2011 was an amazing year for Prosperity Candle. As with any new organization, it had a lot of ups and downs, long nights for our teams, and many anxious moments. But as the year went on, we found our groove and grew as a social enterprise. Our team celebrated the new year with a lot of pride and anticipation about next steps for 2012.
We’d love to share some of our proudest accomplishments of 2011 here.
Growth of our Refugee Program
We’re proud to say that we were able to expand our local program with Burmese women refugees in our Northampton, MA location. We trained two new women, Mee Mee and Naw, and Moo Kho was promoted to a trainer and manager. The women now work together beautifully and create stunning candles. They’ve been pouring perfect candles for a diverse range of clients and working more regular hours with us. And they’re learning more English every day!
An Amazing Team
We’ve been so lucky to have had the support of so many talented and passionate people throughout Massachusetts – and some either further afield (Chicago, NYC, etc.). Thank you to Nichole, Brenna, Elizabeth, Anna, Lynn, Joan, Kalista, Sarah, Ashleigh, Liz, Andrea, Sarah, Min Min, Stephanie, Sophie, Allen, Grace, Lourdes, Nandi, Lisa, Priti and Jamie for all of your help! You’ve helped us improve our branding, our newsletter, our social media/blog, our online marketing, our PR efforts, our product collection, and our sales outreach. And you’ve helped us at sales events, packed boxes, transport the refugee women… the list goes on! You’ve been invaluable to our team’s success.
A Beautiful New Product Line that Spans the World
As you must have noticed, our product line has expanded dramatically with new gift sets, artisan candles and collaborations with fair trade groups creating coffee, chocolate, tea, and other handcrafted products. We have been proud of the growth of our collection – which now spans the world from Haiti to Kenya, Vietnam to Afghanistan, Iraq to Massachusetts! Keep watch for our Valentine’s Day products, soon to come!
Custom Candles for Corporate, Donor & Event Gifts
A big part of our growth has been thanks to business and nonprofit leaders interested in giving unique corporate, donor, and event giftsthat embody their organizational values. We are now customizing our candles with the branding of other organizations – complete with their colors, logo, messaging, and url. These candles have been purchased by groups like Amnesty International, Kiva, eBay’s Women’s Initiative Network, Women for Women International, the Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Conference, and FEED Projects, amongst many others! Thank you all for your support.
Deeper Partnerships with Nonprofit Causes
We have been proud to deepen our partnership with Women for Women International by becoming an alliance partner in addition to being a field partner. This means a commitment to supporting each others efforts to spread the word about our efforts and shared values.
We have also launched new collaborative efforts with groups like World Pulse and the Preemptive Love Coalition.
In 2011, we were excited to launch our first advent candle set for the advent season. It was a big hit!
We also started partnering with a number of faith-based groups committed to promoting social justice and undertaking humanitarian work around the world. We are proud to be working with the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Week of Compassion.
More soon on some exciting announcements for 2012!
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In the spirit of Women’s History Month, our thoughts are drawn to the many women who contribute to society in a myriad of ways while expecting nothing in return. They are hidden from view. Yet these women are transforming communities and making a positive difference in the world. They are unsung heroines.
March is about celebrating women… something we’re pretty excited about. There is so much to appreciate, so many barriers yet to topple, and so many amazing women to recognize for their accomplishments.
Ah, Valentine’s Day. Every year we look forward to it, but here’s the thing. Ever since Eve Ensler started One Billion Rising as part of her V-Day movement to end violence against women and girls, we’ve felt conflicted about this holiday.