A WAY TO SUPPORT HUMANITARIAN WORK AND INTENTIONAL CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY... AND JUST A GOOD PLACE TO BE.
That's what our little Candle Shop on the North End of town has become for a number of us. We live in a Christian community house and long to have a Jesus-presence, together, in our neighborhoods. So if you're ever in our neck o' the woods, come pull up a chair and stay a while! We're always down for a chat :)
Meet some of the team!
After Jessa and I got married, we knew we wanted to do something to help support ourselves and our community that was wholesome for everyone involved - from the raw materials all the way to the folks who end up with the product. Before I met Jessa I lived for a time in an off-the-grid-in-the-city hospitality house called "The Downstream Project." There was no electrical lighting in the house, so every night we lit up the beeswax candles, not just for fun or ambiance! It was a powerful and inspiring season of my life, and later, when Jessa and I were thinking of things we could do that met our list of criteria, beeswax candles came to mind. I got on craigslist and found a local beekeeper who was selling it by the block... and the rest is history!
Many of us live at a place called the "Shire House" where we have the blessing of joining together with fellow believers and seekers in meals, worship, work and laughter on a daily basis in the Lillies And Sparrows community. The other community work project is Mill Song Bakery, started by our dear friends the Melas-Blanton family (creators of the Downstream Project) who make naturally leavened artisan loaves using local grains they personally stone-mill. Learn more at millsongbakery.com!
Sourcing our raw materials for soap and candles
In a world where folks with certain privileges often mistreat and take advantage of folks without those privileges, it's incredibly important to understand the supply chains that connect us (whether consciously or not) to each other. The Fair Trade certification process has been an amazing movement that has helped get many farmers, craftsmen, and small business owners in the Global South out from under the foot of multi-national agendas that prioritize profit margins over all else. However, unfortunately (but predictably) even the Fair Trade movement is beginning to be co-opted and "watered down" by such agendas. So what's a body to do? We as consumers need to simply take a minute to look into the supply chains for ourselves, even if the label says "Fair Trade," to make sure we are not supporting industries that degrade and hurt our brothers and sisters around the globe.
So let's start right now by looking into how BeeTheLight sources raw materials for soap and candle making!
When we began, one general rule of thumb was to do as much as possible as locally as possible. That's what's so nice about beeswax candles. The only ingredient in the wax is the beeswax, and so the candles you get from BeeTheLight come from beekeepers and honey bottlers right here in the USA who benefit from policies and norms around human rights that some of our non-western friends do not have access to.
But then there's soap!
We had go to the international market for some of our vegan soap ingredients, and that's when we knew we had to be super careful. Our soaps are made from oils that come to us from only two different farms, and both of them are places that are Fair for Life fair trade certified and exist to care for the Earth and the humans that work it. We are honored to support and be connected to them. Please enjoy exploring the Cannan FairTrade and the Natural Habitats farms websites for yourself using the links below:
The following is a list of friends/organizations who do wonderful work around the globe that BeeTheLight has chosen to help support - and we encourage you to look into them!
The Brothers and Sisters in Malawi
Family Line Foundation, Liberia