in 2015 after resettling to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Thailand in search of freedom and peace.

Four years ago when we first met Tha, she told us about her beautiful dream of freedom and peace for her family. Since that day, every candle she pours by hand and milestone she reaches shines a light on how far she has journeyed. We are so happy to see her thriving beside her family!

Tha joined Prosperity Candle as a candle-maker in 2015 after resettling to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Thailand where she sought safety from escalating violence near her home in Burma. Living more than 10 years in the camp, Tha and her family were eventually offered the opportunity through UN and federal programs to relocate to Springfield, MA for a new beginning.

Today we see Tha shaping a brighter future alongside the other Burmese and Congolese women artisans in our studio. Just 7 months ago, she passed her citizenship test and is happily embracing her new-found freedoms as an American citizen. Here is a glimpse into her life!

1. Tha, can you tell us a little about your family?

I have 6 people in my family... my husband, three sons and one daughter. The youngest is 10 years and is in elementary school. When he comes home, he likes to play video games. The three boys like to all play it together and my daughter sometimes watches. She likes to draw too.

2. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?

I like to cook and clean the house. Sometimes I visit my friends in Connecticut and my parents and siblings in Pennsylvania. During school break in February, I went and cooked for them and cleaned the house. My dad is sick and I like to take care of them when I go.

3. What do you like the most about living in the United States? 

It’s a nice place for me. My kids get to play. It’s nice living near the shopping or the hospital. Everything is near my house.  I’ve been here for eight years. 

4. What do you enjoy about candle-making?  Do you have any favorite scents?

My favorite part is pouring and packing the candles.  I like Jasmine. It smells good for me like the flowers. In Thailand we used to see Jasmine.

5. Do you have a favorite TV show or movie you like to watch?

When I’m done with work I go home and watch a Thai movie or sometimes I watch American TV shows... sometimes!

6. Do you have a favorite dish you like to cook at home?

I make soup and fish paste. My kids and my husband like fried fish and fried chicken. They all like it.  I don’t like hamburgers. But my kids like hamburgers. They eat them at school sometimes. In the house, we cook our food not American food.

7. Do you have a favorite song or type of music you listen to?

I like Burmese songs on Youtube and to listen when I’m in the car. I open the music and drive!

8. Do you have any dreams or hopes for the future?

I hope all of my kids can go to graduate college and get a job. The oldest one is Thanchi OO... he’s 20 and he’s in college in Springfield. He is getting a major in engineering and technology. He told me he will graduate in four years.

Interview with artisan Tha Thay, handmade candles and gifts that give back Interview with artisan Tha Thay at Prosperity Candle, handmade gifts that give back to women and refugees in the U.S.

If you enjoyed hearing Tha Thay's story send her a message saying hello or share her story with a friend! Who knows... maybe one of you also has similar dreams for your kids!


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